Music You Don't Want to Miss 11/19: Fletcher & Hayley Kiyoko, Avril Lavigne, JP Saxe, and Holly Humberstone
There has been so much incredible music that's come out over the last two weeks that it's been extremely hard to keep up with as the only writer at this blog (and also a full time college student heading into finals week). I really didn't want to miss giving some time and attention to new releases from some of my favorite artists, so I figured I'd combine them all into a single list of amazing music for you to spend some time with this weekend. Fletcher and Hayley Kiyoko and Avril Lavigne bring the party spirit with two upbeat tracks, and JP Saxe and Holly Humberstone will have you all in your feels. Depending on how your feeling, both pairs could be perfect follow up to a week of listening to Red (Taylor's Version).
by Fletcher and Hayley Kiyoko
Fletcher and Hayley have been teasing "Cherry" for quite a while now on TikTok as a fun, queer anthem that one would expect from both of these icons. Fletcher is one of the best pop girls when it comes to blending danceable party tracks with plenty of feelings. As opposed to The S(ex) Tapes and You Ruined New York City For Me, this track is tinged with bubbly, flirty feelings. As far as Hayley, I'm still in shock that she played Stevie on Wizards of Waverly Place.
While I don't tend to go for the more upbeat tracks, this hook has been stuck in my head since the song's days as a TikTok sound. Having heard the entire song now, I like it even more as the hook improves in the context of the verses. I also applaud this collaboration for actually making sense as a pairing of two artists with complimentary sounds, fanbases, and a genuine connection between the two of them instead of some of the random pairings we've been served throughout the 2020s.
I saw Avril was releasing a new track and got curious about what her next evolution would sound like. This song has proven to be a return to form more than a new chapter, which makes sense considering the pop-punk genre she put her mark on in the early 2000s is coming back around. This track has a layer of polish to it that slightly tripped me up on my first listen through and it obviously doesn't carry the same wave of warm nostalgia as her older music I grew up on, but it feels like a successful new outing.
This single is a new beginning for partnerships, though, as she's now signed to Travis Barker's record label DTA Records. It's interesting to see Avril coming into the fold of the Travis Barker Cinematic Universe having collaborated with Yungblud, Machine Gun Kelly, Willow, and Travis himself.
by JP Saxe
JP Saxe finally released the deluxe edition of his debut album, Dangerous Levels of Introspection, that came out earlier this year. While this deluxe release feels a bit belated, it's an interesting reintroduction to the album with the three bonus songs peppered across the track list instead of tacked on at the end. I liked that the new songs were placed in sequence with the other tracks of the album to keep the emotional arc of the project intact.
"Soft Landing," the new track two, is my favorite of the triplet that also comes with "Love v. Logic" and "Hold On To Me." I'm also a "Hold On To Me" fan because that was the song that I got to hear a preview of during my JP Meet and Greet experience. Each of these are packed with interesting lyrics and concepts, but "Soft Landing" is most successful when it comes to pairing production with these originally acoustic songs.
Last week, Holly Humberstone dropped her EP, The Walls Are Way Too Thin. I've been meaning to cover it for the last week, but it got a little lost in all of the content from the Red TV releases and Gracie Abrams's new project. I still hope I'll get around to writing about the entire EP, but I wanted to give the whole project a little time to sink in before I put all my thoughts together. Still, "Please Don't Leave Just Yet" is one of my favorite songs form the project, and I wanted to give it some love here. Her writing is so visceral and relatable yet poetic and cutting. The song perfectly captures the hopeless confusion of a bad relationship.
Also, in a fascinating twist, this particular song is a co-write with Matty Healy of the 1975, which adds an interesting twist to things. His fragmented, poetic style and sense of story blends very well with Holly's soul searching spirit and understated, alternative sounds.
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