The Week’s 5 Essential Releases Worth Listening To

As well as the obvious, polarising choice of Katy Perry’s newfound ‘purposeful pop’, New Music Friday yields some beautifully quirky releases from all corners of alternative universe. Here are the week’s five big releases that should be on your radar:

Katy Perry’s fifth album Witness
One look at Katy Perry’s edgy new look and you’d think that the ‘demon’ that has since departed the wrecking ball-straddling Miley Cyrus has found a new host in the more conscious Katy Perry. Thus far, the preceding singles have offered pensive disco, unapologetic innuendo and a steaming heap of shade directed at her long-running rival Taylor Swift. Listen to ‘Chained to the Rhythm’ below:

SZA’s long-anticipated album CTRL has finally arrived
In pushing the boundaries of R&B to its absolute limits, frankly discussing the ugliest parts of her romantic experiences and delaying its release by almost a year, SZA’s debut album has cultivated a similar anticipation that surrounded Frank Ocean’s elusive follow-up last year. And similarly to Ocean, the hype isn’t unmerited; SZA makes the wait for CTRL worth it. Listen to ‘Doves in the Wind’ below:

Phoenix make a strong case for millennial disco on Ti Amo
Despite their longevity on the alternative pop scene, it comes as a bit of a surprise that Phoenix have made themselves strong contenders for the ultimate summer soundtrack with their latest album Ti Amo. The initial singles have teased light, but meticulous confections far from the bombastic tropical EDM that crowd the airwaves over the summer months but Phoenix seem wonderfully adamant that Ti Amo could be the one to last you right through to dreary October. Listen to ‘J-Boy’ below:

Lorde shares ‘Sober’
Lorde recently divulged that her upcoming album tells the story of one house party. So far, Lorde has touched mostly on the euphoric moments within this respective rager but on ‘Sober’ she slides along on smooth R&B grooves as she looks pensively beyond the party to the moment that all revellers dread: the inevitable comedown. Listen to ‘Sober’ below:

Alvvays return with ‘In Undertow’
Three years after their self-titled debut, Alvvays have returned with alternative summer anthem ‘In Undertow’. Despite all the fuzz and downward-looking shoegaze, Alvvays still look upwards in search of sun even when the clouds are gathering. Listen to ‘In Undertow’ below:

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