New Music Round-Up: 15/01/21

Believe it or not, we’ve made it to 2021. There have been some historic events just a few weeks in – another national lockdown, US Capitol riots and the 46th Presidential Inauguration. One thing that’s never changing is our love for music and sharing our weekly thoughts with you. Here’s the lowdown on all of this weeks new releases.

Ashnikko – Demidevil

Ashnikko via YouTube

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ashnikko’s unfiltered debut Demidevil is a genre-surfing, female-empowered rollercoaster. The 24-year-old is loud, proud and unapologetic. “Not a princess, I’m a king” she states in viral single “Daisy”, which blew up on TikTok, leading it to become her most streamed track of all time. The bouncy electro-pop of “Deal With It” sees Ashnikko relish in self-confidence as she finally gets over a toxic ex, “I don’t want you, do what you want, just deal with it”. The mixtape dips into cheap gimmick territory with “L8r Boi”, referencing Avril Lavigne’s iconic 2002 pop-punk song. The production throughout the whole project is stellar, highlighted on “Toxic”.

Zayn – Nobody Is Listening

ZAYN via YouTube

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

After dropping his mammoth 27-track sophomore album Icarus Falls in 2018, Zayn is finally back with his third LP, Nobody Is Listening. Album opener “Calamity” is an intimate spoken word track, but unfortunately has minimal impact on the overall listening experience, instead feeling like a forced attempt to be artsy. However, as always, Zayn’s vocals over a slow beat and instrumental make for perfect R&B, seen perfectly in single “Vibez”, an exploration into a moody R&B soundscape that breaks away from the edgy pop sound filtered through first album Mind Of Mine. “Sweat” is the track that most feels like it could fit in perfectly with 2018’s Icarus Falls (not a bad thing), a sexy track about Zayn’s romantic relationship with supermodel Gigi Hadid, “Damn, I could get lost in a heartbeat / Damn, I can’t get over your body”. Although Nobody Is Listening has some standouts, it feels like a slight regression compared to his previous work, consisting majoritively of filler tracks that will never be revisited.

Ariana Grande, Doja Cat & Megan Thee Stallion – 34+35 Remix

Ariana Grande via YouTube

Rating: 3 out of 5.

When Ariana Grande announced a remix to Positions track “34+35” this week, fans were hyped, with circulation soon beginning on who the two mystery artists joining her would be. Alas, we have Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion – two of the hottest rappers in the game right now. So, it’s with disappointment that we say that they add next to nothing to the song. Although performances are great all-round, this almost feels like one of those remixes that is totally unnecessary and adds nothing to the original record. Although it doesn’t make the track any worse (we’re looking at you, “Say So”), this just feels like an attempt to give the song a further push on the charts that it didn’t necessarily need.

Selena Gomez – De Una Vez

Selena Gomez via YouTube

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rumoured for years, Selena Gomez has finally musically ventured into her Hispanic heritage, announcing a full Spanish album for release next year and releasing first single “De Una Vez”. Having always proudly worn her heritage on her sleeve, the track is a gorgeous introduction to this side of Gomez and perfectly suited to her soft, subtle voice. Slow in pace and chill in its overall sound, this is a song you’ll have on repeat all Sunday long whilst relaxing around the house. Its accompanying music video is charismatic and striking, melding perfectly with the record and gearing us up for an exciting new Selena era.

Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over The Country Club

Lana Del Rey via YouTube

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Making her return after dropping last years critically-acclaimed Norman F*cking Rockwell, Lana Del Rey released one of her strongest singles in years this week, “Chemtrails Over The Country Club”. It’s traditional Lana, charismatically dreamy and cinematic, enhancing her captivating, moody style. The track’s aesthetically pleasing music video perfectly compliments the song, and is one of Lana’s greatest, showcasing some of the best visuals she’s ever produced. After the lacklustre videos of her last era (“Doin Time” aside, of course), it’s nice to see her reach this height and enter her prime yet again.

Which new release was your favourite this week? Let us know!

Featured Image Credit: Zayn via Twitter/@ZaynMalik

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