New Music Round-Up: 12/02/21

With Valentine’s Day approaching, what better to keep you company than some new tunes? Music will never let you down. So, this this weekend, treat yourself, or your partner, with dinner, some chocolates, flowers, and of course, these new releases.

Rita Ora x Imanbek – Bang 

Rita Ora via YouTube

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

After some public controversies last year, Rita is back with a bang (get it?) and a complete rebranding, visually and sonically. Written and produced entirely over Zoom calls, the Bang EP is light years away from the likes of 2012’s ORA and 2018’s Phoenix, teleporting herself to a world that blends pop, dance and hip-hop into a megamix of party anthems. Opening track “Big” is the perfect introduction to this experimental new ground, as Ora lathers in autotune and sings over a bouncy beat that’ll no doubt be blasting through club speakers in time to come. The David Guetta produced “Bang Bang” is another intoxicatingly catchy track, interestingly sampling Crazy Frog’s “Axel F”, encapsulating the original song’s fun energy and making a radio-friendly hit. “Mood” is where Rita lets loose most; with a gritty hip-hop vibe that feels Rihanna influenced. Final track “The One” sounds most like the boundary between Ora’s two musical worlds, balancing her classic sound with this new heavy experimentation perfectly. Lyrically, she explores what it felt like being the person to hurt someone, a somewhat refreshing take on a heartbreak-influenced song. “I always knew I could hurt someone, but I hate that you had to be the one”, she sings during the big chorus. Ora has since stated Bang is a teaser of what to expect from her third LP, which she hopes to record this summer. We, for one, can’t wait to hear more.

Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia (The Moonlight Edition)

Dua Lipa via YouTube

Rating: 3 out of 5.

If you didn’t already know, we’re huge fans of Future Nostalgia. In fact, it’s one of the best albums of the last decade. Not since Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream in 2010 has a pop album era had such a huge impact on the music industry and pop culture as a whole. Fans have been craving more of the disco-pop music from Dua, so this special edition of Future Nostalgia featuring four new tracks should come as a treat. Unfortunately, what’s on offer from The Moonlight Editionisn’t anything special, and feels like the scraps trimmed from the original album that made it so streamlined. “We’re Good”, the single being pushed by her team is possibly the worst of the bunch, not only does it not fit with the ‘Future Nostalgia theme’ in the slightest, it’s a pretty boring track with little replay value, sounding like something we’ve heard a million times over. The highlight of the new roster of songs is undoubtedly “If It Ain’t Me”, a dancefloor-craving bop that could easily mimic the success of Lipa’s megahit “Don’t Start Now”. Although the song had previously been floating around online months prior to release, let’s hope it gets the push it deserves and becomes another jewel in Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia shaped crown.

Rebecca Black – Friday (Remix)

Rebecca Black via YouTube

Rating: 3 out of 5.

10 years ago, a 13-year-old Rebecca Black dropped “Friday”, a soon-to-be viral hit that was ringing through everyones brains in 2011. Seriously, if you didn’t hear this song, where were you? Anyway, fast-forward to 2021, and today Black dropped a special treat for fans, “Friday (Remix)” featuring 3OH3!, Big Freedia and Dorian Electra. If you’ve kept up with Black’s music the last couple years, you’ll already know her sound has changed drastically since the original “Friday”, now consisting of hyper-pop and dance, “Friday (Remix)” being no exception. A fast, bouncy beat is added to the song (which is pitched and auto-tuned all the way) with each featured artist adding their signature flare, leaving the iconic record destined to find a whole new audience a decade down the line of its original release.

Victoria Justice – Stay

Victoria Justice via YouTube

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Victorious star Victoria Justice is back with another new musical offering following the surprise release of “Treat Myself” last year, her first music release in seven years. “Stay” is a relaxed, stripped back track that showcases Justice’s vocal growth since her time on the Nickelodeon show. Though nothing revolutionary, the track is a sweet love letter to her lover, whom she wishes will never leave her. “Don’t gotta go nowhere, we can stay right here” she sings blissfully. Although we’d hoped for more upbeat, catchy tracks reminiscent of her Victorious era, this musical direction is an unexpected yet welcome move from Victoria Justice, and something we’d like to hear more of.

Which of this weeks releases was your favourite? Let us know!

Featured Image Credit: Dua Lipa on Instagram/@DuaLipa

This article was published on HotShot, find it here.