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This Week's Must-Listen Releases: From Central Cee to Charlotte Day Wilson

Stream this week's must-listen releases, hand-picked by our editors.

Central Cee's “I Will”

Central Cee's ascent to stardom might have been attributed to his catchy drill tracks and pervasive online antics, but on his most recent track “I Will”, the UK Rapper tries his hand at a heartfelt ballad. With smooth, soft-spoken vocals, Central Cee lets his loverboy emotions guide him through a laid-back drill version of an R&B track, true to its genre's archetype, he tells the story of having his girl going out to the club looking for someone to take her home. “You put on your best 'fit' to the club tonight / You're tryna find someone to take you home and show your love / If nobody else will, then I will” he raps. Even if it’s not his girl yet, Cench is offering monogamy out in the open in return for a chance to be hers “Just give me the date and pick a place and go pack the Rimowa We can go to Phuket, if you fuck with this. I hold it down, you ain't gotta worry 'bout no other bitches.” Central Cee’s subtle vulnerability and suave charisma are charming, and with the single presumably coming off his forthcoming album CC3, his new take on melodic drill and his apparent new love interest hints at the sonic direction he could take going forward. 

SZA 's “Saturn”

Known for making her fans wait at long lengths to receive new music, SZA has unexpectedly dropped her new single “Saturn” after previewing the song during the 2024 Grammy Awards. As if to hint at a new chapter for the artist, the single envelopes itself in a spinning world of emotional existentialism, questioning the karmic cycles of the world while offering her take on the point of it all; spoiler, there isn’t one. While SZA has always been one to give space to her unexplored emotion, on “Saturn” she sounds tired of introspection. Instead of reveling in past exes and the exhaustion of perfectionism, she’s searching to find solid ground on another planet, to distract herself from the inner voices of her mind by escaping it all. “Stuck in this paradigm / Don't believe in paradise..There's got to be more, got to be more / Sick of this head of mine Intrusive thoughts, they paralyzе.” Since releasing her album SOS in 2022, which earned her the most Grammy nominations of the night and three awards, SZA has teased a slew of snippets about a forthcoming project titled Lana, stating in August of 2023 that the record will be a “stand-alone” project consisting of 10 tracks. Although the project has yet to receive a release date, fans speculate that with the release of “Saturn,” the forthcoming full-length project isn’t far off. 

Charlotte Day Wilson's “I Don’t Love You”

There's an art to letting go, it comes in brief stages and setbacks, a balance of vengeance and forgiveness. For Charlotte Day Wilson it’s a state of mature emotional consciousness, worth recognizing that love isn’t bound to intimacy or physical closeness. In her new song “I Don’t Love You” the Toronto artist wistfully heals from heartbreak, weaving her powerful vocals into a ghostly chorus, distorted and soulful, the singer leaves her previous relationship still holding onto the love and the memories she once lived. “All grace to you and all power – It's your time, baby, your hour / Cheer for me and I'll cheer for you / Pray for me and I'll sing for you / I'll still sing for you” she sings. Capable of giving life to the darkest sides of her emotions, her new single captures the light that fills the moments after heartbreak. In a press statement, she says of her single, “This song is meant to remind us that losing love & leaving can be just as inspiring as finding it. I want to look through the unjaded eyes of my younger self again. Before there wasn’t as much baggage, before so much life was lived.” 

Free Nationals, A$AP Rocky, and Anderson .Paak's "Gangsta"

The Free Nationals have joined forces with collaborators A$AP Rocky and Anderson .Paak to release their newest track, “Gangsta.” The single is the trio's take on a fusion of funky retro-soul and coolheaded rap flows, revitalizing a sound that seamlessly compliments the tracks' light-hearted, rich synths. Embedding itself within the Free National's psychedelic rock background, the track leisurely trails the smoky grooves of Anderson Paak's melodies and distorted range of ASAP Rocky’s raps. “Gangsta” is the band's first release in four years, marking its reintroduction into the scene since their Grammy-nominated LP, Free Nationals, in 2019.

Bailey Zimmerman's "Holy Smokes" 

Even before releasing his debut album, Religiously, at the beginning of last year, Bailey Zimmerman had charmed Nashville as a young pop star. His infectious, commercial ballads and warm, vibrato-ridden vocals - along with award nominations and an opening spot on Morgan Wallen’s tour - proved that he had the star power to become one of Country’s most promising emerging artists. “Holy Smokes'' is Zimmerman's first solo single of this year, an earnest narrative of love, religion, and teenage romance. Tinged by the haunting intensity of his younger years, Zimmerman takes us down memory lane as he revisits nights spent in the back seat of his car, avoiding his girlfriend's parents and making out in church parking spots. Although his knack for catchy hooks remains central to the track, singing “Heaven was a preacher's spot in that first church parkin' lot / Somethin' 'bout us, hell of a rush Fallin' in love, lightin' up them holy smokes”, Zimmerman shines through his vocal reflections, belting each chorus louder than the next as though distracted by his past memories. 

Check back next week for more must-listens.


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