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This Week's Must-Listen Releases: From Kevin Abstract to UMI

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

Kevin Abstract’s Blanket

Alt R&B sweetheart Kevin Abstract releases his third album Blanket. Taking you on a journey through traversing soundscapes featuring gritty bass lines, comedic bars, and a new spin on acoustic guitar riffs. Kevin Abstract has always been, well… abstract. This album breathes new life into Alt R&B with masterful fusion of a myriad of genres from hyperpop, grunge to hip hop. Tracks like “Real To Me” and “Mr. Edwards” really illustrate Abstract’s versatility in their buzzing beats, tongue and cheek lyricism, and synths. You should absolutely spin this album if you want to expand your musical horizons this weekend.

Conan Gray’s "Killing Me"

Gen Z’s pop prince, Conan Gray, is back with his latest 80s synth pop-inspired track “Killing Me.” This track is the third single to Gray’s mysterious third album that he has been teasing for a few months now. Filled with pulsing beats, intergalactic synths, and transcendent vocals, “Killing Me” will remind you of a musical era dominated by A-Ha, Tears For Fears, and Duran Duran. Gray is taking those traditional elements of classic pop we are used to and accompanies them with devastating lyrics and fiery vocals. Conan Gray is reinventing his visual aesthetic and typical soundscape with this new era, and if “Killing Me” is any indicator of what is to come, we’ve got an exciting era of music ahead.

Olivia Rodrigo’s "Can’t Catch Me Now"

Joining the ranks of Hunger Games soundtrack predecessors like Lorde, The Weekend, and Taylor Swift– Olivia Rodrigo releases an acoustic ballad for the latest addition to The Hunger Games Series, A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. “There's blood on the side of the mountain/ There's writing all over the wall/ Shadows of us are still dancin'/ In every room and every hall.” Rodrigo’s biting lyricism reflects the heartbreaking narrative of the film whilst still managing to be relatable and heavy-hitting. This building acoustic ballad is harrowing and dramatic in all of the best ways. For lovers of 2010s excellence, I recommend you stream this song and revisit the previous Hunger Games soundtracks.

MGMT’s "Mother Nature"

MGMT’s latest single, “Mother Nature,” is electronic experimentation at its finest. Melding the sounds of warm guitar tones, buzzing synths, and classic rock riffs the duo consisting of Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser are back with the introduction to their latest sonic experience. “Mother Nature” is happy and comforting and exudes a certain joy that you don’t find very often in experimental and alternative rock. With their recent announcement of a new album this single is nothing short of an exciting indication for what is to come for MGMT.

UMI’s "why dont we go"

Transcendent and dreamy, UMI’s latest single, "why dont we go” is an instant dream pop hit. From the twinkling synths to the technicolor visuals, “"why dont we go” is a carefree and relaxing listen that will have you instantly nodding along to the beat. UMI shares, “‘why don't we go’ is me inviting myself and the other person to just let go and to live for the sake of living—even if it’s just for one night.” Filled with love-sick lyrics like “No, I can't feel the rain/ One kiss, we fade away/ When summer left, you came/ And you changed me,” UMI creates the perfect track for the people you hold dearest to your heart.

Check back next week for more must-listens.


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