New Music Friday Graphic

A perfect pair to the gloomy weather outdoors, artists like Coin, Gorillaz and H.E.R. released introspective reflections to love and life through a mix of singles, EPs and albums.

Coin released their newest EP, “Indigo Violet,” Thursday, the inaugural installment of their three-part Rainbow Mixtapes series. “I Feel Alive?” and “Sort It Out” showcase a spirited revival of their alt-pop sound while delivering on the promise to convey an ‘indigo-violet’ aura in each song. The unique nature of this three-part series has me excited for what’s to come.

Similarly, alternative rock group Wallows granted listeners with six-song EP “Remote.” Featuring singles like “Virtual Aerobics” and “Nobody Gets Me (Like You),” the EP is chalked full of synth elements and catchy lyrics. The energetic melodies are sure to be stuck in your head long after you turn it off.

The new EPs don’t stop there. Singer ROLE MODEL released “our little angel” Wednesday, reaffirming his excellency in laid-back productions layered with ever-relatable lyrics. The entire EP reads like a teenage love letter, featuring elements of despair and hopefulness all wrapped up in an easygoing package.

Though EPs dominated this week’s releases, one album stands out among the rest. Gorillaz’s “Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez” features a range of artists, including Beck, ScHoolboy Q and Elton John, among a list of others. The inventive album boasts experimental combinations of music genres and synth elements to create an otherworldly assortment of songs.

Arguably, the most important single of the week was “Arkansas” by Chris Stapleton. The powerful track reimagines a fast-paced road trip across the state. I think we can all agree that Stapleton got it right with “Havin’ so much fun that it’s probably a little bit against the law / All the boys and the girls down there sure do know how to have a ball” when we’re down in Arkansas.

Ahead of her sixth studio album release Oct. 30, Ariana Grade dropped “Positions.” The slow-burning anthem features both guitar plucking and bass elements, hinting at a change of pace for Grande’s upcoming album. The empowering lyrics highlight the versatility of women, as Grande proclaims can switch from positions of homemakers, lovers and leaders.

The most intimate single of the week goes to “Damage” by H.E.R. A vulnerable mix of lo-fi and R&B elements, the ballad is both passionate and hopelessly romantic. H.E.R. pushes aside her pride as she croons “Careful what you take for granted, yeah / ‘Cause with me you could do damage.”

Closing out the new singles, “Can’t Wait to Be Dead” by alt-pop artist FINNEAS is a bleak reflection on the influence of the internet. It tracks the highs and lows of exposure to a multitude of subjects online, highlighted in the lyrics “Somebody’s callin’ you out form somethin’ you never said / Kinda can’t wait to be dead / Somebody’s wasting my time.”

The new releases match a theme of progress and growth as the leaves start to change and temperatures begin to fall, leaving me excited for what the rest of the autumnal season has to offer.

Hanna Ellington is an assistant editor for the Arkansas Traveler.

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