New Music Friday Graphic

This weekend’s new music release playlist encourages listeners to reflect on heartbreak and other life experiences with carefully-crafted lyrics and complementary instrumental accompaniments.

Big Red Machine’s “Birch” features the lyrical queen herself, Taylor Swift. The soft-spoken melodies and prominent piano chords give off “folklore” and “evermore” vibes, even more so with lyrics like “See the forest trees.” The song includes long instrumental breaks characterized by underlying wind sounds, leaving room for introspection.

Halsey owns the playlist with “I am not a woman, I’m a god,” a track from her “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” album released Friday. Powerful is certainly the word that best characterizes this song and album, in which Halsey delves into the hardships and joys of new motherhood after having suffered past miscarriages. The percussive accompaniment adds to the strong, powerful mood set by her lyrics.

Country singer Kacey Musgraves continues the heartbreak dynamic with her new single “justified” from her next record “Star-Crossed.” Musgraves acknowledges the whirlwind of emotions that come with heartbreak and that “Healing doesn’t happen in a straight line.” The track starts off with solely Musgrave’s voice and the texture slowly thickens as the narrative progresses.

One Republic’s “Someday” offers a broader reflection on life. The lyric “Some nights, I drown in the weight / Of the things I think I need” highlights life’s uncertainties as the singer looks toward the future. The lead vocalist addresses his past lover or crush with the lyric “You say someday, when we’re older / We’ll be shining like we’re gold,” then echoes with the question “Won’t we?” as if reaching out for affirmation and clarity.

This week’s releases navigate the emotional web tangled by heartbreak and uncertainty, leaving listeners feeling empowered and validated in their own experiences.

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