This weekend’s new music releases include a mix of heartfelt, emotional tracks from artists including Joshua Bassett, Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes.
Joshua Bassett released his second extended play Friday, and the opening track “Crisis” focuses on the negative impact his ex-girlfriend Olivia Rodrigo’s album “sour” had on Bassett’s life. He reveals through emotional lyrics that “messin’ with (his) life as a career move” caused him to receive death threats, and he simply wishes the nightmare would end.
Listeners can also hear about the relationship’s end through Bassett’s perspective as he sings “But don’t you dare act like I didn’t love you? Don’t go thinkin’ that I didn’t hurt too.” Bassett seemingly addresses Rodrigo, asking “Weren’t you the one who left in the first place?”
Juice WRLD’s producers released “Wandered to LA,” another track from his second posthumous album, coming Dec. 10. On the surface, the hip-hop number seems to be an energetic, fun track about partying in Los Angeles, but the song features a deeper commentary on anxiety and substance use. The song’s trailer includes monologues from Juice WRLD and several of his friends, who discuss stigmas surrounding anxiety. Collaborator Justin Bieber adds lyrics about his own experiences with substance abuse and feelings of loneliness.
Ariana Grande’s silky, soulful voice shines on her and Kid Cudi’s single “Just Look Up.” The song is on the soundtrack of Netflix’s upcoming film “Don’t Look Up,” which stars Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio. Grande showcases her wide vocal range and impressive vibrato, similar to how Adele did with her smash hit “Go Easy On Me.” Quiet piano chords complement Grande’s emotional lyrics like “You haunted every memory” and “Your pride put out the fire in our flames” until Kid Cudi jumps in with lyrics about taking her pain away and healing her heart.
Shawn Mendes advances the reflective heartbreak theme with his single “It’ll Be Okay.” The song is rumored to be about his split with singer Camila Cabello, and it is one of his most heartfelt, vulnerable releases.
Mendes sings “The future we dreamed of is fading to black / Oh,-oh, oh-oh, oh / Oh, there’s nothing more painful” as he starts to feel sick thinking about a world in which he and his ex-lover’s lives are not intertwined. Short piano motifs and swelling synthesizer sounds highlight the feeling of hope that arises over the course of the song. Mendes says he will love his ex whether or not they are together. They will both heal, and the sun will rise, hence the title “It’ll Be Okay.”
R&B singer Khalid released his nine-track album “Scenic Drive” Friday. The album’s namesake song, featuring Ari Lennox and Smino, includes a laid-back percussive beat and a smooth synthesizer sound that will make listeners want to go for a drive with the windows down. This feeling is reflected in lyrics like “Chasin’ a high, it feels amazon’ / Lay on my heart, when we’re just blazin’ / Under the clouds, straight to the ceilin’.”
Whether you’re looking to dance to an energetic hip-hop track or grab a box of tissues and reflect on heartbreak, this weekend’s new music playlist has something for everyone.