New Music Friday Graphic

The weekend’s music releases include Felly’s standout single “Fresh Water,” Khalid’s song “Present” and heartbreak ballads from Lana Del Rey and James Arthur. 

James Arthur’s “SOS” follows the theme of heartbreak his songs are known for, but features a somewhat edgier and more upbeat vibe. The lyrics are full of vivid imagery, with lines like “Champagne showered down on my pain” and “Lights fade running round in blind faith.” Arthur begs the subject to save his soul and throw him a lifeline as he has been drowning for far too long. His wailing vocals are complemented by loud and busy electronic and percussive accompaniment to highlight the desperation of his situation. 

“If You Lie Down With Me” is certainly a standout in this week’s new releases. Lana Del Rey’s emotion-filled voice soars above a thin piano accompaniment to create a soulful, reflective mood. The vocal falls present at the ends of some phrases further highlight her anguish, heard in lyrics like “Spin me like a ballerina, super high / Dance me all around the moon / Light me up like the Fourth of July.” The song’s conclusion moves into a more jazzy mood with muted trumpet that follows Del Rey’s repetition of the word “lie” as she begs her ex-lover to simply be next to her. 

Felly’s single “Fresh Water” is one of 14 tracks on his new album “Young Fel 2,” which includes a blend of hip-hop, rap and indie rock. The album has a sound different from anything Felly has produced in his career and highlights how he is evolving as an artist. “Fresh Water” gives off a laid back, alternative vibe with slow, airy electronic sounds, and is characterized by darker tones. Felly reflects on how far he has come in life and where he is now through lyrics like “filling up til’ I’m empty” and “fading away like my memories, wanna talk to who sent me.” 

Khalid’s R&B single “Present” is perfect for those looking to delve deeper and be more intentional in their relationships. The track’s smooth guitar licks, prominent drum beat and synthesizer sounds blend underneath Khalid’s rich, clear vocals. “Is it okay if I take the night to be present?” Khalid sings. The song encourages listeners to take a moment to pause and appreciate the company of those they love. 

Whether you are looking to evaluate where you are in life, recovering from a heartbreak or wanting to be more intentional with those around you, the week’s new music releases have content for everyone.

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