Lead singer Ryan Tedder discussed the evolution of OneRepublic’s new single, “Better Days” on his Instagram Live this week. Tedder explained the chorus for the song was already written months ago, then the pandemic hit the United States and the band immediately knew what to write about in the verses.
“Oh I know that they’ll be better days, oh that sunshine bout to come my way” are some of the uplifting lyrics in the chorus of “Better Days”. The song is simple and smart. All people really want during this strange confusing time is a sliver of hope – OneRepublic delivers that with this new track. It’s a feel-good anthem we can all sing once this madness is over.
After her 2018 exquisite album, The Color of You, Alina Baraz is back in 2020 with a new album releasing on May 5th. The album titled, It Was Divine is bound to be another collection of high-shined musical diamonds.
The songstress just released her latest single titled “Morocco” where she details the sensual parts of a steamy romance. A beachy backdrop places sultry imagery within the single – making it ready for summer 2020. Baraz sweetly sings, “my favorite view is me covered in you, nothing but my perfume, oh I love the taste of you.” Her voice is angelic as always as every note swiftly glides out of her lips like it was meant to leave all along.
A soothing backbeat and elevated chimes make “Morocco” even more lush and romantic – something Baraz is an expert on (listen to recent single “Trust”). 6LACK hops onto the track for a thicker R&B sound as his voice expertly fits into Baraz’s like a final puzzle piece.
Fans haven’t heard a new Phantogram album since 2016’s emotionally heavy, Three (listen to “Answer” and “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore”) The NY natives recently announced their new album titled, Ceremony will be released on March 6. An 11 song track list was also revealed.
Leading the album is new single “Pedestal”. A raw story of a crumbling relationship while questioning a confirmation of love. Lead singer, Sarah Barthel belts on the chorus “Cause I was in love with you, is that what you’re supposed to do? When I put you on this pedestal.” The metaphor is so crystal clear while the song is flooded with classic Phantogram musical characteristics. Barthel’s vocals are poignant and indie as ever, while a heavy drum beat pounds through the chorus. The phrase “you can make a hospital lovely” is repeated throughout the song as another metaphor; a strong one at that. While the phrase is short and sweet, it speaks volumes to someone’s character.
“Simmer” begins with heavy breathing followed by a large exhale from Hayley Williams; the woman who has spent most of her life with a band of boys singing and performing pop/rock tunes. As a huge Paramore fan since my teenage years, I always thought Hayley would eventually venture into the solo world in order to take full control over what she wants to put out into the world. Did I think it would be in 2020? Absolutely not. I fully expected Ms. Williams to dive into her hair dye brand and take a good couple of years to live her personal life and pop in to complete some Paramore tasks on the side. But “Simmer” is here and has blown me away. It’s not what I expected, but is everything I wanted to hear from Hayley.
The song starts on a strong note with one simple line that seems to hold a lot of weight with the singer; “rage is a quiet thing”. In regards to the dark, angry tone of the track, Hayley told BBC Radio 1, “I have a lot of anger. I feel angry, like I’ve been through things that make me feel angry, I’ve witnessed things that are so not justified, and I’m angry.” In a way, “Simmer” is incredibly cathartic. It feels like Hayley pieced together journal entries from the past couple of years and created a concept that is relatable and meaningful to so many people. Throughout the rest of the song, one big question creeps to the surface in the chorus; “how to draw the line between wrath and mercy?”, which is such an interesting question to pose as it relates to anger. I’m sure being in the public eye can shift your mindset when it comes to processing anger outwardly for fear of ruining your image or the overall perception of who you are – which is something Hayley probably struggles with. The question itself stands up on its own in a powerful way.
When it comes to the musical DNA of “Simmer”, it has Taylor York written all over it. I’m so happy that Taylor was involved in the making of this song, because he truly knows how to create unique chords and medleys. A steady drum beat, haunting vocals, and a subtle bass line highlight this supercharged dark anthem (think Death Cab for Cutie meets Florence & The Machine). Not only is York a production maestro, but he is trusted by Hayley to bring her words to life sonically. “Simmer” feels like a walk down a dark hallway in the middle of the night. It doesn’t sound like Paramore in the slightest, which is a true testament to Hayley’s artistry and vision to make music she wants to make. Petals for Armor is an incredibly beautiful concept and I can’t wait to see the rest of her musicality come to life.
The album Petals for Armor is set to release on May 8