Music Reviews

New Releases Roundup – Citizen, Tigers Jaw, Pale Waves, Dua Lipa and nothing,nowhere.

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

After a slew of new releases in the past week, Gemma and Kiah review the latest tracks from some of the biggest names in the industry at the minute.

nothing,nowhere. – upside down (Gemma):

nothing,nowhere.’s new single, upside down, is taken from his upcoming album ‘TRAUMA FACTORY’, due for release on 19th February. “We’ve all had our fair share of unhealthy relationships,” he says.upside down is about a lost love and the inability to accept the new and painful circumstances.”

The track’s instrumental is not guitar-based like previously released singles, such as pretend and fake friend. Instead, the pop-leaning instrumental features bouncy drums and understated piano keys, the perfect basis for the melodic hook. The downbeat and melancholy nature of the lyrical content takes nothing away from the catchiness of this hook. Despite being extremely talented at both singing and rapping, he seems to be focusing more on his singing on this record, based on the singles which have been released so far.

With every single for the album being incredibly different from the others, it can be expected that ‘TRAUMA FACTORY’ is going to play to all of nothing,nowhere.’s many strengths, and upside down further proves this. It is clear that the album will be a testament to his immense versatility and the diversity of his talents.

Citizen – Blue Sunday (Gemma):

Citizen have shared their new single, Blue Sunday, taken from the band’s upcoming fourth album, ‘Life In Your Glass World’, due for release on 26th March. Vocalist Mat Kerekes summarises the track, “It’s essentially about me never wanting to leave my house and although that makes me happy, it is bad for me in different ways.” The track is more mellow toned than their previous single, the dance-punk track I Want To Kill You. Instead, Blue Sunday is centred around a grooving, psychedelic indie-pop inspired bassline.

It then progresses to a section of chanting vocals halfway through the track

The structure of the song is perhaps its most interesting element – it starts off with a verse with a plodding flow, before picking up the pace slightly with some synths which resemble a humming sound, before returning to a verse of the same structure as the first. It then progresses to a section of chanting vocals halfway through the track, followed immediately by smooth, haunting, ghost-like vocals, which (except for a short instrumental interlude) continue for the remaining two minutes of the track.

The experimental track is full of unexpected twists and turns due to this unique structure. The song feels inspired and creative, from a band who clearly aren’t afraid to break the traditional tropes of music and push the boundaries, likely due to the fact that they crafted ‘Life In Your Glass World’ entirely on their own terms.

Tigers Jaw – New Detroit (Gemma):

Tigers Jaw’s new single, New Detroit, is taken from the album ‘I Won’t Care How You Remember Me’, which is due on 5th March. ”New Detroit is about the contrast between the two experiences, and how it felt like two completely different lives,” Ben Walsh explains.

Tigers Jaw’s strength is the fact that they have two very talented vocalists – Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins. Unlike some of the other singles released for the record, such as Cat’s Cradle and Lemon Mouth, New Detroit features the vocals of Walsh, and it is enjoyable to hear him have his moment to shine.

The track’s instrumental, much like the previous singles released, is based around acoustic guitars and percussion. In the verses of the song, the percussion (most notably tambourines) is the most prominent element, but this fades away for the chorus, which is driven by acoustic guitars. The song therefore has an upbeat yet calming acoustic sound overall.

Pale Waves – Fall to Pieces (Kiah):

The last single released before the unveiling of their second album ‘Who Am I?’, Pale Waves released Fall to Pieces this week to give fans the last taste of what to expect for the full album. The track debuted as BBC Radio 1’s Hottest Record with Annie Mac, just days before the full instalment of ‘Who Am I?’ released on Dirty Hit on the 12th of February.

It aims to explore the negative ruts and arguments that can happen

Fall to Pieces details the more difficult moments of a relationship that Heather Baron-Gracie has experienced. It aims to explore the negative ruts and arguments that can happen. On Apple Music, Baron-Gracie said that “At the start of the relationship I’m in, my mental health was really all over the place and I was having a tough time with a lot of things in my life, and I was sort of putting my partner through it” when discussing Fall to Pieces.

Pale Waves have referenced Avril Lavigne as an influence for ‘Who Am I?’, which can be seen in the similar pop-rock energy found throughout the album, which also is featured on Fall to Pieces. The upbeat energy of the song is added to with Baron-Gracie’s strong vocals alongside the dark rhythmic guitars. Following on from 2018’s ‘My Mind Makes Noises’, the songs already released from ‘Who Am I?’ show the development of the band, unafraid to branch away from their indie-pop anthems and employing a more candid song-writing style.

Dua Lipa – We’re Good (Kiah):

Featuring on ‘Future Nostalgia (The Moonlight Edition)’, the new updated version of Dua Lipa’s sophomore album ‘Future Nostalgia’ released last year, We’re Good is Dua Lipa’s first official single of 2021. We’re Good was released alongside new songs Not My Problem and If It Ain’t Me, which also feature on ‘The Moonlight Edition’ album.

The lyrics of We’re Good centre around a harmonious breakup without grudges or hard feelings once they both realise they’re not meant for each other. The backing of the track features upbeat synths, using elements of electro-pop that make the song have a dance-like feel to it.

The single was released alongside a music video that features a cinematic story of a lobster getting to survive and avoid being eaten after the ship it was on sunk, reminiscent of the titanic. The music video also sees Dua Lipa dress in glamorous clothing that would have fit this time period.

Building on the success of ‘Future Nostalgia’, which was nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys, We’re Good continues the upbeat sound of the ‘Future Nostalgia’ era for Dua Lipa, which she is still yet to be able to tour.

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

Featured image courtesy of Nina via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @nothingnowhere, @tigersjaw and @dualipa via No changes made to these images.

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