Music Reviews

New Releases Roundup – Waterparks, Fickle Friends, Olivia Rodrigo, Chloe Moriondo and Lunar Bird

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

Creating a soundtrack to enjoy in the sun, Gemma and Kiah review the latest releases from Waterparks, Fickle Friends, Olivia Rodrigo, Chloe Moriondo and Lunar Bird.

Numb – Waterparks (Gemma):

Their second single of 2021, Numb contrasts entirely to Waterparks’ February release, Snow Globe. Both singles will appear on their upcoming fourth album ‘Greatest Hits’, along with Lowkey as Hell, which was released back in September 2020. The band debuted Numb during their ‘Anti-Tour’ livestream-show on March 27th 2021. The track would be released on streaming services two days later.

The song’s lyrics hark back to Waterparks’ previous releases. The opening lyric to the pre-chorus, “Hello to the FANDOM / Please don’t have a TANTRUM”, references their third studio album, 2019’s ‘FANDOM’, and their 2018 track TANTRUM. Elsewhere in the track, humorous lyrics can be found, such as “My band and I are like Coldplay / That’s allowed to say the f**k word”.

Whilst Slow Globe was a mellow, electronic based track, where guitars were entirely absent, Numb is an aggressive and boisterous pop punk anthem with a huge chorus. The two tracks couldn’t be more different, but they both display the best of the different sides of Waterparks’ diverse sound. Even though the album title ‘Greatest Hits’ may seem arrogant and egotistical, the band are doing a great job at living up to it so far.

4 stars

Not in the Mood – Fickle Friends (Gemma):

The first single from Fickle Friends’ upcoming EP ‘Weird Years (Season 2)’ which is due to be released on 7th May, Not in the Mood continues the indie pop sound of their January release ‘Weird Years (Season 1)’. At some point in the future, these EPs will be collated to form the band’s sophomore album later this year.

”In classic Fickle Friends style, we have dressed up a sad song in party clothes”

“This song is about taking back your power,” says lead vocalist Natti Shiner. “We all do things that aren’t good for us. We keep people in our lives who make us work for their affection, who make us feel like the ‘back up plan’ just in case what they really want doesn’t work out. In classic Fickle Friends style, we have dressed up a sad song in party clothes.”

Overall, the EP was inspired by Shiner’s experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as her fascination for Saturn Return, an astrological event which is thought to induce a quarter-life crisis. Meanwhile, this track tells the relatable tale of knowing that you are not the first priority of someone you care about, but Fickle Friends turn these deep emotions into something that you can dance to.

4 stars

deja vu – Olivia Rodrigo (Kiah):

2021 has already been a big year for American singer Olivia Rodrigo, with her debut single drivers license breaking numerous records, including the highest weekly streaming total in the world for a song by a female artist and breaking Spotify’s record for most streams of a song in a single week. After the success of her debut single, Rodrigo has released deja vu as the follow up single to also be featured on debut album, provisionally titled ‘*O*R’.

deja vu follows a similar theme of heartache as drivers license, however the more upbeat melody and narrative of the song suggests Rodrigo has moved nearer towards a place of acceptance of a relationship’s end. Despite fans speculating that the song is also about Rodrigo’s ex Joshua Bassett’s new relationship, Rodrigo herself said “The concept of deja vu has always fascinated me and I thought it would be cool to use it in a song around the complex feelings after a relationship ends”.

The beautifully illustrative lyrics that romanticise the experiences of a past relationship are a standout feature of deja vu  – the “strawberry ice cream in Malibu” and “watching reruns of Glee” details paint a realistic picture of a relationship. Rodrigo’s narrative-based lyrics has led fans to compare her song writing to Taylor Swift’s due to their mutual appreciation for emotional bridges.

Not allowing herself to be simply pigeonholed into just being capable of sad piano ballads, deja vu sees another side of Rodrigo; the dreamy and layered sound of her new single creates a more than sufficient follow-up to the success of her debut release.

4 stars

I Eat Boys – Chloe Moriondo (Kiah):

Inspired by the 2009 cult classic film, Jennifer’s Body, American singer-songwriter Chloe Moriondo has released I Eat Boys as her first single for 2021. Alongside the new single, Moriondo also announced her upcoming album ‘Blood Bunny’, which will be her first major label album release after self-releasing her debut album ‘Rabbit Hearted’ in 2018. ‘Blood Bunny’ is due to be released in May 2021 via Elektra Music Group, and includes the previous released singles GIRL ON TV, I Want To Be With You and Manta Rays.

known for her soft calming vocals and ukulele blend of indie pop

Moriondo gained recognition after starting her YouTube channel posting covers, before eventually producing and self-releasing her own music. Known for her soft calming vocals and ukulele blend of indie pop, I Eat Boys combines these elements of her previous releases with a more polished sounding finish.

The release of I Eat Boys also came with a music video, directed by Sydney Ostrander, that picturesquely sees Moriondo get revenge on the boys that have catcalled her. When talking about the new song, Moriondo shared “I wrote that song as a way to vent my hatred for the percentage of the male population that is terrible”, which is depicted humorously in the music video as well as in the lyrics for the song. Moriondo’s gentle vocals and the playful melody of the song contrast the darker tone of the lyrics, fitting in with the comedy horror film that the song was inspired by.

3 and a half stars

Second Circle – Lunar Bird (Kiah):

Second Circle is the latest single to be taken from Lunar Bird’s upcoming self-titled debut album, expected to be released at the end of April. After forming in Cardiff in 2017, Lunar Bird has released a number of atmospheric dream pop tracks, ultimately leading to the release of their debut album.

Combining light synths and dream-like vocals, Second Circle is a slow ballad that creates a calming atmosphere from its delicate sound. When describing the new single, Lunar Bird wrote how Second Circle “is a melancholic ballad in three movements about a process of rebirth. The end of love becomes an opportunity to get rid of the ghosts of the past”.

Creating a sound that is characterised by its combination of dream pop with elements of psychedelic pop, Lunar Bird’s discography is perfect for relaxing, with Second Circle being no exception to this. Lunar Bird’s sound is great for fans of bands such as Tame Impala or Beach House – with their debut album still yet to come, the future of Lunar Bird is bound to be exciting.

3 and a half stars

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 @waterparks @oliviarodrigo and @lunarbirdofficial via No changes made to this images.

To listen to all of these tracks, check out the New Releases Roundup playlist on Spotify.

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