Music Reviews

New Releases Roundup – Clairo, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Lorde and The Crying Violets

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

Gemma and Kiah review the latest releases from Clairo, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Lorde and The Crying Violets. 

Clairo – Blouse (Gemma):

Blouse is the first single from Clairo’s upcoming album ‘Sling’. It was produced by Jack Antonoff and features backing vocals from Lorde.

In the lyrics, Clairo wishes for emotional connection with someone who only cares about her body and physical contact rather than her feelings. This concept is summarised in the chorus lyric “Why do I tell you how I feel? / When you’re just looking down my blouse”.

The haunting repetition of “If touch could make them hear, then touch me now” shows that Clairo is willing to engage in physical intimacy with this person if it will make them listen to her and care about her feelings.

The song is relatively quiet and understated, but simultaneously delicate and beautiful. The lyrics are minimalistic and repetitive but Clairo manages to tell a heart-wrenching story without saying too much.

four stars

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Flying On The Ground (Gemma):

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have released the new single Flying On The Ground, which appears on the band’s new greatest hits collection ‘Back The Way We Came: Vol 1 (2011-2021)’ to celebrate their tenth anniversary. The album also includes another new song, We’re on Our Way Now, which premiered in April.

”If Burt Bacharach wrote for Motown this is what it would sound like”

Flying On The Ground is literally the best thing I’ve released since the last thing I released. If Burt Bacharach wrote for Motown this is what it would sound like…only not as good…obviously,” said Gallagher with his typical confident air.

Gallagher’s vocals are supported by female backing singers throughout the Motown inspired track. The track is reminiscent of a modernised and experimental Oasis, and it demonstrates that Gallagher still has the charisma and song-writing ability that helped him rise to fame in the 90s.

four stars

Lorde – Solar Power (Kiah)

Almost four years since her sophomore album ‘Melodrama’, Lorde has returned with summer single Solar Power. An unexpected change from Lorde’s more introspective and emotional efforts, Solar Power is a carefree and light-hearted track that fits the song’s summer release in the UK. The first single and title track of Lorde’s third studio album, Solar Power sets a playful and upbeat tone for the upcoming album.

The track was co-produced by Jack Antonoff who Lorde worked extensively with during her ‘Melodrama’ era and is expected to have produced the upcoming album. Excitingly, Solar Power features background vocals from Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo, making the song’s vocals a combination of three iconic female performers.

Solar Power contrasts the image Lorde created whilst on a musical hiatus, having announced a book, Going South, about her experiences travelling in Antarctica back in November 2019. The lyrics of Solar Power heavily celebrate summer over simple acoustic guitars with gentle harmonizing vocals throughout.

Opinion on the song from fans has been mixed, some being pleasantly surprised at the happier and lighter tones Lorde has taken on whilst others were disappointed to see such a shift from ‘Melodrama’. Ella detailed Solar Power as describing ‘’the magic of the sun and of nature I just thought it was really cool, light, cute, fun, zany place to start.’’ Despite the shift in tone, Solar Power sees Lorde embark in an exciting new direction and offers a refreshing feel-good sound.

four stars

The Crying Violets – Broken Dreams Club (Kiah)

The Crying Violets are a three-piece indie pop band, from right here in Nottingham, that have been creating music since 2019. Broken Dreams Club is their fifth single as a band and perfectly captures their easy-listen blend of warm indie and melodic pop. The song was released in partnership with Confetti, a Nottingham based institute of creative technologies.

Gentle vocals are paired with upbeat guitar riffs

Broken Dreams Club was described by the band as ‘‘an imaginary bar. Somewhere you can go if you haven’t achieved your dreams, for a sense of unity and comfort, because everyone is there for the same reasons.’’ Gentle vocals are paired with upbeat guitar riffs, contrasting the darker themes of the song – the feeling of running out of dreams.

Despite being a smaller emerging artist, The Crying Violets prove themselves on Broken Dreams Club with a skilful and developed sound, alongside the production of previous singles, such as last month’s San Francisco Blues. Following the release of Broken Dreams Club, the band are set to release the accompanying music video for the song later this week.

four 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 @clairo and @jackantonoff via No changes made to these images.

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

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