Music Reviews

New Releases Roundup – Charli XCX ft. Christine and the Queens & Caroline Polachek, TNOLA, The Alchemy and Stand Atlantic

Gemma Cockrell and Kiah Tooke

Gemma and Kiah review the latest releases from Charli XCX ft. Christine and the Queens & Caroline Polachek, TNOLA, The Alchemy and Stand Atlantic.

Charli XCX ft. Christine and the Queens & Caroline Polachek – New Shapes (Gemma)

After her 2020 album ‘how i’m feeling now’ was entirely solo with no collaborations, the Charli XCX of her self-titled 2019 era is back with her new track New Shapes, which features two of her closest friends.

It serves as the second single from her upcoming album ‘Crash’, following the lead single Good Ones which was released at the start of September. New Shapes is a true pop tune, less experimental than most of the cuts on how i’m feeling now and truer to the sounds of Charli’s earlier career.

However, there are still hints of her experimental outside-the-box nature and PC music influences through the artists that she has chosen to feature on the song. It is the perfect blend of both old and new, and I can’t wait to see what direction she takes things on the full album when it is released in March.

TNOLA – Thunderbolts (Gemma)

UoN student TNOLA has released her new single Thunderbolts. It is her sixth single, having started releasing music in 2020. However, she is an experienced musician, having been writing songs for several years.

It is clear that TNOLA has a bright future

TNOLA’s voice is very rich and captivating, flowing smoothly over the R&B infused beat of the track. However, the track is difficult to put into one genre, since it mixes elements of R&B with soul and pop to create a unique sound.

It is clear that TNOLA has a bright future, and I am highly anticipating an EP or full-length album from her in the future as she continues to define and develop her sound.

The Alchemy – Dream a Little Bigger (Kiah)

Alternative rock band The Alchemy have released new single Dream a Little Bigger, their first single release since 2019’s ‘Chemical Daydream’, their debut album which showcased their influences of rock, electronic and alternative music. This new single was first played by Abbie McCarthy on BBC Introducing to kickstart this new beginning for the band, having gained Jack as a new bass player.

Dream a Little Bigger was described by the band as “A song for those who know what it’s like to lose all direction.” The anthemic chorus of the track is powerful and energetic, making it the perfect song to dance along to live.

Accompanying the release of Dream a Little Bigger is a music video which shows the band play an atmospheric set of the song. Having not played a live show for almost two years now, The Alchemy are set to embark on a UK tour in support of All Ears Avow, which will hopefully see Dream a Little Bigger have its live debut.

Stand Atlantic – molotov [OK] (Kiah)

Powerful and heavy, molotov [OK] is Stand Atlantic’s latest single that sees them experiment with a newer and more punk inspired sound. A molotov is a bomb made from a bottle that is usually filled with some sort of flammable liquid and is ignited just before it’s thrown – this fits the aggressive sound of the new single that also touches upon love being weaponised.

Bold and energetic, molotov [OK] uses relentless guitars and a heavy drumbeat to build up its powerful sound

The song’s lyrics discuss vocalist Bonnie Fraser’s experience growing up within a Christian community and the homophobia that can be prevalent. On release of the song Bonnie shared “I went to a Christian school for three years of my life and when a pastor says ‘all gays will burn in hell’ during an assembly, you’re gonna remember it, and you’re gonna write a song about it.”

Bold and energetic, molotov [OK] uses relentless guitars and a heavy drumbeat to build up its powerful sound, sounding miles apart from other Stand Atlantic tracks. On the heels of this new release the band also announced their upcoming UK/EU tour which molotov [OK] will be great for.

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 @charlixcx and @thealchemyofficial 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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