- Words Notion Staff
On this week's Notion Now, enjoy new tunes from Charli XCX, Mahalia, Normani, and more.
"Used to Know Me" by Charli XCX
Today’s the day: Charli XCX has released her eagerly anticipated new album, ‘CRASH’, including the irresistible catchy disco-influenced groover, “You Used to Know Me”. The record sees Charli play immaculately into the rules of pop purism and is set to make her an even bigger star than before.
"Whatever Simon Says" by Mahalia
Mahalia skewers unrealistic and misogynistic beauty standards and the internal struggles they create on her poignant new song, “Whatever Simon Says”. She says, “Everybody who knows me knows that I definitely don’t follow social norms and shitty beauty standards. I’ve always been someone who has never let people try to change me - especially my romantic partners. This song is about wanting it to work with someone but knowing it ultimately can’t because their expectation of what type of woman I should be is just far too high. I feel like “whatever Simon says” is every girls ‘fuck you’ to the system that has always been set up through a male gaze. It’s us saying that we are going to be everything we want to be because we want it. And not because a man tells us to.”
"Fair" by Normani
Fresh from its live debut on the Jimmy Fallon talk show in the US, the first song of 2022 from Normani is here – the vulnerable and stripped-back tune “Fair”.
"For My Friends" by King Princess
King Princess continues the run-up to their new album with the emotional new tune “For My Friends”, a celebration of the togetherness and misadventure that companionship can bring.
"luv starved" by GAYLE
TikTok sensation GAYLE drops her debut EP today, taking listeners beyond the breakout hit “abcdefu” into her world of confessional and inventive pop. It includes the new tune “luv starved”, which looks raw emotion right in the eye. She explains, “I had made so many mistakes when it came to my relationships and love life. I pushed every possibility of it away until somebody came into my life that I didn’t want to push away, and i couldn’t tell if it would be worth it or not to open myself up to the possibility of caring about somebody deeply.”
"Early Hours" by ArrDee
Rapidly rising UK rap star ArrDee drops his new mixtape ‘Pier Pressure’ today, featuring the thumping track “Early Hours”. On the EP, he comments, “After putting pressure onto the scene for a whole year, it feels only right to release my debut mixtape. It unravels more of my musical depth and layers as an artist, but also as a person. Coming from a seaside town and proving myself, this tape shows that I’ll continue putting ‘Pier Pressure’ on the scene.”
"The Lightning I, II" by Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire have been gone for five years, and if you ask their die-hard fans, they’ve been gone for a lot longer than that. Thankfully, they’re back on form with the two-part anthemic banger “The Lightning”, which builds its way to classic arena rock Arcade Fire goodness.
"Electric" by Jeshi & Kelvin Krash
Jeshi lets it all go in the adrenaline-pumping new collaborative single with super producer Kelvin Krash, “Electric”, featured on the new season of Netflix’s Top Boy. On the song, Jeshi says, “Electric is just the ultimate f*ck it. Letting that frustration out in that moment of being complete hard headed and not wanting to listen. The production captured that feeling in the ultimate way and brought it out of me, makes me want to headbutt something.”
"Sit Back" by Shaé Universe (feat. ENNY)
Shaé Universe pushes into a fresh new sound inspired by classic R&B on her new single “Sit Back” featuring ENNY, a cut from her upcoming debut EP.
"Good Luck" by Mabel
Mabel cranks the volume up on “Good Luck”, a genre-focusing stomper which features the talents of Jax Jones and Galantis to provide an uplifting and raucous burst of energy. She describes the song as “the empowering song you need when getting ready to go out: when you’re feeling low about someone, and your friends will take you out to get that person off your mind.”
"On God!" by Tiana Major9
East London songwriter Tiana Major9 launches a new phase today with the drop of her new EP, ‘Fool Me Once’, where you can find the smoothly confident tune “On God!”.
"Lonely" by Zoe Wees
Zoe Wees keeps opening up – her latest single “Lonely” is a movingly confessional exploration of how mental health troubles linger even as her life becomes defined by stardom. She says, Releasing music has created so many new, great friendships and given me so many opportunities, however, I've often found myself in a lonely place even in a crowded room. And many of my friends felt the same way. I realized that you could have great people around you but still feel lonely. I also realized that your own feelings are more important than anything physical and that I want to be loved for being me and not for anything else. I'm growing day-by-day, and feel hopeful even though sometimes it makes me sad. I hope this song helps anyone notice they're not alone in thinking the same."
"PLAYGOD" by Poppy Ajudha
Poppy Ajudha is playing the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas this week, and she has released an aptly timed new single, “PLAYGOD”, reflecting on the sorry state of abortion rights in America. She says, “Abortion is still illegal in many countries around the world and is shamed in even more. I wrote this song when a group of men tried to pass an anti abortion bill in the state of Alabama, America. I was angry at how in every corner of culture and society across every inch of the earth, men try to play God, again and again. But I am amazed at how humans are built with so much resistance and resilience for good when we know something is wrong and will always fight against it. This song is an act of resistance to those who try to control that which is not theirs to be in control of,”
"Pool" by Still Woozy & Remi Wolf
Still Woozy and Remi Wolf team up on “Pool”, an intriguing collab which moves through abstract haziness to a place of striking vulnerability in cinematic style. Wolf says, ““Pool was such a beautifully natural collaboration - and is a great reflection of how life can just so seamlessly turn into art. It perfectly showcases mine and Sven’s comfortability with each other and how both of our wildly different skill sets can create something that feels so true to both of us. We went into the writing process with the intention of being 100% honest and specific with where we were both at that day and I love how when I listen to the song it feels like a true time capsule to both of our life situations at the time.”
"Anything But Me" by MUNA
MUNA follow up the smash success of the Phoebe Bridgers collab “Silk Chiffon” with another cut from their forthcoming third album, “Anything But Me”, which confronts the difficulty of stepping away from a relationship.