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Sound Bite: Audien, Pumpkin Bread and The Black Keys

Discover our top five new favorite songs released this week

On International Women’s Day, we are choosing to celebrate artists who have strong, empowering messages to deliver through their music. In the wake of R. Kelly exploding with anger during his interview with Gayle King, we are shifting our focus to artists with admirable and mature words and attitudes. We’re applauding the international sensation Billie Eilish for writing so honestly about dealing with rejection and also folk-rock trio Judah & the Lion for opening up about loneliness and how sometimes, family stuff can be really hard.

Electronic DJ and producer Audien joined forces with the sibling trio Echosmith to send a message of inclusion and self-acceptance with their new song, “Favorite Sound.” The song is an anthem for overcoming adversity and staying true to yourself, which can be challenging.

With new music from rockers The Black Keys and newcomers Pumpkin Bread, our weekend playlist is stacked with emotional storylines, relatable lyrics and infectious melodies. See below for our top five new songs from this week.

1. “Why Did You Run” by Judah & the Lion

The genre-blurring trio have tapped frontman Judah Akers’s emotional past for the storyline of their latest single. The reflective song features really raw and personal feelings from Akers about being alone when his mom went to jail and he couldn’t reach his dad, coupled with striking strums. The band has announced a world tour for their upcoming album, Pep Talks, due out later this year.

2. “Wish You Were Gay” by Billie Eilish

With haunting vocals and an eye for one-of-a-kind creativity, Billie Eilish has yet to disappoint listeners. The singer’s latest single off her upcoming album, When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, is an honest reflection of romantic rejection. Eilish admitted to NME that she wrote the song after a guy wasn’t interested in her and she “wished he was gay so that he didn’t like me for an actual reason, instead of the fact that he didn’t like me.” The song has a more infectiously pop-type backdrop to it, adding layers to Eilish’s musical scope.

3. “How’d We Get To Know Each Other” by Pumpkin Bread

Boston-based folk/Americana outfit Pumpkin Bread have released their new album Dear Starling and with it, a simply conversational song laced with profound sweetness. “How’d We Get to Know Each Other” plays like a short story that you can’t stop turning the pages to. The band’s album as a whole features flawlessly rugged vocals and a hybrid of folk instrumentation that showcases Pumpkin Bread’s talents.

4. “Lo/Hi” by The Black Keys

Written and produced by Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, the latest single from The Black Keys is the first since the duo’s 2014 album, Turn Blue. “Lo/Hi” offers a classic rock sound listeners crave but with an elevated psychedelic vibe. The bleak lyrics are met with piercing guitar riffs and a thumping drum, creating a dark and captivating track.

5. “Favorite Sound” by Audien feat. Echosmith

Grammy Award-nominated DJ and producer Audien teamed up with female-fronted sibling trio Echosmith for their latest anthem, “Favorite Sound.” The track boasts an empowering narrative focused on encouraging listeners to be confident in their identities, no matter what adversity you face. Perfect timing, no?

Main Photo Credit: Alysse Gafkjen