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Sound Bite: Hayley Williams, Mitski, and Halsey

Take a listen to our top five new favorite songs from this week

It feels as if the month of January has lasted for entirely too long. But, today marks the fourth Friday of 2020 and we have much to celebrate. Halsey released her long-awaited third album Manic this week. Halsey encouraged listeners to give the album a listen from start to finish–at least just once–as that is how she intended it to be digested. Manic’s first song sets a tone that is not seen anywhere else on the album, which I suppose is definitely “manic.” The soundtrack for the film The Turning was officially released, along with the film itself, and with already-released songs from Warpaint, Empress Of, and Cherry Glazer, it was only fitting that the final single be from none other than Mitski.

We have new music from Jack Harlow, a new solo single from Paramore’s Hayley Williams, and an impressive collaboration between R3HAB, Clara Mae, and Frank Walker.  Our Sound Bite is complete and ready for you to savor. See below for all five songs.

1. “More Than OK” by R3HAB, Clara Mae, and Frank Walker

Swedish singer-songwriter Clara Mae offers her romantic narrative in “More Than OK,” while Dutch DJ/Producer R3HAB’s electronic sound effortlessly elevates the track. R3HAB is coming off of collaborations with Ella Vos and Zayn and is slowly turning into a mega hit-maker. This single in particular is particularly captivating, with a bright dance vibe and anthemic lyrics.

2. “Simmer” by Hayley Williams

The first single from Hayley Williams was teased on social media and incited an uproar of excitement. As the lead singer of Grammy Award-winning band Paramore, Williams has welcomed listeners into a world of glittery, anthemic, and colorful music. Her single “Simmer” is the first off her upcoming solo album, PETALS FOR ARMOR, due out May 8. Of her debut album, Williams says, “Making it was a scary, empowering experience. Some of my proudest moments as a lyricist happened while writing ‘PETALS FOR ARMOR.’ And I was able to get my hands a little dirtier than usual when it came to instrumentation. I’m in a band with my favorite musicians so I never really feel the need to step into a role as a player when it comes to Paramore records.”

3. “Cop Car” by Mitski

The soundtrack for The Turning includes artists like Courtney Love, Soccer Mommy, and Pale Waves. Joining the epic roster of talent is Mitski for the soundtrack’s final single. The song is creepy and turbulent, laced with bedroom grunge and rebellious angst. “Cop Car” marks singer-songwriter Mitski’s first release since her 2018 album Be The Cowboy. The song’s producer Lawrence Rothman described the track as “cinematic” and we can’t wait to see how it is used in the film.

4. “Ashley” by Halsey

Halsey recently said to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe that the song “Ashley” feels like the most “Halsey” track on her new album Manic. “Ashley” does resemble some of Halsey’s past work while literally referencing her past with the lyric: I’m so committed to an old ghost town. But, the first track on Manic is also a release of Halsey and an acceptance of Ashley. From the electro-pop sound to the quick-paced lyrics, it feels familiar but also uncomfortable which is what we love most about Halsey.

5. “Whats Poppin” by Jack Harlow

Up-and-coming rapper Jack Harlow released his debut mixtape Confetti in 2019 which featured his breakout hit “THRU THE NIGHT” featuring Bryson Tiller. With the artist’s latest single, “Whats Poppin,” Harlow showcases his creative range through the song’s companion video, directed by Cole Bennett. With a vibrant sound and contagious energy, “Whats Poppin” is a banger.