What’s Going On: Rico Nasty, The Avalanches, Olivia O’Brien, Virginia To Vegas, Shawn Hook

In this week’s instalment of What’s Going On, I’ve got five new songs that you should be listening to this week including two new songs from a beloved Australian electronic group and the latest single from a bold DMV rapper with a punk attitude. As always, be sure to stream and support the artists and let me know what songs you liked.

Rico Nasty – Rico Nasty, the self-proclaimed pop-punk princess of rap is back and she’s owning it. The DMV rapper has released her new single ‘Own It’, a taste of what’s to come from her upcoming album Nightmare Vacation. A self-confidence boosting jam, ‘Own It’ would sound perfect in a club setting or getting ready for a night out. The iconic phrase from Jennie Livingston’s 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, “Opulence! You own everything. Everything is yours,” is the best way to describe the ‘Own It’ music video. The video sees Rico Nasty front and center in lavish, iced out and garish outfits and exuding attitude for days. ‘Own It’ follows ‘iPhone’ the single Rico Nasty released in August. Neither song sounds anything alike and gives us an idea of the variety of sounds we can expect from the Nightmare Vacation album.

Listen to Rico Nasty’s new single ‘Own It’ below.

The Avalanches – It’s been four years since The Avalanches released their second album Wildflower. The Australian electronic music group has announced that their upcoming third album We Will Always Love You will be released on December 11 via Astralwerks. In anticipation of the new album dropping, The Avalanches have released songs featuring Vashti Bunyan, Rivers Cuomo, Pink Siifu, Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry, CLYPSO, Sananda Maitreya, and Blood Orange. They’ve now released ‘Take Care In Your Dreaming’ and ‘Music Makes Me High’. ‘Take Care In Your Dreaming’, a collaboration with rappers Denzel Curry and Sampa the Great and trip-hop legend Tricky, is a wistful tale about unrealized dreams. ‘Music Makes Me High’ is the polar opposite, an upbeat funky disco banger about losing yourself in the euphoria of music. If you like what you hear, you can expect more releases from The Avalanches in the months leading up to the December release date for We Will Always Love You.

Listen to The Avalanches’ new songs ‘Take Care In Your Dreaming’ and ‘Music Makes Me High’ below.

Olivia O’Brien – Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Olivia O’Brien is taking it back to the 2000s with her new single. ‘Now’ not only interpolates Akon’s 2008 pop hit ‘Right Now (Na Na Na)’, the single artwork also pays homage to the album artwork of Akon’s album Freedom. The music video is a trip back to the 2000s with lots of hot pink and references to Christina Aguilera, Lizzie Maguire, Britney Spears, and The Simple Life with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. The insanely catchy hook is guaranteed to get stuck in your head in the best way. Olivia arrived on the scene with her huge 2015 single ‘i hate u, i love u’ with Gnash which has since amassed over 1 billion streams. Having been praised by outlets such as Paper, V Magazine, and Nylon, Olivia O’Brien is definitely one to watch. 

Listen to Olivia O’Brien’s new single ‘Now’ below.

Virginia To Vegas – Indie pop artist Virginia To Vegas has dropped his new single ‘Palm Springs (the way you made me feel)’ and an accompanying lyric video via Wax Records. American-born Canadian singer/songwriter Derik Baker aka Virginia To Vegas is reminiscing about a summer love that has since ended. With lyrics like “Told you that I loved you in the first 5 minutes. If love was an ocean we were both jumpin in it”, the song is instantly relatable. Baker released an EP earlier this year, a constant state of improvement, that contained hit single ‘betterman’ and other well crafted introspective pop songs. If ‘Palm Springs (the way you made me feel)‘ is anything to go by, I’m eagerly anticipating what Virginia To Vegas does next.

Listen to Virginia to Vegas’ new single ‘Palm Springs (the way you made me feel)’ below.

Shawn Hook – 2020 has been a year of new starts for Canadian pop star Shawn Hook. In the spring of 2019, Hook signed with famed dance label ULTRA and this year he’s got a new EP on the way. As we’re all waiting for the EP which should be released sometime this fall, Hook has released ‘Deeper’, his latest single. ‘Deeper’ manages to strike the balance between both heartfelt and extremely danceable. The lyrics speak to Hook wanting to go deeper with a lover, both personally and physically. ‘Deeper’ follows ‘Holding On To You’, ‘Instant Crush’ and ‘I Don’t Wanna Dance’ which was a big radio hit. With how dark 2020 has been, it’s been great to have new dance-pop tunes from one of Canada’s best exports in recent years.

Listen to Shawn Hook’s new single ‘Deeper’ below.

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