What’s Going On: Jonas Blue & Why Don’t We, elbow, The Smile, FKA Twigs, Ryland James

This first proper new music week of 2022 has come to an end and we’ve amassed some of the best and brightest tracks in this week’s edition of What’s Going On. You’ll get the latest from Ryland James, FKA Twigs, and elbow. There’s also info on The Smile, a brand new supergroup that you’ll want to keep an eye on, and a collaboration between Jonas Blue and Why Don’t We. And no, we aren’t forgetting about Canadian superstar The Weeknd and his new album Dawn FM. Stay tuned to Biff Bam Pop! for more on that later. As always, if you dig what you’re hearing, be sure to stream and follow these artists.

Jonas Blue & Why Don’t We  – London-based DJ Jonas Blue is back and this time, he’s got buzzworthy American boyband Why Don’t We along for the ride. The combination of Jonas Blue’s expert EDM chops mixed with the pure-pop vocal stylings of Why Don’t We results in the first feel-good banger of 2022. Breaking down what it was like working with Why Don’t We, Jonas Blue says: “I’ve been wanting to get a collab going with Why Don’t We since they first hit me up on Twitter back in 2019. These guys have amazing vocals which grabbed me instantly, so I knew we could create something really special together.”

Listen to Jonas Blue and Why Don’t We’s new single “Don’t Wake Me Up” below.

elbow – This week, veteran rockers elbow dropped the single mix of  “What Am I Without You”, the latest release from their brilliant 2021 album Flying Dream 1. One thing is for sure, elbow still knows how to move listeners, and their beautiful new single is proof of that. What is “What Am I Without You” all about? Frontman Guy Garvey says: “Lyrically it’s about a beautiful acceptance that death is as much a part of life as much as birth, the idea that the world keeps turning without us. It may sound like I’m singing to a child but it’s actually written to my wife whilst she was nursing her mother when she was terminally ill, and my role was to support her and my son as we dealt with that as a family. So, in a way it’s for both her and my son.”

Listen to elbow’s new single “What Am I Without You” below.

The Smile – Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood and Sons Of Kemet’s Tom Skinner have gotten together to form The Smile, a new supergroup of sorts. Their debut single “You Will Never Work In Television” dropped this week and was actually first heard at a secret show during Glastonbury 2021’s Live At Worthy Farm event. If you like what you’ve heard (and with these three heavy-hitters involved, you definitely will), The Smile will be playing three live-streamed shows at Magazine London on January 29th and 30th. You can find more details on how to get tickets by following The Smile on social media or heading to their website: www.thesmiletheband.com.

Listen to The Smile’s debut single “You Will Never Work In Television Again” below.

FKA Twigs – Finally! New music from FKA Twigs is right around the corner as her forthcoming mixtape CAPRISONGS is set to drop on January 14th. In her own words, the 17-track project is “my journey back to myself through my amazing collaborators and friends.” Some of the artists that will be featured on the project include Daniel Caesar, Jorja Smith, Shygirl, and Pa Salieu among others. The first taste of what’s to come from CAPRISONGS is “Tears In The Club”, her collaboration with The Weeknd. As you’d expect from the title, “Tears In The Club” is wistful and introspective while still very much a banger. 

Listen to FKA Twigs’ new single “Tears In The Club” ft. The Weeknd below.

Ryland James – How is Canadian pop sensation Ryland James kicking off the new year? With new music, a new attitude, and a new sense of self, that’s how. The Juno Award-nominated vocal powerhouse recently publicly came out as queer and is poised to take the charts by storm with his brilliant pop single “I Give Everything.” Speaking on what “I Give Everything” is ushering in, Ryland James says: “I’m thrilled to be putting this song out into the world as the first of a new era in my artistry. This is truly the most exciting time I’ve experienced in my career and personal growth thus far. That being said, there’s so much to come in terms of visuals, sounds, stories, and an overall heightened sense of creativity for me.” New year, new Ryland James.

Listen to Ryland James’ new single “I Give Everything” below.

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