In this week’s instalment of What’s Going On, we’ve got the hottest new singles from Sofia Camara, Netta, and Shelly Perel, music from YUNGBLUD’s new album, plus a continent-spanning collaboration between Khruangbin and Vieux Farka Touré. As always, if you dig what you hear, be sure to stream and follow the artists.
YUNGBLUD – English rocker YUNGBLUD is out now with his self-titled third studio album. Billy Idol for Gen Z, the snarly Brit blends kickass rock with big catchy pop hooks into instant earworms. Along with the release of the album, YUNGBLUD also dropped the standout “Tissues” as his latest single and an accompanying music video. “Tissues” samples “Close To Me” by The Cure and was given the stamp of approval from Robert Smith himself. The energetic music video sees the talented young rocker hitting the dancefloor as a move to signify a new era for himself. Speaking on the choice to let loose in the video, YUNGBLUD says: “This is a new era for YUNGBLUD, I wanted to dance, I wanted to move, and I wanted to really personify in the video what this song means. It’s happiness and it’s euphoria and it’s letting the fuck go.”
Listen to YUNGBLUD’s new single “Tissues” below.
Sofia Camara – Toronto-based singer-songwriter Sofia Camara is aiming big with “Never Be Yours”, her first single since signing with 21 Entertainment/Universal Music Canada. With Montreal’s Banx & Ranx on production, “Never Be Yours” manages to combine both the sensibilities of a classic radio-ready pop ballad with crunchy electro-pop-inspired rock. Discussing what inspired “Never Be Yours”, Sofia Camara says: “I had this perfect image of someone who I actually didn’t know as well as I thought I did. When writing ‘Never Be Yours’. I remember saying I wanted to send one last text or leave one voicemail, but instead I wrote this song. Because I was able to be super transparent and open during the writing process, I feel extremely connected to it.” With an ever-growing TikTok following and now this strong single under her belt, the sky’s the limit for the Portugal native.
Listen to Sofia Camara’s new single “Never Be Yours” below.
Khruangbin & Vieux Farka Touré – Eternally buzzworthy Texas band Khruangbin dropped their second collaborative EP, Texas Moon, with Leon Bridges earlier this year. Now Khruangbin has a new joint album, Ali, with Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré due out on September 23. “Savanne”, the first release from Ali was immediately met with rave reviews from critics and fans alike and now we’ve got the new single “Tonga Barra” as the next taste of what’s to come from the project. A sonic meeting of the minds, “Tonga Barra” deliciously melds the psychedelic blues sound of Khruangbin with traditional West African music. This further proves that Khruangbin has mastered the art of collaboration.
Listen to Khruangbin & Vieux Farka Touré’s “Tonga Barra” below.
Netta – Israeli pop sensation Netta is getting a little more personal on “Playground Politica”, her new single. In the song, the winner of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest reflects on her adolescent years spent in Nigeria. Knowing what’s at the root of the song explains the Afrobeats-inspired feel that anchors the bubbly pop track. It only made sense for Netta to reach out to Nigerian-born, Ghana-based superstar Mr. Eazi to feature on “Playground Politica”, not just for his status in Afrobeats but because just like Netta, he spent his adolescence in an international school outside of his home country. Netta explains: “We couldn’t help but feel like in a parallel universe we could be in class together.”
Listen to Netta’s “Playground Politica” ft. Mr. Eazi below.
Shelly Perel – Genre-bending singer-songwriter Shelly Perel is out now with “Don’t Try”, the first single from her debut album Patience And Stuff. “Don’t Try” showcase’s Shelly’s stellar and soulful vocals over a track that pulls influences from alternative R&B, indie, pop and Neo Soul. What’s “Don’t Try” all about? Shelly Perel says: “I come from a small town where everyone must follow a certain path or pattern, but I had bigger dreams for myself. The song is really about the expectations of our environment and how sometimes we expect something different for ourselves.”
Listen to Shelly Perel’s new single “Don’t Try It” below.