American Mood, JoJo
"American Mood," JoJo
Welcome to February, music-loving readers. The world is still on fire and almost everything is trash, but the music being pumped out right now is *chef's kiss* phenomenal. Here is your weekly excuse to unplug from the news, social media, and whatever's on your endless Netflix queue so you can sit back and just relax with some fresh tunes. Here are five new releases to vibe to this week.


“Suicide,” TYuS


On January 23, Portland-raised R&B singer TYuS (AKA Tyus Strickland, who now lives in Cali) dropped “Suicide,” a single that sees him getting honest about what’s plagued him along his path to success, and the emotions he’s gone through while navigating the music industry. Toward the end of the song, TYuS sings “Got lost in a cloud of smoke trying hang me from that rope/I'm just too uncontrollable/I always thought of suicide I can't lie/It's bigger than you and me it's for humanity (Is this the place for me?)”


“American Mood,” JoJo


The newest single from pop star JoJo is the aptly titled “American Mood,” which from its opening guitar licks almost sounds like it could be a country-folk song reminiscent of the great Tracy Chapman. But JoJo’s stunning vocals steer the single in a more soulful direction, with the 30-year-old singer crooning over truthful lyrics about the state of our imperfect nation. “Hello, hello, I'm on the edge of empathy and privilege/It comes along with who I am somehow,” she begins. Each verse is dedicated to a different American story. In the pre-chorus JoJo sings “We keep on hoping/But dreamers are the first ones thrown away/My hands are open/Optimistic for a different way.” The beautiful chorus sees her continuously stretching the word “mood” into heart-fluttering runs. “American mood/To all the kids without a silver spoon/American mood/You deserve much more, this one's for you.” She also dropped this stunning music video filmed in America’s backyard:


“At My Worst,” Pink Sweat$, Kehlani


You may know R&B singer-songwriter Pink Sweat$ AKA David Bowden for his excellent 2018 single “Honesty.” Recently the artist dropped the new single “At My Worst,” as well as an even newer remix featuring Kehlani. “I need somebody who can love me at my worst/No I’m not perfect but I hope you see my worth,” the relatable and honesty chorus goes. Also be sure to check out the new music video below:

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COLOURS, PARTYNEXTDOOR


At the end of January, Canadian R&B singer-songwriter PARTYNEXTDOOR, AKA Jahron Anthony Brathwaite, dropped a new EP called COLOURS, the follow-up to his 2020 studio album Partymobile. Opening track “LET’S GET MARRIED” is appealing in its progressive chaos, setting a great tone for the 8-track project. Other highlights include “JUS KNOW” featuring Travis Scott and especially “PEACE OF MIND.” The latter is about wanting to be laid up with a lover all day, but having money-making obligations to get to. “When it feels this good, you better keep her around, yeah /When it feels this good she get the key to the house, yeah,” he sings. “I'ma treat her like a spouse/Because in exchange you give me peace of mind/Baby, you could take all my time.”


“Don’t Judge Me,” FKA Twigs


If you’re a fan of bright, alternative, or progressive R&B in the vein of artists like Solange or Chloe & Halle, you’ll likely love this new single, “Don’t Judge Me,” from FKA Twigs, UK rapper Headie One, and producer Fred again. The song was originally from Headie One and Fred again’s 2020 album GANG, called “Judge Me (Interlude).” Here Twigs offers light high-pitched vocals over the song’s dance-worthy pulse. Twigs sings “Don't judge me, take care of me/Don't judge me, take care of my heart/Don't judge me, be there for me/Don't judge me, just hold me in your arms.” Isn’t that what we all need right now? Check out the trippy visual below.

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