This week we're covering new releases from Lenii, Marshmello, Hiam, and more!

"Lavandia" by Marshmello and Arash

"Lavandia" is the result of Marshmello and Arash's recent collaboration together. Although Marshmello has teamed with a variety of artists lately, he has never worked with the Iranian singer before. If "Lavandia" is a preview of what they can do together, then let's hope they make that choice in the future!

Sang entirely in Peruvian, "Lavandia" is a rhythmic masterpiece. It's edgy, dark, and creatively composed, from its staggering beats to its bedazzling synth work. Arash's vocals are so clear and mesmerizing even as they soar with effortless grace over the escalating instruments. There is a sense of heightened tension throughout the verses, picking up as the pace gets faster and faster before breaking over the chorus. The wind instruments incorporated only enhance that insistency.

"Lavandia" translated has some sexy lyrics that describe a budding relationship between two people. The woman is described as "hot" and an "addiction," showcasing how sensuous and compelling the man's desire and need for her is. The lyrics are sung briefly as if puncturing as if to mirror the frantic thoughts of Arash. 

"White Lie" by Lenii

Lenii's newest release is already charting pretty high after it debuted on the star's TikTok. Racking up views and buys on both iTunes and online streams, it's already threatening to be her biggest hit yet. Although Lenii is well-known for writing other artists' work, she is currently on the way to ensuring her own musical success. "White Lie" is just another step in that direction.

"White Lie" has a rhythm that is teasing but leads you on, beginning with the initial chord notes. Likewise, Lenii's voice drips with a playful swagger in conjunction with how she sings slow and measured against a faster pace. The verses lull and completely juxtapose the pleasant clash of percussion and beats that make the chorus sing-worthy.

"White Lie" carries hints of Lenii's upbringing in Irish Catholicism. With somewhat controversial lyrics and statements she has made, Lenii has nonetheless appealed to a lot of younger fans with her thoughts on religion. In "White Lie," Lenii weaves in her own questions with her personal experiences. The words and phrases she uses add a conflicting layer of meaning for both her take on Catholicism and what's currently going on in her life, equaling out to a situation many can relate to.

"Gasoline" by Haim featuring Taylor Swift

Haim had recently been on Taylor Swift's album evermore, so of course Swift has decided to lend her voice to the sisters, who have released "Gasoline," which is on their album Women in Music. This version is a remix, and it's just as good as the original one, if not better! 

The sisters appeared on Swift's song "no body, no crime" and, in the process of adding twists to their current tracks on Women in Music, figured they would ask Swift to join in. A fan of the album, Swift made this situation a win-win, resulting in the beautifully-composed remix of "Gasoline." The song is sung slowly and calls back to easygoing, pop-rock songs of the '90s like Sheryl Crow. The instruments play in a meandering beat with a jam-band-like style with lots of warmth and light. Hints of country and blues pepper the track and the Haim plus Swift's vocals are such a wonderful earworm of a sound as they mix so well.

"Gasoline's" lyrics are dark and interpretive. Listeners can create their own narrative with the hints of addiction and even abuse being offered through the minimal imagery sang. The contrast between the light atmosphere in the instrumental part of the song and the darkness of the seriousness of the lyrics is daring and almost tragic.

"To the Island" by Crowded House

Singer Neil Finn not only tours as a member of Fleetwood Mac but also does his own project, his current one being Crowded House. He and his band put a new album, Dreamers are Waiting, out last year despite having to send each other their music remotely due to the pandemic. The album already sounds successful, and "To the Island" is proof as to why!

"To the Island" is infused with a compelling retro-ness that will make you ask if you're in the '80s. The atmosphere is somewhat ethereal but still grounded by the never-ceasing musical composition, including the flighty bass and resounding drums. The rhythm doesn't relinquish throughout the track, instead maintaining an easy, dynamic pace.

"To the Island's" lyrics evoke tender, sensuous feelings of love, even in a somewhat trippy atmosphere. Singer Finn sings about being on an island with his lover because she saves his soul, and it would be the perfect place for them. The soft, sweet imagery of being in a loving relationship coinciding with the bliss of an island escape makes this a pleasantly romantic track.

"Happy Endings" by Mike Shinoda featuring Iann Dior & Upsahl

Linkin Park's rapper Mike Shinoda is bringing some new solo music into 2021. On track "Happy Endings," he collaborates with artists Iann Dior and Upsahl to bring some happiness and hope to fans.

"Happy Endings" begins bare and raw with nothing but simple guitar chords and the haunting melody of Shinoda and Upsahl. It picks up when Shinoda raps through the first verse before reigning in on the beats and pace for the chorus, which is more peaceful and optimistic. Both Dior's and Shinoda's interchanging, harmonious raps offer different perceptions on the lyrics for listeners. The trio of vocals creates an almost heart-warming sense as they come together to assure fans of these "happy endings."

The lyrics are also heart-warming. Framing 2020 as a "sh*t show," Shinoda raps how it's easy to feel down and fall apart despite wanting to be one's own hero. The second verse's lyrics offer more hope, with Shinoda singing how people tell him to be easy on himself even though it's much easier to harbor self-destructive thoughts. The lyrics overall offer situations that I'm sure many people can relate to, especially during these pandemic times.

If you missed last week's music review, check it out here

What did you think of this week's music review? Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments.