This week we're covering new releases from Carrie Underwood, X Ambassadors, P!NK, and more!
It's our weekly song review where we dissect five new songs released this past week, February 7–14. Let us know if your favorite artists or bands make it on our list!
"Softly and Tenderly" by Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood has given fans a good year so far. "Softly and Tenderly" is her new track from the upcoming album My Savior which will show 13 new tracks. The new album is a companion to her December one, My Gift.
"Softly and Tenderly" sounds like it's a reflection of Carrie Underwood herself. Its piano notes are crisp and poignant, painting a perfect, haunting backdrop on which Underwood's dominant vocals transcend in a gospel-like sense. Her singing seems to guide the musical composition in a gorgeously restrained manner, showcasing her mastered range in its holding back. It's only the end of the song when strings are introduced, adding layers of hope, with a climax that seems more like a slow-burn crescendo.
Underwood performed "Softly and Tenderly" at the 2017 CMAs in honor of October's Route 91 Harvest Festival's tragic shooting. The song itself has heavy religious references, as Underwood sings about someone coming back to Jesus. The lyrics drip with biblical imagery, and Underwood calls those who are overwhelmed "weary" and needing to go home.
"skip. that. party" by X Ambassadors ft. Jense McRae
"skip.that.party" is a unique track that appears on X Ambassador's even more unique project Eg, which is a multi-part project which features a variety of collaborations. With this track, singer and songwriter Jensen McRae shares her vocal power to X Ambassador's edgier rock beats.
"skip. that. party" sounds like nothing X Ambassadors has put out before. Addictively dark and reflective, its atmospheric tension and dramatic tone hone the lyrical textures between McRae and lead singer Sam Harris. Their interplay is outstanding in a hauntingly beautiful way, as their voices seem to collide then echo over the harder rock elements.
This track underscores thoughts of misunderstanding in a relationship, with Harris and McRae throwing questions at each other. They sound like two people who have broken up and simply wish to have never met because of the anguish of lost love—sentiments, I'm sure, many can relate to.
("skip. that. party" has definitely been added to my playlist.)
"I Do" by Luke Royalty
Rising UK star Luke Royalty has dropped his new single, "I Do." It's the latest track after he started making headlines last year with Sweets' collaboration "I Could Get Used to This." Based on this new single, it sounds like 2021 will be another solid year for Royalty.
Sang with measure and charisma, Royalty is a pop gem. It's laid-back and funky, blending island-beats with easy guitar strings. Royalty sounds as if he doesn't have a care in the world, even as the speed at which he sings picks up in pace.
Royalty says his lyrics are inspired by artists like slowthai and Mike Skinner. He believes there should be no shame in how your heritage shines through your accent or lifestyle, a concept prominent in "I Do." The lyrics mainly deal with thoughts of being stuck in what feels like a repetitive cycle of doing the same things every day, something many have experienced during the pandemic.
"All Along" by Rochelle Jordan
Rochelle Jordan is back with the new track "All Along." Following her last one, "Got 'Em," Jordan delivers another stunning dance single that already seems to hint 2021 will introduce even more music from her, especially since her last full album was way back in 2014.
"All Along" is fast-paced and groovy-infused. Its beats are quick, almost dashing, building an atmosphere of urgency. This sense gives Jordan's vocals, which are swooning and slow, so much more power and control—a delightful contrast between the two paces. This track will make you want to slow-dance with someone.
Jordan said initially she was writing "All Along" as a love song for someone close to her. However, it ended up becoming a track about self-love, as she felt she was saying the words more to herself than anyone else. That transformation is definitely incredible, and listeners can really feel it through the soulful lyrics of "All Along."
"Cover Me in Sunshine" by P!NK and Willow Sage Heart
The mother-daughter duo has added some light to 2021 with the release of "Cover Me in Sunshine." Well-known singer PINK and her 9-year-old daughter have previously worked on music together, with 2018's "A Million Dreams" a fantastic song on The Greatest Showman that was put together by the two of them. Now, they have shown they are capable of even more.
Singer PINK states that last year was a tough and scary time for everyone, including her daughter, but that it also served as a time for reflection and learning. Stating how both she and Willow have found peace through music, she believes putting "Cover Me in Sunshine" is a manifestation of such a thought. The lyric's positive imagery and upbeat portrayal really show how the past year has affected PINK and her family.
"Cover Me in Sunshine" begins with a slow, country-ish guitar chord that plays simply and beautifully before picking up speed in the second verse. The rest of the song carries a fun, pop vibe with vibrant beats. This track will make you wish for simple summer days.
If you missed it, here's last week's music release. What do you think of our music list this week? Let us know in the comments.