BY DANICA BRYANT

Matthew Young – It’s A Feeling

Moody Kiwi popstar Matthew Young’s debut album It’s A Feeling is a giddying, emotional journey through the emotional and mental turmoil of his past few years. Glittery electronic production veils brutally honest lyricism, crafting a record that is cohesive and exceedingly honest. Singles Fool Around and Boneheaded offer hazy recreations of how embarrassing that sincerity can be, whilst groovier moments like Headcase lift the weight in spite of their still heavy subject matter. But it’s the surreal, deeply moving love song An Endless Dream Of You that truly stands out, taking the world apart and putting it back together again in the most romantic possible way.

Sabrina Carpenter – emails i can’t send

Years in the making, emails i can’t send is the laidback, eloquent new record from Sabrina Carpenter. Her vocals swing from light and airy, floating over melting strings on the titular track, to spoken word-style performances on cuts like skinny dipping and Already Over. Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande clearly influence much of the record, most obviously Nonsense, a silky smooth R&B-pop track that could fit perfectly on any of their albums. Across the board, this album’s lyrics read like Sabrina’s true, stream-of-consciousness thoughts. But it’s the human moments scattered throughout the album, like Sabrina giggling or commenting in the recording booth, that give it such personality. Not one to be reduced to merely an ex-Disney act, it’s clear from this album Sabrina Carpenter harnesses the power to explode into superstardom at any moment.

Julia Jacklin – Love, Try Not To Let Go

As soft and dreamy as the credits to a Netflix original, Love, Try Not To Let Go is a compelling indie-folk track, studying the true magic of love. Gentle piano verses meshed with sudden, sharp rock choruses craft something only an artist like Julia Jacklin could create. This song is beautiful in its simplicity, as is its music video, which depicts Jacklin exploring suburban streets and positively bursting at the seams with this brilliant newfound feeling.

Danica Bryant – Tunnel of Love

Alright, so I may be a bit biased as the author of this article, since this is actually my song… but Tunnel of Love is absolutely worth a listen or two (hundred). Inspired by the imagery of carnivals and circuses, this track is upbeat, exciting, and equally as emotional as it is danceable. Pop-rock lovers and fans of acts like Gin Wigmore and The Black Keys will get lost in their love for this release.

Macey – summer grunge

In the middle of the Kiwi winter darkness, MACEY’s new single summer grunge is here to shine some light. It’s a nostalgic road trip song built on Bleachers-esque melodies and bright, distorted electric guitars, chasing a pipe dream to “start again”. Telling the story of those wonderful friendships you know really will last forever, summer grunge is exactly what it says on the tin, a compliment offered in the highest regard.

Betty Who – She Can Dance

Betty Who’s gorgeous accented voice and sparkling brand of synth-pop are at their best on her new single She Can Dance. A love letter to herself, the track is confessional without ever being too emotional, calling listeners to the dancefloor in a celebration of their past, present and future selves. If this open-hearted, booming single is anything to go by, Betty’s upcoming album Big will be another unmissable release. 

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