Song of the Week: “Could You” by Baynk
Release Date: Dec. 26
Legend goes that Kiwi youngster Jock Nowell-Usticke uploaded his new single to Soundcloud shortly before losing his laptop on a week-long surf trip. Returning home, he found that “Could You” had gained the music industry’s attention and his upbeat, genre-defying track was on its way to becoming the song of the summer. With a lack of lyrics that calls attention to bold trumpets and intoxicating beats, his dance track stands as an striking debut — one that’s landed him coveted spots in some of New Zealand’s most highly anticipated festivals. So what if his laptop was left in a hotel and he doesn’t surf? Baynk’s legend is one worth believing in.
Song of the Week: “Keeping Your Head Up” by Birdy
Release Date: Jan. 1
Birdy emerges from dark and brooding folk ballads with a bright, up-tempo track that shows off her powerful vocals with newfound electricity. The 19-year-old singing prodigy captivated audiences with her rendition of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love,” but now leaves the mournful melodies of her piano for synthesizers and percussion. Birdy introduced her new single by saying, “It’s a side to me you haven’t heard before,” and donning a flashy and colorful gown in the single’s cover art to emphasize her departure from more somber songs. “Keeping Your Head Up” not only reflects a defiant break from her melancholic style and lyricism, but showcases a change of pace and energy for her upcoming album.
Song of the Week: “100 Million” by Charlie Hilton
Release Date: Dec. 9
Sorry Charlie Puth, but there’s a new Charlie in town with smooth vocals of her own. From Portland-based band Blouse, lead singer Charlie Hilton goes solo in her latest single “100 Million.” Hilton possesses a charm that is a mix of Lana Del Rey’s soul and Bethany Cosentino’s raw vocals. Teaming up with indie songster Mac DeMarco, the guitar-based track brings a soothing melody that talks of sandy oceans and everlasting love. Toward the end, a mashup of both singers’ heartfelt vocals creates a graceful harmony that is aurally stimulating and sincere. It’ll make one long for more collaborations.