Cover art via Spotify

42Fifty previously had a column in which former Editor-in-Chief Dylan Jahnke covered new music that was released every Friday. As a new writer for 42Fifty, I’m hoping to bring it back. 

Last week’s New Music Friday was hyped up more than any other. Fans of all different genres of music found themselves enjoying new tracks from artists like ZAYN, The Neighbourhood, and Travis Scott.

“Better” by ZAYN 

Zayn Malik made a comeback with an R&B-like jam with his new single “Better”. Zayn shared a teaser with his followers two days before the release, bringing lots of excitement from his fan base, especially as they were given a new album to look forward to.

As the lead single for this upcoming album, Zayn confesses how all things are better when staying with someone special. He opens this track with a soothing electric guitar, transitioning into the riff he repeats throughout the rest of the song. Compared to his previous singles, this one has a much more positive, upbeat sound, which can’t miss with a voice like his. He doesn’t shy away from high notes and a dreamy falsetto in the song, which create a perfect tone for his lyrics.

The lyrics he wrote for this single surround the idea of giving an off-and-on relationship another chance, similar to the one he has with fiancé Gigi Hadid. Some lyrics stood out to many fans, making it much more personal. This includes the chorus, where he sings, “Why wait to hate, can we save love?” He also uses this line to close this song, emphasizing the romantic aspect of his lyrics. Because of lines like this one, many fans have speculated that he wrote this about his relationship with his fiancé. This theory only made the song more popular, as many listeners, including myself, found it insanely romantic for him to release a ballad that could be so personal.

Overall, Zayn’s comeback single has been a hit for his listeners. It was even chosen by fans as Billboard’s favorite new music release of the week and holds spot No. 70 on the Worldwide iTunes Song Chart, and I’ll definitely be keeping it on repeat until his album is released.

“Chip Chrome & the Monotones” by The Neighbourhood

Announced near the end of July, The Neighbourhood released their fifth album, “Chip Chrome & the Monotones”. The band created an alter-ego-type character for this record, which contains futuristic-alternative tracks that fans can’t get enough of.

It opens with a 30-second track that seems to transition listeners to a future time, “Chip Chrome”. Following this is “Pretty Boy”, one of the singles that the band released in an EP prior to its appearance on the album. This song is a personal favorite of mine, and it ended up in the number one spot of my “On Repeat” playlist, curated by Spotify, within three days of being released. I find no shame in my constant listening to this song; with lead singer Jesse Rutherford’s soothing vocals and the soft bassline, “Pretty Boy” is winning over many listeners as a favorite off the album. Lyrics like “Even if my heart stops beating, you’re the only thing I need” hit home for lovestruck listeners, so it’s no wonder why this is such a hit for The Neighbourhood.

A close second is “Lost in Translation”, the third track on the album. While it’s known for its powerful chorus and pop-like sound, this single’s lyrics address the lack of communication in a relationship. It opens with a sample from “Wish That You Were Mine” by The Manhattans, and transitions to the upbeat rhythm where Rutherford sings “I’ve been gettin’ lost in translation, trouble keepin’ up communication.” Many listeners consider this the most relatable piece of the album, and it’s definitely one of their most fun songs. 

Another track from this album that has gained a lot of attention is “BooHoo”. This song features steel drums and a robot-like effect on Rutherford’s voice as he sings about treating a relationship like a team. He makes it clear that this song is about his current relationship, which many fans are almost too supportive of. It’s a lot of fun to listen to, and the lyrics add more emotion. Because of this, “BooHoo” is a common favorite from the album.

I can’t find myself skipping any of the songs on this record. If The Neighbourhood has ever missed with a song, I have yet to hear it, and this album proves me right.

“FRANCHISE” by Travis Scott (feat. Young Thug and M.I.A.)

Even with Travis announcing his new single only the week before it was released, the hype before it came out was at an all time high.

Travis Scott and Young Thug have collaborated many times before, and they never seem to fail. Collaborations like “pick up the phone” and “OUT WEST” became fan favorites, so I initially wouldn’t put it past this single to do the same. However, as good as “FRANCHISE” is, it didn’t seem to match the hype that was built up around it.

It works well for a single, opening with an intense beat anticipating Travis’ verse. After collaborating with franchises like McDonald’s and Fortnite this year, he keeps the theme going with lyrics shouting out brands, like “On boxes of checks, not my Nikes” and “you need more than Google just to find me”. This whole song is practically a flex of his lifestyle, and his verses make it that much more lively.

Meanwhile, many fans found themselves rejecting the M.I.A. verse in this collaboration, but I didn’t mind it. M.I.A.’s style is unmatched, and while it sticks out from the rest of the song, the change in energy is enjoyable.

Even though many of us were expecting much more, the song isn’t bad at all. Its high energy and lyrics carry its spot at No. 35 on the iTunes Song Chart and 19 on Spotify’s Global Top 50.

This is the best New Music Friday we’ve seen in a while. With no-skip albums and singles on repeat, all types of listeners found themselves more than satisfied with the new music they received.

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