The last time I wrote an article about some of my favorite new songs, I mentioned that it felt like the music world(especially in America) had been slow and quiet when it came to new releases to start 2023. Shortly after I wrote that piece, fortunately, a string of great albums and EPs came out. Although that string of albums is over and there haven’t been as many full projects released over the last few weeks, the amount of great singles that have been coming out has skyrocketed. Considering the winter and spring months are coming to an end, this makes sense for two reasons. As summer approaches, artists are trying to secure themselves a summertime smash hit. Also, there are a lot of great artists slated to release albums in the next few months, and these artists need to get their fans excited for those coming records by releasing new music. I will say, similar to my aforementioned favorite new songs post(you should go read that one after this if you want to read about more good new singles from 2023), I feel like a lot of the best singles that have been released lately are by foreign(non-American) artists. In my opinion, it feels like there has been a lot more ingenuity and creativity in the music coming out from popular foreign musicians than popular American ones. I am glad I have expanded my listening habits more than ever this year because I have discovered a lot of cool non-American artists I will be following in the future. Unlike last time, this list is not exclusively about foreign music, but there are still a lot of foreign artists on this list. Let me know in the comments below how you feel about these songs and artists, and also comment some other new songs I should check out.
PRINCESS DIANA – ICE SPICE FEAT. NICKI MINAJ
The meteoric rise of Ice Spice over the last year or so has been so fun to watch. At the beginning of 2022, she was relatively unknown within the rap game, and now she has become the new It Girl of Hip Hop. Her song ‘Princess Diana’ was one of multiple songs from her that has gone viral in the last few months. When your song catches the attention of Nicki Minaj, you know you have made it. Nicki Minaj has helped the career of so many young rappers with her features, and Ice Spice is the latest to get this treatment. ‘Princess Diana’ is a gritty New York Drill banger that will inject energy into any fan of modern Hip Hop when they listen to it. Ice Spice’s softer tone creates a cool juxtaposition in the track. As good as the original track is, Nicki Minaj makes the song so much better. She comes in with ferocity that matches the instrumental and contrasts Ice Spice’s delivery well. ‘Princess Diana’ is a great Drill music banger that brings out the best in both Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj, and it proves that these two should definitely work together more in the future.
BE THE ONE – ELI BROWN
I feel like out of all the major music genres, Electronic Dance Music has had the most exciting changes happening within it. While Pop and Hip Hop music feels like it’s gotten a little stale for the most part over the last several months(I hope this changes very soon), Electronic music has continued to rapidly evolve. One of the most prevalent recent trends in Electronic music is how artists are gravitating toward popular 90s sounds like Trance and Techno. They have been taking these retro genres and making them fresh and exciting. One artist at the forefront of this movement is Eli Brown. I know it’s too early to say this, but I think h his new track ‘Be The One’ could end up being the Electronic anthem of the summer. This is a dark, ominous Psy-Trance track that gets my blood pumping whenever I hear it in the best way. ‘Be The One’ has a foreboding melody, punching beat, and hypnotic vocal style that will make any fan of this kind of music want to party. I can only imagine how awesome it will be to hear this song at clubs or music festivals this summer, and I can not wait to experience this myself. ‘Be The One’ is sure to propel Eli Brown into superstardom, and it makes me so excited to see what he does next.
DOUBLE FANTASY – THE WEEKND AND FUTURE
Neither The Weeknd nor Future are artists that can stay dormant for very long. They are two of the most prolific major artists in music today, and it seems like we can not go many months without one or both of them dropping new music. They are also two of the most adaptable and diverse huge artists in music, and ‘Double Fantasy’ is the latest example of that sentiment. ‘Double Fantasy,’ which is produced by Metro Boomin and Mike Dean(who are both extremely important to modern popular music in their own rights), is an epic Synth-Pop banger that brings out the best in both The Weeknd and Future. This song has a sound that seemingly fuses two different eras of The Weeknd’s music. ‘Double Fantasy’ is a like a fusion of the New Wave-inspired music of his last two albums and the Funky Electropop music of his Starboy record. Unsurprisingly, he thrives on this instrumental and gives it so much life and emotion. I have always loved how Future flows on fast-paced Dance music, and he sounds great on ‘Double Fantasy.’ His verse gives the song an added texture that takes it over the top. ‘Double Fantasy’ is a great Synth-Pop track that once again shows why these two are some of the most important artists in music today.
un x100to – GRUPO FRONTERA FEAT. BAD BUNNY
I have always said that Bad Bunny is an artist who has the Drake effect. He is extremely adaptable, as it seems like he can literally thrive on any kind of music he wants to try. I would have never known about Grupo Frontera without Bad Bunny hopping on this song with them, and now I can not get enough of their music. Grupo Frontera makes Norteno Regional Mexican music with roots in Corrido, Cumbia, and Polka. Their music reminds me a lot of some of Selena Quintinalla’s most traditional-sounding songs. ‘un x100to’ is a sweet and pleasant track that puts me in such a good mood when I hear it. The tone of the song is so bright and colorful, and everything about the track, from all of the instruments to the vocals, makes it sound so full and luscious. I never expected to hear Bad Bunny on this kind of song, and this track makes me want him to do this kind of music so much more. Bad Bunny’s vocals on ‘un x100to’ contrasts the lead singer of Grupo Frontera’s verse perfectly, and his rich, low tone gives the song an added level of emotion that it benefits from so much. ‘Un x100to’ is a song that puts Grupo Frontera puts square on my radar, and I can assure you I will be listening to much more of their music in the future.
ROCK UR WORLD – KNOCK2 FEAT. FUSSY
As I stated before, the style of music that has seen the most growth and diversity over the last several months is Electronic music. As I mentioned earlier, some of the biggest trends in Electronic music recently have been Techno and Trance music. These aren’t the only kinds of Electronic music on the rise right now, though. Hardstyle is another kind of Electronic music that has been making a big splash over the last year or so. Considering how popular HyperPop has become lately, it makes sense that Hardstyle is becoming so big too because of how intense and saturated a sound it has. One of my favorite Hardstyle songs right now is ‘Rock Ur World’ by Knock2 feat. Fussy. This song has such a bright, colorful, distorted melody that makes me feel like I am on an Acid Trip in Heaven when I hear it. This song is so zealous and fiery but also so gleaming and radiant. It has a very catchy vocal style as well that is addicting and a blast to sing along to. Everything about this song is so euphoric and sweet and it just puts me in a good mood when I hear it. ‘Rock Ur World’ is a banger that confirms Knock2 is one of the best young stars making Electronic Music today.
ALONE – KIM PETRAS FEAT. NICKI MINAJ
I would assume that Nicki Minaj is preparing for a major release of her own in the near future considering how much she has been killing it on the features lately. Typically, when she ramps up her activity in other people’s music, one can assume that she is about to come out with her own new project. The latest big assist from Nicki Minaj on a new track comes on Kim Petras’ ‘Alone.’ As the title of the song may suggest, this track is an interpolation of the iconic Eurodance track ‘Better Off Alone’ by Alice Deejay. Kim Petras’ ‘Alone’ is like a modern Trap version of that classic hit. Kim Petras has the perfect vocal tone and range for a song with this kind of bright and vibrant Synth-driven melody, so it is not surprising that she thrives on this track. I really enjoy Nicki’s verse on this track, as she provides a layer of toughness to the track that it benefits from. Nicki rapping on this instrumental reminds me of early in her career when she made hits like the songs ‘Superbass’ or ‘Va Va Voom.’ ‘Alone’ is a light and fun Pop banger that provides euphoria and nostalgia to the listener.
CUPID(TWIN VER.) – FIFTY FIFTY
If you are someone who is active on Tiktok or Instagram, I am certain that you have at least heard ‘Cupid(Twin Ver.)’ in passing. This song has been all over the internet over the last few months. It has gone so viral that it has propelled Fifty Fifty to the top of the K-Pop world. Because of ‘Cupid(Twin Ver.),’ Fifty Fifty is charting as well as artists like Twice or NewJeans, with their popularity even coming close to BlackPink and BTS. It is easy to understand why this song became so big so quickie, as it is unbelievably catchy. This track has a charming Bubblegum Pop sound that will get stuck in anyone’s head as soon as they hear it. ‘Cupid(Twin Ver.)’ has easy-to-follow and cute lyrics that are so great to sing along to. The vocals of the members from Fifty Fifty are just as pleasant and soft as the lyrics and tone of the song. Everything about ‘Cupid(Twin Ver.)’ meshes so well; it is the perfect example of a modern Bubblegum Pop song. Fifty Fifty is the next K-Pop group that is quickly on the rise, and I am certain that we will be hearing a lot more from them soon.
SUKI LIE – ATARASHII GAKKO!
I only discovered ATARASHII GAKKO! about a week ago, and I have to say I’m already completely hooked. ATARASHII GAKKO! is a rising Japanese girl group that I think everyone needs to pay attention to. I’ve never seen a group like this before; they stand out in literally every way. From their public image to their dancing to their music videos, everything about ATARASHII GAKKO! is totally out of the box. There is nothing I can even compare them to because there is nothing like them. ATARASHII GAKKO! just released a new project, and ‘Suki Lie’ is one of the best songs from the project in my opinion. This is a Jazzy Pop-Trap song with a creepy yet riveting melody and bouncy beat. The instrumental is so complex and intricate, and every little sound effect adds texture to the track. I enjoy the vocals on this track so much. The way the deeper tone from Suzuka(the group’s leader) contrasts with the vocals from the rest of the group gives the song so much depth. ‘Suki Lie’ is one of many great tracks from ATARASHII GAKKO!’s new project. If you dig this song and group as much as I do, come back to the blog and read my review of ATARASHII GAKKO!’s ICHIJIKOKU, which I will be posting next week.