Peyton Stotelmyre / Daily Nexus

“It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody” – Weyes Blood 

Natalie Mering, known as Weyes Blood, created a huge splash in 2019 with her fantastic baroque pop album, “Titanic Rising,” which received widespread acclaim from critics and fans alike for its gorgeous, orchestral instrumentals, emotionally evocative sound and overall beautiful songwriting and composition. Mering returns three years later with a second dose of that very sound with “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody,” a track that could have appeared on “Titanic Rising” with no one batting an eye. And yet, Mering’s ability to create simply beautiful tracks overrides any fear of stagnation as the various harps, backing vocals and drums combine to create the perfect instrumental palette for Mering’s impressive vocals and lyrics. Singing “Living in the wake of overwhelming changes / We’ve all become strangers,” Mering reflects on the loneliness and anxiety of living in our modern, constantly unstable world that is surely near-universally relatable. 

— Adam Majcher

“Belinda Says” – Alvvays

Alvvays return with another amazing single off their third studio album, “Blue Rev,” scheduled to release on Oct. 7. The Canadian indie pop quintet took a lengthy break after their critically acclaimed 2014 and 2017 albums, “Alvvays” and “Antisocialites,” returning almost five years later with the shoegazey single “Pharmacist,” a sound that has been replicated by the other three singles that have been released so far; this holds true for “Belinda Says.” The track shares similar instrumental elements to past shoegaze efforts by the band like “In Undertow,” but seriously amps up the noise with pounding guitars and percussion permeating the track with only a brief opportunity for repose in the middle. Between the intense instrumentals and cryptic lyrics of lead singer Molly Rankin like “Belinda says that heaven is a place on earth / Well, so is hell,” the track is another exhilarating and exciting sneak peek into the band’s new album that is just around the corner. 

— Adam Majcher

“End of Beginning” – Djo 

Djo, also known as “Stranger Things” actor Joe Keery, released a flurry of singles which was quickly followed by his sophomore album “DECIDE.” A standout track from this album is “End of Beginning.” A slowed-down track compared to the heavy psychedelic, ’80s inspired album, 

Keery takes the time to reminisce on his formative years in Chicago where he attended university. Keery sings on the chorus, “And when I’m back in Chicago, I feel it / Another version of me, I was in it / I will be back to the end of beginning.” Keery’s time in Chicago ended shortly before the first season of “Stranger Things” released, which ushered in a “beginning,” a new chapter of his life. However, Keery reflects on how important this time was and sings: “You take the man out of the city, not the city out the man.”

— Marisol Cruz 

“Luna Moth” – Maya Hawke 

Another “Stranger Things” cast member on this list, Maya Hawke is testing the waters of the music industry. With a handful of singles dating back to 2019 and a 2020 debut album already under her belt, Hawke released a few more well-received singles in 2022 and shortly released her second album “MOSS.” The track “Luna Moth” captures what is becoming her signature stripped-back, indie folk sound that is accompanied by Hawke’s soft vocals and evocative lyrics. Backdropped by an acoustic guitar, “Luna Moth” tells the melancholic story of Hawke killing a moth and the guilt that comes with doing so. “I left it on your doorstep / But I didn’t stick around (But I didn’t stick around) / To watch you smile at an ugly thing / To try to ease my guilt / Watch you looking at a broken wing / Like it could be rebuilt,” Hawke woefully sings. Hawke feels as if she caused ruin and the pain radiates from the track. 

— Marisol Cruz 

“Daisy – Spotify Singles” – Wet Leg

British indie rock duo Wet Leg released their eponymous debut album earlier this year and have been launched into fame. The duo got the chance to record a Spotify Singles session, and released a new version of their own track “Convincing – Spotify Singles” and a cover of Ashnikko’s “Daisy.” “Daisy – Spotify Singles” puts a rock twist on the hard-hitting pop track. 

The re-imagined track features live rock instrumentals over the toned-down instrumentation from the original track. The duo creates a moody version of the track that still captures the unabashed confidence of the original track, as Wet Leg’s Hester Chambers sings “Fuck a princess, I’m a king / Bow down and kiss on my ring / Being a bitch is my kink.”

— Marisol Cruz 

“Time” – Giveon 

R&B singer Giveon recently released his third studio album in the summer of 2022, which is now followed by “Time,” a single that will be featured in the 2022 murder-mystery film “Amsterdam.” Despite being part of a movie soundtrack, Giveon infuses his sound into the track, and it feels in place with the rest of his discography — with a cinematic flair. The track is also co-written by Drake, who is a producer on “Amsterdam.” The track features Giveon wishing he truly cherished time spent alongside his companions, backdropped by enchanting, cinematic instrumentals of a woodwind suite and piano. Giveon croons “I wanna say thank you / For the time we shared / The time / When all things were better / Will stay with me / For as long as I remember.” The museful track ends in a flourish, perfect for what is believed to be the closing track of the film. 

— Marisol Cruz 

“Dark Hearted” – Freddie Gibbs

Rapper Freddie Gibbs has been releasing a series of singles and music collaborations since his acclaimed 2020 album “Alfredo” dropped. His latest single is “Dark Hearted.” Produced by frequent rapper collaborator James Blake, Freddie Gibbs tackles police violence and the Indiana landscape that he grew up in. Freddie Gibbs melodically raps on the chorus, “Police might shoot me and kill me over my dark skin / Man, this game got me dark-hearted / Smoke and drink like a alcoholic, don’t get me started / I thought we was gon’ thug it out ’til the end / But I guess that shit just wasn’t in the plans.” Paired with Blake’s dark production, the track is an introspective record that builds anticipation for his next body of work. 

— Marisol Cruz 


Marisol Cruz
Marisol Cruz serves as the Artsweek editor for the 2021-2022 school year. She can always be found listening to music.