Kicking off our Wonderlist with an artfully crafted melody, Lykke Li unveils her melancholic track, “NO HOTEL” — the first offering of her upcoming audiovisual album, EYEYE. Building a soundscape reminiscent of the lucid state of a dream, “NO HOTEL” carries a slow tempo — allowing the artist’s angelic vocals to steal full focus. Expressing the internal panic she feels about having no place to feel at home, the track echoes the artist’s intention to create a record that has, “The intimacy of listening to a voice memo on a macro dose of LSD.”
From anthemic heartbreak to healthy obsessions, scroll below to see the fresh tracks that have made their way onto this week’s playlist.
Lykke Li – “NO HOTEL”
renforshort – “made for you”
Proving herself to be a recurring star of our Wonderlists, renforshort releases “made for you” — a track that oozes the 19-year-old artist’s defiant charm. Deceptively upbeat on the surface, “made for you” criticises the female tendency to change appearances to satisfy society — much like how the song’s melody remains sugar-sweet despite its underlying dark message. In her own words, renforshort explains, “‘made for you’ is about changing your entire personality to fit another person’s standards, which is something a lot of women have to struggle within a society where we’re expected to look and act a particular way.”
Congee – “Honest”
Giving us a heavy dosage of feels, Congee teases the release of his debut EP with his new track, “Honest”. With an intriguing production that evokes an overwhelming sense of feel-good, Congee explores the stages of emotion he experienced following the passing of a loved one. The personal sensibilities explored through his textured vocals are driven home by the accompanying music video — offering a peek into the artist’s home life. “I wrote ‘Honest’ for my nana,” says Congee, “I wrote the chorus years ago after my granddad’s passing. I’ve always found it a comforting thought that he’s up there somewhere watching over us.”
Ibeyi feat. Jorja Smith – “Lavender & Red Roses”
Though almost every Disney film taught us to seek out a prince to save us, powerhouse duo Ibeyi team with Jorja Smith to prove that we can only save ourselves in the warming track, “Lavender & Red Roses”. Blending ear-worming bongos, sparkly synths and a pounding bassline, the track is as powerful as it is uplifting. On the track, the artist’s explain, “‘Lavender and Red Roses’ is a song about the feeling we all experience when we love someone troubled. It could be a partner, a sibling, a parent, a friend. We wanted to talk about the pain of witnessing a loved one hurting, repeating patterns and getting lost. And how it triggers in us the desire to reach them, hold them tight and wash their troubles away with lavender and red roses.”
5 Seconds of Summer – “Take My Hand”
It’s only been ten hours since 5SOS dropped “Take My Hand”, and we are already struggling to keep the synth-laden pop tune out of our heads. Charged with an addictive sense of calm, the track is a complete amalgamation of the band’s best qualities: it is humble yet daring, danceable yet chilled out, and introspective while offering an element of escapism. Offering a chance to temporarily satiate our anticipation for their forthcoming album, we’ll be screaming the soul-tinged lyrics from the top of our lungs on our bedroom floor this evening.
spill tab – “Sunburn”
Switching up the pace of this week’s Wonderlist, spill tab invites us into her alternative soundscape with the bright bop, “Sunburn”. Accompanied by a visual that shows the musician’s slow descent into madness as she burns under blazing rays, the track proves she is a powerhouse where no thematic concept is off-limits. Speaking of “Sunburn” the bedroom-pop artist explains, “The lyrics come from a place of unsettledness and frustration, which felt like it matched the energy of the instruments.”
Alexander 23 – “Crash”
Having written with the likes of Olivia Rodrigo, Alexander 23 continues to cultivate his artistry with the touching new effort, “Crash”. Interspersed with a symphonic falsetto, Alexander 23 employs his husky vocals to unpack the difference between missing someone yet not missing the relationship. Led by a breezy guitar melody, Alexander 23 demonstrates his unique take on indie-pop, offering the perfect anti-love anthem in the process.
Black Sherif – “Kwaku The Traveller”
Never one to shy away from switching up their sound, breakthrough singer and rapper Black Sherif drops “Kwaku The Traveller”. Taking a turn inwards, Black Sherif bares raw emotion as he reminisces the journey that brought him to where he is today. Singing straight from the heart, the track inhabits the artist’s clean-cut production and wit-fuelled bars. On the inspiration behind it, Black Sherif explains, “I talk about the countless mistakes I’ve made as a teenager, and how I’m not going to let them stop me from trapping my way up.”
Kehlani feat. Justin Bieber – “up at night”
Since collaborating on “Get Me” together, we have been calling upon the higher powers of manifestation to join Kehlani with Justin Bieber once again — so you have us to thank for the drop of their masterful new effort “up at night”. Hacked from Kehlani’s forthcoming album Blue Water, “up at night” samples a head-nodding throwback beat brimming with Kehlani’s sultry vocals and Justin Bieber’s indisputable cadence. In her own words, Kehlani says, “It’s about having a healthily obsessed relationship. You’re telling someone, ‘I love you so much it keeps me awake at night’. I love what Justin did, and it’s such a fun one to dance to.” Offering a hopeful outlook on relationships, we couldn’t think of a better way to sign off this week’s Wonderlist.