CMAT – ‘Lonely’
Over the last couple of isolated years, you might have found yourself searching for companionship in unusual places. CMAT can relate: “Who needs God when I have Robbie Williams? / Who needs boys with these voices in my head?” she sings on the melancholy country swoon of ‘Lonely’. After beginning writing it while the rising star spent breaks from work eating alone in the food hall of Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre, she finished it during the pandemic, realising that while she might be lonely, she’s not alone in feeling that way.
Aldous Harding – ‘Lawn’
Three years after the release of her acclaimed third album ‘Designer’, folky New Zealand singer-songwriter Aldous Harding is back to enchant us with another record. We have to wait until March to hear her fourth album ‘Warm Chris’ in full, but preview ‘Lawn’ suggests it’ll be just as beguiling as you’d expect. “Doors are the way you leave / Just be the way you are,” she sings over a jaunty piano melody. “Just be out and free / Can you imagine me?” It’s the kind of song that feels like its meaning should be immediately obvious, but something about the way Harding puts the words together adds a new cryptic layer. Part of her appeal is trying to unravel the latter to get to the former.
Stephanie Poetri – ‘Picture Myself’
“You moved to the West, I moved to the city / Made separate beds but I still hold you in my chest when things aren’t looking pretty,” Indonesian-American singer-songwriter Stephanie Poetri laments on ‘Picture Myself’. A document of the whirlwind of feelings that come with trying to make a long-distance relationship work – anxiety, confusion, yearning for your partner – it showcases once again the 21-year-old’s sharp, inviting songwriting that draws you into her emotional world, even if you’ve never been in a similar position.
Honeyglaze – ‘Shadows’
London newcomers Honeyglaze are getting ready to unleash their self-titled debut album on the world and ‘Shadows’ suggests we should be steeling ourselves for something great. “Mornings always feel like paradise,” Anouska Sokolow sings over tumbling, jangly guitars, heralding the dawn after a sleepless night watching shadows from the outside world creep into her bedroom.
FKA Twigs – ‘Meta Angel’
Stuck in an annual cycle of making resolutions to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be, only to go back to slobbing out by the second week of January? FKA Twigs can relate. “Each year I’m like, ‘I’m gonna own my shit’,” she says regretfully at the start of ‘Meta Angel’. On the sparkling track that follows, she wishes for “some kind of meta angel” to help achieve that and quieten the voices in her head. “Then they could whisper all the answers,” she reasons. “And maybe life would just slow down / I don’t think that I’ll make it on my own.” One to put on when you feel like everyone else is thriving while you’re faltering.
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