45s of the week: Sarah Kinsley, My Chemical Romance, Shygirl and more!

The songs you need to hear this week, reviewed by Rhian Daly

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Sarah Kinsley – ‘What Was Mine’

Somehow the sweet ones always hurt me,” Sarah Kinsley sighs on ‘What Was Mine’. The stunning second single from next month’s ‘Cypress’ EP follows its creator’s journey through romantic heartbreak and the liberating sensation of realising what she’s mourning perhaps wasn’t hers to begin with. “You take the best of all I know, all I grow,” she sings at one point, but a revelation lies in the bright, blossoming chorus: “My babe, my babe, my baby isn’t mine.” 

My Chemical Romance – ‘The Foundations Of Decay’

When My Chemical Romance first announced their reunion, the question on everyone’s lips was whether we’d get new music. Days before they kick off their UK tour, the returning emo kings have finally given us an answer – and it’s a resounding yes. ‘The Foundations Of Decay’ – their first new material in eight years – will get you very excited about their comeback, all sludgy riffs, pummelling drums and Gerard Way throatily rasping: “We are free!” Welcome back, lads. 

Stella Donnelly – ‘Lungs’ 

Over the last couple of years, Stella Donnelly has been wandering, travelling around her native Australia (when lockdowns permitted) and reconnecting with the world outside of the ego-massaging bubble of the music industry. ‘Lungs’, the first track from her upcoming second album ‘Flood’, is rife with the kind of curiosity you imagine she felt navigating rainforests and sea cliffs. “History again, teach me like a friend what you know and why,” she asks, before it all ends on a beat worthy of LCD Soundsystem. If it’s any barometer to go by, what’s coming next is going to be big.  

Shygirl – ‘Firefly’ 

As ‘Firefly’ buffers into action, it brings stuttering into view scenes of sticky summer nights spent in clubs and festival dance tents, its vibrant electronics casting a euphoric glow over everything around them. That includes the south London rapper, DJ and singer’s whispered vocals, which narrate a tale of waiting around to rekindle a love that’s best left alone. 

Joy Oladokun – ‘Purple Haze’ 

It’s easy to get disheartened by all the negative headlines in the world, but on ‘Purple Haze’ Joy Oladokun focuses on the positive. Inspired by being in LA during a spate of wildfires, the minimal, emotional track finds her celebrating life – even if humanity is doomed. “Purple haze in the sky / And they say maybe we’re running out of time,” she croons urgently over finger-picked guitar. “But I don’t care cos you and I / Know that love is all we need to survive.”