45s of the week: Bree Runway, Raveena, Sunflower Bean and more!

It's the tracks you need to hear this week, reviewed by Rhian Daly

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Sunflower Bean – ‘Who Put You Up To This?’

We’re letting go for real,” Julia Cumming sings on the twilight psych groove of ‘Who Put You Up To This?’, the second taste of Sunflower Bean’s upcoming third album ‘Headful Of Sugar’. Although some regrets are still tugging at their sleeves here, it’s a song that represents the NYC trio beginning to shake off the shackles of other people’s opinions and ideals prescribed by society in favour of finding happiness within themselves. “I’m good enough for the main course / Even if I’m the one that’s paying for it,” Julia emphatically declares midway through the track. Amen to that. 

Read our interview with Sunflower Bean

Bree Runway – ‘Pressure’

Hackney-born Bree Runway might have missed out on the BRITs Rising Star Award for 2022, but don’t think that’s going to hold her back from becoming one of this year’s biggest pop breakout acts. ‘Pressure’, her first track of the year, makes that crystal clear, a perfect mix of cool and confidence. “I don’t make the rules,” Bree sings on the chorus. “I just make ‘em all gag when I step in the room.” It’s a humblebrag that’s hard to argue with. 

Read our interview with Bree Runway

Caroline Polachek – ‘Billions’ 

When Caroline Polachek released the slippery, summery bass ‘Bunny Is A Rider’ last year, she told Charli XCX to expect more “psychedelic sexy nonsense” from her in the near-future. Although very different from ‘Bunny…’, her new single ‘Billions’ fits right into that genre, the solo artist combining production from PC Music’s Danny L Harle and herself with the children of London’s Trinity Choir and her usually clarion-like voice twisted into new shapes and sounds. The opening couplets (“Psycho, priceless / Good in a crisis”) might seem prime to start a new TikTok trend, but it’s two later lines that really stand out as the MVPs of ‘Billions’: “Sexting sonnets / Under the tables.” 

Kiana V – ‘Heartbeat On Me’

It’s hard to find new angles on that well-worn subject of love, but Filipino singer Kiana V has found a fresh take on her new R&B bop, ‘Heartbeat On Me’. “Will I wake up with your heartbeat on me? / Will your actions meet the honey you speak?” she asks softly on the smooth chorus, reflecting the trepidation of being about to let your heart go, but not knowing if the feeling’s mutual.

Raveena – ‘Love Overgrown’

Today marks the release of Raveena’s second album – and first since signing with Warner Records – ‘Asha’s Awakening’. Those who heard her 2019 debut ‘Lucid’ will already know that she’s a master at crafting soothing R&B that pays tribute to her Indian heritage. ‘Asha’s Awakening’ continues that spirit and ‘Love Overgrown’ is one of its highlights. It sombrely details breaking off a relationship before it’s rotten to its core, or as Raveena beautifully sings: “Why wait til it’s overgrown? / Wait til it’s said and done? / Wait til we’re broken, wait til we’re so in love / Why wait til it’s more fucked up?” 

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