New Music To Know: It’s All About The Message

Photo: courtesy of Joseph Ross Smith.
As if Fridays weren’t your favorite day already, Refinery29 will also be gathering the best new music out each week, and breaking down why each track deserves a spot on your weekend playlist.
We all love an ear worm that feels as good as it sounds, but every now and then, you need the vibes served with a side of substance. If your playlist is in need of some weighty material that still bangs, you're in luck — this week's installment of New Music Fridays is all about music with a message. The new drops cover a bevy of important subjects like toxic masculinity, capitalism, community, and self-love, so you can elevate your consciousness and jam at the same time. We got you.
Ahead, the new music you need to know this week.

Yola, “Diamond Studded Shoes”

Modern blues and country gets a soulful upgrade in "Diamond Studded Shoes," the newest offering from spirited British singer Yola. The lead single from her forthcoming Stand for Myself, the song poetically touches on the many struggles of living in the clutches of a capitalist system.
"We know it isn't, it ain't gonna turn out right," belts Yola. "That's why we gots to fight for the life and soul of the world we know."

Rina Sawayama and Elton John, “Chosen Family”

Elton John joins pop sensation Rina Sawayama for a stripped down duet of her original song "Chosen Family," resulting in a soaring, heart-moving reminder that family is more than who you share genes with — it's about the people who love you for who you truly are.

Orla Gartland, "Zombie!"

Tired of men projecting their issues on you? So is Orla Gartland. "Zombie!" succinctly picks apart the phenomenon of toxic masculinity, each verse teeming with frenetic energy before exploding with the emotion that Gartland wishes men would show more often.
Get all our recommendations. Listen to the full New Music To Know in 2021 playlist on Spotify:

Aziya, “Heaven for Me"

Aziya gets trippy on "Heaven for Me," taking listeners on a funk-fueled sonic experience inspired by love, the most dangerous psychedelic of all.

Thuy, "Universe"

"Universe" reads like a romantic ode to Thuy's partner, but the dreamy R&B offering is really just about finding the magic in love, no matter what form it takes. Love is all around us; we just have to take hold of it.

The Shindellas, "Money"

Glam, energy, and talent — The Shindellas have it all, and "Money" is undeniable proof of their star power. A splendid fusion of old soul and punchy pop, "Money" is a can't miss banger with an ever-relevant, all too important message at its core: make the money, don't let it make you.

Fionn, "Let Me Go"

Pop duo FIONN's new single isn't just club-worthy electro-pop that you won't be able to get out of your head. The danceable track gets deep as well, exploring the power dynamics of a toxic relationship.

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