Hello everyone! Merry Christmas to those celebrating today! This week we have another round of amazing songs to go check out. All new music from Grammy-winning pop rock group Coldplay, indie pop band AJR, pop singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, DJ ILLENIUM and producer Dabin feat. Canadian singer-songwriter Lights & rising singer-songwriter Chaz Cardigan. All that and more in this week’s New Music Friday post for December 25, 2020!
“Flags” by Coldplay
Originally a bonus track on the now Grammy-nominated Everyday Life LP in Japan, “Flags” is finally released for the rest of the world! Coldplay posted on their socials explaining why they released this track earlier this week saying, “we love this song but by the time it came along the spaces on Everyday Life had been filled and we had to socially distance it. Thank you for all the ways you’ve supported us this year. We love & appreciate you more than you could know. Love c, g, w, j & p.”
I, a longtime fan of theirs can agree with that sentiment too! This song is a feel good jam that’s unifying for listeners all around the world despite our continued necessary lockdowns and socially distanced needs. No matter what our country of origin is or what our current residence is, we shouldn’t let others define who you are or what you should be doing in life. We have more in common than we think we do. We can’t let borders divide mankind. Self-love is what we all need! If we can love ourselves, we can in turn love others. In the chorus, lead singer Chris Martin sings, “you don’t need no flags to tell you who you are, so say I just want to be myself.” A great reminder in case anyone needed to hear that this week.
The guys never create a bad song in my opinion and that streak continues with “Flags.” It’s going to sound amazing when they perform this live one day! I hope a music video gets made for this bonus track.
As a side comment, you’re not going to find another mainstream pop song with references to Tchaikovsky or La Varsovienne. A very unique thing for sure, but I digress!
Lastly, I predict this will be performed at a future Global Citizen event or even have some sort of media placement during the rescheduled 2020 Olympics in Tokyo next summer! 😎
“My Play” by AJR
Indie pop band AJR is really feeding their fans this week with fresh announcements, content and more! This past Sunday, the brothers announced the name of their upcoming album will be titled, OK Orchestra, which is set to be dropped next spring, March 26, 2021! Pre-orders are available now! On Monday, they shared what the artwork for their forthcoming fourth studio album will look like. The new song “My Play” was released on Tuesday to the fans’ delight! And tomorrow, a one-of-a-kind virtual concert experience is set to wow them even more in the One Spectacular Night spectacle event! “My Play” will be played for the first time live tomorrow evening along with many of their previous hits and deep cuts from Living Room, The Click & Neotheater.
Going back to discussing this new single…”My Play” will really hit home for many listeners. From my understanding, it delves into children who grew up with divorced parents and the notion of growing up and adapting to the changes in separate households from their POV. It also brings attention to the child’s play or act he/she/they want to showcase in front of their parent(s) as a welcoming distraction. The uniqueness of this play is so special that it’s value can only be experienced once and only once! Otherwise, it loses meaning. Having the parents’ watch you perform is also another element to the whole situation. Do they pay attention? Do they really listen to you speak? It can really make or break how things shape out in terms of family dynamics, for sure!
Later in the song, when lead singer Jack Met sings, “it’s gonna get really, really, really, really bad before it’s okay,” I felt that and I feel for those families out there affected by a divorce or any other life-altering event. For example, you can even correlate that to today with the insanity that 2020 brought to us all and to everyone’s individual life. What the brothers have done was bring us some common ground in being seen by the lyrics while also sparking some hope moving forward. I applaud their candidness and willingness to translate all of that into an exceptionally well-crafted song.
I think that raw emotion will be a driving force on the new record and it’s already best illustrated on the album artwork itself. Ryan is looking towards the lighter side of the road, that’s optimism heading to a new season of life or perhaps the new year overall when we get closer to a post-pandemic world. Jack is in the middle caught in between both ends. That’s like the confusing moment such as now when times are still uncertain with the COVID cases still skyrocketing and yet vaccines are slowly making it’s way around the world. And then there’s a sad Adam on the right side of the road. You can’t help but feel the feels. This end is going to be the songs that represents the really down, bummer moments in life whether that be something from the past as a child or the present day trials and tribulations and in both cases, you think there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully those sad songs are disguised in a up-tempo way much like “Bummerland” was produced.
Overall, I’m excited for the new LP arriving in just 3 months time. I hope I get to see them play live again in 2021 but for now I will be cheering them on virtually tomorrow night for their One Spectacular Night concert event, which will be fun to watch. Definitely have to tune in to the Gary-Cam when “My Play” is played for the first time! Anyways, I’m so thankful for them and all of their hard work they put on to make their fans feel special in a year that’s been so trying. 😊
“Afterglow” by Ed Sheeran
Grammy winner, Ed Sheeran returns to the spotlight after a long hiatus. It’s his first release since Divide came out back in 2017. This new single talks about his wife, Cherry and the eternal love he has for her.
I love this sweet ballad from the 29-year-old singer-songwriter and first-time dad. It’s very heartfelt, genuine and honest. If you’re looking for a song to dedicate to your lover, significant other, what have you, then this song should definitely go on your playlists this week. It would make for a great song to listen to on a date, a song you would play during your first dance at a wedding, or any of your future anniversaries.
I also admire the minimalist aesthetic in the performance video seen above. No fancy bells and whistles required. Just poetic lyrics sung acoustic style. That’s all that’s needed!
Even though this song is a standalone single and won’t be featured in his next record, I’m grateful he gave us something to listen to before this year ends. A wonderful surprise/early Christmas gift. I’m looking forward to whatever he has in store for us in the new year and beyond! How about you? 😊
“Hearts On Fire” by ILLENIUM & Dabin feat. Lights
29-year old going on 30-year-old EDM hitmaker/producer ILLENIUM joins forces with Canadian artists, Dabin and Lights for an epic collaboration! The song talks about a relationship that’s heading in the wrong direction. You were once in love with this person but now as the days, months, and years go on, it seems like you both lost that spark. You start questioning what went wrong? Why have things shifted? Why can’t they read the signs that you give them?
This is the third single released off ILLENIUM’s untitled fourth studio album which is slated to be released some time in 2021. I enjoy Lights’ discography and if you do too, then this is a worthy pick for you to check out. Her vocals on this track really capture the essence of the song’s theme. It’s cathartic to hear and for those listeners out there who have experienced this kind of weird disconnect in a relationship, you will likely feel seen by this song. Overall, I like this hybrid electronic-rock sound they got going on here and if you love electronic music or any of ILLENIUM’s past works, then you’ll likely enjoy this new track as well.
It’d be interesting to see how this song will sound and be played in a live setting once it’s safe to attend concerts again. But for now, you’ll have to enjoy it from the comforts of your home. Turn up the volume! 😃😃😃
“Haircut” by Chaz Cardigan
25-year-old artist, Chaz Cardigan self-released his latest track called “Haircut.” He teased this song in a recent TikTok post which already garnered over 30,000 likes! This alt-rock song is a feel good way to leave 2020 behind and be inspired for exciting changes in the new year.
He talks about life and how the idea of getting a haircut can really change how you look and feel. It’s true from a visual POV that yeah, you will look different in the interim. But it’s more than that too, it symbolizes the evolution you go through in life. It’s a unique path for everyone whether you see that clearly or not. Hopefully this song does make things clear for you. Life isn’t short if you think that way. Life is long and has so many fruitful opportunities. It’s all in the mindset! Make a name for yourself! Do the things that make YOU happy and passionate!
Feel free to add this euphoric song to your playlists this week and let it kickstart a new positive attitude in 2021 and beyond! It will definitely be on loop on mine. 😉
That does it for this week’s post! Thank you all for reading another edition of New Music Friday here at Philip’s Music Corner. If you liked what you read, kindly click on the follow button down below. Also if you like, please support my work by donating to my Paypal. I truly appreciate it!
Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings about any of these picks in the comments box down below! You can also give the songs featured this week a thumbs up or a thumbs down using the buttons under each pick. As always, stay safe and happy listening! Happy holidays! See you again next Friday for the first post of 2021!
Support My Work
A little donation goes a long way! Thanks in advance!