Willow Shields
Willow Shields

London’s least professional music photographer and journalist, can be found most evenings in your local small venue drinking vodka lemonades and being told secrets.

Oh gosh, I’m back to annoy you once again with my musical opinions and hot takes.

I was at The Great Escape last weekend and running around Brighton getting heat stroke leaves little time to listen to the best new music. So over the weekend I’ve been dedicating my time to catching up on new music releases from the past 14-ish days. In this article, we’re looking at BLOODY SEVEN of the best releases from the last week (and the previous in Stella Donnelly’s case). Feel free to listen along at home, the Willow’s Weekly playlist is officially a thing – link at the bottom of this page! OK, pay attention, best music as follows:

New music came from our beloved Aussie sad girl, Stella Donnelly on the 10th. The first taste of a new album (‘Flood‘, coming August 26th) is a sweet one. A beautiful, soft embrace that we’ve been missing since her debut album in 2019. ‘Lungs’ is a dynamic, driven track that leads with story-telling brilliance in true Stella Donnelly fashion. It’s a perfect introduction to her newest era and a gorgeous crumb I will hang onto until August. 

GULP! A fresh, tasty new one from Sports Team arrived on Tuesday the 17th in the form of The Game. A fast, anthemic sophomore single from their upcoming album (July 22nd). It’s Sports Team but in a different font. Hard hitting guitars, a rhythm you just can’t help but tap a foot along to and catchy but, in a change of pace, quite sad lyricism. “Oh yeah that’s the game, life’s hard but I can’t complain” I guess, life is game, and we’re all losing. Also, the video is hilarious but also incredibly creepy and ominous. Watch it here:

Florence’s new album. The deluxe edition. (It counts, it came out on the 18th). Is simply perfect. All the singles were magical and somehow completely new. All the visuals were done by Autumn De Wilde – watch the video for ‘Kinghere (blew my mind) – and as far as I can tell most of the clothes by The Vampires Wife (Susie Cave), so everything from this campaign was absolutely hauntingly beautiful, as to be expected with Florence, but there was a maturity and a softness to it with this album, which made me fall in love all over again. After 13 years since her debut, Florence + The Machine is still managing to surprise me. As a self-professed super-fan, I am blown away consistently by the caliber of her work and her ability to make me cry. This woman partly raised me, I’m not exaggerating. So you can imagine how special this album is to me, and many others, of course. Songs that made me cry when I first heard them: ‘Dream Girl Evil‘, ‘Daffodil‘, ‘King‘. Songs that I constantly have in my head: Previous three stated, ‘Heaven Is Here’, ‘Free’.  

OUTRAGE! Is the general feeling of the internet for this new Aitch tune titled ‘1989‘ (how very swiftie of him). The reason for this general consensus is because he’s sampled The Stone Roses’ ‘Fool’s Gold’. The feeling is that the track is diminishing the legacy of the Roses’ HOWEVER, I personally see absolutely no issues with it, Aitch probably grew up listening to this music and is paying tribute to this iconic song. He said on twitter “Always feel like I missed out on back in the day, from the stories I hear it was way better back then…obviously I’ve not figured out how to time travel yet so this is the closest I’m gonna get” And I actually couldn’t wipe the smile off my face on first listen. It’ll also open the door for younger fans who have absolutely no clue who The Stone Roses are to get into their music. It’s a buzzing track, with super sweet nostalgia laced into it.  

Bull’s newest offering ‘Stuck‘ sounds like a funky coming of age movie. It’s a totally perfect song, and totally Bull. It’s funny, upbeat, and danceable. Everything that Bull is bringing to the table is just magnefique! I can’t ignore that a certain guitarist of Bull toured with Amsterdam crazy people Personal Trainer for a month or so late last year and I feel in my bones the influence that had on this track. If you want to walk down the street as if you’re the main character in a hyper-pigmented 90’s movie, listen to ‘Stuck’ and just you try and stop yourself dancing. 

THE perfect indie pop EP: Rachel Chinouriri’s ‘Better Off Without’. With soft guitars, synths and songs filled to the brim with goosebumps, Rachel Chinouriri has absolutely mastered how to make music. Having the absolute best luck in the world to catch her set at The Great Escape just before this EP dropped. Her charm, charisma and pure joy totally shines through in her live performances, if you get the chance to see her live, DO NOT MISS HER. Personal faves from ‘Better Off Without’ (is all of them, but for recommendations sake) are ‘All I Ever Asked Of You’ and ‘Fall Right Out Of Love’ but be warned it will make you cry. 

Okay, here it is. ‘Harry’s House‘. I’ve never been a Harry Styles stan, even in the 1D era I was a Niall girl. However, this album is full of funk and sexy energy, which surprised me. Which after ‘Watermelon Sugar’, shouldn’t have. But Harry’s gone ham on this one. The first single from this album ‘As It Was’ was already branded the song of the summer, and I wholeheartedly agree, although it has slightly been beaten into us by TikTok. The only big thing I will say about this album is that I, sometimes, found myself getting a bit bored. Maybe it’s the pace of some of the less funky songs, maybe it was the length of the album as a whole. Though for me the big tunes do pull it back as a whole, ‘Cinema’, ‘Keep Driving’ and ‘Love of My Life’ are for me, for now, what make this album.