New Releases: Anne-Marie, Travis Scott, Calvin Harris & Sam Smith
Anne-Marie kickstarts this week's New Release, dropping her third album Unhealthy, which features collaborations with the likes of Aitch (Psycho), Shania Twain (the title track) and Khalid (new song You & I). The album has already given us two UK Top 20 hits with Psycho and Unhealthy, so expectations are high. Anne-Marie's last album - 2021's Therapy - managed a peak of Number 2 (her highest-ever at this point)...could Unhealthy go all the way next week?
Next up, one of the most anticipated albums of the last few years, if not the decade, finally arrives on Friday in the form of Travis Scott's Utopia. The follow-up to 2018's career and genre re-aligning Astroworld, details about Utopia are being kept under lock and key, but if the LP's lead single, K-Pop with Bad Bunny and The Weeknd is anything to go by, we'll be in for an eclectic and star-studded ride from one of the planet's most talented producers and MCs.
US superstar Post Malone also drops his fifth album Austin (his real first name), which sees him come down from the extravagance of previous releases and to somewhere approaching home. The album comes with production from Postie and long-time collaborator Louis Bell, as well as his first collaboration with superstar svengali Max Martin, which is exciting for everyone involved, if you ask us.
Pop queen Carly Rae Jepsen has a procedure. She writes loads of tracks for her next studio project, and will normally put the more front-facing commercial prospects on the main album, before including some kooky offshoots for a follow-up B-sides release (as has been the case with 2015's modern classic Emotion and 2018's Dedicated) but now, it seems she's changed tact. Last year's The Loneliest Time was her most eclectic record yet; with indie-acoustic (Western Wind), left-of-centre art-pop (Beach House) and ramming electro (Talking To Yourself). But by all accounts, her new LP The Loveliest Time is apparently chock-full of bangers. Welcome back, Carly Slae.
Now, as far as singles go, Calvin Harris & Sam Smith haven't got a bad batting average; 2018 was the last time they teamed up, on the Number 1 single Promises. Now, they've got back into the studio for a brand-new anthem, Desire, which seems to rib pleasingly off the trance and hi-NRG space Calvin's found himself in recently, if chart-topping behemoth Miracle is anything to go by, just sit back and watch this one fly.
Fresh off a nomination for this year's 2023 Mercury Prize for her camp fifth album That! Feels Good!, Jessie Ware invites auteur disco queen Roisin Murphy on board for a frantic remix of highly Freak Me Now. Pleasingly, neither diva overpowers the other on the track, and Roisin sounds more focused and more like a pop star than she has in years. Full album next time, ladies?
We also have new singles this week dropping from Grimes (I Wanna Be Software, which sounds pleasingly electronic and bubblegum, showing she's not left the pop-leaning styles of Player of Games and Shinigami Eyes behind in her split from Columbia), Romy (The Sea) and Holly Humberstone, whose plans for her debut album are shaping up nicely, now including Superbloodmoon with D4VD.