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Soundcheck: The 24 Best Music Releases Of The Week

Music

Paramore, MØ, Charly Bliss + more

Every weekend, we’re bringing you #SOUNDCHECK—your new destination for the best of the best new music that hit the web over the course of the week. Because you should always be prepared when someone passes you that aux cord. This week’s round features 24 of our favorite emerging and established artists including Paramore, MØ, Charly Bliss, and so many more. Turn up, tune in, and tune out.


"Hard Times"— Paramore

We didn't realize how much we missed Paramore until they released their first single in four years and now we can't stop listening to them. Can we go back in time and stay in 2007 forever?


"Nights With You"— MØ

Send this one to all your BFFs with some heart emojis.


Guppy— Charly Bliss

This New York-based indie rock band finally dropped their debut album and we'll be blasting it all weekend long. NYU must be so proud!


"Flexin"— Rejjie Snow

This is exactly what we imagine goes down when Rejjie Snow is gassing himself up.


"Untitled"— Rex Orange County

It's been a while since a music video almost brought us to tears, and this did just that.


"Thunderbird"— B.B.

The artist formerly known as Babeo Baggins has shared the first taste of their forthcoming project. This country tune is about "taking your freedom without fear and without apology." 


"To the Light"— A.CHAL 

This visual provides a much-needed cinematic escape that will have you thinking about your purpose in this universe. We invite the self-awareness.


"Kites"— Anik Khan

This single is the official title track off the Queens rapper's highly anticipated debut. Kites is slated to drop on April 28.


Kiddo EP— Jessie Reyez

We can't get enough of the talent that is pouring out of Toronto. This debut project is truly something special.

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"Views of You"— Sofi de la Torre feat. Taylor Bennett

This collab was kept low-key organically, as de la Torre describes it as "no label, no bullshit," creating a chill, sensual space within the track.  


"Go Ahead"— Perfume Genius

Short and sweet lyrical hooks keep this low-key track moving forward. Mike Hadreas' raspy vocals are nothing but poised over the drums and odd electronics. 


"Hubris"— Sevdaliza

Sevdaliza's airy vocals leave the simple drum loop feeling ominous on this single, creating some serious hype for her upcoming album. 


"Stay Together"— Noah Cyrus

Warm and cheery anthem of the summer for sure. 


"Let's Ride"— AIDA

Feel the groove, baby. This French-Canadian artist is bringing back '80s funk and we are so here for it.


"Lost in Your Light"— Dua Lipa feat. Miguel

We're ready for this debut album to drop already! June 2 needs to come sooner.


"Plot Twist"— Sigrid

Yes way to Norway. 

"The First Time"— Nicotine's Famous Honey

There are heaps of intimate and groovy vibes coming from this track. Nicotine's Famous Honey vocals slay as always. 

"What You Give to Me"— BIRTHDAY

Music video told from the perspective of an adorable black cat's dream, plus fuzzy low-fi melodies? Oh, hell yeah. 

"What I Want"— Cende feat. Greta Kline

Cende's talent for creating sunny, indie-rock breakup songs shines on this track, but in no way distracts from Greta Kline's soft response to Cende's effortless calls. 

"Glitter & Gloss"— Skott

Skott goes acoustic and life is suddenly better.

"Physical"— The Aces

The Aces' world is bright, pastel, and a little punk. This is your summer love soundtrack. Get us to Palm Springs now.

"There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back"— Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes takes it to the dance floor with this bona fide bop. Country dance-pop is good for the soul.

"moments"— biyo

Smooth and a little coy, "moments" is yet another reason you've gotta wake up to biyo's magic. This is that good-good.


Empty Room Remixes EP— Big Wild

There's a remix here for every mood!

Photo by Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images.

Things have gotten so much gayer

These days reality television is prime ground for LGBTQ representation: Love & Hip Hop is applauded for its strides in representation; one of my favorite HGTV hosts, David Bromstad, is gay; and let's not forget Project Runway, Queer Eye, and RuPaul's Drag Race. But I remember a time when this was not the case. Back in the days when MTV's The Real World and Road Rules were my only reality show options, queer people were few and far between, and they were usually men. That was until Aneesa Ferreira joined the cast of Real World in my hometown of Chicago.

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB

And how it's all too easy to paint trans characters as simply caricatures

Media personality and civil rights activist Ashlee Marie Preston sat down with writer (and NYLON contributor) Devan Díaz in conversation to discuss representation and shortcomings in media when it comes to trans writers. Díaz brings up the trap of being pigeonholed in topics to write about, to which Preston pointed out that trans media personalities—and trans people in general—are anything but a "monolith." Yet they're still portrayed as "caricatures," as Preston put it, in television and otherwise. "I would like to see complicated, flawed trans characters and not just the martyrs, the saviors of humanity, and the moral compass," Díaz states.

But in real life, Preston points out that for Black trans women, "there's always a demonizing narrative that's attached to us already. Even in 2019, there's been 11 trans women who have been murdered, and they've all been Black." Preston's media work attempts to go directly against this, underlining the "heart" of Black trans women.

Get to know Preston and Díaz in the video, above.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Dani and May Okon
Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Marlene Colburn and Naima Green

Produced by: Alexandra Hsie
Directed by: Charlotte Prager
Camera: Charlotte Prager + Dani Okon
Edited by: Charlotte Prager

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She considers herself "one of the luckiest kids on the face of the earth"

Dani Okon, NYLON's associate creative director of video, sat down with her great-aunt, May Okon, to talk about their shared experiences—despite vastly different time frames—living as queer women in New York City. Prior to retirement, May was a journalist for the New York Daily News, having first entered the male-dominated workforce when "the boys were all at war." And, of course, she absolutely killed it. Her only regret? "Retiring at 55," she tells Dani, joking, "Who the hell knew I was gonna live to 100?"

Upon retiring, she moved out to the Hamptons with her partner and bought a home. If she had to do it all over, May says "there are a lot of things I wouldn't do," but she still considers herself "one of the luckiest kids on the face of the earth." Get to know May in the video, above.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Marlene Colburn and Naima Green
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by: Alexandra Hsie
Camera: Gretta Wilson + Katie Sadler
Edited by: Madeline Stedman

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MORE in VIDEO

Here's how they're making sure it doesn't happen

Lauren Morelli, the showrunner and executive producer for the new Netflix show Tales of the City, is fostering a space where multiple queer realities can be shown on-screen. She spoke with one of the cast members, trans actor Garcia (who plays Jake Rodriguez on the show), and, in the video above, they explore why it's wrong to treat queer stories as representative of the entire community. Tokenization is something that they both want to avoid at all costs, and they're on the right track.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Dani and May Okon
Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Naima Green and Marlene Colburn
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by Alexandra Hsie
Directed by Charlotte Prager
Shot by Gretta Wilson + Charlotte Prager
Edited by Gretta Wilson

True

"Nothing is truly a binary"

We put non-binary activist Eddie Jarrel Jones and The Phluid Project founder Rob Smith in conversation with each other, and the two spoke some powerful truths about the continued gendering of products like makeup and clothing. Smith recalls that 30 years ago, the only way that he was able to experience the joys of playing with makeup was to work at a beauty counter. Even today, Jones notes that it's hard for non-binary femmes like them, or even trans women, to get that experience in stores.

In the video above, get a sense of why Smith created a genderless store, and see how important it is for people like Jones to have a space where they don't feel criticized for dressing like they want.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Dani and May Okon
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Naima Green and Marlene Colburn
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by Alexandra Hsie
Directed by Charlotte Prager
Shot by Charlotte Prager + Dani Okon
Edited by Gretta Wilson

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