Listen to this: Elton John and Charlie Puth team up on their latest release
Read about the most notable singles this week by Wallows, Subsonic Eye and more.
September 30, 2021
There may be three indie rock songs featured here this week, but two of them are in Malay. Bet you haven’t heard that yet — though if you have, that’s cool. We’ve also featured new songs by music industry stalwarts Elton John, Charlie Puth, Coldplay and BTS. Read on for more.
“My Universe” by Coldplay featuring BTS
Ethan Beck, Contributing Writer
“My Universe,” Coldplay’s latest single from their upcoming album “Music of the Spheres,” bursts with a chorus that burns brighter than a wildfire. “You, you are my universe,” lead singer Chris Martin roars, supported by a choir of backing vocals that takes the hook from good to great. With a feature from K-pop boy band BTS, “My Universe” is a song that sees Coldplay make pop music with a capital P. The track splits the difference between sickeningly catchy and satisfying. Listen closely to the thumping electronic drum beat, buzzing synths and noodling funky guitars, then tell me that you don’t want to toss the song on again. Sure, lines like “We are made of each other, baby” are a little silly, but the song’s jubilant energy only takes a second to be appealing. When Martin sings, “You make my world light up inside” — a sweet sentiment that doesn’t mean all that much — it’s a great summary of the joyful but cliché song we get with “My Universe.”
“I Don’t Want to Talk” by Wallows
Yas Akdag, Music Editor
Indie rock trio Wallows released their newest single “I Don’t Want to Talk” today, Sept. 30. Consisting of Dylan Minnette — yes, Clay from “13 Reasons Why” — Braeden Lemasters and Cole Preston, Wallows hasn’t released a single since February 2021. “I Don’t Want to Talk” opens with a sticky flute and guitar riff: it’s an instant earworm. This is unsurprising given that Ariel Rechtshaid — the HAIM, Charli XCX and Vampire Weekend collaborator — produced the track. “I’m not alright but I don’t need comfort/I don’t want to talk” Minnette sings as a harmonica imitates his vocal melody. The harmonica is an excellent feature, adding a campfire feel to the track. There is a compelling contrast between the song’s subject matter and production. The lyrics are broody and angsty, but the production propels you to roll in the grass or, like in the music video, jump on a trampoline. I have no doubt this was Wallows and Rechtshaid’s intention. Pulling listeners in two different directions, “I Don’t Want to Talk” is a reflection of the struggle and complicated nature of modern romance. As the song climaxes, Minnette belts, “And I wish I could shut it, wish I could shut it off.” The final word lingers, held back by a swirling and twisty delay effect. Wallows will be heading on tour in 2022. You can follow their adventures on their Instagram or website.
“After All” by Elton John & Charlie Puth
Candace Patrick, Staff Writer
Elton John and Charlie Puth make a dynamic duo in their belty power ballad “After All.” Fusing the Rocket Man’s 1970s retro flair and the pop-singer-turned-TikTok-star Puth’s natural musicality, the track is charming and upbeat. A retro piano synth melody leads Puth into the first verse, followed by a heavier drum beat that propels the song forward. In the chorus, the two croon “I gave up on love until you made me believe in it after all.” John’s vocals have a unique talk-box quality to them, enhancing the vintage sound that the songwriters create. The pair is an unlikely but well-suited match, and “After All” is a testament to their musical capabilities. The single is set to appear on John’s forthcoming collection titled “The Lockdown Sessions,” which will contain collaborations with fellow music-industry giants, from Dua Lipa to Brandi Carlile.
“Dijangka / Matahari” by Subsonic Eye
Annie Williams, Contributing Writer
Singaporean indie rock band Subsonic Eye shifts their musical gaze homeward on songs “Dijangka” and “Matahari,” which comprise the two-song EP “Dijangka / Matahari.” Subsonic Eye usually composes in English, so these tracks mark the band’s first time releasing songs entirely in Malay, the lead singer’s native language. “Dijangka,” which translates to “expected,” documents the relationship between two of the band members and drifts closer to the dream-pop sound that defined the band’s earlier work. The song is summery, but not overly bright. A slower pace and fuzzy guitars provide a comfortable backing warmth, and brief appearances of distortion heighten the song’s sincerity. “Matahari,” which translates to “sun,” is upbeat and introspective. In between a twinkling lead guitar and interludes of scattered percussion, Subsonic Eye’s bittersweet chord progression and honeyed vocals convey the soft linings of emotion. Both songs materialize a subtle sense of intimacy, wrapped up in a light, drum-machine-studded, prismatic guitar-imbued composition. Through “Dijangka / Matahari,” Subsonic Eye ensures we all have our eyes on the band’s upcoming work.
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