An Upbeat 2021

Favorite music artists plan new albums

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SZA’s last album came out three and a half years ago, but she’s only growing in popularity. “I’m not completely sure, but I think SZA might be releasing new music soon,” sophomore Benjamin Lovelace said. “She released two singles recently, so I hope that means there will be an album soon. I’d be super excited if she did, I need something new from her.”

Though many struggles of 2020 prevail in the new year, upcoming 2021 album releases are offering students a source of optimism for what is to come.

With many world tours cancelled, movie theaters shut down, and activities halted, people are starved for entertainment. Lana Del Rey, the indie rock artist behind the 2012 hit Summertime Sadness, is releasing her upcoming album, Chemtrails Over the Country Club, on March 19, 2021.

“I love Lana’s music and her voice,” sophomore Skyler Sharp said. “Her last album in 2019 was really good. I love how all of Lana’s lyrics have deeper meanings behind them so I am super anxious to hear the songs on her new album.”

Set to be released one week after Lana Del Rey’s album, AJR will be releasing OK Orchestra, a bouncy indie/alternative record.

“I really enjoy AJR’s music and it has been a large part of my adolescence; specifically their second album, The Click.” sophomore Sara Runestrand said. “I usually don’t keep track of new music but I have been patiently awaiting the arrival of OK Orchestra since I heard about it. Hopefully it brings me as much joy as the rest of their discography does.”

Another artist backed by passionate fans with new music on the horizon is Mitski. The 30-year-old indie/alternative artist is teaming up with Z2 to make a soundtrack accompanying a science fiction comic book called This Is Where We Fall. The soft cover book and music from Mitski are set for release in March of 2021.

“If the new Mitski album was bad by Mitski standards, it would still be album of the year.” Junior Kamran Gomez said.

Similarly, Ben Rector has hinted his singer-songwriter sound will be making its way to listeners some time this year, exciting students across the school. A common theme in anticipated albums is the connection to childhood and adolescence.

“Ben Rector is very important to me and my childhood because my sister, who is 12 years older than me, [would] listen to his music with me when I was younger,” junior Amy Edgar said. “Ben Rector was our thing and his music still holds childhood nostalgia for me. I am excited for his new album release because when I listen to Ben Rector I hear nostalgia and joy.”

Contrasting Rector’s comforting tone, Chase Atlantic songs walk the line between contemporary R&B and alternative indie rock. Beauty in Death, the first Chase Atlantic record since 2019, is set to be released on March 5, 2021.

“My sister introduced me to [Chase Atlantic] and now we often listen to his music when we’re chilling out,” senior Bee Hiebert said. “The songs always have absolutely bangin’ saxophone action, which is something we don’t really see anymore and it’s refreshing.”

In a time of separation, music has the power to bring people together. To listen to music is to feel someone’s vulnerability, something many people are missing in this era of isolation. The anticipation of these albums rings throughout the school and music remains a prevalent source of hope for students.