Shepherdstown, W.Va., – As our school year comes to an end, I am saddened to be no longer able to write about music all the time for The Picket. However, I want to leave you with some recommendations for future releases that should be coming out over the next few months. Music is going to continue to ramp up throughout the year, so keep an eye out for these releases among so many others!
1. “Build A Problem” by dodie – May 7th
Genre: Pop / Indie Pop
Dodie has been a presence on YouTube since the creation of her “doddleoddle” channel in 2011. She’s well known for her soothing songs and covers with her ukulele. Since her beginning, dodie has released 3 Extended Plays and a book, but now in 2021 she is finally releasing her debut album “Build A Problem.” Though it was initially planned to be released in March, it ended up being delayed until May 7th. Six songs from the album have been released so far- “Guiltless,” “Boys Like You,” “Cool Girl,” “Rainbow,” “Hate Myself,” and “I Kissed Someone (It Wasn’t You).” Of those released, I definitely think my favorite song and my favorite music video are for “Hate Myself.” All of dodie’s songs and visuals have an immense amount of care put into them and I cannot wait to see the success she receives from her debut album.
2. “Greatest Hits” by Waterparks – May 21st
Genre: Pop Rock / Alternative
Waterparks are back yet again with their fourth studio album, “Greatest Hits.” Despite the name, this is a full-length album of brand-new songs instead of a culmination of their hits so far- the title comes from a lyric in the lead single “Snow Globe.” “Snow Globe” is probably my favorite track released by the band so far- it is so unique in its sound and through the use of the piano. The music video for “Snow Globe” is also really interesting with the spotlight focus on each of the band members.
Since the initial release of “Snow Globe,” Waterparks have released a follow-up single with “Numb.” “Numb” doesn’t captivate me in the same way as “Snow Globe,” but it is definitely still an interesting track! This track was debuted at the livestream performance the band put on March 27th – “The Anti Tour Performance.” I’m also glad that the previously released track “Lowkey As Hell” that the band released in September of last year will be included on the album. I’m interested to see what other tracks are included on “Greatest Hits” and if “Greatest Hits” will be their best songs- Waterparks have continually improved their sound since “Double Dare” and I’m quite hopeful for them.
3. “SOUR” by Olivia Rodrigo – May 21st
Genre: Pop / Indie Pop
Olivia Rodrigo was born to be a superstar, plain and simple. She has had a breakthrough this year with hits all over the radio like “driver’s license” and “deja vu,” but she’s been killing the game for a while. Rodrigo began her career in entertainment with the Disney Channel series “Bizaardvark,” which I only know of from the fact that Jake Paul was kicked off of it.
However, since ending “Bizaardvark,” Rodrigo has since had a breakout with her leading role in the Disney+ series “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” Through this series, Rodrigo got to display her acting, singing, and songwriting chops as a standout from the ensemble cast. Her song “All I Want” that she wrote for the show ended up blowing up on TikTok, showcasing her range and emotional writing skills.
Rodrigo has gone on record by saying her biggest influences are Taylor Swift and Lorde. Both of these powerful singer-songwriters can be heard as huge influences on both released tracks so far. Though both song releases that Rodrigo has had have been clouded with a love triangle dialogue with fellow Disney actors Joshua Bassett and Sabrina Carpenter, Rodrigo has been able to shake off the drama and maintain an authentic, clear voice. Swift even included Rodrigo alongside fellow pop-up-and-comer Conan Gray in the promotional efforts for “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” on social media.
I’m thoroughly excited to hear the nine unreleased tracks that’ll be released as part of “SOUR” on May 21st. Rodrigo’s sound and voice are so developed as young as she is for her first release and she should be proud to have already reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. I hope that Rodrigo has tracks beyond her relationships, though I’m sure she’ll journey throughout her life so far in her tracks. I’m most looking forward to “Brutal,” “Happier,” and “Good 4 U.”
4. “Planet Her” by Doja Cat – TBD
Genre: Pop / Rap
Doja Cat has been a knock-out new artist for the previous year, even being nominated for Best New Artist at the 2021 Grammy’s and reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. With two phenomenal albums released so far, Doja Cat has already culminated a distinct sound blending pop and rap elements as well as unique visuals.
Doja Cat has been teasing her next album, “Planet Her,” for a while now. She first changed her profile name on Twitter to Planet Her as well as stating that anyone she was following on the platform would be working with her in some way. In her performance of her standout hit “Say So” at the last Grammy’s, she began her performance by saying “Welcome to Planet Her.” Now, Doja Cat has released the lead single for the album along with SZA entitled “Kiss Me More.” It takes elements seen in Doja Cat’s previous work on “Hot Pink” and expands upon it. “Kiss Me More” feels like the sister song to “Say So,” though I would definitely prefer the latter. The visuals of the music video are amazing though, and if this is an indicator for the remainder of “Planet Her,” I’m quite excited for it.