Listen Tracks: Rina Sawayama, Charli XCX, Djo and more

It’s our weekly (ish) round-up of the biggest and best new music this week.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know you’re all having the most ‘Friday’ Friday after raiding your nearest Big Tesco for anything vaguely resembling a glow stick thanks to Beyoncé, but there has been other music release this week. We’ve heard more from Rina’s forthcoming second; Charli’s released a one-off track; Djo’s continuing his takeover of streaming services of all kinds. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Keep your eyes and ears primed with the best new music via our Essential New Tracks playlist below, and read on for what we’ve got to say about the pick of the pops…

Rina Sawayama - Hold The Girl

With each track that Rina Sawayama offers up from her forthcoming new album, the more excited we seem to become. Since 'This Hell' burst down the door with its giddy Shania Twain-meets-Steps pop edge, her second record 'Hold The Girl' has quickly risen to become one of 2022's most anticipated pop albums, and its title track goes on to cement that further. Introduced with the kind of piano and vocal melody combo that's enough to make Madonna quiver, the track soon shifts into a deliciously glitchy dancefloor-filler before transcending into a glorious arms-aloft chorus. Can Rina put a foot wrong at this point? Let's be honest, probably not... (Sarah Jamieson)

Charli XCX - Hot Girl (Bodies Bodies Bodies)

Dripping in syrupy swagger, Charli XCX almost parodies herself here on her latest track, strutting through a gallery of archetypes: Hot Girl, Rich Girl, Pop Girl, Bitch Girl: all guises are as compelling and confident as the next. With the cyclical grinding of the bass and beat staying constant throughout, ‘Hot Girl’ really does feel like a mantra – relate to it, if you’re ready to own it. (Ims Taylor)

Djo - Gloom

There's something odd about hearing Steve Harrington from Stranger Things sing “Go fuck your mother / Go fuck yourself”. Actors deciding to pick up a guitar can often be tiring, but Joe Keery’s musical moniker Djo is actually brilliant. On latest track ‘Gloom’ he prepares to leave a toxic friendship, while throbbing psych-pop synths and moody guitar riffs thrash against an urgent refrain – “I’m ready to go”. The lyrics are heavy, but a playful cheek prevails: “That’s life / That’s death / Your girlfriend scares me / She’s got bad breath”. Djo might not know where he’s going, but we should all be following. (Mia Smith)

Miya Folick - Nothing To See

Miya Folick's comeback single 'Ordinary' saw her stripping things back to their barest elements with stunning results. Follow-up 'Nothing To See', which is taken from new EP '2007', fleshes things out a little more, slowly rising towards a crescendo. The track's video, which sees the singer lapping up milk from a giant bowl with her tongue, is also well worth a watch. (Will Richards)

Dry Cleaning - Anna Calls From The Arctic

Dry Cleaning's new video for 'Anna Calls From The Arctic' is a mind-bending, first-person trip round the Ally Pally ice rink, and the slow-building track is equally as hypnotic. Over parps of saxophone and slowly building percussion, Florence Shaw sounds calmer and more composed than ever before. After concerns over how the band would expand their signature sound on album two, this new single emphatically answers them. (Will Richards)

Tove Lo - 2 Die 4

Retro, pulsing synths tease throughout most of ‘2 Die 4’, keeping you on your toes as you soak it in. With both a nostalgic timbre and a slick sample of Hot Butter’s ‘Popcorn', the outward nods shine, but Tove Lo brings it all together into a glittering world of her own. ‘2 Die 4’ is a sprint, moving through sections at a frantic pace, but never losing control - even the drops feel like Tove’s got us under her thumb, reeling us in and pulling it back before letting loose. (Ims Taylor)

Alex G – Cross The Sea

Philadephia native Alex G has made hundreds of songs in a highly prolific career, but new one 'Cross The Sea' is perhaps his most impressive and hypnotic so far. Complete with an animated video that's part kids' video game and part LSD trip, the song contains the musician's trademark lo-fi acoustic guitars, but is defined by his manipulated and auto-tuned vocals. It's a new technique that feels revolutionary for the ever-changing songwriter, and 'Cross The Sea' is a bracing slab of pure beauty. (Will Richards)

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