Want a rundown on the best new music from February? RUSSH compiles a playlist that dances between genres, tugs at the heartstrings and makes you want to step up and shake your ass (often at the same time). Whether it's crooning love songs from Gen Z's indie princess beabadoobee you seek or viral collaborations between PinkPantheress and Ice Spice, Caroline Polachek, Dido and Grimes, find all the new music we're streaming in February 2023, below.
1. Nyassa, Ghost
A song that demonstrates Nyassa's vocal range and curiosity around fashion, the music video for Ghost was filmed at South Australia’s historic Martindale Hall (famously the mansion setting of Picnic at Hanging Rock). Nyassa's exultant, howling sound is as outsized as the 80s dresses she lovingly dons.
2. RAYE, My 21st Century Blues
Raye left nothing in the tank for her debut album. Seven years in the making, the record is a deeply personal and vulnerable log of the traumas that forged her, and the insecurities we all share but rarely let others see. Speaking on the album, the UK artist says, "My medicine, my anxieties, and traumas, my unfiltered thoughts. This music accompanied me through my bluest blues, crafted unapologetically and fearlessly with love and tears, and now I can only hope it might provide the same medicine it did for me, for those who choose to listen. I can’t believe it is really happening. My first album.”
3. Caroline Polachek, Desire, I Want to Turn Into You
OK so the RUSSH team has unanimously agreed that Desire, I Want to Turn Into You is our favourite album of 2023 so far. Her genre references are as vast and expansive as the world she creates in each song, dancing between Spanish guitar and Scottish bagpipes, trip-hop and new wave. The sound sits in that genre-defying space of music from the late 80s and early 90s – Enya comes to mind, and we're obsessed with her collaboration with Grimes and Dido – a pairing we never knew we needed. Double yum with knobs on.
4. Body Type, Miss the World
High-impact, tongue-in-cheek and with that punk spirit, Body Type delivers a post-pandemic lament for the world as it was. Like what you hear? Miss the World is just a taste of what's to come, with the four-piece dropping a second album, Expired Candy, on June 2. Buckle up.
5. Kye, Ribena
When Kye dropped Ribena this month the artist described the song as inspired by "that sweet, scintillating, sugar high" that happens when you first fall in love with someone. Ribena is a sugar high in sonic form. It's sticky and addictive, with harmonies that get stuck in your brain folds. I want to hear this at the club. I want to sweat it out to this with friends. Ribena all over, in my veins, please.
6. Feist, Hiding Out in the Open
"Love is not a thing you try to do, it wants to be the thing compelling you." Six years since she last released music, Feist returns with an album announcement and three new tracks, Hiding Out in the Open being one of them. Gentle and introspective, the song will be welcomed in with open arms by anyone who considers themself a fan.
7. 100 gecs, Hollywood Baby
If you've been to a 100 gecs gig since late 2021 you might just recognise this track. It's consistently featured on setlists across their live performances and is emblematic of the 100 gecs sound, with its aggressive autotune and pop-punk inflections. Feast your eyes on the explosive music video too, where the duo risks it all (life and limbs) setting fireworks off in a cramped home.
8. Indy Yelich, Hometown
Just as we fell in love with her sister Lorde's quietly defiant, self-assured sound with its observations about suburban living, the same can be said of Indy Yelich. Comparisons aside, having published two collections of poetry, Yelich's songwriting is a place for music and poetry to converge, elevated by her robust voice and artist's intuition.
9. d4vd, Placebo Effect
A favourite from the month. d4vd's vocals on new track Placebo Effect croon out over a sparse guitar-led instrumental, at once lethargic and drawn out, yearning and raw. It feels like an obvious comparison, but the 17-year-old gamer turned alt pop star's sound is redolent of Frank Ocean and will have you caught up in your feelings.
10. Lana Del Rey, A&W
Produced with Jack Antonoff, Lana Del Rey delivers the second track off her upcoming album Did you know that there's a tunnel under Ocean Blvd? Titled after the American food chain, but also standing as an acronym for "American whore", it's the kind of song you'd present to aliens in an effort to teach them about Del Rey, because of all the aesthetic signifiers peppered throughout. Only a month until March 24.
11. San Cisco, Lost Without You
Fremantle trio San Cisco has given us a taste of their upcoming fifth studio album with Lost Without You. Arriving with the new track is a freshly-minted music video that plays on the story of Bonnie & Clyde and love on the run. The song takes its focus from the hard work that goes into maintaining a relationship. "You're my best friend and I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else, but fuck it's hard sometimes," the band explains.
12. Beabadoobee, Glue Song
The indie singer has moved away from her more melancholic crooning to give us this tender love song (which was released on Valentine's Day, with the music video directed by her boyfriend Jacob Erland). From every perspective it's dreamy and heartfelt, whether that's the twee chords or filming location choice at her hometown in the Philippines. From what has been reported from her recent tours across Asia and Australia, it's a fan favourite on the setlist.
13. Velvet Trip, Moving On
Released on February 22, Velvet Trip's track Moving On is a euphoric, easy listening mantra about cutting away the things that no longer serve you. Speaking on the song, lead singer Zeppelin Hamilton says, "When you feel things become stagnant in your life and you are bound by old ideas, identities or relationships that no longer serve you... It’s okay to let go and move on.”
14. Latto, Lottery
Looking for a straight-up pop hit out of the month of new releases? Take Lottery for a spin. Featuring Congolese-Canadian singer songwriter Lu Kala, this is one for the club and if you're in Sydney, it would go down well at WorldPride.
15. Paramore, This is Why
Rather than fall into the trap of becoming a nostalgia band, Paramore and Hayley Williams strived for a new sound on their newly released album This Is Why. The focus is different; it's weird to sing of teenage problems when you're a 34-year-old divorcée, and Paramore stalwarts have noted the absence of Williams' signature sting in the lyrics, even still, it was a landmark day when the record dropped this February.
16. PinkPantheress, Ice Spice, Boy's a liar Pt. 2
Ice Spice and PinkPantheress team up to remix the British singer's track Boy's A Liar early this month and it's already a viral TikTok hit. The transatlantic pairing feels natural and fresh, especially considering both artists are a number one hit from blowing up completely. Which would actually be pretty timely; this coming June marks the 25th anniversary of Brandy and Monica’s The Boy is Mine hitting the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and PinkPantheress and Ice Spice's collaboration acts as a full circle moment for that track. Rather than competing against each other, they're commiserating.