Weekend Playlist: New Music from Curtis Waters, Joji and LANY

Plus, music industry legends Elton John and Britney Spears team up for a club remix of one of John’s classics

Every week, so much new music is released that it can feel like a chore to sort through it all. That’s why LAMag compiles a Weekend Playlist rounding up the week’s top hits.

This week saw music from both traditional stars and TikTok sensations. From upbeat anthems to heartbreaking ballads, there’s definitely something for everyone. So sit back, relax and put on your headphones.

Curtis Waters, “Star Killer”

Curtis Waters is a star on the rise.

Though still at the beginning of his career, Waters saw viral levels of success during the early stages of the pandemic. With everyone stuck inside, his single “Stunnin'” (featuring Harm Franklin) exploded on TikTok. Since then, Waters has released a slew of songs independently, with “Star Killer” the latest among them. A song that takes on a distinctly more pop punk feel than his previous work, “Star Killer” is designed to get listeners moving and grooving. And it certainly does just that.

Joji, “Yukon (Interlude)”

Just because Joji has released another interlude doesn’t mean he is putting anything on pause.

Although the title “Interlude” is typically reserved for the music played between acts of a show, Joji is no stranger to them—his first personal interlude, entitled “Worldstar Money (Interlude)” debuted in 2017. “Yukon (Interlude)” marks Joji’s second such track. In true Joji fashion, the song effortlessly combines upbeat rhythms with emotionally rich lyrics for a piece layered with complexity and depth. But of course, this is only the beginning—along with the release of his new track, Joji announced his new album Smithereens, out November 4.

Elton John and Britney Spears, “Hold Me Closer”

Get ready for a star-studded second take.

Elton John is already behind some of the music industry’s most iconic songs, but he’s looking to increase that number. Although “Tiny Dancer” may have an unsurpassable level of notoriety, John’s latest track sees him go just one step further by adding on Britney Spears. “Hold Me Closer” ultimately doesn’t compare to its predecessor, but it still has plenty to boast about on its own. Also drawing from John’s 1992 track “The One,” “Hold Me Closer” is exactly what would happen if John’s music were given a club-style makeover. But hey, there’s nothing to complain about—there’s plenty of room for both the original and the remix.

LANY, “Congrats”

Congrats to LANY for writing the breakup song of the summer.

With the perfect mix of anger and heartbreak, LANY’s latest song combines all the confusing emotions of a breakup into one track. There’s just enough rage to satisfy the moments that call for punching a wall, and just enough sadness for when tears seem the only remedy. While certainly providing solidarity for heartbroken listeners, the track also is a head-banging tune for even those who can’t relate to its lyrics. Heartbreak or happy relationship, “Congrats” is for everyone.

Ashe, “Emotional”

A country show tune might be the last thing expected of Ashe, but who doesn’t love the unexpected?

The San Jose-born singer-songwriter rose to success after her song “Moral of the Story” was featured in the Netflix film To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. Two years and a pandemic later, it’s safe to say that Ashe is slowly but surely developing her own artistic voice. A departure from the melancholy but resilient tone of “Moral of the Story,” “Emotional” is fit for Broadway. With just a dash of harmonica to add a country touch, it probably won’t be long before the song has legions of cowboy boot-wearing fans dancing along. 

Other Worthy Mentions: Feel-Good Jams

Texas band Surfaces has just released their fifth studio album, entitled Hidden Youth. Sticking to their laid back and groovy nature, band members Forrest Frank and Colin Padalecki recreate the same energy seen in their hit song “Sunday Best.” Also new this week is Jvke’s “I Can’t Help It,” which happens to be his spin on Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Layered with electronic and modern sounds, Jvke brings a contemporary flare to the heartfelt classic.

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