Fresh start, fresh songs; September’s new music

As the sun sets on summer vacation, classes have started on Suffolk University’s campus. The first cool, crisp days of autumn are creeping in but you can soak up the last bits of the summer season with the best new music releases from Sept. 2022. 

Follow along by listening to the following tracks and more on this playlist here

Paramore “This Is Why”

Though Paramore’s lead singer Hayley Williams has spent the last two years focused on solo music, the well-loved pop punk band is back with a new single. Titled “This Is Why,” the trio, made up of Williams, guitarist Tyler York and drummer Zac Farro, tempts fans with a hint of their new era. 

The song is different from Paramore’s past releases, focusing less on the full-bodied, punk rock sound and leaning heavily on a far softer, gritty tone. Williams’ striking vocals are displayed well, with the lighter sound helping to show off her arsenal of talent. 

“This Is Why” is the lead single off of the band’s upcoming sixth studio album of the same name, set to release on Feb. 10, 2023. With the news that longtime bandmates Williams and York have started dating, many fans wait to collect clues about the romance through their new songs.

Ari Lennox “age/sex/location”

R&B singer Ari Lennox makes an impression with her sophomore album “age/sex/location,” released on Sept. 9. 

The newest addition to her discography is a 12-track sonnet highlighting the highs and lows of modern dating, the title referencing a common introduction between participants on online chat sites. “Sultry” is the only word to truly encompass the overall vibe of the album. 

Lennox’s vocals are the star of the show here. With a variety of tempos, tones and themes, Lennox has a wide range and manages to show off every angle. Though the up and coming artist leans towards singing rather than rapping, her rhythm is stellar on the occasional moments where she chooses spoken word.

The star’s overall tone is a combination of Destiny’s Child’s Y2K sound and SZA’s shining vocals, and if that’s not enough to get you to check this out, I don’t know what is.

Shawn Mendes “Heartbeat”

Shawn Mendes has faced criticism from fans after canceling his world tour in order to “ground [himself] and come back stronger.” Despite the cancellations, Mendes has returned to the music scene with “Heartbeat,” a song set to be featured in Sony’s upcoming children’s film “Lyle, Lyle Crocodile.”

The song is everything the film will likely be: cheesy, redundant and cheap. The production is basic, with the synth and background vocals distracting from Mendes and the lyrics, though those are nothing to rave about either. Mendes’s musical arrangement does nothing to show off his belt and tenor range, and the lyrics consist of the same line over and over and over

If the song is any indication of the movie, set to release in theaters this week, it’s one I’ll be skipping. 

Noah Cyrus “The Hardest Part”

After recently discussing her recovery process for her drug addiction, Noah Cyrus is looking to start a new chapter of her life with her new album “The Hardest Part.” 

Though the album only includes 11 songs, one of which features Cyrus’ famous father Billy Ray, Cyrus shows her growth both as an artist and as an individual. The pop-folk sound is authentic to Cyrus, as she has previously shown with songs “July” and “Young and Sad.”

The production is indie, but well done, and Cyrus’ vocal talent truly shines through the musical arrangement. Though unseasoned compared to her superstar sister Miley, “The Hardest Part” is far superior to any of Miley’s earlier albums in nearly every way. 

Arctic Monkeys “Body Paint”

Those who were active on Tumblr in 2014 should be thrilled. With musicians such as Taylor Swift, The 1975 and Paramore releasing new music this year, it’s as if we have stepped back in time and have been re-immersed in the world of the blog-based app. With the newest single off their upcoming album, the “Do I Wanna Know?” singers are making sure old fans are paying attention.

Focusing less on intense bass lines and rock and roll drums, “Body Paint” gives fans a look at a far more relaxed side of the band. With his high tenor voice, lead singer Alex Turner provides an ethereal tone backed by a steady beat. 

The band’s seventh studio album “The Car” is set to be the most unique addition to their lineup, and will drop on Oct. 21.