#83 - Power of Thought 🌞

Your Weekly Music Round-Up: TYLA review, J. Cole vs. Kendrick, Billie Eilish hints at new album, Spotify Premium increase, Believe for sale, Charlotte de Witte.

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Happy Sunlighter Sunday! Anyone else’s head spinning from all the new music that dropped Friday? 🔥 Check out our favorite songs currently in rotation on our Balanced Breakfast playlist. While you’re waiting for the upcoming Solar Eclipse, give us a follow on Spotify to access all of our playlists.

Rating Rationale: Earlier this year, we covered Tyla as our artist of the week in anticipation of her debut, self-titled album. After finally listening to TYLA, we’re happy to report back that she’s star material. One of the principal challenges that can arise from artists integrating regional sounds and influences into their LP is the potential for too much repetition. However, Tyla’s variations in vocal range and dancehall tempo across the album provide the versatility needed for listeners to stay engaged as they explore Tyla’s avant-garde version of ampiano. We’re surprised Tyla’s debut single, “Getting Late,” didn’t make the album, but presume that “To Last” is what bridges her past to her present. “Water” is of course her most well-known song but we believe “Truth or Dare” gives it a run for its money.

J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar saga heightens, Pharrell Williams skips DSPs for surprise album drop, Ye & Ty Dolla $ign cancel Vultures listening events

It’s the battle of the diss tracks, and we’re just getting started. In response to Drake and J. Cole’s song “First Person Shooter,” Kendrick Lamar dropped a verse on “Like That” from Future and Metro Boomin’s latest album, WE DON’T TRUST YOU. The verse very pointedly addressed their ongoing feud, proclaiming to fans that “there’s no big three (presumably Drake, J. Cole, and 21 Savage), there’s just big me (Kendrick).” On Friday morning, J. Cole surprised fans by dropping a whole album, MIGHT DELETE LATER, which features a “7 Minute Drill,” dissing various albums throughout Kendrick’s career, particularly To Pimp A Butterfly. Future and Metro Boomin will release WE STILL DON’T TRUST YOU next week, and we expect another Kendrick response…

On Friday, Pharrell Williams released a full album, Black Yacht Rock, Vol. 1: City of Limitless Access, that’s exclusively available to fans on his website. Forgoing the digital streaming platforms (DSPs) seemed to be explicit here, and while we’re fans of artists owning their work and how it’s released, this was a miss. Our friend Dave Edwards from Audiomack says it best, “going direct should mean offering fans a better/different experience than what they can get on streaming: unique content/experiences/unlocks, etc.” Nonetheless, this is a strong, summer-ready album.

Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign cancel their respective listening events for their collaborative album, Vultures. While the project was slated to be a trilogy series, there’s still no word on the following installments. Could it be that FUGA is upset that the first album was released without distribution clearance? While no official reason was provided for the cancellations, fans and industry insiders eagerly await further updates.


Billie Eilish teases upcoming album to “Close Friends”, ABBA’s Voyage takes Vegas, Charli XCX receives ASCAP Global Impact Award

On Thursday night, Billie Eilish added all of her Instagram followers to her “Close Friends” list, revealing a story that teased her upcoming album. As fans were eager to learn more about her next album, she reportedly gained 2 million followers in a matter of hours.

ABBA has reportedly secured a lucrative deal to bring their "Voyage" show to Las Vegas, marking a significant expansion of their live performances beyond their initial run in London. The deal underscores the enduring popularity of ABBA's music and the strong demand for its innovative hologram-based concert experience.

Charli XCX becomes the seventh artist ever to receive the ASCAP Global Impact Award, which acknowledges her influence and impact on the pop genre. She’s in good company with Lana Del Rey (2018) and Hillary Lindsey (2019). The ceremony is set to take place on May 8 in Los Angeles.

Kelce Jam and more upcoming festivals

The Kelce Jam (yeah, we had no idea either) will present headliners Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, offering a dynamic lineup in its second year in Kansas City. SZA is now slated as a headliner for this June’s Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI. Later this summer, a few Sunlighter favorites will take the stage at MEO Kalorama in Portugal, including Olivia Dean, Overmono, and The Smile.

Here are a few more genre-focused festival updates:

  • Jazz: Blue Note Jazz Fest 2024 offers a stellar lineup including Andra Day and Corinne Bailey Rae.

  • K-Pop: Waterbomb Festival 2024 shared its lineup for its stops across Asia this summer.

  • Hip-Hop: Unfortunately, Jay-Z’s curated Made In America Festival has officially been canceled for the second year in a row.

  • Rock & Metal: Rocklahoma 2024, revealed a lineup that features Slipknot and Mastodon.

Rock & Metal

Interpol announces free Mexico City show on 4/20, Nine Inch Nails announce multiple ventures

Interpol plans for their biggest show to date, a massive free concert set to take place in Mexico City on April 20. Meanwhile, Nine Inch Nails is making waves with a comprehensive array of ventures on the horizon, from a new album to ventures into television and fashion.

Charlotte de Witte

Primer: Proudly hailing from Ghent, the epicenter of nightlife and rave culture in Belgium, Charlotte de Witte has emerged as a trailblazer for the new generation of techno. While Charlotte may have grown up habitually listening to music by way of her father working at EMI, the strongest influences for her music career have come from her journey in discovering Belgium's rich history of electronic music and her youthful experiences raving at underground nightclubs. Originally donning the surreptitious male moniker Raving George as a 17-year-old DJ, these days, Charlotte is embracing both her persona and sound. Some describe her music as dark or aggressive, but for Charlotte, it’s where she finds her peace.

Genre: Industrial-techno mixed with elements of trance

Influences: Belgium techno and trance labels from the ‘80s and ‘90s and conversations with everyday people!

Current Label: KNTXT (her own label)

Audience: ~2.2 million monthly listeners on Spotify

What’s Next: We know she plays music and loves food, so you’ll likely catch her playing sets throughout Europe, New York, or at select festivals. In the meantime, relive history by watching her close out Tomorrowland’s main stage:

📈  Spotify Means Business: Spotify is raising its prices…again. Individual Premium subscriptions will increase by $1, while Duo and Family plans will go up by $2. Additionally, Spotify will introduce a Basic tier that will include music and podcasts, but not audiobooks. The price hikes will start in the UK, Australia, and Pakistan this Spring, while the U.S. will see them later this year. In more Spotify news, the streaming giant officially launched its new royalty model in which artists must accumulate at least 1,000 streams/year to earn royalties, which risks widening the gap between established and emerging artists.

🤖 AI x Music Updates: This week, over 200 artists, including Metro Boomin and Billie Eilish, stood together to sign a letter urging AI developers to refrain from using AI in ways that diminish the rights and worth of human artists. This step aims to uphold the value of artistic expression and creative autonomy while advocating for ethical practices as AI expands its presence in the music industry. 

🌊 Tidal Making Waves: TIDAL aims to remove the hurdles of sharing music by launching a new feature that allows listeners to share music with their friends, who can in turn, listen on their streaming platform of choice. Its current integrations include Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music

🔍 Hold Up, Wait a Minute: Bandsintown released a new feature allowing artists to aggregate a contact list for every show, even for fans who were placed on the waitlist.

🎧 Be Your Own DJ: Odd Ball is bringing a playful take to the music creation process, allowing you to use their app to become your next house party’s DJ.

💭 There Can Be Miracles, If You Believe: Warner Music Group is reportedly considering a bid of up to $1.8 billion to acquire Believe, a major player in the independent music distribution sector. This move would help WMG gain a substantial foothold in the fast-growing independent music distribution market while expanding its international presence.

🛋️ Couchella > Coachella: Couchella goers, get ready. YouTube has added a multiview feature where fans can live stream up to four performances at a time for this year’s Coachella festival. This is like every music lover’s version of March Madness.

😬 TikTok Pressured: IMPALA (hold the Tame) a trade association representing independent music companies in Europe, is supporting UMG in its ongoing dispute with TikTok over royalty rates. The organization argues that all streaming platforms (calling out Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer) should prioritize fair compensation for creators.

🤝🏻 Beat the Negotiations: BeatStars unveiled a new Creator Rights Agency platform aimed at empowering artists with tools and resources to navigate the complexities of deal negotiations within the music industry.

💰 Securing the Bag: KISS is rocking and rolling all night, and partying every day after selling their entire catalog to Swedish company, Pophouse, for $300 million. KAI Media raised $3 million in early VC funding to continue investing in K-pop expansion.

Kendrick Lamar elevates WE DON’T TRUST YOU, Hozier tops rock and alternative charts

📈 With WE DON’T TRUST YOU topping both Billboard album and song charts, Metro Boomin earns his first #1 on the Hot 100 as a recording artist (previously reached #1 as a writer and producer). More impressively, “Like That,” reached 59.6 million weekly streams, the most in one week in over a year since Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers.” Separately, Hozier’s Too Sweet” debuts at #1 on seven different rock and alternative charts.

DREAMCAR drops Dream EP, Linkin Park’s greatest hits album set to release next week

📅 For upcoming albums, tours, and festivals access our comprehensive music calendar here.

🚨 Surprise Drops: Along with J. Cole and Pharrell, DREAMCAR, a supergroup comprised of members from No Doubt and AFI, released Dream EP, the group’s first release since 2017 (presumably in anticipation of Coachella). Lil Nas X surprise-released a demo for his new song, “Light Again.”

📣 Album Announcements: Four years after the mainstream success of Dreamland and “Heat Waves,” Glass Animals announced their upcoming album, I Love You So F***ing Much, out July 19th.

⏩ Here are album releases to look out for this week: 

  1. Linkin Park, Papercuts

  2. Maggie Rogers, Don’t Forget Me

  3. Future & Metro Boomin, WE STILL DON’T TRUST YOU

  4. girl in red, I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!

  5. Nia Archives, Silence is Loud

  6. Jade Bird, Burn the Hard Drive

  7. Alice Merton, Heron

  8. Pabllo Vittar, Batidão Tropical Vol. 2

  9. Famous Dex, I’m Not Perfect I’m Just Honest

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See ya next Sunday 😎

Donya and Chris

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