- #56 - I'm pretty when I cry 🌞
#56 - I'm pretty when I cry 🌞
Your Weekly Music Round-Up: GUTS album review, Spotify daylists, VMAs, Stable Audio, Levellr pre-seed, Purple Tears.
Happy Sunlighter Sunday! Today, we’re starting with a poll question on whether you’d like to see our newsletter organized by musical genre. Please fill out the poll below to let us know what you think.
Would you prefer your news sorted by music genre?
We're thinking about experimenting with a Morning Brew-style feed that's more genre focused.
Here's what we have queued up this week:
🌶️ Review of GUTS by Olivia Rodrigo.
💿 This Week in Music: Spotify daylists, VMAs, Stable Audio, and Levellr pre-seed.
📈 Weekly Charts: Honoring Jimmy Buffet.
🎙️ Purple Tears is our artist of the week.
Rating Rationale: After her debut album, SOUR, scored 3 Grammys, (Best New Artist, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album), Olivia Rodrigo proves she has GUTS and staying power. Throughout her sophomore album, she illustrates her stories with lyrics that are descriptive and whip-smart, but this time, we hear them immersed in traditional rock production. She introduces that ambiance in tandem with the electric guitar on “all-american bitch.” The intro track oscillates from the soft-rock sounds of Fleetwood Mac to the early 2000s rock sound of Avril Lavigne. The combination of those sounds permeates through the album: blaring yet muted electric guitar, bright yet melancholy piano melodies, and last but not least, a hint of screamo. GUTS also brings on new collaborators, including Julia Michaels on “logical,” which ends in a 3-part harmony canon, and returns to favorite collaborators, including producer Alexander 23 on “get him back!” Finally, you’ll want to make sure you listen to the explicit version of this album, because nothing slaps better than Gen Z artists who need to share.
🏆 Show Me You Can: “Calm Down” by Rema featuring Selena Gomez joins Spotify’s Billions Club, making it the first track led by an African artist to achieve this feat.
🤩 Mood Playlists: Spotify launched its “daylist,” a personalized playlist programmed to adapt to music for your every mood throughout the course of a day. For artists, the streaming giant also launched “Showcase,” which allows artists to advertise their music on Spotify users’ home screens. Spotify, in turn, will provide artists with analytics on active listeners.
Beyhive & Swifties Listen Up: If you’re based in the US and have five years of newsroom experience, Gannett Media is looking for two reporters to exclusively cover Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.
🌝 Moonman Winners: The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) took place last Tuesday, and we have the full list of winners here.
📺 You Gotta Watch This: V from BTS is the first artist to appear on Tiny Desk Korea, performing three of the five songs from his debut solo album. We love the jazz instrumentals–all eleven minutes are a soothing listen.
🍎 Good 4 U, Apple: Apple continues its ongoing partnership with Olivia Rodrigo after releasing her music video for “get him back!” during Wednesday’s product announcement, sharing the whole video was shot using an Apple iPhone 15 Pro.
🤖 This Week in Music AI: Through its partnership with AudioSparx, Stability AI launches Stable Audio, a text-to-music generator that takes a series of verbal cues like “70s rock, electric guitar, euphoria, dance” and turns it into a track. The AI model was trained with songs from AudioSparx’s licensed music library. Mewo.io, a French-based catalog management company, continues its efforts to make sync licensing easier for industry professionals using its AI-powered search engine.
📼 Defected Demos: If you’re a rising artist looking to submit your demo to a label, Defected Records and LabelRadar have joined forces to streamline the process.
🤝 M&A in Music: Days after announcing Round Hill Music Royalty fund would be acquired by Concord, Round Hill is acquiring Austin company Rident Royalties in an effort to expand the roster of Sound Hill, their rights platform. Independent music distributor DistroKid joins forces with music e-commerce platform Bandzoogle to better connect fanbases to artist products.
💰 Securing the Bag: Levellr, a London-based superfan engagement platform, raises $1 million in a pre-seed round led by Crush Capital’s Andrew Kahn, who has previously invested in Sound.xyz and AudioShake.
🌐 Web3 Updates: Sound.xyz, the web3 music giant, shared a new product feature where artists can pick and choose what music drops to feature on their profile. Think of Instagram “pinned” photos but for music.
💌 Hi Hi Hi: After building excitement around a potential reunion at the VMAs, *NSYNC announced their first new song in 20 years, “Better Place.” It’s a love letter to their fans, and the record is set to be released on September 29th.
🎀 Between Me and You: Another exciting teaser from the VMAs, Nicki Minaj gave fans a glimpse into another upcoming song from the highly anticipated Pink Friday 2. We cannot WAIT for this one.
👀 The National announced a surprise Laugh Track will drop at midnight EST on September 18th. Drake pushes back For All The Dogs. Sia aims to be a Reasonable Woman with her first album release in 8 years. There are no red flags for the Plain White T’s and their upcoming self-titled album. Anitta teases a new song at the VMAs. Dagny has her “Ray Bans” on for her mini-album trilogy out this fall. Offset is about to go off on his second album due October 13th. Declan McKenna is curious about What Happened to the Beach?
🚶♂️ Artists On Tour: Olivia Rodrigo is taking GUTS around the world, George Strait and Chris Stapleton will return for another co-headling tour, Bombay Bicycle Club announce four acoustic shows, Mel C (aka Sporty Spice) celebrates her 50th birthday with a gig in London, Yeah Yeah Yeahs play Boston, Philly, and Toronto in November, Aerosmith postpones six Farewell Tour dates to 2024 while Steven Tyler is on vocal rest, Fletcher postpones tour dates after being diagnosed with Lyme disease, Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes kicks off her next tour on November 6th, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard announces four “Marathon” tour shows in 2024.
📈 What’s Trending? Two weeks after his death, Jimmy Buffett’s greatest hits compilation album, Songs You Know by Heart: Jimmy Buffett, reached #4 for its highest ranking since 1985, making it his 13th album to break the top 10. During that same time, Margaritaville streams and sales have also jumped ~1,500% and ~7,000%, respectively.
Primer: So far, Purple Tears is, as he/they have proclaimed on Instagram, an enigma. Most people have speculated that it's either an Adam Levine side project, Francis Farewell Starlite of Francis and the Lights, or a supergroup that includes both Adam and Francis along with other industry songwriters and artists. Although it’s unclear and there’s not much to speculate on, here’s what we do know:
The artist has only released three singles but is motivated by uncompromised emotion and true artistry.
The artist is male based on the lyrical content of “Work it Out.”
Based on the distribution of Purple Tears’ music on Spotify as well as the current ownership of the artist’s official domain, the group appears to be supported by Warner Music.
The artist is based around Los Angeles, California, as evidenced by the subjects’ niche branded baseball caps in his music videos.
The artist has a fondness for The Goo Goo Dolls and Cat Stevens.
Current Label: Day One Entertainment and Warner Music
What’s Next: On Friday, Purple Tears dropped a third single, “Iris,” sampling The Goo Goo Dolls. We’re not exactly sure what else is to come, but we predict additional singles that may feature one of the artists followed by Purple Tears on Instagram (070 Shake, Labrinth, Travis Barker, etc.). In the meantime, here’s Purple Tears’ most revealing music video for single, “Hole In My Pocket:”
Wrap Up 👏
We're closing the newsletter this week with Taylor Swift living her best life at the VMAs because we love a full-circle moment.
Who’s Burning? 🌡️
The Merch Table 💳
💍 GUTS: Four sterling silver rings to be as all-American as Olivia.
🌃 Nocturnal Creative Process: Also known as NOCTA, Drake’s Nike sub-label is a bet on Drake doing what Kanye did for Adidas. Here’s what’s currently in stock.
🔥 Burnin’ Up for Merch: The Jonas Brothers announced a Warehouse Sale for 50% off select merchandise.
Sunlighter Playlist 🔀
See ya next Sunday 😎
Chris and Donya