First Play: New music from KIAN, Jason Derulo, Ava Max and more
As the days get warmer, so too have the latest releases from artists, common themes of sunshine, relationships and weekends among them. In this issue of First Play, Aussie regulars Birds of Tokyo go for something a little more light-hearted this time around, and Jason Derulo gives us deja vu with another TikTok-friendly beat.
KIAN – ‘Sunbeam’
Kicking off with a rising Australian star, 18-year-old KIAN has released his second single for the year, ‘Sunbeam’. The track was co-produced by Josh Fountain, known for his work with New Zealand breakthrough act Benee.
The groovy release fits nicely among the recent wave of light soul/R&B releases that have emerged from artists including Benee and Cosmo’s Midnight, so it will surely make the rounds on summer-themed indie playlists. ‘Sunbeam’ also comes ahead of the ARIA Awards later this month, where the singer is nominated for Best Soul/R&B Release for his track ‘Every Hour’.
Seaforth – ‘Close Enough’
Another upbeat track, Aussie duo Seaforth combine tinges of country with a dominantly bass-driven pop sound for their new single, ‘Close Enough’.
According to the band, the track was written to “capture the beginning of a relationship when you just want to be around that person all the time”. Co-written with Jordan Schmidt and Andy Albert, Seaforth’s new single continues their recent trend of music about a blossoming relationship.
Birds of Tokyo – ‘Weekend’
Their latest in a string of singles, Birds Of Tokyo return once again with ‘Weekend’. “The lyrics are pretty straightforward on this one,” singer Ian Kenny said. Though that may be the case, the band have swapped out the emotive lyrics found in their previous tracks for an uplifting ode to R&R.
Even though ‘Weekend’ was written and recorded during lockdown in the eastern states, it arrives when the return of live music and regional travel is fast becoming a reality once again, cementing this tune as one for the roadtrip playlist.
Jason Derulo x Nuka – ‘Love Not War (The Tampa Beat)’
Since joining TikTok, Jason Derulo has enjoyed a newfound wave of fame with Gen Z. With his latest collaboration, ‘Love Not War (The Tampa Beat)’, Derulo seems to be repeating his past in the hopes of similar success.
The new track follows a similar formula to his previous viral hit, ‘Savage Love (Laxed Siren Beat)’ with Auckland producer Jawsh 685, where the singer takes a pre-existing instrumental track with some buzz behind it and adds some catchy lyrics. ‘The Tampa Beat’ was originally uploaded to SoundCloud by producer Nuka in 2018, and has since been featured in more than 23 million TikTok videos.
A music video for ‘Love Not War’ is set to arrive next week.
Ava Max – ‘My Head & My Heart’
US pop artist Ava Max has followed up her 2020 debut album, Heaven & Hell, with a new track, ‘My Head & My Heart’.
Within the first few seconds of listening, pop music aficionados will immediately recognise the unmistakeable synth refrain of ‘All Around The World’ from Eurodance group ATC, which in turn is a cover of the Russian track ‘Pesenka’ by Ruki Vverh!.
Even though the album was released earlier this year, ‘My Head & My Heart’ has now been added to the digital tracklist of Heaven & Hell.