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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hawaii chapter.

If you know me, you know that I’m a BIG music fan. I’ve consistently gotten over 80,000 minutes on Spotify for the last six years. I am always excited for new releases from my favorite artists, so I thought I’d share what my favorite releases from January 1st 2023 through March 9th 2023 have been! They’re listed in no particular order, but I hope you’ll give each of them a listen!

Red Moon in Venus – Kali Uchis (March 3rd)

Kali Uchis has been consistently in my rotations for the past couple of years. Her talent in music is undeniable. She writes and produces much of her discography (which is nothing short of amazing). Her voice is gorgeous and the instrumentals in her discography are so vibe-y. This album truly is an exemplary example of this. Her honey-like vocals blend beautifully with the ethereal vibeyness of the backing music to create a wonderful composition. I think that I’ve listened to the album at least six times on its own, but many of the songs are in multiple playlists of mine. My favorite song off the album is “Happy Now”.

THE MUSE – Qveen Herby (February 13)

Qveen Herby first came into the music scene as one-half of the iconic 10s-Pop group Karmin. Known back then for retro-pop vibes, she has since changed course and forged forward with her new sound and brand. Her music has influences of hip-hop and RnB, and features themes of empowerment and spirituality. Qveen Herby writes her music and her husband (the other half of Karmin) does the production side of her projects. This EP definitely leans heavy into the hip-hop influences and comes off as cool and self-empowering. This EP has turned into my commute soundtrack; the beats are bopping and her vocals are popping. My favorite song off the EP is “CHUCKY CHEESE”.

We Go Down Together (with Khalid) – Dove Cameron (February 10)

I have been loving Dove Cameron’s new post-Disney career, especially this last year. I do think that this is possibly the best song she has released. This duet with Khalid is (in my opinion) the best showcase of her vocals. She shows that she can have such a beautiful richness and deepness to her voice as well as that she can be light and airy as well. The lyrics in the song are beautiful, and the picture they paint is so intimate and familiar. Dove plays off the dramatic swells in the music beautifully, and her and Khalid’s voices blend and play off each other so beautifully. Dove also shows amazing range while still maintaining incredible breath support to each line. Both her and Khalid absolutely breathe life into this song and I am OBSESSED. 

Cracker Island (Deluxe) – Gorillaz (February 27)

Gorillaz has been a favorite of mine since high school. The evolution of sound that this group has achieved is so amazing. This album is absolutely FILLED with amazing tracks and features. I have been looking forward to this album since they announced the features list, as one of my favorites of all time is featured on the track “Oil”: Stevie Nicks. All of the tracks are amazing, but I could rave about “Oil” forever. This pairing was not one I had ever expected to happen, but oh my god am I glad it did! The vocals of “2-D” and Stevie sound so wonderful together. I’m not sure what it is about their voices that compliment each other so well, but it works so well! I definitely want more Stevie Nicks on a vibe-y Gorillaz track!

get clean – Devon Gabriella (February 8)

Devon Gabriella is such a talented singer-songwriter. Her voice is bright and clear and her music feels so comforting. She sounds ethereal with the slight echo she adds in certain spots on this track. Her lyrics and vocals easily captivate me in this song. I’m always excited for her releases.

Ghosts Again – Depeche Mode (February 9th)

Having been a Depeche Mode fan for a long time, I was so happy to get the Spotify notification that a new single dropped! I am definitely a huge fan of the moody, broody, and dark-and-rich sounding songs in the Depeche Mode catalog. This song gave me every bit of it. “Ghosts Again” is EASILY one of my new favorite songs (and probably now my favorite Depeche Mode song!).

RUSH! – Måneskin (January 20)

I have been a fan of Måneskin for the past couple of years, and I was SO excited for this new album. This album is definitely very rock influenced. There are elements of classic rock and modern pop rock throughout the album. I also really loved how we got 4 ballads on the record, plus some fantastic heavy-hitters. I’ve recently been playing “OWN MY MIND” quite a bit (especially because of the addicting bass line in the chorus), but my favorite song on the record is “THE LONELIEST”. I love Damiano’s vocals in this song, and the lyrics are beautifully emotive and pull you into the song.

My Sister’s Crown – Vesna (January 30)

I first heard of this song when I saw an article about how the new Czech Eurovision song might be a Pro-Ukraine, pan-Slavic support ballad. As it turns out, this song will represent the Czech Republic in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. This song is sung in four different languages – English, Czech, Bulgarian, and Ukrainian – and each of the six members of the band come from different Slavic nations. The song combines traditional Slavic folk musics with modern pop and indie music to create a unique sound. I (unashamedly) play this song at least four times a day. I love the use of the traditional “white voice” that’s used in many Slavic folk songs with the elements of modern pop music (and rap!). The harmonies in the chorus are hauntingly beautiful, and the message is inspiring.

Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53 – Bizarrap, Shakira (January 11)

I’ve been a Shakira fan since I was 5. Obviously, I’ve been a fan for a while. I’ve noticeably liked her Spanish releases more than her English ones (they’re still amazing!) and this is no exception. Shakira’s lyricism and incredible wordplay are in full effect in this song. This is one of the most solid ex-partner-diss-tracks in existence. Not only is there clever wordplay dealing deep cuts to her ex, Gerard Pique, but also wordplay that deals some solid digs at Pique’s mistress. Bizarrap’s backing track reminds me somewhat of Shakira’s “Loba” or “She Wolf” era, and that’s some nostalgia I didn’t know I was gonna need in a Shakira track. 

under the weather – CORPSE (February 3)

CORPSE is known for his heavy-hitting trap metal music like “E-Girls Are Ruining My Life!” and this song took me by absolute surprise. He has recorded some slower songs previously, like “agoraphobic”, but “under the weather” is so different. In most of his songs, CORPSE is rapping. In “under the weather”, CORPSE is singing. His voice is great, and so much different than what I was expecting! It was a nice surprise and quite the tonal shift, as “under the weather” is heavily Lo-Fi inspired. It reminds me quite a bit of Sleepy Fish, a Lo-Fi artist. 

I hope you give each of these releases a listen! 2023 has clearly already provided some amazing music so far, and I am so excited to see what the rest of the year has in store!

Shae Walker

Hawaii '23

Shae currently studies Communications at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and is the Campus Correspondent for HCHawai'i. In her spare time, Shae likes to listen to music, hike, and cook.