For You Friday —  New Music From Olivia Rodrigo, NCT U, Juju B. Goode, and flowerovlove

By: Danni Perez, T. Aquila and Vanessa Arias
09/09/2023
en
Thumbnail courtesy of Mal Peterson

Happy Friday! Team EnVi is back and we’ve got a gift for you — a new installment of our For You Friday series. This week’s playlist is jam-packed with an eclectic range of new releases you won’t want to miss!

“Mr. Lee” – Juju B. Goode

Juju B. Goode is the latest emerging singer-songwriter-producer that you should add to your playlists. The Seoul-born artist kicked off his musical endeavors from within his own bedroom. The result? A lo-fi, K-R&B EP titled Future Boy that has resonated with listeners across the globe and has earned him millions of streams. Since then, Juju B. Goode has gone on to release multiple projects, as well as sing the official soundtrack for the Netflix Original series, XO, Kitty.

“Mr. Lee” is the latest single from Juju B. Goode that takes listeners on an audibly cinematic adventure. The track features a captivating, orchestral, grand synth intro, and concludes with an infectious UKG breakdown. Serving as a homophone, “Mr. Lee” symbolizes the enigmatic nature of understanding oneself or others, blurring the lines between an individual and a collective reflection. Juju B. Goode eventually discovered that the single is, in fact, a letter to himself — reflecting on his life prior to taking the leap to pursue music as a full-time career. Departing from the lo-fi, mellow genre of his previous projects, Juju B. Goode ushers in a new era for himself as he prepares to release his eclectic debut album, Smile! You’re On Camera

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“Next Best Exit” – flowerovlove

Flowerovlove’s career is blossoming following the release of her latest single, “Next Best Exit.” The 18-year-old British indie-pop star has already garnered over 20 million combined global streams with her current discography. Now, she has returned with an exhilarating new track, accentuating her power to capture emotions with her music.

“Next Best Exit” will have your heartbeat racing with its quick-paced guitar and synth beats. In a press release, flowerovlove explained the song is meant to feel as if the listener is, “Doing anything to escape [toxic people and negative energy] and just be around the energy you deserve.” With her bright vocals and introspective lyricism, she captures the adrenaline rush of leaving a bad situation. 

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“Fringe” – Pen Pin

There is something special about the power of friendship, and songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Emily Moore and Jeni Magana are here to prove it with the debut of their new musical project. After Magana and Moore met on tour while supporting indie rock icon Mitski, they decided to explore the musical scene together as the indie pop duo Pen Pin. With their musical expertise, Magana and Moore are responsible for playing nearly all the instruments featured in their DIY project. The duo also self-produces their upcoming LP, Pony Up, which is set for release in the spring of 2024. 

Kicking off their career together, Pen Pin released their debut single, “Fringe,” on August 29. “Fringe” features golden-hued vocals, dreamy melodies, and nostalgic piano, creating a warm musical intoxication that is fitting as summer nights begin to simmer down. With a fun-loving music video, “Fringe” is all about capturing the most joyous moments in a relationship. 

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“Baggy Jeans” – NCT U

In early 2016, NCT U made their debut with two unique tracks, one of which being “The 7th Sense” featuring members TAEYONG, DOYOUNG, TEN, JAEHYUN, and MARK. This neo hip-hop track set the experimental nature for the powerhouse K-pop group and each of its subunits. As a part of NCT’s annual album series, the members have returned to their roots more neo than ever with their latest track, “Baggy Jeans.”

With a heavy bass-driven rhythm and light synths, “Baggy Jeans” is hip-hop at its core. The track allows each member to showcase their unique vocal color from sweet harmonizations and honeyed vocals to powerful baritone lines. “Baggy Jeans” is unpredictable sonically, yet links up fittingly with its choreography-heavy music video. In the same vein of “The 7th Sense,” this new song highlights the group’s dedication to elevating their music with their performances with their illustrious dance skills.

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“all-american bitch” – Olivia Rodrigo

The highly-anticipated sophomore LP by Olivia Rodrigo, GUTS, is finally out. Her debut album, SOUR, made a bold impression with its grunge and pop-rock influenced first track, “brutal.” GUTS follows in SOUR’s footsteps with an opener that captures Rodrigo’s direct lyricism and unfiltered angst. 

“All-american bitch” eases listeners in with a strummy guitar melody and Rodrigo’s sweet vocals. But the peaceful nature of this contradictory anthem is interrupted with an abrupt genre switch as it transitions from folk to pop-punk. She takes a stab at the societal standards placed upon women by shouting out, “I know my place and this is it / I don’t get angry when I’m pissed / I’m the eternal optimist.” Setting a strong tone for her sophomore album, “all-american bitch” is the latest feminist anthem from Rodrigo we’ve all been waiting for. 

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“Get A Guitar” – RIIZE

Just four days ago, SM Entertainment introduced their newest boy group in seven years: RIIZE. Their name, a portmanteau of “rise” and “realize,” represents the seven members’ journey in achieving their dreams. The group’s roster? Two former NCT members (Shotaro and Sungchan), two SMROOKIES alumni (Eunseok and Seunghan), and three fresh faces (Wonbin, Sohee, and Anton). RIIZE offer a vibrant K-pop sound that pays homage to timeless genres and feel-good lyrics, dubbed as “emotional pop.” 

As the title implies, the eponymous six-stringed instrument takes the driver’s seat in “Get A Guitar,” hooking listeners right off the bat. The funk pop track then smoothly flows into its groovy chorus, complete with neatly-layered vocal harmonies and ad-libs. Lyrically, it expresses the septet’s youthful passion and blossoming romance. Instead of messing with their hearts, why not dance to the beat?

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“nothing but” – Young K

Heartbreakingly romantic is the best way to describe the latest title track by Young K. The multi-faceted musician is well-known for being a vocalist and the bassist for South Korean rock band DAY6. After completing his mandatory military service, he wasted no time and prepared his first full-length album. Letters with notes is a personal collection of tracks covering a variety of topics, such as youth, romance, and friendship. 

“Nothing but” is the title track off the LP and features lyrics written by Young K and producer Hong Ji Sang. The song begins with a haunting piano melody that slips into a slow pop-rock ballad. Young K passionately sings out to his lover as he feels their relationship fading. His voice drips with melancholy as he confesses, “Even if nothing will remain / I have nothing but this / I have nothing but this love that’s vanishing.” Despite being heart-wrenching, “nothing but” is honest and may be relatable to those who are learning to let go of a lover. 

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“N.Y.C.T” – NCT U

Looking for a passionate ballad turned upbeat? Look no further than “N.Y.C.T.” On September 7, NCT U released “N.Y.C.T” as part of their NCT LAB project. The unit is made up of members TAEIL and HAECHAN, who fans lovingly refer to as NCT’s Sun and Moon subunit.

“N.Y.C.T” – a play on New York City – is a romantic pop track with a groovy beat. The sweet vibe of the song is complemented by the vocals of TAEIL and HAECHAN, as they sing about being bathed in the moonlight as they walk through the streets of New York City with their lover. The intimacy of the lyrics and beat is further conveyed by the music video. The members are seen lugging huge bouquets of blooming lilies and looking longingly into the camera as they sing. Fans can imagine themselves ambling the streets of New York alongside NCT U as “N.Y.C.T” plays through their headphones. 

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Other tracks in this week’s For Your Friday playlist include “I Love My Body” by HWASA, “Lovesick” by Laufey, “Boy Scout” by JAWNY, and “My Love” by Leigh-Anne and Ayra Starr. Listen to everything mentioned and more curated by Team EnVi only for you.

Want more of the latest releases? Follow EnVi Media on Spotify for more curated, themed playlists featuring all your favorite artists, and check out our previous For You Friday here!