Cub Sport, Kota Banks, WILSN & More: This Week's Best New Music

20 January 2023 | 3:47 pm | Mary Varvaris

Each week we track down the best new music and curate it into our 'Hit List' playlist for all our readers to enjoy. Today, we've selected our top picks of the week to celebrate the songs that stood out in the crowd.

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Cub Sport - Keep Me Safe

Cub Sport have kicked off 2023 with Keep Me Safe, a dance track with a dreamlike haze over it that follows the previously released singles, Always Got The Love and Replay. "I wrote Keep Me Safe about a euphoric but complicated time," vocalist Tim Nelson offered about the song's inspiration. "Shedding some light on it now feels like I’m validating my younger self and celebrating the magic in something I was so ashamed of at the time." The music video was directed by Berlin-based filmmaker Adam Munnings and shot by Sydney Director of Photography Jack Birtles. Nelson says the video captures "what it felt like on the inside of our secret world".

Mo'Ju - Money

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Mo'Ju has "been reflecting on capitalism and the way at times I’ve felt like a captive of it, but simultaneously, I’ve been totally complicit in it. It’s about the constant hustle and the way it undermines the things in life that are actually important." Money is a funky, mid-tempo experience that highlights the richness of Mo'Ju's vocal ability: a breathy chorus accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Henry Jenkins, a full chest-voice bridge that explores "material possessions I don't really need", and solid beats beneath the message, "Money makes the world go." Money comes with the announcement that Mo'Ju's next album, Oro, Plata, Mata, is coming on 24 March.

Arlo Parks - Weightless

Weightless is a warm cinematic offering that once again showcases UK singer Arlo Parks' fantastic songwriting skills. The track features a driving percussion section as Parks reflects on unrequited care and misbalance in relationships and the internal healing process that occurs in the rebuilding phase of personal confidence. On the poetic dancefloor pop single, Parks states, "Weightless surrounds the painful experience of caring deeply about someone who only gives you tiny breadcrumbs of affection. It’s about suddenly realising that a person has dulled your edges and embarking on the slow journey back to being a brighter version of yourself.”

Flyying Colours - Goodbye To Music  

Aussie dream-pop group Flyying Colours have returned with Goodbye To Music, an ode to Australian '80s music a la The Church with glistening guitar and charming vocal harmonies. Songwriter and guitarist Brodie Brümmer commented about the single's themes of accepting inevitable consequences for past actions: "Goodbye To Music is about hearing loss," he offered. "For a period of time, I became obsessed with how I had neglected my ears over many years of touring, rehearsing, mixing and recording, and I constantly contemplated what it would be like to say goodbye to music. Writing this song was a way for me to accept that what is done is done, and to manage my own guilt spiral. The guitar parts were circling around my head incessantly for weeks, as was the ringing in my ears, before the words and music came together."

Kota Banks - Girls World!

Sydney-based hyper-pop artist Kota Banks is a powerhouse, and she makes that known with her latest release, GIRLS WORLD! Banks consistently blurs genres, sweeping listeners up in an exploratory transcendence undercut by contemporary pop sensibilities. "I wanted GIRLS WORLD! to be the ultimate head-fuck conceptually - I love nothing more than a play on words/a double entendre," she shared. "I think nature complements our physical attributes so beautifully - there's this symmetry we have with it: a woman is like a piece of fruit in so many ways. The textures of parts of our bodies, the sweetness, the beauty, the colour. I wanted to put all of these ideas in a pop song and reflect them sonically too: it's gritty at times, pretty at others: that's the reality and complexity of a woman."

DMA'S - Fading Like A Picture

DMA'S have fully embraced their Brit-pop influence on their new single, Fading Like A Picture. The guitars have never sounded more like the Gallagher brothers' tones, which is kinda perfect considering the Aussie lads are touring in the UK this April. The new single is chill and moving, a combination they always make work. Guitarist Johnny Took commented, “Our palette for this album was a lot broader because we’ve learned so much since our debut and we’ve listened to so much more music between then and now, which has shaped us. It felt like a first outing all over again. The excitement was the same.”

WILSN - Those Days Are Over  

WILSN wasn't content with making Those Days Are Over a sappy love song like she initially planned. "It’s about trusting yourself and going with your gut and really believing you can do the thing you set out to do. Those days of uncertainty are over, and it’s kind of like a new phase and era of my music has begun. To me, it’s a huge thing to finally be making the music I’ve always loved," she said. And Those Days Are Over is a banger - a soul track, through and through. The empowerment and commanding voice are remarkable to hear; this is already one of WILSN's finest songs.

You can listen to the Hit List playlist featuring all the above songs and more on Apple Music or Spotify. We also have our Underground playlists that showcase the best of Australia's emerging artists. Find them here.