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Ruel, Zara Larsson, The Kid LAROI & More: This Week's Best New Music

27 January 2023 | 2:55 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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Ruel - Must Be Nice

Ruel has kicked off 2023 and the announcement of his debut album, 4th Wall, with a heartfelt ballad, Must Be Nice. Ruel wades through the aftermath of a broken relationship, grappling with lingering feelings of loss and trepidation as he watches an old flame effortlessly move on while a delicate piano holds him afloat. Speaking about the new single, the ARIA award-winning singer commented, "Must Be Nice is the first time I’ve ever released a ballad as a single, and it would have to be one of my favourite tracks on the record. Lyrically it's such an easy song to grasp, essentially it’s just about a break up. But I wanted to take a step back and try and give it a new perspective. All break ups are difficult in their own way, but when you see the other person getting on with their life, it hits so much harder. I feel like the lyric ‘fuck, it must be nice’ captures that perfectly."

Zara Larsson - Can't Tame Her

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Swedish singer Zara Larsson has made her highly-anticipated return with Can't Tame Her, a disco-pop number that demands replays. “No you can’t tame the girl/ Cause she runs her own world,” Larsson sings in the earworm of a chorus. The track was co-written with long-standing collaborators MNEK and MTHR and US producer Danja. The first release from Larsson’s upcoming, third international album, Can’t Tame Her also marks the launch of Larsson’s own Sommer House label and her collaboration with Epic / Black Butter Records. Having taken control of her entire recording catalogue - which has been streamed over 9 billion times, the trailblazing deal made headlines worldwide and marks the next chapter for one of Swedish pop’s most exciting international stars.

The Kid LAROI - Love Again

Love Again follows last week’s Can't Go Back To The Way It Was (Intro), the first taste of new music from The Kid LAROI. Largely set with an acoustic guitar, the pop and rap superstar mourns what once was. Two weeks ago, The Kid LAROI took to social media to announce his new album, The First Time, which included a 30-second video teaser. In it, Laroi spoke softly over a bunch of artsy VHS recorded clips, outlining several ‘first times’ - “You never forget the first time… the first time you fall in love… the first time you get caught… the first time you feel shame… the first real kiss.” Love Again wonders, what's next? 

Maisie Peters - Body Better

Body Better sounds like a fun song. It makes you dance, Maisie Peters' vocals are sweetly layered, and the track sounds like an enthralling love song. However, it's the most personal song Peters has written to date. "Body Better is one of the most honest songs I've ever released," she shared. "I wrote it after a breakup and it deals with the ugly things you think to yourself in the aftermath, when you’re painstakingly going through everything small thing you did and were and wondering what you could have changed. It’s a song about insecurity and vulnerability, about giving a lot of yourself away to someone who decides they don’t want it anymore, and knowing where to go from there." Who can't relate to what she's written about?

KSI ft Oliver Tree - Voices

Voices is part rap, part pop, and part soul, and with that combination, it's sure to be a smash hit. Internet sensation KSI shines in his honest verses, while Oliver Tree - who also directed the music video - is the perfect collaborator. "Voices is a song I worked on during my weird phase mentally," KSI revealed in a statement. "This is a big song for me because it marked a big chapter in my life. After my breakup, I thought I was fine, but I had these voices in my head telling me I wasn’t as happy as I thought I was." It's a song destined for success.

Kim Petras - Brrr

Kim Petras has dropped the beat-heavy single, Brrr, just in time for her appearance at the Sydney WorldPride closing concert, Rainbow Republic, presented by Optus, on Sunday, 5 March 2023. She's become a buzzy talent, and fresh off the release of her guitar-driven single, If Jesus Was A Rockstar, and her record-breaking hit with Sam Smith, Unholy, Petras is breaking down boundaries and bringing out fresh new music. "I’m so happy to be back in Sydney supporting WorldPride," she recently commented. "Headlining Mardi Gras was a really inspiring moment back in 2019, and it was one of my favourite Pride events ever, so I’m really excited to see my Australian fans again and take everything to a whole new level."

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.