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UCLA chancellor appointment

Music preview: Singers blossom and deliver fresh sounds in spring albums

(Hayley Vu/Daily Bruin)

By Leydi Cris Cobo Cordon, Puja Anand, and Alexis Jones

April 13, 2023 9:26 p.m.

Just in time for May flowers, this season’s newest musical additions aim to shower listeners with energetic lyricism.

Whether it be one artist’s confidence-filled debut or another’s reflection on a decade-long musical collaboration, new and old musical voices are looking inward for inspiration this spring as they place their respective sonic aesthetics at the forefront of their latest works.

Keep reading for the Daily Bruin’s recommendations for this quarter’s blooming upcoming releases.

[Related: Album review: Kali Uchis delivers luscious romance in ‘Red Moon in Venus’ despite repetitiveness]

Set to a black background, white text in all-caps reads "UNFORGIVEN" on the announcement graphic for LE SSERAFIM&squot;s debut album of the same name. (Courtesy of LE SSERAFIM)
Set to a black background, white text in all-caps reads “UNFORGIVEN” on the announcement graphic for LE SSERAFIM’s debut album of the same name. (Courtesy of LE SSERAFIM)

“Unforgiven” by LE SSERAFIM

LE SSERAFIM’s latest album won’t be begging for forgiveness.

Six months after their reggaeton-infused comeback, the K-pop group announced it will be returning with its first full-length album on May 1. The announcement comes almost a year after their debut EP “Fearless.” Since then, the girl group – whose name is an anagram for “I’m fearless” – has become known for its confidence, with title tracks describing the members as “Fearless” and “Antifragile.” The upcoming addition to its discography seems to be no exception to its unwavering assertiveness as the teaser opens with the line, “Do you want to be forgiven? You don’t have to.”

As the quintet approaches the one-year mark since its debut, the release of “Unforgiven” is among many of the firsts it continues to achieve. Most recently, the singers held their first fan meeting where they performed an upbeat track from the upcoming album titled “No Return (Into the Unknown).” The lyrics assert the group members’ adventurous spirits, mirroring their desire to pave their own path within the K-pop industry.

With “Unforgiven” just a month away, listeners won’t have to hold grudges for much longer.

– Leydi Cris Cobo Cordon

From left to right Nick, Kevin and Joe Jonas stand in front of a staged white backdrop set in the middle of a desert setting on the cover of the Jonas Brothers&squot; sixth album, titled "The Album." (Courtesy of Republic Records)
From left to right Nick, Kevin and Joe Jonas stand in front of a staged white backdrop set in the middle of a desert setting on the cover of the Jonas Brothers’ sixth album, titled “The Album.” (Courtesy of Republic Records)

“The Album” by the Jonas Brothers

The Jonas Brothers are turning brotherhood into fatherhood.

Four years after the band announced its reunion and released “Happiness Begins,” the Jonas Brothers is back with its sixth album titled “The Album.” A tribute to the trio’s journey as artists, the album, releasing May 12, seeks to embody where they stand as fathers, brothers and husbands today.

The trio teased fans with “Wings,” a new single reminiscent of the optimistic, bubbly sound the band is traditionally known for. However, “Waffle House” encapsulates the album’s direction, which is the dialectical nature of family and its enduring importance in one’s life. In the chorus, for instance, the band sings, “Headstrong father and a determined mother / Oh, that’s why some nights, we tried to kill each other / But you know it’s always love.” Paying homage to the Bee Gees, the song mirrors the band’s own struggles, from splitting in 2013 to reuniting in 2019. The single hints at what is to come: a roller coaster on the value of family, set to the sound of the ‘70s.

Dipping its toes into old-school music, the Jonas Brothers has come a long way from its “Camp Rock” days.

– Puja Anand

[Related: Album review: Indie supergroup boygenius’ debut album highlights members’ strengths, friendship]

With a blue and cloud-filled sky behind her, Maisie Peters bends down towards the camera on the cover of her sophomore album “The Good Witch,” which is set to release June 16. Courtesy of Gingerbread Man Records)
With a blue and cloud-filled sky behind her, Maisie Peters bends down towards the camera on the cover of her sophomore album, “The Good Witch,” which is set to release June 16. Courtesy of Gingerbread Man Records)

“The Good Witch” by Maisie Peters

A benevolent musical force is coming this way.

Set to release June 16, “The Good Witch” marks Maisie Peters’ sophomore studio album under Ed Sheeran’s label, Gingerbread Man Records. Coming off her headlining United States tour and soon to hit the road again in the United Kingdom this month, the English singer-songwriter announced the forthcoming release of her album in February with the cover art and track list – all hinting at themes of heartbreak and witchcraft.

Leading up to the release, Peters has shared tarot cards featuring conceptual images of each track on the album, along with behind-the-scenes looks and captions explaining the song’s significance. But her visual aesthetics only complement her diaristic lyrics and celebratory pop-rock sound, as seen in her music videos for her latest singles, “Body Better” and “Lost the Breakup.”

From overthinking about why an ex left her for seemingly no reason to realizing she will eventually come out on the other side of the breakup better than before, Peters’ upcoming album will soundtrack listeners’ emotional catharsis and reclamation of their sense of self.

With empowering motifs set to infectious hooks, “The Good Witch” is sure to cast a spell on listeners.

– Alexis Jones

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Leydi Cris Cobo Cordon
Cobo Cordon is the 2023-2024 music | fine arts editor. She was previously an Arts reporter. She is also a second-year student from northern Virginia.
Cobo Cordon is the 2023-2024 music | fine arts editor. She was previously an Arts reporter. She is also a second-year student from northern Virginia.
Alexis Jones | Arts editor
Jones is the 2022-2023 Arts editor. She was previously an Arts staff writer from 2021-2022. She is a fourth-year psychology student from Las Vegas.
Jones is the 2022-2023 Arts editor. She was previously an Arts staff writer from 2021-2022. She is a fourth-year psychology student from Las Vegas.
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