The Best Songs of March 2023 // New Music Friday!

"Rose Colored Lenses" // Miley Cyrus 

One of my most anticipated releases of the year was Miley Cyrus' Endless Summer Vacation and it definitely didn't disappoint! "Rose Colored Lenses", feels so representative of the thesis of the album with the lyric "Endless summer vacation, make it last till we die". This song feels so LA, it's as if I'm transported to California every time I listen to it. So much of her music throughout her career is rooted in her love for Los Angeles, which is an aspect of her songwriting that I love so much. This song is one of the highlights of the album for me, I just can't get enough of it. So many lyrics and phrases she uses are my favorite from the entire album - "daydream, deja vu", "we could stay like this forever, lost in wonderland", and the repetition of "let's stay like this forever", to name a few.

"Paris, Texas" // Lana Del Rey

A major part of Did You Know That There's A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. is about Lana facing her innermost struggles and darkest moments of her past, but "Paris, Texas" feels like the turning point in the album where she is ready to leave it all behind. "When you know, you know, it's time, it's time to go, when you know, you know, that it's time to leave like the summer breeze", she sings. It is a song about leaving everything she knows behind and trying to find a place that feels like home to her. She travels the world looking for it, from Spain to Paris, Texas to Florence, Alabama and to Venice, California. By the last verse, she eventually feels at peace in Venice, California, "When you're home, you're home (Venice, California), you're home, when you're alone", she sings. Her new album has been on constant repeat since it was released, and this was an immediate favorite for me from the album. The piano instrumental by RIOPY is also so stunning.

Check out my full review of Did You Know That There's A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd here!

"The Bend" // King Princess 

"The Bend" quickly became one of my favorite songs from King Princess when it was released as a part of NME x Bose's collaboration mixtape. "When I get over the bend I'm overwhelmed again, again, again, I'm seeing red and they say, 'You don't have to take it hard', You should tell that to my head again", they sing in the chorus. King Princess is such a distinct songwriter in the way the songs are so introspective, emotional and so clever at the same time, there is rarely a song from them that I don't love. I've been listening to "The Bend" non-stop since I first heard it!

"Safe & Sound (Taylor's Version)" // Taylor Swift featuring Joy Williams and John Paul White

To celebrate the start of her Eras Tour earlier this month, Taylor Swift released three new rerecorded singles as a part of her ongoing Taylor's Version project. "Safe & Sound" was one of the two songs that featured on The Hunger Games soundtrack in 2012, along with "Eyes Open". I was surprised that these two songs weren't included on the very extensive Red (Taylor's Version) track list, based on how closely they were released at that time. It gives me hope for some of her other movie soundtrack songs she's done over the years to have a Taylor's Version revamp though - especially "Crazier" and "Sweeter Than Fiction"! Her vocals are truly so incredible on this song, I always thought the original version was great too but instances like this show how much she has improved over the past eleven years. "Safe & Sound" is such an underrated gem in her discography, one that gave a glimpse into all of the greatness she went on to achieve in her storytelling with albums like Folklore and Evermore

"All Of The Girls You Loved Before" // Taylor Swift

Along with the three new Taylor's Version re-recordings, Taylor also shared a previously unreleased track from her 2019 album, Lover. After this song was leaked earlier this month, I was hoping she would finally officially release it and I'm so happy she did! I heard this was originally supposed to be released as a part of a Lover deluxe version in 2020, but because of the pandemic it never ended up happening and by that point she was already working on her next album, Folklore. "All Of The Girls You Loved Before" is a beautiful song, I can't believe it didn't make the cut for the original track list. She sings, "Every dead-end street led you straight to me, now you're all I need, I'm so thankful for all of the girls you loved before". It reminds me of the message behind "Invisible String" with looking back on the journey that brought her to where she is now and the love she found.

"Cool About It" // boygenius

I was truly blown away by so much of boygenius' debut album, the record, but one of my favorite moments was the incredible performance from Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker on "Cool About It". It features gorgeous harmonies from all three, with some of my favorite lyricism of the entire album, which they noted Paul Simon as an inspiration for. The beauty of this song, and so much of the record, lies in it's simplicity. 

"Eye For An Eye" // Rina Sawayama

"Eye For An Eye" is a song that Rina made for the the John Wick 4 soundtrack, which kind of feels like a fresh, modern take on a James Bond-style theme song. She also makes her acting debut in the movie, which is great to see how much her career has been growing over the past couple of years! This is some of her strongest work she's done yet, especially in terms of the vocals and production. The confidence she has in her sound and style shines through in this track. I would love to see her continue in this direction with future projects!

"Just A Girl" // Florence + The Machine 

For the soundtrack of Showtime's Yellowjackets, Florence + The Machine released a haunting cover of No Doubt's "Just A Girl". Florence Welch's powerful voice turned this song into something completely different from the original version. The angst and frustration of Gwen Stefani's voice in 1995 is transformed into what Florence herself called a "deeply unsettling" rendition of the song. I would love to hear her cover more 90's classics in this style!

"To Love" // Suki Waterhouse

"Is there a universe where our paths never crossed? Or where I caught your eye, but then someone arrived and we both forgot?" Suki Waterhouse sings in the opening lines of this beautiful song. It has such a happy, optimistic energy that Suki said was a "...a portrait of my heart right now that I wanted to share". I have been slowly getting into her music over the past few months and she is such a talented artist. I also thought she was great in the Daisy Jones & The Six series on Amazon Prime, I highly recommend checking that out too if you haven't already!

Thanks for reading! If you are interested in more of my recent song recommendations, check out my list of the best songs of January 2023, February 2023, and more from my New Music Friday series! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below! 

-Melissa ♡

All photo credit to owners // Header designed by Melissa Kacar

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