If you’re anything like us, we see an interesting headline during our daily scroll—pause to read it—but then keep scrolling without reading the actual story. So at the end of each week, we’re rounding up all the buzziest, news-worthy headlines you might have missed. Think of it like the “saved” feature on Instagram but for news instead of aesthetically pleasing photos. SZA dropped SOS, Lana Del Rey revealed her ninth studio album and Celine Dion shared somber news about her health—this is what you missed.
Lana Del Rey Shares New Song and Announces Ninth Studio Album
If you realized last week, in light of your chosen streaming platforms wrapped analytics of your music listening, that Lana Del Rey has had you in a chokehold for years, and you started to rethink how long a sad girl era should last—the answer is now evident: another year at least. Lana Del Rey has announced her ninth studio album Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, sharing the expected album’s title song. Her ninth album is out on March 10th of the new year and is a follow-up to last year’s Chemtrails Over the Country Club and Blue Banisters. This news comes as a relief for die-hard Lana fans after she gave an update on new music earlier this fall, claiming in a series of now-deleted videos that a laptop, three video cameras, and multiple hard drives were stolen from her and as a result, numerous in the works tracks and a working book manuscript was leaked or lost. With the release of “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”, Lana Del Rey releases cover artwork that names album contributors, including production by Jack Antonoff, Mike Hermosa, Drew Erickson, and Zach Dawes, featured song guests Jon Batiste, Father John Misty, and Bleachers, and engineering credits to Michael Harris, Dean Reid, and Laura Sisk. Here’s to another album on the symbolism of the deteriorating image of American Beauty, songs that mention California, and somber moans and melodies.
SZA Releases New Album ‘SOS’ (Finally!)
PSA to SZA fans everywhere: you can stop listening to subtly dropped 30-second song snippets on a 10-hour loop and dive into the real thing. Happy SZA Day, we rejoice. Her new album SOS has finally dropped and it is long, luxe, tender, and non-traditional, solidifying her spot as a poignant lyricist, otherworldly talent, and certified water sign. The 23-track album—the length and substance we deserve after desperately hanging onto every existing snippet and soundbite we could for years—follows her platinum CTRL album from 2017. The SOS artwork depicts SZA, a former marine biology major, sitting pretty on a diving board above a vast blue ocean, pensively gazing toward the sky. She’s probably conceptualizing songs that are bound to ruin my boyfriend’s life once it hits my ears—sorry not sorry. The cover was allegedly inspired by a photograph of Princess Diana on Mohamed Al Fayed’s yacht in 1997, a week before her death, to which SZA said she wanted to pay homage to the “isolation” it conveyed, already pulling on our heartstrings and giving us something to relate to before we’ve even entered the project. No one champions inner dialogue and eloquently translates personal reckonings into a project that doesn’t conform to genre constructs and feels like it was crafted for each of us individually, like SZA. Blasé about genre limitations, throwing traditional structure out the window, her voice weaves in and out of beats and melodies that feel RnB, pop, jazzy, boom-bap, punk, and even, dare I say, country. OS’s lyricism, production, and wholeness feel mature and self-aware, oozing with her undeniable talent and propensity to be a voice for so many, just by speaking her truth.
The Weeknd Shares ‘Avatar’ Sequel Theme Song
As we are all recovering from the magnificence that was the After Hours Til Dawn North American tour, The Weeknd surprised us with the announcement of new music from the Avatar sequel’s soundtrack, just days before the film’s release. “Nothing is Lost (You Give me Strength)” is the title of the track that will be featured on Avatar: The Way of Water, the long-awaited continuation of the story 13 years after the highest-grossing film of all time. Toronto’s very own is teaming up with longtime collaborator Swedish House Mafia on this track. In the 45-second video he released on his YouTube, we hear tribunal background vocals melding perfectly with deep synths and The Weeknd’s signature sonic cadences. “I thought I could protect you from paying for my sins / You give me strength / I’m with you either way / Nothing is lost, no more pain / Just give me strength.” The chorus and the short music snippet are enough to evoke goosebumps, so imagine the entire song. The toxic lover never misses and he’s teamed up with longtime collaborators, Swedish House Mafia, for the track’s production. It’s been a busy month for The Weeknd so far, he put on his cape and starred on “Creepin’” with 21 Savage from Metro Boomin’s album HEROES & VILLAINS and released the dates for the European and Latin American leg of his After Hours Til Dawn tour.
Celine Dion Diagnosed With Rare Neurological Disorder
A sad day for Celine Dion fans today as the iconic singer revealed that she’s been suffering from stiff person syndrome. This rare neurological disorder causes progressive muscle stiffness and involuntary spasms. The sickness affects 1 to 2 in every 1 million people, and it can be triggered by various stimuli, from movement, cold, emotional distress, and loud noises. According to the National Institute of Health, the neurological disorder is twice as likely to affect women than men. It is likely caused by an abnormal autoimmune response from the brain and spinal cord. She took to Instagram to share the devastating news alluding to the fact that she has to postpone her Vegas residency and cancel 16 shows in her world tour to recover. She describes the recovery journey to be a “struggle,” but she thanks her fans for their “love and support” and expresses gratitude for her “great team of doctors,” her children, and the sports medicine therapist that she works with every day to rebuild strength. “All I know is singing,” she says, and “it’s what I love to do the most.” Celine’s music has impacted the lives of several generations, and I, for one, specifically remember my family waltzing to “My Heart Will Go On” in the living room. The only thing we wish for the star is good health and that we can unite again soon.
Lizzo Delivers Selfless People’s Choice Awards Speech and Garners Praise from Stevie Nicks
The People’s Choice Awards happened this past weekend, and Lizzo left the stage with more than the People’s Champion award; Lizzo delivered a powerful speech that echoed for days after the event. After being presented the award by her mother, Lizzo contemplated accepting the award and quickly shined her spotlight on the array of activists, artists, and other champions she invited onstage. She explained, “To be an icon isn’t about how long you’ve had your platform. Being an icon is what you do with that platform. And ever since the beginning of my career, I’ve used my platform to amplify marginalized voices.” She then shared the honor with Mary Copeny (i.e. “Little Miss Flint”), Beauty 2 the Streetz founder Shirley Raines, Women’s March Foundation president Emiliana Guereca and many more. Stevie Nicks, who was thoroughly impressed by Lizzo’s selfless gesture onstage, shared her appreciation online. In an open letter posted on Instagram, Nicks expressed that she was “touched” by Lizzo and that what she did “was not only so beautiful and needed—that you get the award for being a great woman of our time.” She acknowledged Lizzo’s multi-faceted talents and praised that her “name is in the stars now.” Just when you thought you couldn’t love Lizzo more, she proves you wrong again.