This week in music

Looking for tunes to shake up your spring break? Check out these new tracks from Ed Sheeran, Cold War Kids and Lefti to spice up your traveling playlist.

Ed Sheeran – “What Do I Know”

Sheeran has mastered the sappy yet sweet lyric. The simple and romantic themes of Sheeran’s lyrics are heartwarming and will always leave you in a good mood.

In his new song “What Do I Know,” from his album “÷”, Sheeran’s use of both high and low vocal harmonies creates an echoey intonation that compliments the bare-bone style of the guitar and percussion instrumentals.

One noteworthy lyric juxtaposes the fast-paced nature of corporate life with the power love has to change the world.

“Everybody’s talking about exponential growth and the stock market crashing and their portfolios / Love can change the world in a moment, but what do I know.”

Overall, the verses are more interesting, both musically and lyrically, than the chorus. Sheeran’s use of deep low notes throughout his vocal performance in addition to the effortless acoustic guitar melody makes the verses captivating for a listener, and are reminiscent of his early chart-climbers, like “Thinking Out Loud.”

“÷” was released March 3.

Cold War Kids – “Can We Hang On?”

Cold War Kids is known for bringing angst and grit to the traditional indie music scene, and past hits like “Hang Me Up to Dry” definitely approach ‘90s rock territory. Their new single “Can We Hang On?” off their upcoming album “L.A. Divine,” is a little less angst and more reflective.

Nathan Willett sings about how we ruminate on what might have been and question whether we’ll know better for the future.

“Think about the old days / What we didn’t do to survive / Do we get better with time? / Tell me I’m wrong.”

The song features both raw and electronic sounds, with a piano melody throughout the first verse, and an electric guitar riff that ties together beats from the intro to the chorus.

It’s somewhat disappointing that this indie rock band has turned more mainstream in recent years, shifting away from their edgy and somewhat grungy instrumentals and moving toward the traditional folk and pop sounds – though this is often the fate of many bands in this genre of music, like we saw with Fun and The Head and the Heart.

“L.A. Divine” will be released April 7. The single “Can We Hang On?” was released March 3.

Lefti – “City Heart”

Missing the city over break? “City Heart” by Lefti will give you a taste of the urban life you’ll be craving. Lefti is the solo project by former Cobra Starship bassist Alex Suarez, and he continues on Cobra Starship’s signature dance-pop punk style.

This single continues the trend in music of “nu-disco,” where dance music from the ‘70s and ‘80s gives new life to the age of electronic music. Energetic drum beats and retro synths come to play in this peppy and dynamic track that’s perfect for dance parties or an epic sing-along in the car.

Lefti overlaps progressive drum sounds that continue to build with a repetitive base to mimic the chaotic and bustling city streets. The lyrics are not stand-out but successfully elevate the track with melodic high notes.

The single “City Heart” was released March 3.

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