Hits of the Week – Featuring Dua Lipa, Jordan Ward and more

For anyone in their feels, there's a number of sombre tracks in this week’s playlist refresher, juxtaposed with some pop and jungle bangers, of course.

Welcome back to HUNGER’s Hits of the Week: your one-stop shop for all the best in music right now. This week, we’ve got the eagerly awaited return of one of the UK’s biggest stars, Dua Lipa, a reflective and introspective cut from rap’s MVP at this moment, Gunna, and a sublime Bob Marley & The Wailers cover from St. Louis R&B crooner Jordan Ward.

Dua Lipa – ‘Training Season’

Valentine’s Day is gone, but Dua Lipa is still looking for someone to give her heart to — but she wants to go big or go home. On her latest single ‘Training Season’, the singer is growing weary of her own judgement, running out of chances to get it right. “Are you someone that I can give my heart to? Or just the poison that I’m drawn to?” she questions, admitting: “It can be hard to tell the difference late at night.” The track was released alongside a video directed by Vincent Haycock, and opens with Lipa’s voicemail flooded with apologies and requests for second chances. As the singer sits alone in a cafe, men compete for her attention and the room begins to spin into a dizzying, chaotic scene.

Gunna – ‘Bittersweet’

In his first single since his chart-topping fourth studio album A Gift & a Curse, Gunna lays his latest hopes and fears bare. ‘Bittersweet’ is pensive and stripped back, with the Atlanta MC laying stream-of-consciousness raps down over sentimental guitar and subtle percussion from producers Dystinkt Beats and 1SRAEL, the latter of the popular Philadelphia beat-smiths Working on Dying. Gunna runs through concerns about relationships, former friends, and drug use throughout the song, but also notes some recent highlights, like the massive success of his last album, released after a year-long stint in jail, and his noticeable new fitness. “Praying more on my knees at night, I’m tryna get right,” he raps on the hook. “Times it don’t feel even, but I still gotta stride, living through the seasons ’til the day that we die.”

Tierra Whack – ‘27 Club’

Somehow, it’s been six years since Tierra Whack dropped her uniquely colourful debut album, Whack World. But now, the rapper is finally returning with yet another full-length effort titled WORLD WIDE WHACK, and has revealed its first single, ‘27 Club’. A reference to the infamous 27 Club of celebrities who died at the age of 27 — including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain — the new single was produced by Whack’s frequent collaborator J Melodic and ProdbyBRIANNA. The track dives deep into Whack’s mental health, as she sings about losing touch with family and friends while embodying the pain of coming up against seemingly insurmountable obstacles. After explicitly mentioning thoughts of suicide, Whack sings, “Like a glass full but I’m empty, said, ‘I’m broken, can you fix me? If I’m dreamin,’ you should pinch me, got a gun to the head, don’t tempt me.”

Jordan Ward – ‘Waiting in Vain’

Jordan Ward has been one of the brightest lights to come through the underground R&B scene in recent years, with his always vibrant vocals and lush production on debut album, Forward, propelling him into the mainstream consciousness. Now, the singer has returned with a new collaboration that finds him covering Bob Marley & The Wailers classic song ‘Waiting in Vain’ off the 1977 album, Exodus. “‘Waiting in Vain’ has been one of my favourite Bob Marley songs for years,” Ward said about the cover. “I’ve sang it in Karaoke many times, and when Spotify asked me to cover a song, it was the obvious choice.” Chancing your hand at a Bob Marley track could always end badly, but Ward’s glossy vocals over a plucky, nostalgic guitar lead more than do it justice.

Nia Archives – ‘Silence Is Loud’

Nia Archives’ rise has been meteoric, to say the least. It’s been an almost vertical incline that’s seen her grace mainstages at festivals, curate her own Up Ya Archives events at major venues like Warehouse Project, and even opening for Beyonce – all of which she’s achieved in just a few short years. Still surging ahead, the next stop is her debut album. Silence Is Loud will be released on April 12th and she’s now dropped the project’s title track, a raucous track tune that celebrates her unconditional love for her brother through the paradox of loud silence. Though her explosive success takes her to far-flung corners of the globe, she hasn’t been shy about exploring the darker sides of the industry, particularly its effects on her mental health, as seen on ‘Crowded Roomz’. In fact, her introspective soul-searching fused with jungle breaks has become something of a signature – and no doubt a key part of the upcoming album. While we wait to see what else is in store, hit play on ‘Silence Is Loud’ below.