Review: SZA unofficially releases three new singles on Soundcloud


Seemingly out of nowhere, artist SZA tweeted “dump random thoughts” with a Soundcloud link attached on August 22. This link led to a Soundcloud account that had only posted three singles. It was honestly a blind spot for me as a fan, as there was no buzz from his music release anytime soon. Besides a few recent feature films, she hasn’t officially released any music since December 2020, when she gave us the single “Good Days”. Her last studio album dates back to four years ago when she released her debut album “CTRL”. This three song dump is unofficial since it was released under a false name, but may soon signal more music from SZA.

There are three songs that were dropped together; the song titles are “12 Nightbird”, “09 I Hate You” and “21 Joni”

The song “12 Nightbird” has a theme similar to most of his songs – a toxic relationship. The story of this song is that SZA tells a lover to stay overnight after a one night stand even though they are not in a real relationship. The message of this song has the same tone as some of his past songs, especially the songs from his album “CTRL”. However – this song is slightly different – carrying a different production showing that it has grown a lot since its debut. Even though it’s not my favorite song of the three, I love the late night feel that this single gives. I would give it a seven out of ten.

The next song, which is the best of the three in my opinion, is “09 I Hate You”. This is an evocative track about missing a lover and resenting him because their absence causes misery. Even though the lyrics are bitter, it’s a good slow jam. Of three songs released by SZA, this song feels like it could have been on “CTRL”, just like “12 Nightbird”. Everything fits perfectly with his voice, his instrumentals and all the background components. There are very few artists who I think could do this song as well as her, which is why I would give this song a nine out of ten.

= The last song included in the trio was “21 Joni”, which is the slowest song of the three. While most of the songs had electric beats, “21 Joni” was played on acoustic guitar. This song seemed very short even compared to “12 Nightbird” or “09 I Hate You”, but to compensate for that there was a visual on Soundcloud to accompany the song. In the song’s visualizer, there is a woman dancing to the ballad in an empty room. Now the music alone is good, but it’s my least favorite song of the three and it’s also short. Because of all of this, I would honestly give it a six out of ten.

What’s crazy to me about all these songs is that SZA never planned to drop them if it wasn’t because a friend of her was pressuring her. She explained how her label has made it difficult to release music since her debut album, although that may not be true. Fans, including me, have been waiting to see what she has in store for them since that debut album in 2017. Hopefully all of this activity means a second album is on the way.


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