Bop Refresh: 8/10

Bop Refresh: 8/10

Every New Music Friday, V re-jiggers your playlists with the must-listen new songs from the week.

Every New Music Friday, V re-jiggers your playlists with the must-listen new songs from the week.

Text: Jake Viswanath

Nicki Minaj, “Barbie Dreams”

The phrase “nobody is safe” has never been more accurate than on this standout from the long-awaited Queen. Over the course of four minutes and 40 seconds, Onika calls out the following people: Eminem, Fetty Wap, Desiigner, DJ Khaled, 50 Cent, Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug, YG, 6ix9ine, Odell Beckham, her ex Meek Mill, and longtime friend Drake. And rightfully so. “Barbie Dreams” is reminiscent of a true old-school diss song, Nicki cleverly aiming at everyone who’s tried to wrong or sleep with her over both an irresistible funk beat and hardcore hip-hop track. But with her, it’s all in good fun.

Troye Sivan, “Animal”

The last song we receive from the artist’s sophomore album Bloom before it arrives on August 31 is also the grand finale of the entire record. Fittingly, “Animal” may bloom more than what comes before it. Starting with 15 seconds of silence, it gradually reveals itself to be a fuzzy, carnal take on an '80s stadium ballad. It plays as the grown-up version of a Blue Neighborhood track, Troye not being afraid to take ownership of his relationship, but still just as shy and vulnerable while doing so.

Nina Nesbitt, “Loyal To Me”

Have we gone back to 2001? The singer-songwriter makes a strong bid for pure pop stardom with a bop that sends us back to the heyday of bubblegum pop. “Loyal To Me” is an empowerment anthem at heart, telling us all to leave the man that may not be loyal, but wrapped in a sparkling package of ‘00s-era R&B melodies, snappy guitars, and hooks that will be locked in your head after one listen. 

Elley Duhé, “Fever”

It’s a proven fact that songs entitled “Fever” are always great (see: Peggy Lee, Kylie Minogue, Madonna), and Elley Duhé is continuing that streak. Her own “Fever” sends us into the jungle, her sensual vocals soaring over tribal drums and gorgeous strings, doing absolutely nothing to relieve us of our own fevers. 

LSD, “Thunderclouds”

The supergroup consisting of Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo contribute another trop-pop bop to our summer playlists. Sia’s vocals are as strong and sultry as ever, with Labrinth acting as her soulful foil over jubilant horns and a swaying melody that’ll have you nodding along in your resort cabana. 

Wafia, “I’m Good”

The rising Australian siren makes a confident arrival statement with “I’m Good”, a breakup bop for the ages. Over a shimmering sugary pop soundscape, Wafia probably sounds too chill for her ex's liking, a mood we should all aspire for. 

Ciara, “Freak Me (feat. Tekno)”

The bops keep coming from R&B queen Ciara. After forcing us all to Level Up, it’s now time for us to get freaky. “Freak Me” is a electro-dancehall whirl of slinky reggae beats, rapid-fire melodies, and effortless hooks that leave us no time to breathe. 

Kiesza, “Phantom Of The Dancefloor”

The dance-pop sensation who got us dancing on the streets with her insanely catchy hit “Hideaway” is making a decidedly dramatic return with “Phantom Of The Dancefloor”. Kiesza and singing partner Philippe Sly start Halloween early, combining The Phantom of the Opera-esque operatic breakdowns and gothic overtones with her signature house beats to create one of the most fascinating concoctions we've heard from her.

Cher, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)”

Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the peak of 20gayteen. 

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