V’s New Music Round-Up
Here are some of the best and biggest releases of the week
Hello and welcome! Summer on your mind? Contemplating what songs are going to populate your brain waves when you break out the lawn chairs for the annual natural tan session? Then welcome to V’s new music round-up, where we tune you into some of the week’s biggest and best releases, whether they be singles or albums.
Here are this week’s top picks:
Better Mistakes by Bebe Rexha
Rexha’s second studio album lives up to a lot of the promise that the single rollout delivered. It’s an album much more tapped into her feelings and, more importantly, her vulnerabilities and insecurities. Still, it’s the quiet moments on the record, like “Sabotage” and “Empty,” that really stand out because they represent different turns for her sonically and lyrically, and it almost seems like the album needs more of those to back its tone.
Van Weezer by Weezer
If Weezer’s last album (from just this January) was a look at their future, Van Weezer is a blast from the past. The album employs all the same ironicism and big guitars that made them such a sensation in the 00s rock scene. It goes harder into their rock leanings while still softening up at bits to retain the sounds their core audience are familiar with, a feat considering this is their fifteenth studio album.
“Higher Power” by Coldplay
A brand new Coldplay single for the ears, the first since their last Grammy-nominated album Everyday Life. The Max Martin production is a synth artist’s dream, capturing the euphoric aspect of the genre, almost reminiscent of The Weeknd’s record obliterating “Blinding Lights.” The song is simply about letting go, letting a higher power take over you, whether it’s love or joy or nacho cheese. While the band has always had upbeat tracks, this is easily one of their most fun releases in years.
“Run” by OneRepublic
A dark inspiration for a track that’s bursting at the seams with positivity, seems about right. OneRepublic’s music has always been about pumping up the airwaves with beats you can stomp to (see “Apologize,” “Counting Stars,” “I Lived,” a majority of their discography). This one is no different, inspired by the recent spate of pessimism in the world that encourages the listener to just run and have fun. We’ve missed you, Ryan Tedder and gang.
“i n t e r l u d e” by J. Cole
It takes a special kind of power as an artist to release an interlude as the first single off an upcoming album, but that’s what J. Cole has amassed over his past few albums. He takes you into a preview of what the album might sound like, a blend of hip-hop with funk and Motown, with powerful statements to be dropped and commentary to be made, another potential J. Cole “power trip.”
“Fast (Motion)” by Saweetie
You’ve got to really come in fast to catch Saweetie on this track. With the kind of boundless confidence that can only come from being the “iciest bitch in the land,” she lays it all down on the track, setting a case for herself as one of rap’s biggest stars. And the “locomotion” refrain right after the chorus is just pristine 00s earworm rap.
“Astronomy” by Conan Gray
After taking us on a ride with his last single “Overdrive,” Conan Gray recruits a friendly guitar and piano for this tender ballad. He sings beautifully and emotionally about the break down of a relationship where there’s nothing much to hang on to anymore. I’ve never been in the throes of a dissolving relationship to relate, and even I’m wondering why this track makes me sad.
“7 De Mayo” by J Balvin
J Balvin leads up to the premiere of his Amazon documentary with this autobiographical track that sees his journey from childhood to the success he has managed to accrue. The song is clearly deeply personal to him, interlaced with excerpts from his parents and a prominent awards show moment (the Lo Nuestro 2020 Gala). He keeps the music minimal and allows his voice and lyrics to take the spotlight and reverberate.
“hollywood sucks//” by KennyHoopla and Travis Barker
KennyHoopla engages the considerable talents of Travis Barker once again for “hollywood sucks//,” a track laced with cynicism and (maybe) unintentional comedy gold (especially the line “You are not fucking Jesus, he hates LA”). This banger really slashes into the privilege that LA and Hollywood affords to its cushier residents, mocking them and their lifestyle with a dig at “COACHELLA!” thrown in there for good measure.
“All I Know So Far” by P!nk
P!nk, in anticipation for her upcoming live album and documentary, returns to the anthems that have peppered much of her career. The string-driven song speaks of pushing through all the hardships you go through. P!nk’s raw and rough vocals have always been great for spirited pop songs, but the emotion she can let leak with a single belt is best displayed on tracks like these where she can find an audience to empower.
“Tiempo” by Ozuna
In this track about spending time with your loved ones, Ozuna channels softer latin beats and a percolating rhythm to make the message come across that much more pointedly. The music, in fact, sounds pretty reminiscent of his earlier work, specifically one of his biggest hits, “Taki Taki.” Still, it’s a track that’s very relevant to the time that we’re living in, which makes it an easy one to jive to.
“Miss The Rage” by Trippie Redd ft. Playboi Carti
Redd and Carti go hard on this track. And when I say hard, I mean HARD. There’s bloodshed, there’s shootouts, there’s storylines, there’s several cars, there’s references to GTA (which tracks). Set to a futuristic beat that’s part hip-hop, part video game rock, the two trade verses with equal understanding of their power and their command over what they have to say. Plus, they go hard, so there’s that.
“What You Need” by Don Toliver
Imagine having Don Toliver cater to your every need. Listening to that track could help fuel that thought, as Toliver sings about telling his girl how he’d cater to her every need while telling her of all he expects their relationship to entail. He flows through the track with the confidence of a man holding a million dollar check in the recording studio
“Woman” by Little Simz and Cleo
By naming countries from all around the world, Little Simz takes the opportunity to celebrate women of all kinds, the power they hold, the way they lead their people. She takes the time on the track to appreciate each and every quality that a woman embodies over this funky track, with Cleo’s breathy vocals coming in during the chorus to elevate the mood.
“Dimension” by Alex Porat
This spacey yet dancey love song has a ready-for-the-floor disco-pop groove that taps perfectly into the disco revival movement of the 2020s (hello, Dua Lipa). Porat’s light and breezy vocals skip through each word, each syllable, as she sings of a love that spans dimensions. It’s the upbeat track we want, it’s the upbeat track we need, and it’s the upbeat track we’ve got.