V’s New Music Round-up

Here are some of the best and biggest releases of the week

Hello and welcome! Wondering how best to spend a day which can’t decide whether it wants to be hot or cold? Need something that’ll fit any mood you’re in for a period of weather that can’t decide on its own mood? 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:

SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo

Image courtesy of Geffen

Probably one of the most anticipated albums of the year, it’s safe to say that SOUR delivers on the immense promise Rodrigo had built. It’s filled with angst, grief, nonchalance, jealousy, all rampant emotions that Rodrigo has no intention of hiding, boldly utilizing its stark lyricism and her soaring vocals. It sways between 90s rock and Gen Z vulnerability in a way that shows an effortless understanding of her ability, and produces one of the best debut records in a while.

Greatest Hits by Waterparks

Image courtesy of 300

VMAN’s latest digital cover star Awsten Knight and his motley crew from Waterparks gave us exactly what we expected…the unexpected. You can’t pin Waterparks down to a specific style, and that’s just what Greatest Hits is about — celebrating the different eras and sounds they’ve gone through and also haven’t, exploring emotions old and new, entering the future while keeping a foot in the past. There’s something in there for everyone, that’s the fun of it.

TV by Tai Verdes

Image courtesy of Arista Records

Tai Verdes preceded the drop of his debut full-length with singles that bursted at the seams with positivity and optimism, but like any human, the album shows the deeper cuts (pun intended). Flanked by R&B and pop melodies, with several others in between, Verdes wants to be known as a man of complex emotions, which this album helps him achieve.

“SUN GOES DOWN” by Lil Nas X

If “MONTERO” was acceptance, “SUN GOES DOWN” is the stage right before that, grief. Lil Nas sings as a younger version of himself, questioning his sexuality and his appearance, wishing he weren’t like that. Mixed with references to his early days as a Nicki Minaj stan and suicidal thoughts, this track opens Lil Nas up considerably, revealing layers beneath the confident artist we saw giving Satan a lap dance mere months ago.

“Butter” by BTS

BTS may not have the lyrical genius in their English language tracks that they do in their Korean ones, but man do they still have that same style. “Butter,” their second all-English song, goes the same direction as “Dynamite,” a disco, vintage-influenced summer-y pop track. But by giving each member a clearer moment to show off their charisma and some easier synth melodies, it improves upon the former, continuing their dominance.

“Leave Before You Love Me” by Marshmello with the Jonas Brothers

Marshmello gets together with the Jonas Brothers (mostly Nick and Joe) to produce a song that quite clearly is all about things ending on…not so great terms. The song is about the protagonist leaving his lover alone before they fall in too deep, yet keeps it ambiguous as to who’s really at fault here. With some great midnight synths (i.e. music you can drive to at night (™)) at play, the collab is a bit of pain, a bit of memory, and a bit of honest music.

“Our Song” by Anne-Marie and Niall Horan

Anne-Marie and Niall Horan bring their understanding of a break-up to this track about remembrance. The two sing about wanting to get over a failed relationship, relieved at its demise, when they’re reminded of it through a song on the radio. It’s one of those songs that’s cute and gives you this fleeting moment of nostalgia, although it doesn’t stick around or create enough of a narrative for you to actually remember a bad ex (thankfully).

“Blue Banisters” by Lana Del Rey

Del Rey’s voice has always been an evocative one, laced with the old Hollywood muses she often references. But she rarely betrays any emotion as much as she does on “Blue Banisters,” singing over a calming and comforting piano melody of a heartbreak from her past. She seems to be getting over it with the help of her support system, but as a listener, you’re not sure if you believe her. Leave it to Lana Del Rey to hook you in with storytelling alone.

“Girl From Rio (Remix)” by Anitta ft. DaBaby

DaBaby is quickly joining the likes of artists like Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Cardi B, rappers who can hop on remixes and instantly turn tracks into gold (see Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” remix). His introduction to this already summer-laden bop adds interest in this “girl from Rio,” using his verse to showcase that she’s just as irresistible as Anitta says she is. This girl from Rio is already on the verge of a big breakthrough, and DaBaby could be the edge she needs.

“Saturday” by twenty one pilots

The duo’s collaboration with superstar producer Greg Kurstin births a track that’s much more upbeat and poppy than their usual offerings, almost leaning into the sound of the 2020 disco revolution. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have taken things away from the more alternative leaning hip-hop and rock influences of their earlier work recently, and it’s a level of evolution that’s definitely been enjoyable to listen to.

“GANG GANG” by Polo G with Lil Wayne

Polo G recruits one of his biggest influences, Lil Wayne, to drop a few verses of his own about living the high life. The two take their halves to talk about everything they’ve managed to achieve, overcoming their hardships to get where they are, interesting coming from a duo consisting of a hip-hop veteran and a relative newcomer. It’s the several references thrown in that make the track fun, though, including a nod to “Uncle Snoop and Martha Stew.”

“Todo De Ti” by Rauw Alejandro

Rauw Alejandro shows off that he’s not all about urbano and reggaeton, diving right into exuberant dance-pop for his newest single. It has a synth and 80s disco influence that sounds like a brighter version of James Brown or Bruno Mars. The song exudes big summer energy, perfect to vibe along to when you’re rubbing some sunscreen on your (ideally vaccinated) self, ready to hit the beach in a convertible. 

“Twerkulator” by City Girls

I can’t help but wonder for most of the song: is “twerkulator” an activity? Or a profession? Or some other concept mankind hasn’t been made aware of. Either way, if you’ve been listening to this song on blast on TikTok for the past couple of months, then you probably don’t care what it means, just that you have the chance to bop along to JT and Yung Miami’s flows. It’s time for the twerkulator, as they say.

“Gucci Knife” by Carlie Hanson ft. MASN

Hanson and MASN have an undeniable chemistry that works well on this collab. However, it’s less the chemistry of those in love, and more of those brought together by similar unfortunate circumstances, in this case the stripping of their feelings by an uncaring ex. Both have pain, sure, but what makes it more believable is the fact that they’re bound by more anger than hurt because it explains why they’d come together and sing about this experience.

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