V’s New Music Round-Up

V’s New Music Round-Up

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V’s New Music Round-Up

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

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

Text: Ahad Sanwari

Hello and welcome! Off to spend the Memorial Day weekend, you American dwellers and readers? Need some choice suggestions to make your weekend more…memorable (the puns are back)? 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:

Exodus by DMX

Image credits: Jonathan Mannion for Def Jam

The late great DMX’s first posthumous record is a trip back to the 90s and 00s of hip-hop, the mainstream that was known for being rough around the edges and powerful, making bold claims against brash beats, a sound which the rapper’s gruff flow reigns supreme in. Featuring the likes of Jay-Z, Nas, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, and Usher, among others, this album is a tribute to the work of a rapper who stood out from the crowd then, and continues to do so now.

“734” by Juice WRLD

The anniversary re-release of Juice WRLD’s debut studio record comes with one original track, the poignant “734.” The appeal in the rapper’s music has always been in his ability to be very open about his feelings, choosing not to cloak it in braggadocio like so many other rappers do, which this heartbroken ode to an ex-lover does just as well. If anything, it’s a reminder of the legacy Juice WRLD was able to leave behind with his hordes of fans.

“100 MILLONES” by Bad Bunny and Luar La L

The two Puerto Rican rappers find a trap beat and the bleakest of melodies, then just go to town on their verses, spitting out bar after bar after bar about how they’ve managed to rise to the top and their success stories. Is it a tried and oft-oft-oft-tested path for hip-hop to take? Quite so. But if you can make it convincing, like the two do on here, going off like they have vendettas to fulfill, then the listener can come into it with fresh ears.

“Qué Más Pues” by J Balvin and Maria Becerra

J Balvin recruits rising Argentinian urban pop sensation Maria Becerra for this reggaeton back-and-forth. Balvin plays the man telling his ex how they’re meant to be, Becerra is the ex who’s more than ready to move on and leave it all behind. There’s immense chemistry between the two that just oozes off each beat, which works even better given how their verses punctuate each other’s to make it seem like actual dialogue.

“Mirror” by Sigrid

It’s been over a year since the Norwegian pop force of nature released some new music, but after some TikTok promotion, we finally have “Mirror.” A joyous pop and disco self-love concoction in the vein of Giorgio Moroder and Chaka Khan, the track features all the trademarks of a good Sigrid song: peaking vocals, showy synths, inconspicuous notes of vocal production, and the feeling of jumping on clouds.

“Monsters” by Dynoro ft. 24kGoldn

Lithuanian DJ Dynoro recruits 24kGoldn for this track about all the metaphorical monsters that keep you up at night (thank me later for putting them back in your head). The rapper brings a different take to a lot of his other output, opting for a much more rapid flow to match the production. He almost sounds panicked, and it fits the song to the very note, like a speedy chase in the woods from monsters both seen and unseen (again, you’re welcome). Speaking of…

“Live to Survive” by MØ

Are we talking monsters? Well, MØ’s first single in almost two years is another haunting melody, of the electro-pop kind, that grapples with one of the biggest demons there is — heartache. You don’t think it’s a problem, till it starts taking over you completely, mind, body, and soul. It’s that feeling of helplessness MØ channels on the song with her pitch shifting vocals and the synths in the background, announcing her return in creepy yet satisfying fashion.

“Trouble” by Marc E. Bassy

Bassy knows that there’s enough trouble in life to contend with, and doesn’t need a relationship that seems like it’ll go nowhere to add on to that. So we have “Trouble,” an atmos sound-esque ode to moving on and acknowledging the wrong. Bassy’s instrumentation gets larger as he goes on, using more sounds to create an ironically minimal melody that still takes over you with a, what I like to call, “good strutting beat” (try strutting to it, you’ll see what I mean).

“Y DON’T U” by 박혜진 Park Hye Jin, Clams Casino, and Take A Daytrip

The Korean Hye Jin returns to 2021 with a single that’s half “why did you leave me,” half “I really don’t need you,” and just keeps oscillating between the two. Made in collaboration with producers Clams Casino and Take A Daytrip, the track really just takes you by surprise from the first *clang* in the opening, and her sung/spoken/rapped vocals are a mix of boredom, desperation, and nonchalance you can’t help but appreciate.

“Boys” by Kat Cunning

Kat Cunning knows how to tell their stories in the most authentic and honest of ways, with “Boys” being a great example of that. Singing about a friend of theirs that transitioned, the track is an ode to living your truth with completely and absolute abandon. Even the production wants you to feel at home, this sunny blend of pop and dance that’s telling you (somehow, you can feel it) “it’s going to be okay.” 

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