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! Had a good long weekend with some of our music picks from last week? Or are you stuck wondering what it could’ve been if you weren’t on the East Coast and washed out by the rain? Well, melancholy aside, 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:
The Voice of the Heroes by Lil Baby and Lil Durk
Lil Baby and Lil Durk, after months of teasing, finally drop their joint album and it lives up to the name they moniker themselves with. With Dirk calling himself “the voice” and Baby “the hero,” the two use that platform to address timely issues and their own matters, in an auto-tune and trap laden album that is very much an artifact of its time.
ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE PLUS PACK by BROCKHAMPTON
BROCKHAMPTON adds more to their most recent and one of their final albums, clearly unwilling to let their fans go hungry. The four new tracks added to this deluxe version are more sonically distant from the album as a whole, venturing more into the trap, drum machine-beat rhythm of the mainstream. But the heavy lyricism and mature outlook remains the same, keeping the shades of the band alive.
“Lost Cause” by Billie Eilish
There’s groove, there’s funk, there’s a smooth beat…and it’s all on a Billie Eilish song. “Lost Cause” carries on with the same themes she explored on “Your Power,” but instead of crying over what happened, she’s ready to flip them off and move on. She sounds more confident, more brazen with her words, and it results in one of her more upbeat songs to date, probably the most since “bad guy.”
“By Your Side” by Calvin Harris ft. Tom Grennan
It’s been months since we’ve heard a new Calvin Harris production, and he’s timed it perfectly. Released right on the cusp of summer, this track is reminiscent of some of Harris’ best works that imbue that same feeling of warmth, from “Feel So Close” to “Summer.” British singer Tom Grennan’s vocals help lift it to a stratospheric state of joy and just adds the kind of adrenaline Harris has been known to perfect in the past.
“Last Train Home” by John Mayer
John Mayer’s first single in two years is a retro-rock fuelled dreamscape that just makes you miss that happy rock from the 2000s. The lyrics are also a major throwback to when every sort of metaphor in these kinds of songs was about trains and journeys. It’s less the song, more the vibe that it creates that really just lifts the mood, especially when Maren Morris makes a surprise appearance in the outro.
“Reckless” by Madison Beer
Opening with a music box really sets the mood for what’s coming with this song. Like any other music box, there’s some childlike joy, and there’s the feeling of loneliness (watch any Hollywood production featuring one). Beer uses that duality to flex her vocal chops over lyrics about how easy some people can get over relationships without guilt. Let’s just say, there’s a certain danger in hearing someone like Madison Beer calmly sing, “I hope you both go to hell.”
“Hot N Heavy” by Jessie Ware
Can you deny Jessie Ware’s dominance of disco? Absolutely not, especially not after releases like “Hot N Heavy.” The track really leans into its influences, an absolute banger of a disco and dance-pop jam that was made for slow motion camera rolls, big hair, sequined jumpsuits, and hot-n-heavy dancefloor gyrating (keep it PG-13, though).
“I Won” by Ty Dolla $ign, Jack Harlow, and 24kGoldn
When one person flexes, that’s a rap track. When three people flex simultaneously on a track made for the F9: The Fast Saga soundtrack, that’s one of those rap collabs that gets (virtual) clubs completely upended and, for lack of a better word, “turnt.” Ty Dolla $ign, Harlow, and 24kGoldn each take turns considerately explaining why and how they’ve won, and honestly, with all the evidence they provide, it’s hard to deny them that.
“Late at Night” by Roddy Ricch
Over a track that’s a lot more melodic and production heavy than recent rap releases, and recent Roddy Ricch releases, Ricch embraces what it’s like to be a loverboy. He passionately talks about being there for his lover and how he’ll treat and comfort her. It’s the combination of a sultrier beat with the lyrics that convinces listeners to Ricch’s prowess and has you believe every word he says.
“Yonaguni” by Bad Bunny
Bad Bunny singing in Japanese is not what you expected 2021 to be about, but here we are, it’s June, and we have a new song where the Puerto Rican professes to love his partner till the Japanese island of Yonaguni. It’s supposed to be a more melancholic love song, the kind that makes you want to shuffle and twerk really, really slowly, but it’s when the Japanese part hits that you really go “oh, okay, cool.”
“Fulanito” by Becky G and El Alfa
For those unfamiliar with El Alfa, it might be a little jarring hearing him suddenly come on to the track, with his sharp voice and almost comical flow. But it’s what fits the song best, embracing the flirty and festive vibe it puts out, almost like you’re in the middle of Carnival. It’s a good time, it’s a fun time, it’s time for “Fulanito.”
“The Good” by Cynthia Erivo
Cynthia Erivo knows what it takes to bring power to a performance. You’ve seen it on screen, and she’s done it with her music before. This track is emblematic of that same level of passion and power that Erivo brings with her vocal performance and the lyrics, over a track that bleeds soul, SOUL.
“Get High w/ My Friends” by Charli Adams
Sometimes, a dissonance between words and sounds could be jarring. Sometimes, it works. This is definitely a case for the latter. While Adams’ lyrics sound euphoric and blissful on initial listen, there’s some sadness imbued in there, laced with a feeling of some aimless wandering. The music itself is saccharine to the highest degree, a joyful synth and bass combo. It creates a complex web of emotions and thoughts, so Adams clearly does her job and does it well.