V’s New Music Round-Up

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

Hello and welcome! Are you the kind of person who wakes up each day and can’t help but spout the phrase, “I have risen, but what for?” Need a purpose to life beyond the dreary routine of the day that makes you feel like a cog (suddenly the sheer regularity of this segment is sinking in)? 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. Perfect for rut-breaking playlists!

Here are this week’s top picks:

Back of My Mind by H.E.R.

Image courtesy of MBK Entertainment/RCA

It almost comes as a bit of a shock when you realize that this album for H.E.R., who has been an acclaimed and adored figure in the music industry for several years now, marks her debut full-length record. And she justifies each and every bit of her acclaim on the record, a 21 song collection of masterful strokes. Each strum of the guitar, press of the keys on the organ, insertion of the harmonized backing vocals, all come from precision and knowledge that seems fitting for the artist who won both a Grammy and Oscar in the last six months.

Songs For The Revolution by Marieme

Image courtesy of GALSENE Productions

Each song on Marieme’s little EP is a burst of sunshine and hope, one that there are people out there who are willing to make statements and have their voices be heard in the most creative of ways. There’s a synergy in each song off the EP that makes you feel giddy if you’re a music lover, with grandiose vocals, affecting lyrical work, and the kind of mainstream, upbeat, euro-poppy production that could hit the top 40 any day.

“Ball If I Want To” by DaBaby

Image courtesy of Interscope

After lending his voice to several hits over the past few months (see “Levitating” still climbing), DaBaby finally returns with a beat to call his own. The rapper takes complete control of the track in a way he often doesn’t, asserting his dominance by saying he can do what he wants and “ball if I want to.” You look at the lyrics and wonder “should I be listening to this?” Depends on how you read the intent, I’d say.

“LUMBERJACK” by Tyler, The Creator

Image courtesy of Columbia Records

The single to usher us into the new Tyler, The Creator album era represents a different side of the rapper. It’s more gruff, more abrasive, more confrontational than we’re used to. He isn’t saying anything different from what we’ve heard him talk about before (flexes), but it’s in a style that contrasts from the usual melodic styles that have aided his crossover. What will be interesting to see is if this sound is the new album’s anomaly or precedent.

“Drugs N Hella Melodies” by Don Toliver ft. Kali Uchis

Image courtesy of Cactus Jack/WeRunIt Entertainment/Atlantic

Don Toliver and Kali Uchis is not the collab you expected, thought you needed, even saw coming. But it’s here, and it’s going to potentially make you feel hot. A trademark of songs about the sultrier side of love is the use of sparse melodies, which this track bucks, opting for constantly pulsating beats that feel just as much a part of their story as the words do. We even have a harp, I don’t know what else could even say “love song.”

“Thank You” by Diana Ross

Image courtesy of Decca Records

The first original Diana Ross song in over two decades (!!!) is, appropriately enough, a tribute to all who have loved her, showing her appreciation and gratitude. It’s fitting that one of music’s greats jumps onto the skyrocketing disco train, but keeps it traditional and makes it sound like a song straight out of the 70s. In other words, she’s tapping into a sound she helped pioneer in the first place.

“Rollin Stone” by Little Simz

Image courtesy of AGE 101

Little Simz has one of the week’s more experimental releases, splitting up her track into virtually two acts. The first is an electro-rap bit that comes and goes quick, with Simz rapidly flowing through with hard verses. The second considerably takes it down, with Simz going a little more auto-tuned melodic-rap while the synths and drum beats are a lot more foreboding. Each moment is a surprise, which really keeps the track top of mind.

“Intro” by Logic

Image courtesy of Def Jam

Like the name and context suggests, this track is one big build-up. To what? Of that we haven’t been made aware yet, but it should be soon. Logic takes the track to announce all that he’s grateful for and what his music career has given him, to then end abruptly with “I’m unretired, yeah, I’m back, that’s a fact, that’s that.” Logic builds the progression and the momentum for music to (hopefully, at this point) come.

“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” by Jennifer Hudson

Image courtesy of MGM Music

Hudson announces the first bit of original material from her upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic with this track paired with a couple of icons. Produced by will.i.am and co-written by the legendary Carole King, the track features all the highs and highers of Hudson’s voice. It’s the kind of release you can tell she has craved to flex her artistic ability and exert the power her voice was created for, laid on top of gospel choirs and lush orchestral strings.

“Fudge” by Idris Elba and Eliza Legzdina

Image courtesy of 7Wallace

Hearing an Idris Elba song is like a spiritual experience, an out of body experience where you question whether this is the same artist you’ve been wanting to play James Bond for years. Actually, this collaboration with the Latvian Legzdina, a house and electronic track that pretty much was made for the club and only the club, is what you’d expect Bond on an acid trip to jive to. It’s not what you’d expect, at all, and maybe that’s the fun of it.

“Smile” by Shea Diamond

Image courtesy of FACET Records

Shea Diamond ushers in the second half of Pride month with this track about living every moment like a celebration and keep smiling through it all. Diamond’s vocals are soaring and searing, with enough sass dripping through in each chorus, and the horns are blaring, the beat is pounding, it’s perfectly over the top and extra in a way that comes together in the most joyous way possible.

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