V’s New Music Round-Up

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

Hello and welcome! Is your week getting even more “blah” the more times you listen to the same songs? Worried BTS’ “Butter” might not be enough to pump you up anymore (trust me, that’s a worry I legitimately live with every day)?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:

333 by Tinashe

Image courtesy of Tinashe Music Inc

There’s this sort of ethereal magnificence to when Tinashe takes on the blurring of pop and R&B, where it defies the conventionalities of the genre to really explore every sound she’s capable of. At points, it feels like a dominant pop diva baring her soul, at other points, it’s a wood nymph lightly tinkering through some melodies. For the most part, it feels familiar in its appreciation for sounds you’ve heard all your life, but it’s almost like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Like taking peanut butter and mayonnaise and making an album out of them (I’ll stop now).

King’s Disease II by Nas

Image courtesy of Mass Appeal

The sequel to Nas’ acclaimed King’s Disease from last year, this record feels so beautifully old school with its homage to horns and big beats and spitfire lyrics. But with the little touches, tempo changes, key changes, it sits well with the current age, without needing the repetitive trap-loop. I realize I hate on the standard trap-loop a LOT on this round-up each week, but it’s only because it brings a level of paint-by-numbers monotony to music. Nas knows how to sound like everyone else, but he twists it enough to make it all completely and authentically his own.

“Take My Breath” by The Weeknd

Image courtesy of The Weeknd XO Inc/Republic Records

Did anyone else listen to the first 15 seconds and think “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer? Of course, the Weekend manages to make it completely his own throughout the track, but that alone is a sign that he’s going even farther back and deeper into the disco fountain he was just wading through in After Hours. The track has such instant disco-pop classic potential. It’s simply timeless, which is the highest compliment I could give it.

“Volví” by Aventura and Bad Bunny

Image courtesy of Rimas Entertainment LLC

Bad Bunny comes together with an iconic Latin music act, the bachata kings, Aventura. It’s interesting to see the relatively newer upstart Bunny work with a group that has pioneered a sound for themselves, especially considering Bunny has such a significant sound of his own. But both come together in a way that you can’t really tell if it belongs to one or the other, it sounds like something either of the acts would do on any of their previous records.

“Wishful Drinking” by Ingrid Andress with Sam Hunt

Image courtesy of Warner Music Nashville LLC

Listen, if you’re naming a track after the legendary autobiography by Carrie Fisher, the bar is quite high. Andress takes a real risk with the song, since exploring sadness and melancholy aren’t really themes she’s explored very deeply. Thankfully, taking on someone with more of a mastery of complicated country music, Sam Hunt, gives her the levity to match him note-for-note, making this a duet that feels unified yet lets each of them stand out on their own.

“A Concert Six Months From Now” by FINNEAS

Image courtesy of OYOY Inc/Interscope

FINNEAS really takes you on a few journeys throughout “A Concert Six Months From Now” (which I hope to go to, when the world is sane, I’m being optimistic here). It’s very acoustic-driven for the majority of it, almost like a track straight out of the A Star is Born soundtrack. But he really amps up the rock element for a bit of the second verse, before dropping it altogether for the remainder. Always nice to see someone understanding how to make the music balance the words, even if it can feel left-of-field for the uninitiated.

“i hope ur miserable until ur dead” by Nessa Barrett

Image courtesy of Warner Records

This is one of those tracks that, on first listen, really makes you go “damn, who hurt you?” That’s really the point, the whole track is about someone blurting their raw and unfiltered emotions about someone who left them hurt. We’ve seen other releases like this come out over the past few months, although few tend to go over the line as to not paint their protagonist in a bad light. Barrett goes full throttle, and it’s hard not to root for her. Burn. His. Car!

“I Get A Kick Out Of You” by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

Image courtesy of Columbia Records

We’re back, everyone, we’re back to jazz Gaga. She reunites with friend and previous jazz partner Tony Bennett for a new album, with a track that’s just as joyous and harmonious as their pairings always are. There’s such natural and brilliant repartee between the two, they sound like they couldn’t be happier than they are when they’re singing with each other. “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” is just that, nothing wildly different from Cheek to Cheek, more of the same goodness.

“wish you were here” by Alaina Castillo

Image courtesy of Chosen People

Alaina Castillo’s someone who consistently impresses with her ability to seamlessly transition between genres and make each one her own. From the experimental, space gear shifting in her earlier parallel universe release to the somber and almost religious organ-driven “wish you were here,” Castillo has the uncanny ability to use her voice like a mood ring, easily able to shift between emotions and sounds that she displays to marvelous effect on here.

“Casanova” by Blake Rose

Image courtesy of Blake Rose

There’s some obvious foreboding on the track, but it’s not what you’re going to be focusing on. Instead, all your attention will be on the smooth guitar lines and punchy beats that are VERY reminiscent of some of Bruce Springsteen’s biggest hits. And it’s certainly a great one to be influenced by, since it brings a tried-and-tested recipe for power, pump, and grit, with enough of a deviation in it to make it sound authentic to Rose’s natural sound.

“Don’t Freak Out” by LILHUDDY ft. iann dior, Tyson Ritter, and Travis Barker

Image courtesy of Immersive/Sandlot/Geffen Records

Wow, Travis Barker really is everywhere, isn’t he? Which isn’t a bad thing, he’s been consistently elevating the work of several artists (lookin at you, WILLOW). LILHUDDY really dials into teen angst and the appropriate pop-punk pop-rock soundtrack for it. It’s clean, it fits well. That may sound like I’m bored, but sometimes just doing something in traditional means is what you need to make it sound good. Why fix what wasn’t broken?

“Wonderful” by Cyn

Image courtesy of UMG Recordings

“Wonderful” stands in a world apart from previous Pokemon outputs by Post Malone and Katy Perry, but it feels just as suited for an adventure as those two would. The difference, maybe, being that this is for the Ash of 2021, who would prefer to Uber everywhere and has high-tech pokeballs. All this to say, the track has the sentimentality of age-old road-trip songs with a new age aesthetic to it.

“apricot skies” by Nova Miller and Bankrol Hayden

Image courtesy of 300 Entertainment

There’s something to be said for the bright and happy summer bops that’re all about feeling the love in the most unadulterated of fashion. Dropping the minimalism and complicated messaging for in-your-face lyricism is what “apricot skies” is all about, bringing a pure pop sensibility to a purely joyous sensation. Miller and Hayden bring that very 2010s appeal of pop to the song, and it works quite well.

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