V’s New Music Round-Up
Here are some of the biggest and best releases of the week
Hello and welcome! Things around the world couldn’t seem worse? Believe me, completely understandable. Thankfully, music is a way to find some respite from that, and for that, we have our weekly V’s New Music Round-Up! We’ve got the biggest and best singles and albums of the week down here. But, also, side-note, still doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to what’s going on elsewhere (this is still an activism stan account)
Here are this week’s top picks:
IF I CAN’T HAVE LOVE, I WANT POWER by Halsey
Halsey’s new album is a magnificence of its own when it comes to creating a mood so grandiose and cinematic. It’s probably the most fully theatrical that the singer has ever gone with her music, and has this almost medieval, renaissance-like quality and aesthetic to it. Cutting off a couple of tracks that don’t fit the overall mood and feel more…current (oddly enough), like “Girl is a Gun” and “Honey,” would just make it absolute perfection, but at this point, it’s still quite fantastic.
“Butter” by BTS ft. Megan Thee Stallion
Okay, I’ll let you in on a secret. (looks around nervously) Since writing about this song in May, I can’t stop listening to it. IT’S THAT CATCHY!! “Dynamite” and “Permission to Dance” had nowhere near that same effect on me. So I was nervous to see Megan on, considering she’s more about hitting the hard bars rather than being a catchy flower. But she lived up to the track’s insane earworm appeal. She really just makes this song her own bish (although I could do without the chorus ad-libs).
“justified” by Kacey Musgraves
Musgraves has always been an impeccable songwriter of the highest caliber, and she’s able to so capably nail the indecisiveness of human emotions. We’re all liable to go back and forth on our feelings sometimes, but we have the right to justify our choices. With a melody that boasts strings that teeter-totter between mellow country and noir western, it’s a compelling track that makes the prospect of her upcoming album that much more exciting.
“999” by Selena Gomez with Camilo
Selena Gomez has absolutely nailed her return to Latin music over the past year, and “999” continues on that strong trajectory. What really elevates this track is that the production, the steady percussion, the choice to stay in that low-key, it perfectly fits both of their voices, Gomez’s more breathy lower register and Camilo’s much higher one. It’s such a good mesh of a slinky and sultry song.
“Perra” by J Balvin and Tokischa
“Perra” really doesn’t have much else going for it beyond the fact that it’s just a lot of fun to listen to. I’m unsure of what I’m listening to for half of the song, but I don’t really care, I think? It’s such a, what the kids from my time would call, “bop,” and that makes it somewhat irresistible. Sure, there’s really not much to judge from a qualitative standpoint, especially not compared to Balvin’s other releases recently, but it’s just something to forget your troubles with.
“Future Starts Now” by Kim Petras
There’s such a dreamy pop ebullience to this song that it feels like I’m floating on the clouds while listening to it. It’s a little hackneyed in its lyricism, but it has the irrepressible charm of a heavenly synth melody and some futuristic altered vocals placed at just the right points (yes, even Tron voice can be gimmicky). I would let go and vibe hard to this at a club, if I were to ever visit one.
“Sunshine” by Liam Payne
Maybe the vibey, sunny tracks are for Liam Payne, it has the distinct disco-influenced synth-wave energy of a DNCE song with the same sort of swag he’s always tried to emulate. This could just be my 1D memories talking, given that the artists involved have all managed to successfully extricate themselves and their artistry from that period, but it’s refreshing to hear Payne have fun on a track that he really mainly did when he was in the group.
“Go Bad” by Blu DeTiger
DeTiger keeps her reputation as the bassist queen completely intact with this rockstar-level track. It’s explosive without actually going off, she exercises some impeccable control that does well to serve as a garage band anthem while also highlighting every high school rager. Considering the song is from the He’s All That soundtrack, it makes me wonder what junction of the movie it even comes in for, which is the best thing it could possibly do: make me want to see the actual film.
“One Night” by Griff
This song is like the perfect mesh of two we’ve already covered in this round-up, DeTiger’s and Petras’. It’s about letting go and feeling the abandon that “Future Starts Now” does, while exercising the restraint that “Go Bad” does. It’s more of this realistic portrayal of euphoria and breaking free that doesn’t always mean you have to shout out your feelings from the rooftop. Not that there’s anything bad with that, it’s a classic for a reason, but new is always appreciated.
“Wake Up At Our Funeral” by Chelsea Collins
This hyper-pop track is so reminiscent of the best of the mid-aughts, while also feeling like it’s steeped, STEEPED in everything that’s popular right now. Singer and producer Collins’ vocals feel as though they’re coming in from 2006 and her production is sitting right in the middle of Doja Cat circa “Say So” circa 2020. It’s a bit of fleeting pop confection that embodies the IDGAF attitude about pop music. Which is why it slaps.