V’s New Music Round-Up
Here are some of the biggest and best releases of the week
Here are some of the biggest and best releases of the week
Text: Ahad Sanwari
Hello and welcome! Sometimes, I wonder if people would notice if I just dropped some gibberish here. What if my entire intro is just “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?”…Wow, the sound of that is really quite atrocious. You know what’s not atrocious, though? V’s New Music Round-Up, where we tune you into some of the week’s biggest and best releases (once again, seamless transitions for the win).
Here are this week’s top picks:
Remember Her Name by Mickey Guyton
It’s not easy as a country musician to balance the deeply personal with the hokey and universal. Guyton manages to do just that with her debut record, placing her dynamite voice front and center and speaking to generations of people out there just like her who can’t voice for themselves. Even with inflections of light-hearted tracks like “Different” and “Rosé,” Remember Her Name is a powerful record that firmly establishes the singer’s legacy as an activist and a champion.
In The Meantime by Alessia Cara
Alessia Cara brings meaning and powerful truths to the songs off her new album, with the rhythmic production still keeping it all to a point where you can listen to it without breaking down. It’s all about asking the big questions and pondering over the choices you’ve made with this album, wondering whether everything you did was worth it or how something will turn out. It’s a record that makes you listen, but it’s, above all, a record that makes you think.
Sunbeam by Alina Baraz
From two records steeped in messaging and retrospection, we go to one that’s more about embracing the intimacy of personal connection and human emotion. Baraz has capably managed to create an environment of closeness that you can feel through the slinky and sultry production, the buttery smooth vocal stylings, the moody disposition. It’s a calm and heavy vibe that Baraz evokes, and for four songs worth, it pulls you in.
“My Universe” by Coldplay and BTS
“My Universe” leans more into the fun and spacey vibe of their earlier single from the upcoming album, “Higher Power.” Chris Martin brings the larger than life vocal prowess he’s always had, and the rest of the BTS boys add their own signature spins to it too, in a mix of English and Korean. But it’s really Jungkook who steals the show with his own ethereal touch to the song, with airy vocals that float lightly above the pulsating beat, the melding of the two is probably why you’ll keep coming back to the song.
“SEJODIOTO” by KAROL G
KAROL G brings a carefree attitude to this track about embracing the single, no-strings-attached lifestyle. She even keeps the beat relatively sparse and the production minimal, veering away from the big sounds she cultivated on her last album. It’s sultry, it’s crisp, it’s a little three minute sway-nod-tap bop that’ll fuel you for the entirety of its run, and might even stay in your head beyond that.
“After All” by Elton John and Charlie Puth
For anyone who follows Charlie Puth on Instagram (which I HIGHLY recommend), the production screams and hollers his name. The meticulous and specific synths, the carefully crafted vocal layering, each choice is made with a specific intent. It’s the beauty of a Charlie Puth song, and even takes Elton John’s harmonies to an angelic, choir like level, to the point that the last hook sounds remarkably like the rousing chorus of Celine Dion’s “A New Day Has Come,” and we’re all the better for it.
“For Tonight” by Giveon
Giveon brings such soul and heartache to this slow jam with a beat and melody that sound very reminiscent of Beyonce’s “Halo” (her best song, in my opinion, fight me). You feel his passion and desire just ooze through his vocal stylings and they’re slowly tugging at you, asking you to lay in bed with him just for tonight. It’s a very smooth way to start off his debut album cycle.
“BESITO” by BIA ft. G Herbo
What makes BIA stand out from a lot of her contemporaries is that she’s so very low-key in her approach, laidback and chill, yet manages to drop lines with the quiet ferocity of the best. It’s the same vibe that drove “Whole Lotta Money” up all those charts. Although, as soon as you start really jiving, before you know it, the track’s already done, which is a little anticlimactic, sure. But hey, who are we to argue with the presumably hundreds of thousands that’ll make TikTok challenges out of this hook?
“How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston and Clean Bandit
After the Kygo remix of her “Higher Love,” Whitney seems to be finding her way back on the charts through the revamp treatment lately. The British electronic group gives an already club-ready track the 21st century spin, through some poppy drops, vocal effects, saxophones (all over in more ways than you realize), and some real build. It may not have the original’s euphoria, but any excuse we get to experience more Whitney Houston is more than welcome.
“Mucha Labia” by Poupie ft. Guaynaa
French singer Poupie has that very chill vibe going on that BIA and KAROL G before her were able to project as well, but with the difference of French being added in there. Sure, it’s just another language, but when you take into account that it’s one with the phrasing and enunciation that evokes the sultry and seamless vibe even more than Spanish sometimes can, it elevates your experience. Before long, you’ll be jamming, you’ll be moving, and you probably won’t even know it.
“Faithful” by G-Eazy ft. Marc E. Bassy
G-Eazy may be the lead artist here, but I find myself wanting less of him on the track? His verses are perfectly commendable, he manages to have his flow suit the song’s overall melody and rhythm pretty well and gets the almost lounge vibe of it down. But Bassy completely takes over the song with his hook and bridge, he’s evocative and fits the sound so brilliantly. And then the rapper’s ad libs keep poking in and you think “stop, no, let the song breathe, live in its element.” A little editing could’ve really made this a perfect mix.