V’s New Music Round-Up

V’s New Music Round-Up

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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! Ooooh, we’re in the dark and moody Halloween times now, aren’t we? We’re feeling the ooky, spooky, the crazy and kooky. Granted, most of our picks for this week aren’t really Halloween-y, but we have a little bit of the dark atmos going that should build up nicely for next week’s spoopy season round-up. Welcome to V’s new music round-up, where we bring to you the week’s biggest and best releases, singles, albums, EPs, whatever you like.

Here are this week’s top picks:

The Lockdown Sessions by Elton John

Image courtesy of HST Recording Limited/Mercury Records

The Lockdown Sessions is this mix of old school and new school that really shouldn’t work, but really kind of does. I think it’s mainly because there’s really something for everyone on there. You have the classic melodies and harmonies to groove along to with the collabs with Stevie Nicks and Stevie Wonder, and there’s the fresh takes on current mainstream courtesy of artists like Charlie Puth and Jimmie Allen (I’d skip the Nicki/Young Thug track, though). Maybe the record as a whole is dissonant, but one thing’s for sure: it’s all 1000x better than “Sine From Above!”

Blue Banisters by Lana Del Rey

Image courtesy of Lana Del Rey/Polydor Records

I come into a Lana Del Rey record with very clear expectations: complex narratives, smoky and ethereal vocals, and a largely old Hollywood-esque vintage vibe. The first two? Check on Blue Banisters. And after tracks one to three, I feared we’d get a Chemtrails Over the Country Club reprise. But the interlude hit and woah, it all changed! Every track is signature Lana but with deviation, easing into a variety of other genres that she can easily meld into her own. It’s refreshing, like a present day lounge singer instead of one from 1939. The last three tracks slightly drop the ball there, but Banisters is a relatively exciting record in the Lana Del Rey pantheon.

“CAN’T TOUCH THIS” by BIA

Image courtesy of BIA

With a sample that adapts the beat and rhythm of the irresistible “Milkshake” by Kelis (remember Regina George’s sister’s problematic dance?), BIA brings this simultaneously smooth and rapidfire flow. It could just as easily travel between 2003 and 2021 and, to be very honest, I need Chef Kelis to jump on this and make this the collab we need, now that she’s back.

“Moth To A Flame” by Swedish House Mafia with The Weeknd

Image courtesy of SSA Recording

Swedish House Mafia were on quite the roll with their last few single releases since their big return, and their collab with The Weeknd might just be their biggest outing yet. It should tune even casual fans into their comeback in the optimal way, although it’s a little more sonically distant from their past work. In fact, it sounds more like a cut from After Hours that it does a SHM track, inundated with a throbbing beat that pulses with Abel’s signature dark and moody atmosphere. A great listen, but maybe not a SHM listen.

“Pa Mis Muchachas” by Christina Aguilera, Becky G, and Nicki Nicole ft. Nathy Peluso

Image courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment

Christina Aguilera is back – and with a new Spanish-language single, her first since her 2000 album Mi Reflejo. It’s a fun single, and it sounds like Aguilera is enjoying herself more so than she has in a while. But the real accomplishment is the features, with all of them ensuring that none of them let the powerhouse singer’s vocals overshadow any of them. Becky G, in particular, manages to cement herself as a standout with her smooth verses that just melt with the melody, and it’s what makes this track a “vibe” (excuse my Gen Z vocabulary).

“Halloweenie IV: Innards” by Ashnikko

Image courtesy of Parlophone Records Limited

Ashnikko’s new Halloween-themed track takes your signature, familiar spooky theme and music and really twists it into something dark, nasty, gruesome, disgusting. And if you have a penchant for the freaky and the weird, it’s absolutely bonkers and brilliant. And even if you don’t, it’s an experience worth having, the kind that might leave you shifting in your seat a little uncomfortably and will make you reach for that holy water. In other words, it’s deeply disturbing and fantastic.

“Just A Notion” by ABBA

Image courtesy of 1221 AB

Remember when ABBA dropped two new singles out of the blue after who knows long of being away? Well, they’re back with more, and it’s so, so much more nostalgic gooey goodness. In fact, it’s even better than the previous ones, it’s buoyant and joyful, backed by a piano melody that refuses to give up, the same kind that made a track like “Waterloo” such an instant classic, Eurovision and beyond. It makes sense, given that it was recorded in 1978, which is why it sounds just like what we remember them as.

“Zombie” by Siiickbrain

Image courtesy of Siiickbrain

Keeping in theme with the freaky and the macabre is Siiickbrain and her slightly siiick idea of love, bordering on the obsessive and the codependent. It’s like a modern retelling of Lady Gaga’s epic “Bad Romance,” but with more of a focus on the protagonist finding healing with their love, a balance to their crazy. It’s a nicer sentiment for the mental health-conscious era we live in, let’s say, and it fits well for the spoopy season, thematically and musically.

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