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! Are you here to hear the professional opinions of a professional, learned, cultured, professional figure?…Well, he’s not here, so you have me and my takes each week as I welcome you 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. We tell you how we feel, how we roll, and we’ve got quite a few good ditties for you on this day, so let’s get into it!
Here are this week’s top picks:
Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You by Nija
With a cavalcade of smooth and polished, if not monotonous, R&B and hip-hop beats and production choices, Nija comes in hard. She doesn’t mince words when it comes to talking about her issues, whether it means calling out past lovers or her own expectations. I mean, she did warn us in the title itself. For a debut record, it leaves me coming out of it interested in her as a personality and artist, less so in the packaged version of it that we actually get.
“Beg For You” by Charli XCX ft. Rina Sawayama
Interpolating September’s surprisingly ubiquitous “Cry For You” into this garage blend, Charli’s new offering is another one of the pop-perfect releases that have been peppering the rollout for her new album. Along with Sawayama just being…well, amazing as always, it has a commonality and also quite a stark difference as compared to, say, “New Shapes” that it creates a lot more intrigue for the upcoming record, one I’m assuming will have more incredible collaborations (and I hope I assume correctly).
“High” by The Chainsmokers
What I appreciate is that “High,” the electronic duo’s first release in over two years, is like nothing we’ve ever heard from them before. The trap and punk influences make it a nice change of pace from their usual club bangers. What I don’t is the fact that they now sound like a lot of other stuff on the radio, and it makes it harder to pick them out in a line-up. From their earlier work, you wouldn’t think they’d have a very distinct sound, but in the outro and bridge, you can tell the lanes their earlier beats lay in, and I hate to say it…but I miss them. Less of the new/same, please.
“26” by Lauv
Lauv has always had a knack for telling strong stories, ranging from the quirky to the vulnerable and emotional. We lean on the latter here, tackling borderline existentialist themes. But what really sets it apart is the sonic shift he’s taking as he presumably ushers us into a new album era, more experimental and interesting, with “26” boasting a sped-up guitar riff, vocal distortion, a staccato beat. We’re getting a full package Lauv that I’m excited to see, maybe move into more intricate and daring soundspaces.
“DFMU” by Ella Mai
After a two year hiatus, Ella Mai is back with a slow, smooth, groovy syncopating R&B song that serves as both plea and warning. Her voice has always been her strongest asset, and it’s at full display here, especially because she plays up an emotional POV while also adding an undercurrent of danger to it. It’s by no means groundbreaking, I’ll admit, even for Mai herself. But it’s kind of like a redecoration of the wheel which makes you appreciate it just that bit more.
“Boys Don’t Cry” by Anitta
The last thing I ever expected from a Brazilian superstar like Anitta, who has developed quite a distinct aesthetic up till this point (case in point, “Girl From Rio”), is an 80s synth-rock banger. I’m really, really into this Anitta, even though there’s no real way to distinguish her from any other pseudo-mainstream female singer beyond her deeply sensual voice. This is her “I can do it all” phase, and considering she’s basically playing to my interests, I’m here for swapping the fun for edge, color me intrigued.
“You’ve Got to Let Go If You Want to Be Free” by Disclosure and Zedd
I don’t think any electronic or house fans were expecting this collab, let alone mainstream listeners. This is a dance-ready, club banger through and through, made for those playlists you just have to break it down to. It’s Disclosure in its minimalist beats and house appeal, it’s Zedd in the glitchy, electronic vibe in the second half of the song, it’s like a polished 00s-esque club anthem, riding on energy and charm.
“Anyone For You” by George Ezra
It’s been a while since we’ve really gotten more of George Ezra, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about the fact that he sounds just as ecstatic as I do. “Anyone For You” is hopeful, optimistic, joyous, and just straight up happy, larger-than-life. Every time you hear pianos just strumming along in those very specific “Walking on Sunshine” chords and that brass kick in, you’re in for a euphoric treat, and it’s just…it’s just so much goddamn fun, damn you George Ezra for brightening up my Friday so!
“Shinigami Eyes” by Grimes
From the upbeat to the weird, fitting we get into Grimes next. “Shinigami Eyes” is perfectly what you’d expect, which is just more of the unexpected. Like a perfect accompaniment to an elven or anime-centric soundtrack, this suitably dark yet uptempo track feels like you’re walking through a tightly edited fight scene, katanas in hand, hair flowing through the wind, ready to slice someone in half. “Death Note” references aside, it’s a quick and enveloping offering from the Canadian musician that should easily live rent free in your head (seriously, it’s stuck, help).
“No ID” by Tank and the Bangas
This modern-disco story of essentially a bouncer for your heart, “No ID” is all about that self love. The funky New Orleans-based band sings about letting someone know straight from the jump that there’s no seeing inside of them without an ID. Don’t fret, though, it’s full of the signature Tank and the Banga sounds you love, replete with soul and heart, brass sections, a whole lotta funk and fun for a bop, bop, bop.