This week’s roundup sees some strong drops for upcoming, highly anticipated LPs (Charli XCX, Jack White), an underwhelming remix (Chris Lake, NPC and Sosa) and an unexpectedly strong demo track (PJ Harvey). We also get enchanting tracks from indie artist Amaroun, R&B stalwart Kehlani and pop star Troye Sivan. And finally, our roundup includes stellar turns from reliably great hip hop MCs Missy Elliott and Q-Tip.
1. Charli XCX – Baby
For her fourth single from the upcoming ‘Crash’ album, XCX harnesses the styles of Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and old Bollywood-inspired dance music to make an interesting pop-dance tune, albeit one that doesn’t quite go above and beyond.
2. Kehlani – little story
A perfect little R&B-pop tune with an emotionally hard-hitting tune and songwriting playing each other against some bare instrumentation.
3. Belle and Sebastian – Unnecessary Drama
The widely-loved pop band from Glasgow have announced their upcoming album titled ‘A Bit of Previous’. This is their first full-length studio album after seven years and we are beyond excited. The first single is “Unnecessary Drama” which has a mix of both older B&S sound and newer influences. The lyrics are as relatable and relevant as ever, especially with the younger listeners, as Stuart Murdoch sings of feeling like our lives are passing by right in front of us due to the pandemic. Throw in some lines about how time passes fast, how the past was golden, and how now we are just surrounded by
“douchebags”, and we’ve got a classic B&S song. The chaotic song also benefits massively from Stevie Jackson’s fantastic harmonica play.
4. Priya Ragu – Illuminous
London-based Swiss artist Priya Ragu celebrates her stratospheric rise last year with the release of her debut mixtape ‘damnshestamil‘ with an eclectic, energetic and audacious dance track which is produced by her brother, producer Japhna Gold.
5. Ananya Birla – Inaam (with Salvage Audio Collective)
Ananya Birla sings the Hindi-language title track of the Ajay Devgn-starrer, ‘Rudra’. Cinematic and orchestrated like a James Bond theme song, “Inaam” sounds haunting, angsty and troubled thanks to Birla’s husky vocals.
6. Amaroun – Brown Skin Beauty
“Brown Skin Beauty” is a splendidly vibe-y R&B track. As Amaroun gives her love to brown girls and urges them to take it easy from time to time, the music takes over your entire body and relaxation washes over you.
7. David Guetta – Trampoline (feat. Missy Elliott, Doechii, Afrojack and BIA)
The world’s most iconic MC, DJs and two rising rappers get together for a house track? What a party! “Trampoline” is not only incredibly fun and catchy, but also like a moment in the making, a cultural moment to be remembered as a time when some of the music greats got together to make sheer, heart-thumping music. Doechii’s pen game is
spectacular and breathtaking as ever and she switchea her flows like an athlete. This is like 2022’s answer to 2019’s collaborative behemoth of a song, “Shake It“. We do wish it was longer though.
8. Baby Tate – Sl*t Him Out Again (feat. Kali)
The new track by Baby Tate is a remake of the song she released some weeks ago titled “S.H.O (Sl*t Him Out)”. Refefrencing Kamasutra, toes fetish, ménages, thos might be the kinkiest song by Baby Tate ever. When it first starts, we are unmistakably reminded of Megan Thee Stallion due to not only the brazen lyrics but a similar flow and beats which are produced by Hitkidd. The energy dips a bit when we get to Kali’s verse but the track remains lyrically engaging and tongue-in-cheek.
9. Jack White – Hi-De-Ho (feat. Q-Tip)
The most unexpectedly delightful – but also stand out – track so far in Jack White’s upcoming LP, “Hi-De-Ho” almost conjures up the spirit of Cab Calloway who was a pioneering jazz performer and artist in 20th century America. Q-Tip, the hip hop artist and former MC/producer of A Tribe Called Quest, is the featuring artist here and he channels a vigorously entertaining persona in an inventive and rabid song.
10. Troye Sivan, Gordi – Wait
Pop heartthrob Troye Sivan joins hands with Gordi to make a heartbreaking and powerful pop song for the coming-of-age comedy-drama movie, ‘Three Months’.
11. Ella Henderson – Everything I Didn’t Say
Henderson makes a memorable piano-led song with powerful, crisp & clear and direct lyrics to teach us the lesson that sometimes, less is more.
12. Pip Millett – Ride With Me
Pip Millet, the singer-songwriter from Manchester, has a Jorja Smith cadence that plays well with the R&B sound of “Ride With Me”, and it’s beautiful to listen to.
13. Chris Lake, NPC – A Drug From God (SOSA Remix)
Producer Chris Lake and the Grimes-led music outfit NPC released a song last year to mixed reactions called “A Drug From God”. Now, we get a remix of it by producer SOSA. The remix version sounds vastly different, and perhaps not for the best as much of the haunting edginess of the original is absent in what is now a mostly ’empty’ – but lengthy – track. It’s only best suited to listen to for diehard fans of the EDM/trance/electronica genres.
14. PJ Harvey – The Ministry of Defence (Demo)
This demo version is such a banger. The guitar strumming here plays like an edge-of-the-seat thriller for building upur tension and anticipation.
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