Song of the Week
Hatchie, "Sugar & Spice"
In just three songs, budding singer-songwriter Hatchie has developed a distinctly confident sound. Her brand of guitar-driven dream pop is reminiscent of classic groups like the Cocteau Twins and The Sundays, but operates with a more sugary-sweet aesthetic. Her latest track's title hints at the bitter emotions coated with a delivery and melody as sweet as honey. It's a song about a good relationship outlasting some rough patches -- or perhaps the exact opposite -- but it feels like pure pop bliss.
Cardi B, "Drip" feat. Migos
The new leading lady of hip-hop, indeed. On the heels of her debut release, Cardi casually dropped this track, which effortlessly exudes cool. Each member of Migos brings their A-game, with Takeoff actively fighting against his unspoken designation as the third-in-command of the trap trio.
Chromeo, "Must've Been" feat. DRAM
Retro-funk outfit Chromeo has found a match made in heaven with the eccentric DRAM. At times, "Must've Been" feels influenced more by modern anthemic pop standards than their previous work, but the fusion between old and new works well here. The song is especially bolstered by a catchy vocal breakdown at the chorus and a lively performance from the Big Baby himself.
This is bedroom R&B operating simultaneously at its most subtle and extreme. The percussion churns forward slowly, and the backing keyboards remain gentle throughout. But Gallant is not beating around the bush about what he wants. He's here to let you know that he's going to be as respectful as possible while seducing you. The falsetto he hits while crooning, "have you ever had a gentleman? If not, then girl you deserve a gentleman" is pure magic, and the lines that follow made me say "oh my" aloud.
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Beach House, "Dark Spring"
Most groups with a well-entrenched sound tend to sharpen and smooth out their lines. With their upcoming record "7," Beach House is actively working to add rough edges to their typically hypnotic, dreamy atmosphere.. "Dark Spring" is one of their most propulsive tracks ever, contributing more to my hope that we'll be hearing a new side of the indie-pop mainstays.
As someone with not one, but two Honda CR-V's in my family, it was a very pleasant surprise to run across this ode for that totally average SUV. Cuco is a teen artist on the rise, and his latest is sunny, charming and fun in its own way. It's a delight to hear him casually chat about how he looks like a Mom and fills his ride with groceries, and unexpectedly revealing to hear him mutter, "I'm so average / In my CR-V."
Poo Bear, "Hard 2 Face Reality" feat. Justin Bieber & Jay Electronica
If you don't know Poo Bear's name, you know his work. He has been Justin Bieber's major co-writer in his recent musical resurgence, and he's helped create some major R&B hits of the 2000s. He's got the hooky pop songwriting nailed down, but as this track proves, he's also got the vocal chops to lead a song. Of course, a chorus from Bieber himself and a solid verse from the elusive Jay Electronica doesn't hurt, either.
Slim Jxmmi, "Chanel" feat. Swae Lee & Pharrell Williams
Each week, I scour through a lot of singles to potentially discover new gems and, just as often, stumble upon something that never should've been dug up. It just so happens that this week, the most sonically offensive release happened to be one I was looking forward to. As Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee, better known as Rae Sremmurd, gear up for their ambitious triple album, they've released some hit-or-miss material. "Chanel," despite the Pharrell feature, falls in the latter category, mainly because of its grossly repetitive hook. After one listen, I'm certain the line "Take her to Chanel 'cause she fine" will haunt my nightmares until the end of time.