Before we begin this week’s new music roundup, some sad news: Joel Arbaje, original curator of The Week In Music, has departed Fast Company to go kill it as a photo editor at Men’s Health. That means I’m taking over the reigns, though hopefully with the finesse and critical eye Joel would be proud of. Ready For It?
This Friday’s new tracks feature a ton of fierce females (we see you Demi Lovato and Kesha). Here are our playlist recommendations to get you through the week ahead.
Track 1: Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Deadly Valentine”
The British-French actress and singer-songwriter is back with her first new music since 2011’s Stage Whisper. Remember, 2011 was right at this inflection point for pop, when artists like Lorde, Ellie Goulding, and Tove Lo were figuring out how they wanted to sound and just breaking or about to break into mainstream music. Gainsbourg is a key player in that transformation, and Tove Lo, in particular, has cited her as a major influence.
“Deadly Valentine” is a dance-y, orchestral pop track that feels especially welcome in today’s pop landscape. The music video features Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) and Gainsbourg in a lifelong relationship, chasing each other from the time they were kids to when they reach old age. I’m a sucker for videos that span lifetimes (looking at you, “100 Years” by Five For Fighting).
Track 2: Lizzo, “Truth Hurts”
One of the funniest and most un-self-serious rappers today, Lizzo has dropped a new single called “Truth Hurts.” The bouncy, piano-driven track manages to reference DNA tests, side chicks, and the Minnesota Vikings in just two minutes and 53 seconds. All that in a song about douchey dudes who are holding her back? Perfection. Best line: “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent that bitch.” (But was it from 23andMe? We need to know.)
Track 3: Tusks, “Last”
U.K. artist Emily Underhill a.k.a Tusks has her debut album coming out on Oct. 13. This cut, “Last,” is a pure piece of airy, atmospheric synth pop, which we could all use a little more of in our working lives, I think. It passes my Dystopian YA Novel Adaptation test, which is where I try to imagine a song as the soundtrack to a montage where bold, brave youths run and run while escaping a government enemy. Inspiring!
Track 4: Noah Cyrus & XXXTENTACION, “Again”
After some pretty meh singles (“Make Me (Cry)” and “Stay Together”), Noah Cyrus has finally released a song I’m kind of into. “Again” has a slowed down, underwater vibe that feels very Lorde’s Melodrama. And her vocals are giving me some Florence Welch vibes that I 100% appreciate. More of this, please.
Meanwhile, big sis Miley has released her next single off upcoming record Younger Now, a bluesy old-fashioned sounding song that continues her current streak of pretty forgettable singles. The best part of “Week Without You” is that she uses the phrase “old blue jeans” which as any avid Hannah Montana watcher knows, IS THE NAME OF A SONG FROM THE HANNAH MONTANA 2 CD. Way to remember your roots, Miles.
Track 5: Ty Dolla $ign, “Message In A Bottle”
In advance of Beach House 3, out Oct. 27, Ty Dolla $ign dropped two new tracks, “Message In A Bottle” and “Dawsin’s Breek.” “Dawsin’s” is the better title, but “Message” is the better song, a languorous meditation on partying with a requisite Hennessy reference. And the cadence of the verses reminds me of Rihanna’s ANTI track “Desperado,” which is always a good association.
One Thing We Refuse To Listen To
And finally, a new segment called One Thing We Refuse To Listen To. This week, that honor goes to Worst Meme of 2017 Contender, Danielle Bregoli a.k.a the Cash Me Outside teen from Dr. Phil. She’s now making music under the name Bhad Babie, with a new single out today called “Hi Bich.” We really enjoyed not listening to this one. Stay in school, kids.
See you next week!