New year, new feelings about Post Malone, you know? (“Wow.” broke me. I’m Posty Hive now.) I’ve gone through a similar conversation w/r/t Ariana Grande, who I’ve only ever been lukewarm about. I can feel my animus for Sam Smith melting. IDK! I didn’t listen to a lot of new artists this month, but I did spend a lot of time reconsidering familiar ones.
Sam Smith, “Dancing With A Stranger (ft. Normani)”
Sam Smith can do sexy, who knew!
Kehlani, “Nights Like This (ft. Ty Dolla Sign)”
I love a horny breakup song.
Gesaffelstein, “Lost In The Fire (ft. The Weeknd)”
Abel doing the most—taking shots at Drake, outing Bella—and the song isn’t even his. It’s gross. I should hate it. But it’s catchy, and I don’t.
Future, “Crushed Up”
Nowhere near weird enough to be a Truly Great Future Song. Still bangs.
Post Malone, “Wow.”
A two and a half minute song with a thirty second fade out—and it’s absolutely packed with little moments I love. The weird wobbly deliver he adopts and drops for no real reason in the first verse. “Your grandmama probably know me.” When he switches up the flow in the second verse. “And this is not a 40, but I'm pourin' out this shit.”
Ariana Grande, “7 Rings”
Aggressively on-trend and absolutely bonkers. Wasn’t expecting Ariana to pivot to Trap Maria Von Trapp after “thank u, next” and “imagine,” but that career development seems inevitable in retrospect. The girl is equal parts Broadway baby and rap stan, after all.
The world needs—and absolutely does not deserve!!!—Lizzo’s specific brand of joy.
Chaka Khan, “Hello Happiness”
A solid addition to the crying in the club canon.
Florence + The Machine, “Moderation”
I love that dramatic piano stabs are having a moment.
Jenny Lewis, “Red Bull & Hennessy”
One of those songs I can’t describe in any reasonable way because what it does to my brain chemistry is so insane. A near-perfect song?
Catfish And The Bottlemen, “Longshot”
Are these boys cute? I’ve literally never seen a photo of them. I only want to get invested if they’re cute.
Hozier, “Almost (Sweet Music)”
Cheerful and mean!
SOAK, “Knock Me Off My Feet”
Cheerful and optimistic!
Andrew Bird, “Sisyphus”
Extremely Gen X in every way.
Helado Negro, “Pais Nublado”
Too often when people describe a song as “dreamy” they just mean… hushed? Or gentle? But this song is genuinely dreamlike: It drifts seamlessly between languages; detours into different soundscapes; retains a sense of mystery.
Jack Antonoff won’t stop until he’s helped every woman on the planet write an earnest piano ballad.
Better Oblivion Community Center, “Didn’t Know What I Was In For”
Familiar, but not overly so.
Broken Social Scene, “All I Want”
They’ve gotten me through so much (adolescence, a post-college depression, the two-year meltdown that followed the 2016 election) that their new releases will be automatically added to my playlists until the end of time.
unperfect, “Gots To Give The Girl”
A neat little magic trick of a song. Catchy and glossy, like a Xenomania song should be, but so warm and relax you forget that every undersung syllable and noodly guitar riff is a deliberate, fussed-over choice.
benny blanco, “I Found You / Nilda’s Story (ft. Calvin Harris & Miguel)”
Noname, “Song 31 (ft. Phoelix)”
Mabel, “Don’t Call Me Up”
There’s at least one Fifth Harmony alum who is absolutely furious they didn’t get this record.
Lauv, “i’m so tired… (ft. Troye Sivan)”
Drilled its way into my brain with stunning efficiency.
RITUAL, “Love Me Back (ft. Tove Styrke)”
Justice 4 “Ego,” which still sounds fresher than this generic spin-class bop.
Sigrid, “Don’t Feel Like Crying”
A big, sparkly, cinematic pop song.
Toro y Moi, “Fading”
The only way my dumb brain can think to describe this is “EPCOT pop.”
Dua Lipa, “Swan Song”
An admirable attempt at making the soundtrack power ballad less boring.
Foals, “Exits - Edit”
Praying the “Single Edit” makes a comeback this year.
IDK what I thought Broods sounded like, but I didn’t think they sounded like this: Shimmery, deranged, genuinely funny.
Dido, “Give You Up”
Dido is the only person on the planet who sounds as blissful and unbothered in 2019 as they did in 1999. Aspirational.
Vampire Weekend, “Harmony Hall”
Fucked up to release this warm spring afternoon of a song when it’s freezing in the Northeast, but w/e.