From the Spanish flair of Rosalía to the punk aesthetic of Porridge Radio, I’ve weeded out this week’s best and worst singles in an effort to shove more music down your ears. Thus, without further ado, here’s a weekly roundup of tunes you might be interested in listening (or not listening) to.
“Juro Que” by Rosalía
With “Juro Que,” Rosalía abandons the electronic experimentation of her past few singles in favor of the flavorful flamenco sensibilities that brought her fame in the first place. Tightly constructed underneath the three-minute mark, “Juro Que” unravels like an epic narrative furnished with immense emotion as it tracks the journey of an imprisoned jewel thief and the woman who loves him as she desperately anticipates his release. It’s a tale as old as time that becomes all the more resonant thanks to Rosalía’s ethereal voice and the shrills of longing she allows to bleed through the track as castanets crescendo toward a tragic finale.
“Boss B-tch” by Doja Cat
Designed as a mind-numbingly repetitive product that’s only meant to build up anticipation for the upcoming “Birds of Prey” film, “Boss Bi-tch” is as forgettable as that devoid-of-personality dude who introduced himself to you at that party. Repeating the line “I’m a bi-tch, I’m a boss” 25 times in the span of two minutes and 14 seconds, Doja Cat’s new single is the type of track that’s bound to be granted a quick lifespan at bat mitzvah dance floors before being completely forgotten by the world at large in approximately one month. Purely conceived as a product to appease the masses in anticipation of another product that’s also supposed to appease the masses by wielding female empowerment for money’s sake, “Boss B-tch” is a sad reminder of media being designed to force-feed consumers rather than thank them for their participation in the prolongation of irksome tracks with shallow agendas such as this one being placed in the top charts.
“Dance of the Clairvoyants” by Pearl Jam
“When the past is the present / And the future’s no more” is when we start getting trashy Pearl Jam singles being thrown our way yet again. Were they influential in the 90s? Sure, they were. Whatever. But Pearl Jam’s presence is entirely unwarranted these days. Showing no signs of sonic evolution and offering vocals that have only gotten raspier with time, “Dance of the Clairvoyants” is like a ghost’s invisible attempts at trying to get your attention. For all its flaunting, archaic familiarity and pseudo-attention-grabbing persona, the reality is that the ghost is dead and there’s no bringing it back. Similarly, Pearl Jam is dead and there’s no way of resuscitating their sound, especially not by keeping it the same in an age that demands sonic merging and adaptation. For all its talk of the future, “Dance of the Clairvoyants” is a song that’s sadly stuck in the past, unable to recognize the fact that its mere ectoplasmic vomit is doomed to be lost to the recesses of the streaming era alongside a myriad of equally prosaic comeback attempts on behalf of similarly forgotten bands.
“TOY” by The Chromatics
Channeling the fragile madness of Laura Palmer, The Chromatics have conjured yet another groovy synth-pop anthem destined to be played on repeat all over Brooklyn basement parties. Touching on the torture of infatuation, “TOY” takes the premise of Tyler, The Creator’s “PUPPET” and turns it into a lovely electronic ballad that plays like the perfect cross between Kraftwerk and Dolores O’Riordan. Comprised of a broken heart buoyed by delicate synthwork, “TOY” gently allows its listeners to forget their troubles and dance the night away. As always, Johnny Jewel’s production is as immaculate as ever and a final touch of dreamy electronic wizardry — a supernova flash of pure artistry — proves why The Chromatics have managed to remain in the musical zeitgeist for so long.
“Sweet” by Porridge Radio
Released in anticipation of their forthcoming album, “Sweet” paints a beautiful picture of a “nervous wreck” trying to paint herself in the best light. It’s a mad mantra of a woman trying to manifest her desires into existence while being entirely self-aware of the fact that it won’t happen. She’s at a breaking point, and her screaming repetition of claims like “you will like me when you meet me” are supposed to assure her of the fact that she’s more than the mess that she sees when she bites her nails. But if the violent eruption of guitars behind her chants are any indication, she’s lost control and granted us the green light to thrash around to the rhythm of her despair.
Email Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer at [email protected]