For a week leading up to the releases of the new music from King Krule and Arca, there was also a beautiful bouquet of singles ranging from the likes of Grimes to The Strokes. It’s a week of wonders within the music scene and an exciting time to add new flavors to your potentially outdated playlists.
“Delete Forever” by Grimes
Ian Reid, Contributing Writer
The fifth and final single from Grimes’ upcoming album “Miss Anthropocene,” “Delete Forever” finds the Canadian art-pop provocateur elegizing the countless lives lost to the opioid epidemic. The song combines Wonderwall-esque acoustic guitar (seriously!) with artificial synths and snares to create a bright but cold landscape that feels equal parts organic and electronic. Grimes’ wispy voice is drenched in reverb as it reaches higher and higher, grasping for something tantalizingly out of reach. “I did everything, I did everything / White lines on a mirror in a song”, she mourns, before breaking into a hummed melody, as if words can’t do her sentiment justice.
“100 Preguntas” by Ozuna
Ana Cubas, Contributing Writer
Graciously breaking from the exuberant, pulsating sound of Reggaeton, Ozuna grants listeners a breezy ballad of guitar and tender yet crisp vocals in “100 Preguntas.” With minimal instrumentation, Ozuna’s persona as a rapper is put to the test, proving that his artistic abilities are diverse and still flourishing (as if he needed to prove anything). Ozuna’s profound voice bleeds desire, as the lyrics illustrate his longing for a woman and uncertainty as how to best show his devotion to her. It is with the hunger in his voice and the distinct focus on heart-rending lyrics like “Si decides perderte, te acompaño” (If you decide to lose yourself, I will accompany you) that Ozuna creates a vivid and immortal song.
“Dragonball Durag” by Thundercat
Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer, Music Editor
“Dragonball Durag.” Now, that’s a title. Following the precedents Thundercat set forth with songs like “Tokyo” and “Jameel’s Space Ride,” “Dragonball Durag” sounds as though a sardonic mastermind with a sax stuck 90s Cartoon Network characters into a blender and then composed a song as he quaffed the liquid delight. With lyrics like “I may be covered in cat hair, but I still smell good,” Thundercat achieves a delightful degree of silliness as he presents the story of a man who seems to be more concerned about the way his durag looks than the woman he shares a bed with. It’s a silly premise that accentuates all of Thundercat’s idiosyncrasies — his bouncy bass, spontaneous saxophone and lovely-yet-laughable lyrics.
“No Time To Die” by Billie Eilish
Izzy Salas, Staff Writer
Minimalistic and tragic, Billie EIlish’s new single has an Evanescence element in its gothicness and simple piano accompaniment. “No Time to Die” plunges deep into the sadness of a one-sided love that, to any onlooker, was obviously a disaster. As the song swells with cinematic intensity, its melodrama intensifies. The song is almost too dramatic, with lines like, “Fool me once, fool me twice / Are you death or paradise?” With soul-searching violin solos, the song reminds me of Addams Family-esque love: full of long black dresses and tangoing, crying sessions with dark makeup smeared on her cheeks. A very cartoony choice for Eilish.
“Ignorantes” by Bad Bunny and Sech
Ana Cubas, Contributing Writer
Boasting and self-pity, love and lust, Sech’s lofty voice and Bad Bunny’s mumbled, rooted vocals — “Ignorantes” is a perfect combination of opposites, and it’s irresistible. It is hard to imagine that these two hitmakers haven’t collaborated before, as both reggaetoneros are unafraid to belt out their sentiments. “Ignorantes” chronicles the misery of someone recently dumped coping with regret. While the pain of losing a lover is highlighted, the good sex is truly accentuated through the chorus, in a boasting but mourning manner. The lyricism is disguised in a muted dembow rhythm that’s much more melodic than Bad Bunny’s usual endeavors. The final product offers a song that equally drives dancing and lamenting; it’s no surprise that Bad Bunny and Sech could conjure such a magnetic song.
“At the Door” and “Bad Decisions” by The Strokes
Alexandra Bentzien, Staff Writer
Seven years after the release of “Comedown Machine” (2013), The Strokes announce their reentry into the music world with “At the Door.” The single showcases a striking maturity in lead singer Julian Casablancas’ straining vocals stretched over the sound of a cinematic summoning. Right before the wiry synth chord progression cushioning Casablancas’ repetitive, automatic series of flat crescendos slips into a predictable pattern, the music bursts into a glittering staircase for a galactic soundscape. It doesn’t matter that Casablancas barely sounds like he’s singing as the excitement of the song’s second half continues to build with the promise of an arrival. Whether this entrance is made in outer space or in the indie-rock scene, the image conjured by the instrumentation is of one pedaling a bike uphill, pushing against a stubborn gravitational pull, eyes closed with the pressure until the top is reached, scenery spilling over the other side with relief. If the late 2000s came back for a bit, went to an 80s-themed party, hung out with Beach House and Phoenix and then decided to write a film score, you’d have “At the Door;” subtract the galaxy feeling, add a grounded drum set and make the centerpiece an electric-guitar melody sounding curiously similar to Modern English’s “Melt with You,” you’d have The Strokes’ second single, “Bad Decisions.” Whereas “At the Door” seems like a hazardous exercise in experimentation, “Bad Decisions” is a refreshing memory of The Strokes’ early days, a band defined by a full emotional palette of melancholia, displacement, discomfort, longing and exhilaration tailor-made for a coming-of-age.
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