Weekly Radio Roundup: Jan. 31 – Feb. 3

The most exciting singles that came out over the course of the week.

In a week of wonders, Porter Robinson is back after a long hiatus and Elon Musk is now an aspiring artist? I guess if this edition of Weekly Radio Roundup proves anything, it’s the fact that anything can happen in the world of music. On that note, here’s our weekly listing of tunes you may (or may not) want to listen to.

“Get Your Wish” by Porter Robinson

Ethan Zack, Arts Editor

After a five-and-a-half-year hiatus, Porter Robinson has returned with a single that, above all else, seeks to reaffirm his goals going forward. All the hallmarks of his trademark electronic style are here grandiose synths, a catchy beat and slightly ethereal-sounding vocals but what gives the song its weight is the message in the lyrics. It’s an informative look into the mindset of Robinson and his creative struggles following the success of his 2014 album “Worlds.” The chorus of “So tell me how it felt when you walked on water / Did you get your wish?” questions whether or not Robinson’s previous musical success was really what he was pursuing in the first place. Where does he go when he’s reached where he always thought he wanted to be? As outlined in a letter he posted on his Twitter, he wants to make music more for the listener, than for himself. Is “Get Your Wish” his most innovative work yet? Not quite. But it’s a moving song with a personal edge that positions itself as a great way for Robinson to establish his new era. It’s for the fans.

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“GROUP B” by Tyler, The Creator

Alexandra Bentzien, Contributing Writer

Tyler, The Creator’s “Group B” is an interesting choice for a single release, sounding more like a B-side to cushion a transition between two songs. It unfolds over a sample of Heaven Sent and Ecstasy’s 1980 track, “Bless You With My Love,” a rarity of soulful sonic celebration that belongs on any smooth-infused playlist. The sweet chorus of classic Motown fare slips quickly into the background against Tyler’s direct style of delivery: the rap pushes forward, tugging at the steady pace of the instrumental and vocal refrain that runs on a loop. While the sample verges on becoming repetitive and monotonous, leading the track to sound more like an intro than a single, the verses demonstrate an intriguing blend of introspection (Pushin’ thirty, but the skin say different, well / If I act my last deal, I’m probably twelve) and comic reflection on the present (Every car is gas, pissin’ Greta off). 

“Ordinary Talk” by Half Waif

Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer, Music Editor

“Ordinary Talk” is just about the most ordinary song you’ve ever heard. Built in a mind-numbingly slow fashion that sloppily trudges toward its conclusion both lyrically and sonically, “Ordinary Talk” is entirely forgettable and mostly unlistenable. It also doesn’t help that Half Waif’s voice is suffocated underneath Nandi Rose Plunkett and David Tolomei’s obnoxiously-euphoric production. That said, if you were actually able to listen to the lyrics, I doubt you’d be riveted by a slew of unoriginal verses meant to explore the feeling of love. In short, the single is a mess, a sad preface to a hopefully greater project that shows no promise whatsoever as of right now. 

“Hold On” by Little Dragon

Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer, Music Editor

Returning to their singular blend of dream-pop and disco after their missteps with “Season High,” Little Dragon’s latest recaptures the energy of their greatest hits. “Hold On” is a breezy song for all seasons, the type of track you can dance, think, walk or bathe to. Knitted together in a seemingly effortless manner, “Hold On” weaves in and out of a variety of sonic landscapes all the while remaining fluently cool. If this is the type of sound we’re to expect from their upcoming album “New Me, Same Us,” you can count me in and bet you’ll find me repeating its catchy verses as I stroll around town.

“Never Come Back” by Caribou

Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer, Music Editor

With “Never Come Back,” it seems Caribou has abandoned the artful experimentation that made him famous in the first place. Swapping his ambient electronic sensibilities for cheap EDM repetitiveness, Caribou’s latest displays his strange sound being warped into normalcy for the sake of consumers. In the wake of his more off-kilter-house releases with “You and I” and “Home,” “Never Come Back” sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s a trite addition to an otherwise great slew of singles, endowing the excitement behind the release of Caribou’s new album with a shade of worry over what the final product will actually end up sounding like. 

“Don’t Doubt ur Vibe” by Elon Musk

Ashley Wu, Deputy Arts Editor

Elon Musk’s new single, “Don’t Doubt ur Vibe,” is exactly what you think it would be. The Tesla founder does nothing but repeat the lyrics “Don’t doubt your vibe / It knows it’s true” in a hypnotic Buddhist chant set against some relatively yummy synth. The single evokes the disembodied feel of a space odyssey, using electronic noise to allude to the future. The sweeping atmospheric background is in the vein of Grimes’s cyber-goth sound aesthetic, but doesn’t quite achieve the same complexity in rhythm or cadence. Ultimately, the single leaves you wondering if Musk is still feeling the aftershock from The Joe Rogan Experience. 

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