New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Weekly Radio Roundup: March 5 – March 11

Read about the most notable singles released this week.
Susan Behrends Valenzuela
The arts desk is back with some recommendations of singles you may have missed this week. (Staff Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

This past week’s releases provided a glimpse into the new sounds and influences trending in the music industry.  From soul music to 1970s glam rock, these tracks gave us an overwhelming sense of hope for music and artists which seems fitting as we begin another semester of Weekly Radio Roundups. Enjoy!

“Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic

Victoria Carchietta, Contributing Writer 

Silk Sonic, the unexpected, yet fitting duo made up of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak released their single last Friday. “Leave the Door Open,” is a refreshing homage to 1970s soul incorporating call and response and an expansive background band with crooners. Mars’ popstar charm, Anderson .Paak’s talent for production and the duo’s eerily similar caramel-smooth vocals place a modern spin on a beloved genre. While hits such as “24K Magic” and “Treasure” have echoes of Soul Train, “Leave the Door Open” is both a shocking and fitting comeback for Mars. The song quickly puts any listener into an optimistic mood and alludes to soul’s increasing prominence in popular music.


“Spinning” by No Rome ft. Charli XCX and The 1975

Perry Gregory, Contributing Writer

Charli’s Angels rejoice! On March 4, No Rome released “Spinning” featuring Charli XCX and The 1975. “Spinning” is the second collaboration between The 1975 and No Rome after their 2018 single, “Narcissist.” Charli’s modulated vocals are like a sonic equivalent of a disco ball: flashy, dizzying and consistent. This vocal style compliments simple, biting lyrics like, ”My love like a city/All night everywhere/You love being with me/You never forget.” She sings about that impossible kind of club romance we have all found ourselves dreaming about lately. Matty Healy, lead vocalist for The 1975, and No Rome’s vocals come in under Charli’s voice on the second verse and chorus, adding a welcome texture to the song, while the pulsing house beat creates a joyful track from start to finish. “Spinning” showcases the upward trajectory and musical evolution of all three artists as they continue to create and refine their sound. 


“Pay Your Way In Pain” by St. Vincent 

Nathan Chizen, Video Game Editor

St. Vincent returns with a new single, and as the title of her upcoming album suggests, “Daddy’s Home.” With a sound that screams Elton John getting high with David Bowie, the song is a callback to the bizarro-rock of the 1970s. Ever the innovator in contemporary alternative music, Clark has continued to evolve throughout her discography. While not a complete departure from the synth-heavy beats and sex-laced vocals of 2017’s “Masseducation,” “Pay Your Way in Pain” is St. Vincent diving headfirst into a new musical obsession: pre-disco funk with a touch of electronica. Still lamenting about love, desire and rejection as she did on her first LP, “Marry Me,” St.Vincent reemerges more confident and than ever. 


“Tell Me How” by Tyler, The Creator

Sophia Carr, Contributing Writer

Originally released as the score to Coca-Cola’s new Gen Z-targeted advertisement, Tyler, the Creator’s new single, “Tell Me How,” blends his signature production style reminiscent of his third experimental album, “Cherry Bomb,” with simple, catchy lyrics. “Tell me how it taste, yeah, the good, good, good,” he sings, followed by whispers and shouts. The track begins with slow, serene chords that transition into a sound effect of someone enjoying a refreshing Coca-Cola. It progresses into uptempo dance music, transitioning back and forth between these two extremes throughout the track. The song feels peaceful, chaotic and something that only Tyler could create. Although the lyrics may be criticized for their oversimplicity, the song motivates you to either pick up a Coke, dance or as the commercial suggests, both. It is not the typical soft drink commercial, but it is what I expect from Tyler. “Tell Me How” exemplifies his range as a producer, and, I hope, marks his continued dedication to further production jobs on commercials and movies.


“The Heart & the Tongue” by Chance the Rapper

Abbey Whelan, Contributing Writer 

With his new song “The Heart and the Tongue,” Chance the Rapper aims to make a statement and succeeds. Released only on YouTube, the song and video are stripped-down versions of Chance’s usual bright, optimistic work. The music video is straightforward, starting with Chance reclining on a couch, evoking a therapy session. The song is composed of two verses on top of one constant, catchy beat, which place emphasis on his lyrics and flow. In his lyrics, Chance gracefully reflects on his internal conflicts, and calls out American political leaders through references to Christianity, pop culture and some Greco-Roman mythology that might need Googling for those who don’t remember history class. The song provides an explanation for his struggle to release new music and introduces a “thesis,” to hopefully be explored on an equally honest upcoming album. However, the track is not an addition to everyone’s playlists. The song’s musical simplicity can be viewed as poignant or boring based on personal preference. Time will tell whether this pared-down style is a one-time thing or if it represents a fundamental transition in Chance’s discography. 


“This is Heaven” by Nick Jonas 

Anastasia D.S. Johnson, Contributing Writer 

Nick Jonas has done it again. With songwriting credits as extensive as his, the quality of “This is Heaven” is no surprise. In “This is Heaven,” Jonas’ second single from his upcoming album ”Spaceman,” he brings all the euphoria. The uptempo electro-pop track cannot help but get you thinking about your own special someone, and exudes the feeling of joy that pandemic exhaustion has left us longing for. Jonas’ straightforward verses build into an infectious chorus, leading to an explosive ‘80s-esque saxophone solo that challenges the commercial expectations of the track. Suffice to say, Nick Jonas’ latest hit truly is heaven.


“Till Forever Falls Apart” by Ashe and FINNEAS

Candace Patrick, Contributing Writer

“Till Forever Falls Apart,” the most recent release co-written by Ashe and FINNEAS, is the epitome of a classic pop love ballad. The song was released alongside an ethereal, romantic music video in which the pair are pictured dancing whimsically on a hillside. Drawing from the bittersweet sentiment of appreciating the love you have before it’s gone, the song also reflects on accepting the idea that not everything is meant to last. Though FINNEAS’s career has flourished both as a producer and an artist, Ashe only emerged as an artist recently, gaining momentum primarily through her popular single (and the duo’s first collaboration), “Moral of the Story.” “Till Forever Falls Apart” feels timeless, fitting and promising for both Ashe and FINNEAS. I hope they never stop collaborating.

Email the Music Desk at [email protected].

About the Contributors
Ana Cubas, Arts Editor
Ana is a Gallatin junior studying Arts and Cultural Criticism with a minor in BEMT (Business of Entertainment, Media and Technology). She’s likely daydreaming about Portillo’s Italian beef or listening to a Grateful Dead live album. One day she may become active on social media and if you’re anxiously awaiting for that moment, follow her on Instagram at @alucubas and on Twitter at @anac017.
Nathan Chizen, Video Games Editor
Nathan Chizen is a junior majoring in Cinema Studies and minoring in Journalism. Also an installation artist, he works with audio technology and video to reconsider the utility of digital services and how they affect our environment. Born in the Canadian midwest, he's partial to snowy days and consuming literally any kind of media. When he isn't doing that, you can find him skating around the city or trying to get through his ever-growing list of books that he "needs" to read. Follow him on Instagram at @normcore.nathaniel.
Abbey Whelan, Voices Editor
Abbey is a Gallatin senior researching the socio-cultural impacts of media and its potential for education and social change. She is minoring in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies and loves getting paid to play games with children. When she isn’t oversharing on the internet, Abbey is either reading a cheesy YA novel, doing an elaborate jigsaw puzzle or critiquing your favorite TV show. She is a Los Angeles native and typical California girl, despite her best efforts. If you can’t find her in Washington Square Park writing in one of many pink notebooks, check Instagram and Twitter @abbeyjowhelan.
Susan Behrends Valenzuela, Editor-at-Large
Susan Behrends Valenzuela is a senior studying studio art at Steinhardt and minoring in Media, Culture, and Communication. She is passionate about the intersection of art and media, and is particularly fond of zines and small magazines. When she's not working or making art, she can be found co-running an art zine with her friend, rollerskating, sewing, baking or scrolling through Instagram.
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