Weekly Radio Roundup: March 12 – March 19

Read about the most notable singles released this week.

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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)

As midterms come to a close and our short-lived spring break begins, we are reminded of the healing, enticing nature of music. From the cathartic glitches of Laura Les to the entrancing lyrics of Lucy Dacus, these tracks appeal to a variety of sentiments and sounds. While our ability to pause or escape may be limited, take a few minutes to explore our favorite singles from this past week. 

 

“Thumbs” by Lucy Dacus 

Holden Lay, Contributing Writer

Much like fellow boygenius member Julien Baker did on last month’s “Little Oblivions,” Lucy Dacus seems to be moving toward a glossier sound on her intimate new single “Thumbs.” Although it sounds  slightly more polished than her previous work, Dacus sounds as sorrowfully furious as always, with a minimalistic arrangement of softly humming synths noticeably filling the space usually occupied by her guitar. This sparse, resonant arrangement highlights a quietly stellar vocal performance and her always-literary lyrics. The sound is largely what has shifted here, as the usual themes of love, loss, remembrance and threats of murder are fully and wistfully covered. “Thumbs” strikes me as a very reserved choice for a first single, possibly hinting toward a new direction and sound for an upcoming project. The recent trend toward more sheen in indie-folk artists hasn’t always proved successful, but on “Thumbs,” Dacus demonstrates she has the versatility and voice to back it up.

 

“Adiós” by Selena Gomez 

Ana Cubas, Music Editor 

“Adiós” opens with a deep, eerie pulse, just disorienting enough to let me know, “This is a new Selena!” The track is one of seven on Selena Gomez’s first Spanish-language project, “Revelación.” The surprising beat transforms into the familiar pounding of reggaeton in Latin popular music today. Gomez’s breathy vocals seem to float over these dramatic pulses, a dichotomy of sounds only brought together by her liberating lyrics. Gomez confidently sings, “Si me llamas a las tres de la mañana/Que yo ya te olvidé/Adiós” (If you call me at three in the morning/When I already forgot you/Bye). Gomez is ready to leave her troubles in the past, and there is no better way to do that than using another language. She’s found her place, and it is in Latin music.  

 

“Haunted” by Laura Les 

Perry Gregory, Contributing Writer  

“Haunted” would be a great theme for the opening titles of “Goosebumps” if it were to be revamped in 2021. Laura Les sings “Do you think I’m frightening/Organ chords and lightning,” purposefully throwing her vocal pitch to catch the autotune and create her signature staircase effect. Before joining forces with Dylan Brady to create 100 gecs, Les was publishing music on SoundCloud as osno1. “Haunted” is her first solo release under her own name. The track is a sweet 1 minute and 42 seconds long, with only one verse sandwiched between two bouncy hooks. The opening is unintelligible beyond the lyric “Am I insane,” which glitches and echoes over itself, creating a wailing whirlwind of sound undercut by a tight choral synth loop. Hyperpop is often described as chaotic, but I take issue with this. “Haunted” is incredibly precise and energetic — like the experience of jumping rope in a mosh pit. The track is so complex that it leaves no room for thought in my brain. I simply let every element of the song wash over my consciousness, filling me up with pure verve and dread. 

 

“Addicted” by Jorja Smith 

Sophia Carr, Contributing Writer 

The wait is over: Jorja Smith is back after her 2018 album debut. In her new single “Addicted,” the rawness of her vocals are emphasized by a brooding guitar riff that characterizes the melancholy yet confessional tone of the song. The song’s lyrics address staying in a relationship where one’s affections are not being fully reciprocated.“The hardest thing/I am too selfless to leave/You’re the only thing that I need/You should be addicted to me,” she admits. The video for the single, on the other hand, is more lighthearted, and might be the most creative video I’ve seen shot in lockdown yet: Smith dancing joyfully around at home and lighting fireworks in her backyard. “Addicted” reminds me of why I became a fan of Smith in the first place: she is genuine and relatable in all facets of her artistry.

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