Weekly radio roundup: April 3 – 9

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)

By Aliyah Fong, Holden Lay and Ana Cubas, Arts Desk

This publication marks the 20th edition of Weekly Radio Roundup, which was first introduced in January 2020. Although it’s only been a little over a year, it feels like our world has undergone decades of change. The singles this week both reflect on the past, historically or personally, providing a hopeful, therapeutic lens for the future. There is no better remedy than music. 

“Film out” by BTS

Aliyah Fong, Contributing Writer

The Bangtan Boys have done it once again. The seven-member Korean boy band and international phenomenon BTS prove they’re just as capable of making soulful, lyrical ballads such as “Film out,” as they are making upbeat, retro-sounding pop singles such as “Dynamite.” The track evokes memories of passionate youth sung about in “ A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone” or “Intro: The Most Beautiful Moments in Life.” “Film out” is reminiscent of their older work, featuring a yearning melody layered with smooth background vocals and a distinctive piano accompaniment. The boys belt about past memories together in a unified chorus, as they achingly wish things could stay the same, but realize they never will, finishing with a bittersweet melancholy.

 

“The Melting of the Sun” by St. Vincent 

Holden Lay, Contributing Writer

“The Melting Of The Sun” marks St. Vincent’s return with one of the spring’s most thrilling tracks. With her new single, Annie Clark dives headfirst into exciting elements that were only hinted at on 2017’s all-around solid “MASSEDUCTION.” “The Melting Of The Sun” feels coated in molasses, sounding like a warped and spaced-out indie take on soul; it’s pleasantly a little reminiscent of Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Though this is a less guitar-forward sound for her, Clark doesn’t seem lost at all. Her vocal performance is as slick and smooth as ever, and her vividly eclectic lyrics shine with the help of a slightly jarring backup chorus. A sluggish ’60s soul rhythm section, featuring gentle psychedelic guitar and a slowed funky bassline, meets grandiose piano lines and an unexpected sitar, all to great effect. This fresh and exciting instrumentation makes everything sound richly busy. After her Ziggy Stardust-style fur coat-adorned SNL performance this past weekend, she demonstrates that she isn’t afraid to experiment with her new music before “Daddy’s Home” drops, yielding some exciting results.

 

“deja vu” by Olivia Rodrigo 

Aliyah Fong, Contributing Writer

It’s safe to say Rodrigo took the world by storm with her 2021 release of “drivers license.” At only 18,  she evoked memories of lost-long significant others and teenage heartbreak in its audience. “deja vu” is just as evocative as “drivers license.” Rodrigo’s strong yet melodic voice is accompanied by gentle harmonies that take on an even softer tone than her ballad “drivers license.”She nevertheless hurtles toward a grand chorus as she sings of strawberry ice cream and deja vu normally mundane things which take on a somber meaning, despite being as simple of a simple driver’s license. Piano notes alternate with harsh drums as a girl fiercely asks s guy if he ever sees her as his new lover.

 

“Unsmart Lady” by Dry Cleaning 

Ana Cubas, Music Editor

“Unsmart Lady” is three minutes of controlled chaos. The track immediately launches into a jumble of angry drums and contorted, psychedelic guitar that rouse and mesmerize the listener, before morphing into a steady, Led Zeppelin-esque riff that chugs along for the rest of the track. Its rigid, rhythmic nature allows the song’s spoken lyrics to be the prime focus. Florence Shaw, Dry Cleaning’s lead vocalist, speaks lyrics of female insecurity chillingly and nonchalantly, with delivery reminiscent of Jim Morrison. “Unsmart Lady” is a cheeky, savory, gritty track that is more a retrospective of ’60s and ’70s rock than contemporary music. Unlike other rock groups like Greta Van Fleet, they can pull it off. 

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