Listen To This: Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter tries a different sound in ‘L’accouchement’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Zach Bryan, Daisy Jones & The Six and more.


Susan Behrends Valenzuela

(Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

“L’accouchement” by Thomas Bangalter

Holden Lay, Staff Writer

Daft Punk alum Thomas Bangalter’s sprawling new single, “L’accouchement,” is about as far from the aforementioned duo’s farewell record, the ’70s funk-infused Nile Rodgers- and Giorgio Moroder-inspired “Random Access Memories,” as can be. Here, working in tandem with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine as conducted by Romain Dumas, Bangalter composes an expansive, balletic score that is as beautiful as it is disquieting. An ever-climbing, winding string line carries through the first movement of the piece, underlaid by a distant dissonant whine that sounds like something out of the score for “The Shining.” Bangalter seems to be working with classical instrumentation channeled through a distinctly modern approach to composition. The result of this careful minimalism is a delicate tension that builds to a weighty, abrupt silence. The second section of the song is more uplifting, guided by a beautifully delicate floating piano. Bangalter’s work here finds beauty in its sparse and darkly churning sound, asserting both his strength as a promising composer and his incredibly influential electronic catalog.

“Dawns (feat. Maggie Rogers)” by Zach Bryan

Ethan Beck, Contributing Writer

In less than a year, Zach Bryan has launched into country stardom with his breakthrough album, “American Heartbreak,” which chronicles thorny, wistful relationships and their endings. On “Dawns,” Bryan leans into both this theme and his heartland rock influences to deliver an unsteady, beautiful duet with indie-pop success Maggie Rogers. “Dawns” rarely settles into a steady groove, as Bryan’s opening has a stream-of-consciousness structure, and his harmonies with Rogers on the chorus have a palpable nervous energy to them. The song’s central topic is a breakup, yet there’s a sense of optimism underlined with desperation that runs throughout, as shown by its hook, “I need one small victory.” The song truly achieves liftoff on the second pre-chorus, with building strings, thumping floor toms and nostalgic vocals from Rogers. It’s an uneasy, restless number — the kind that Bryan has found much success with recently. The biggest delight in this song, though, is hearing Rogers take ahold of it and make it her own.

“Strawberry Louis Vuitton (ft. Thundercat, Maeta)” by Vic Mensa

Ava Vonn, Contributing Writer

Vic Mensa is skydiving into the new year with his cherry-red guitar, literally.

“Strawberry Louis Vuitton” is a song that just keeps giving. A collaboration between the easily recognizable Thundercat, R&B songstress Maeta, and philanthropist-rapper Vic Mensa, the song exhibits infectious melodies and dreamy guitar licks, leaving listeners reaching for the replay button. Vic Mensa was inspired by the late Virgil Abloh, the director of menswear at Louis Vuitton. In just this one song, there are tasteful sonic shifts from ethereal vocal-harmony sections to grittier rap, all against a ’70s, Anderson .Paak-esque beat. Vic Mensa’s voice shines through in “Strawberry Louis Vuitton,” and Maeta is the garnish. The song exudes a celestial vibe, whether through its vocal delivery or charming accompaniment from Thundercat. In the track’s music video, Vic Mensa serenades from the sky with his guitar. The creative vision is authentic and distinct, something artists can usually only dream of exuding in their work. 


Tatyanna Gooden, Contributing Writer

Japanese girl group XG continues to expand their sound with the release of their third single, “SHOOTING STAR.” The R&B-driven song is about achieving your dreams and making your wishes come true, as expressed in lyrics like, “Baby, if I give it my all will it pay off / Working overtime no days off / All these shooting stars in the dark / All these shooting stars in the dark / Make a wish.” The song begins with a captivating rap verse and an addictive trap beat. Throughout the track, euphoric harmonies play in the background — a showcase of the group’s vocal talent. An enchanting harp is featured in the pre-chorus, and the song’s catchy chorus transports listeners into outer space. XG’s profound confidence radiates throughout the song in a mesmerizing way. With this release, the girl group is one step closer to making its wish of becoming a global sensation a reality. 

“Regret Me” by Daisy Jones & The Six

Rylee La Testa, Contributing Writer

“Regret Me” is the first single to come from Daisy Jones & The Six, a fictional band from the novel with the same name, and it sets the bar high for the release of their debut album, “Aurora.” The band was inspired by Fleetwood Mac and demonstrates its roots with this song. It is the epitome of 1970s rock music with its strong drum beats, electric guitar riffs and high energy. Featuring both a male and a female voice, the song conveys the story of a past relationship in which both partners regret their connection. One partner refuses to acknowledge that the relationship existed, while the other asserts that the relationship was in fact real, but nevertheless regrets getting involved: “You regret me and I’ll regret you / You couldn’t handle your liquor / And you can’t seem to handle the truth.” The song is reflective of the lives of the members of the band and alludes to the relationship between Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne, the two lead singers, including Billy’s struggles with alcoholism. You can catch more of this iconic band’s music on March 3 when the rest of the album, “Aurora,” and the first episode of the associated Amazon Prime series will be released.

“Tally (with Denzel Curry)” by midwxst

Antonio Johri, Contributing Writer

Newcomer midwxst and Florida legend Denzel Curry teamed up to create “Tally.” The song, produced by Charlie Heat and trumpet player Kennedy Sabin, features Spanish guitars, muted trumpets and other brass instruments. Brass instrumentation has been a common feature of midwxst’s songs, including his top singles, “LOCK IT UP” and “223’s.”  Midwxst’s flow and aesthetic may seem similar to those of his peers, like Mike Dimes or Summrs, but his calm cadence is unique and especially enjoyable to listen to when he hones in on the catchy melodies of his more introspective tracks. 

Midwxst knows his weaknesses, and he is good at choosing artists to collaborate with who make up for what he lacks. In this case, Curry comes in with a complex triplet flow, proving his usual lyrical dominance and adding an excellent 16-bar verse. “Tally” is a great representation of midwxst’s rise from the underground to the mainstream.

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