Charli XCX, “You’re the One”
Nineteen-year-old Brit would-be pop-star Charli XCX dropped a new single and a new mixtape, Heartbreaks and Earthquakes, this week. This track has a spoken-word bridge in which Charli reveals just how much “you” mean to her — “I’m drinking love potion when I’m next to you,” etc. — which feels very ’90s, which is comforting. I welcome her potential future radio domination.
French Montana featuring Drake, Lil Wayne, and Rick Ross, “Pop That”
Feel free to doubt French Montana’s grasp of the English language — never doubt his ability to drop perfectly raucous strip club jams. The sad part here is just how contrived and atrocious Lil Wayne’s verse is; we’re talking multiple, extended references to his skateboard clothing line that nobody cares about. By the way, this is Frenchie’s first single off his proper major-label debut, Excuse My French which, like, really should be called Pardon My French.
Ice Choir, “I Want You Now And Always”
Ice Choir. Book Fire. Lens Flare. Muppet Ennui. Technocrat Crunch. Pin Taste. Lefty Scissors. I wish my job was coming up with vaguely evocative two-word nonsense phrases for lazy flat-affect indie rock bands to use for their names.
St. Vincent and David Byrne, “Who”
The Watch the Throne of era/genre-hopping indie collabos is here! Annie Clark and Mr. Talking Heads have announced a joint full-length called Love This Giant. Clark explains: “We started our collaboration around the fall of 2009 after being approached by [AIDS/homelessness charity] Housing Works to write and perform a night of new music for charity. We decided to center the music around a brass band and began sending ideas back and forth in every form: wordless melodies, melody-less songs. After a while we had enough of a body of work that David, not one to do anything halfway, suggested we record it and put it out.” Good to know that, much like Phife Dawg, David Byrne never half-steps, because he is not a half-stepper.
Maybach Music Group featuring Kendrick Lamar, “Power Circle”
Rick Ross’s gully MMG + the more pensive Kendrick Lamar = a very 2012-in-hip-hop kind of collaboration. As expected, Kendrick raps circles around these guys — “Hell’s fire, I never lie, you will never grind / I know the priors they runnin’ by us when we do crime / I know that section eight wanna discontinue my Moms / When they heard that Ohio State gave me 30 racks in July.” But the unorthodox patchwork — Meek Mill’s shouty gutter aphorisms and Wale’s show-your-work flow into Kendrick’s no-syllable-left-behind perfection — is surprisingly effective.
Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij chops up Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass,” and I’m not even gonna bother trying to talk you into this one. It’s a real “you’re either with us or against us” situation.
The Alchemist featuring Danny Brown and Schoolboy Q, “Flight Confirmation”
Just throwing this out there: Should all songs be two minutes long?
Justin Bieber featuring Drake, “Right Here”
Bieber wants to “put it on you” but only “if you want to”; Drake wants to hear that everything between you and him is OK. Anyway, relish this one: Now that Drizzy’s running around throwing bottles at people, Justin may no longer be allowed to invite him over for playdates.
Superchunk, “This Summer”
It’s a cheap trick, but under-used: Craft a breezily up jam, put the word “summer” in its title, and release it during the actual summer. This is the stuff that soundtracks for intimate, personally seminal coming-of-age road trips whose details and lessons you tweak, later in life, as you best see fit in order to justify a series of rash, possibly unwise decisions are made of!
New Found Glory, “Summer Fling, Don’t Mean a Thing”
Hey, look, another catchy song with “summer” in the title. But … wait … it’s a song from goofy pop-punk lifers New Found Glory?! Yes, it’s a song from goofy pop-punk lifers New Found Glory. Deal with it.