One thing that I can say with utmost certainty in regards to the seemingly unending Lockdown we are currently in is “thank God” and thank the Heavens for music, man. As it seems like literally everything around us is going to be shut down for the foreseeable and even unforeseeable future, one of the constant things that has been helping me get through these times with sanity is looking forward to the new round of music that gets released every week. There really has been so much awesome music that has been released during this quarantine so far. In fact, two of my favorite albums of the years so far, The Weeknd’s After Hours and Lil Uzi Vert’s Eternal Atake(Deluxe Edition) AKA Lil Uzi Vert vs. the World 2, have been released during the quarantine, which is so awesome because both of them have given me a lot of joy(Although both records have a ton of music that are probably made to be played in bars and clubs, and who knows when we will be able to go to those kinds of places again). Luckily, it seems like these are not the only two great albums that are supposed to come out during the Lockdown, as there are a few more records that I am anticipating which are supposed to come out very soon. Charli XCX, Rina Sawayama, and Playboi Carti are all musicians who are supposed to release records relatively soon, so that is something great to look forward to. With that being said, here are a few songs that have come out recently that I think are great! Let me know if you like any of these tracks as well, or if there are other songs recently that have come out which you guys love as well!
DEALER – RMR
If you do not know who RMR is by this point, you are truly missing out, because he is one of the most unique and interesting artists on the rise right now. RMR went viral a couple of months ago when he dropped his song ‘Rascal,’ which is a sort of remix of the country ballad ‘Bless the Broken Road’ by Rascal Flatts. ‘Rascal’ is a piano-driven country bop that is about dealing drugs, driving wraiths, and getting fucked up in the club. It has the sound of a sweet and soft country song, and the music video and lyrical content of a Trap song, and it is fricken awesome. ‘Dealer’ is the second track to be released by RMR so far during his short career, and I have to say it is just as good as the first song that he released. ‘Dealer’ does have a sort of twangy country-style guitar riff that drives the melody, but this one is not a country song; instead, it is a Trap R&B track that reminds me a lot of the type of stuff that artists like Buddy and 6lack make. The biggest thing to note for me about this song is the actual vocal performance. This guy can really sing, man. His voice gives the song so much character and emotion, and it really makes this one such an awesome track. If you are into Trap R&B, you will love this song, man. I can not wait to see what RMR releases next.
FOREVER – CHARLI XCX
Charli XCX is another artist that has decided to use her time in this Lockdown to be productive and make music. She has stated on her social media accounts lately that she tends to start to feel depressed when she is not given the ability to create, so she has challenged herself to make her next full length album from home. This is a really cool and interesting idea because she can only use the production equipment she has at her disposal at home, and she is only able to work with other artists and get features via the online world. I am really excited to see how this record turns out because she is such a creative person, and being her being cooped up at home is probably going to produce some crazy sounds and lyricism. The first single off of this new project from Charli is called ‘Forever.’ You can tell that Charli has been all the way in her feelings lately because this is an emotional love song her boyfriend that she is currently cooped up with. It is a really sweet track, as Charli is stating that even if they drift apart, she will always love him and she wants to be in his life forever. Sonically, this track is sort of a mixture of the Emo-Pop sound from her early days and the futuristic Electro-Pop stuff that she has been making lately. This track is very Emo and it is harsh and abrasive and awesome. If you love any of her early music and any of her new music(so pretty much if you are just a fan of her music in general), you will love this song.
ARIES – GORILLAZ FEAT. PETER HOOK AND GEORGIA
If you know me or have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I really love the Gorillaz. They have always been so ahead of the curve with everything that has to do with their art. The latest project that they are in the process of making is this music and video series called Sound Machine, where they pick artists that they love and “collaborate” with them by jamming in a studio together and making a song. It has been really cool to watch the visuals for these tracks, as they are making these videos where the virtual Gorillaz artists and featured artists look like they are in the same room making music. ‘Aries’ is the newest edition to the Sound Machine. and it features rising British Pop Star Georgia and the legendary singer Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order fame. This song literally just sounds like a modern version of a New Order song; this track just has such an 80s New Wave feel to it. This sound is perfect for the voice of Gorillaz singer 2D, and he and Peter Hook sound absolutely awesome on the same track. Although they seem to excel at everything they do, I would love to hear the Gorillaz make more music in this style because it sounds so good from them. If you are a fan of New Order or love the Gorillaz as I do, there is no way that you will dislike ‘Aries.’
POPSTAR – RICO NASTY
If you are a stan of Rico Nasty like I am, it seems like we have been in the Nightmare Vacation(which is the name of her upcoming album) era for such a long time. When you are a huge fan of someone that is prolific with their output as Rico is, when she takes a year to release a new album, it literally seems like that is forever. With that being said, she has released many singles since her last album, Anger Management, and has been featured on quite a few songs, so there really is no reason to actually be craving music from her. With that being said, the stans are starving, so when she released this new single, ‘Popstar,’ I was super excited. ‘Popstar’ sort of has a feeling that is similar to her Sugar Trap days; this song has that sort of cute autotuned Bubblegum Trap type of sound that she got famous for a couple of years ago when she started to pop off. ‘Popstar’ does have that abrasive and harsh and in your face type of feeling that she has been known for doing lately, though. It is kind of a perfect mash-up of the sound that she originally blew up for, and the sound that she has recently sustained her career on. ‘Popstar’ is hard and obnoxious yet sweet and fruity, and it is a perfect mixture of the elements that make her such a great artist.
RIDE WITH ME – PINK SWEAT$
Pink Sweat$ is the name of one of 2020’s newest R&B artists who has a phenomenal Pop sensibility and super sweet and retro sound. Pink Sweat$, who is nicknamed after his favorite article of clothing to wear in the studio, originally made waves in the industry as a songwriter. During the mid 2010s, he started writing for artists who liked to record music in his home city of Philadelphia like Tierra Whack and Aaron Camper. Over the last couple of years, he has decided he wanted to make his own music, and he has been making some waves in the underground R&B world over the last couple of years because of his funky Disco-Pop tendencies and wonderful songwriting abilities. ‘Ride With Me’ has that Disco-Pop aesthetic that he is known for; it sort of reminds me of Cee Lo Green in a way, but less funky and more Pop. I really love Pink Sweat$ vocals on this song as well. He has a really sweet and soft singing voice that really draws the listener in and makes me want to dance. If you love retro-sounding R&B that is great to dance to, I think you will really love this track ‘Ride With Me’ by Pink Sweat$.
BALI – RICH BRIAN FEAT. GUAPDAD 4000
Rich Brian and Guapdad 4000 are two artists that really surprised me last year. I have always known that they are both very good, but I guess I just did not know how good they were. In fact, Rich Brian’s The Sailor was easily one of my favorite albums from 2019, and Guapdad’s Dior Deposits was a favorite of mine from last year as well. ‘Bali’ is the latest single from Rich Brian, and the first song he has released since The Sailor came out last summer. ‘Bali’ is a song that is unlike most of the music that Rich Brian has released up to this point; the instrumental and overall vibe of the track has a decidedly Island feel to them; in fact, the instrumental reminds me a lot of Caribbean Reggae and Latin Trap music. The sound of this track has such a feel-good type of energy and just makes me want to party on a beach somewhere. Rich Brian’s low and husky voice sounds really cool on this kind of instrumental, and it also contrasts the more high-pitched voice that Guapdad sings with super well. Overall, ‘Bali’ is a very fun and light and free song, and it gets me excited to hear what Brian does next. I would love to hear him make more music with this sort of feeling and sound because he definitely excels at it.