Singles this week

“Wish You Were Sober” by Conan Gray

5 stars

“Wish You Were Sober” by Conan Gray has a great sound and a meaningful message. Gray’s single has a bouncy, light-hearted sound, matched with gentle and talented vocals. In contrast to the fun sound, Gray is begging a lover to get sober. Grey coos “Don’t take a hit, don’t kiss my lips/ And please don’t drink more beer.” Gray proclaims that he is getting off of the rollercoaster that his lover has put him on. Throughout the track Gray navigates both partying and being with an addicted partner. The indie pop sound with a touching message made this single an absolute knockout. “Wish You Were Sober” is a track I could definitely listen to on repeat for a long time. 

“Walk Em Down” by NLE Choppa

4 stars

“Walk Em Down” by NLE Choppa featuring Roddy Rich is a hard hitting rap song. NLE Choppa has a distinct voice and makes the simple lyrics “walk em down” into a danceable, unforgettable chorus. The grunting background sound adds some grit to the chorus, enhancing the track from just vocals and a beat to a more complex sound. Roddy Rich featured on the bridge has his normal auto-tuned sound, and it works well with NLE Choppa’s more natural voice. The lyrics are nothing special, but with the solid beat and NLE Choppa’s voice accompanied by Roddy Rich this song is a strong release. 

“2 Seater” by YBN Nahmir featuring G-Eazy and Offset

4 stars

“2 Seater” by YBN Nahmir featuring G Eazy and Offset is another stand out rap track from last week. G-Eazy, as always, has a signature style that is impossible to miss on this track. He opens the song with a verse that sets the bar high for the rest of the single. YBN Nahmir matches G-Eazy’s energy and flow, creating a strong sense of unity throughout the track. Offset added his typical ad libs and picked up the speed of the flow with his final verse. The three artists sounded balanced together and offered enough contrast to be distinct but also maintained a cohesive sound. The beat was simple, which allowed the artist’s styles to shine through.

 

Christina Morrison

“peacefall” by Purity Ring 

Purity Ring has been dead silent for the last couple of years as they breathed life into their new album, Womb. With some wondering if they’d quietly broken up, Womb came as a complete surprise when it was announced just last month. Now, the indie-pop duo has dropped a small EP consisting of songs off of the upcoming album. “stardew” and “pink lightning” were both released with the album announcement, but “peacefall” is brand new.

The sound, however, is not. “peacefall” is another extension of Purity Ring’s ethereal yet eerie discography. This is to no detriment, though; the dreamy production, as usual, is top-notch and sets the pair apart from anyone else in modern pop. Like the rest of their songs, there’s an unsettling sound to “peacefall”; it’s built from the soft girlishness of Megan James’ vocals breathing through their poetic lyrics and the hazy, mysterious production. The lyrical repetition in the chorus gives the song a mesmerizing, hypnotic quality elevated by the misty instrumental. Four stars. 

“Lento” by Lauren Jauregui

The former Fifth Harmony member has officially launched her solo career with “Lento”. For a debut song, it’s dripping in confidence, even reflected in the lyrics (“I keep to myself, I don’t need to be bothered / But your negativity don’t even bother / Level that tone, I ain’t your daughter”). The mid-tempo moment from Jauregui and reggaeton producer Tainy is full-force, painting Jauregui with an aloof, alluring persona and showcasing her Cuban roots through Latin-inspired production and Spanish lyrics. 

Although Jauregui’s poise is powerful, “Lento” feels a bit restrained in that we’ve danced to this song already. It may be a new side of her for former Fifth Harmony fans but not in the grand scheme of pop. Still, Jauregui’s clear vision and coolheadedness are promising. Three stars. 

“I Got So High That I Saw Jesus” by Noah Cyrus

I fully expected this song to be an only semi-serious Soundcloud romp from the title, but I believe I was met with the exact opposite of my expectations when I finally listened to it. The sweetness of Cyrus’ voice and the soft strums of an acoustic guitar are the two main constants of this song, aside from my utter confusion upon listening to it. According to Cyrus, this song is genuinely about a religious epiphany she had after smoking a lot of a weed. Now, I have nothing against any religion, but I was a little taken aback to hear Cyrus crooning about how her stoned encounter with Christ himself involved him telling her that the only things she needs in life are him, love and, of course, whiskey. I’m happy for her, I guess.

The serene song really is a showcase of her vocals, despite the fact they’re clinging tightly to lyrics that someone’s uncle might sing at a family barbeque after getting too drunk. The beauty of the song is downplayed by the inability to take it seriously; or, perhaps, the song takes itself too seriously for something called “I Got So High That I Saw Jesus”. It’s a strong attempt that didn’t quite miss, but didn’t quite make it either. Three stars.

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