Yes and more: FKA twigs, “meta angel” - For the second week in a row, fans of beat-oriented fringey pop are blessed with a major full-length release, though this one—FKA twigs’s CAPRISONGS—arrives under the guise of a mixtape. Why this 17-track release, which features nearly 50 minutes of music, almost two dozen co-producers, and a slew of guest vocalists (including the Weeknd and Jorja Smith), qualifies as a mixtape and not an album is unclear (as is often the case with mixtapes), but whatever twigs needs to tell herself is working.
CAPRISONGS manages to be sprawling while remaining unpretentious as twigs’s most pop-oriented release yet. I could have chosen virtually any of its songs to represent it in this column—from slow jams “oh my love” and “careless” (with Daniel Caesar) to “ride dragon” (whose just-released video documents the difficulties of its own guerilla-style making) to “darjeeling,” which interpolates the chorus of a ‘90s pop-rave anthem, Olive’s “You’re Not Alone”—but I’m going with “meta angel.” The song slightly pop-ifies classic twigs weirdness (gurgling voices, distorted beats, several interlocking vocal lines, right-left channel interplay) to render something like the epicenter of a project in which twigs harnesses her eccentricity to make conventionally accessible pop. twigs is rapidly approaching, if not already at, the sweet spot hit by the likes of Prince, Björk, and Kate Bush at their respective peaks—making alien music that makes absolute sense to the ear. In a lengthy Twitter thread on CAPRISONGS, twigs described the mixtape as “bronzer in the sink, alco pop on the side, a cherry lolly, apple juice when ur thirsty, friends in the park, your favourite person, that one sentence somebody said to you that changed everything, a club pre game, your bestie who is always late but.” Through the making of this release, twigs says that “i have fallen back in love with music, danger, trying new things, sex, love, raves... caprisongs is my journey back to myself through my amazing collaborators and friends.” Welcome to your new home. —Rich Juzwiak
Yes, as a gateway drug: Morgan St. Jean, “Graduation” - My favorite up-and-coming angst-y, feminist, and socially aware pop princess Morgan St. Jean is out with a new song this week. You won’t hear a single meaningless bop from St. Jean, most commercially recognized for her feature on the song “Aftertaste” by Loud Luxury, who has said she processes her feelings and trauma through songwriting (she once sparked a little revolution on TikTok for an emotional single she wrote called “Not All Men” in response to Sarah Everard’s murder by a policeman in the UK, and has also written demos about reproductive rights). “Graduation” is no exception. A talented vocalist, but perhaps an even more talented lyricist and songwriter, the song is written for all the partners who’ve had to baby the men they date: bearing the weight of teaching them sexual manners, vulnerable communication, or how to grow the fuck up. So, you’re welcome for the Friday gateway to St. Jean’s discography. You’ve been warned! —Emily Leibert
You’ve piqued my interest: Bob Moses, “Love Brand New” - Bob Moses is set to release their third album The Silence In Between in early March, and the duo has dropped a new single to get us all drunk with anticipation. “Love Brand New” is as moody as “Desire” or “Tearing Me Up,” but has a bit more mush n’ gush to it, which I’m pretty down for considering I’ve made crying in my room to mushy songs a hobby. I still gravitate to the old stuff, but that doesn’t mean I’m not intrigued by this new sound. —EL
Yes, of course, always: Adele, “Oh My God” - Much like anyone with ears, I rarely think Adele can do wrong, but her latest addition to her love song canon is stellar. Upbeat, poppy and infused with elements of R&B, “Oh My God” compels you to either sing-a-long or close-your-eyes-and-vibe and acts as a solid appetizer to new album, 30. Adele’s touted this single as her “I’m a mess” song because its lyrics talk about the first time she flirted with someone after her recent divorce. To that, we have to quote Marie Kondo and simply say: I love mess. — Jenna Amatulli