Fuck yeah: Lil Nas X, “Industry Baby” - It’s no secret that I love Lil Nas X, the music industry’s reigning stunt queen. In his short time on the scene, he’s consistently delivered cutting-edge aesthetics, catchy sounds, and an online presence unmatched by any of his peers. Sure, this is about a song, but Lil Nas X might be the only brand new “entertainer” on the scene, in that everything he does is legitimately entertaining, and I want more of it.
OK, so about “Industry Baby.” The song goes! It has a tried-and-true melody, except this time around Nas delivers it half-naked with a metric shit-ton of backup dancers. No clue why Jack Harlow is here, but who am I to question Nas’s musical decisions, when he can do this, and I cannot do this? Likewise, I’ll certainly listen to it more than “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” which I also liked just fine. Good job, Nas! Another smash hit. —Joan Summers
I’m trying, but no!: “Stoned at the Nail Salon,” Lorde: It occurred to me recently that maybe, the key to listening to and enjoying Lorde’s new music is to wait for the album instead of trying to make sense of each individual song as they’re dribbled out. The first single, “Solar Power,” was a song for a deodorant commercial, and now this single, “Stoned at the Nail Salon,” is here, ostensibly meant to capture the vibe of what it feels like to be stoned at the nail salon? Or it’s a Lana Del Ray knockoff, a song for being sad and walking down a street in the sunshine while wishing that there was no sun, so the weather can match your sadness. Again, I’m confused by what Lorde is doing now, but I’m willing to wait for the album to see if this vibe—which, to be clear, is not the vibe of being stoned at the nail salon—somehow contributes to a bigger picture that makes any sort of sense. —Megan Reynolds
Oh! Yeah!: “Oh!,” The Linda Lindas - This shit is cute. I also appreciate that as the song progresses the very simple chorus becomes more complex as it explores the different meanings and intonations that can be behind someone saying or typing the word, “Oh.” I’m picking up what these ladies are putting down. —Shannon Melero
No! (as yelped in the beginning of “Alphabet Street”): Prince, “Hot Summer” - For many of us, the excitement of the imminent release of an entire unreleased album from Prince had evaporated by the time we got to the end of the announcing sentence: Welcome 2 America, out July 30, is a new album... from 2010. Whereas Prince was rarely afraid to sound corny throughout his career, in his late period he was often seemingly incapable of not sounding so. In “Hot Summer,” he does just that while taking a spin in some limp Cars retread. You might not have thought that “shoo-be-doo-be” would sound worlds away from “sha-boogie-bop” and yet! Prince’s vault is so rich, wild, and wonderful that his estate’s posthumous releases of his work has made it virtually impossible to argue his unreleased material should have stayed unreleased. The cringey “Hot Summer” is a rare exception. —Rich Juzwiak
Aww yeah: Chrissy, “Aww Baby (The Carry Nation Remix)” - This is a potential floor-filler with such a weird vibe, somewhere between laid back and jacking. It’s got ambient-house accents floating high, a nasty acidic bassline, diva vocals, a filtery disco vibe, bongos, a cowbell, an angularity reminiscent of early ‘90s pop-house. Wow, a song that truly has it all, or as much of as it can possibly fit. —RJ
YES: Kilo Kish, “American Gurl” - Kilo Kish is back, finally, and her new single “American Gurl” is worth the wait. Kish doesn’t deviate from what she does best: making addictive synth-pop with restless lyrics to match. The music video features Kish dancing in a desert in a dope suit, which is cool and all, but the song and the visuals mostly make me want to blast this song down some deserted road in Nowhereville, USA. Maybe that’s exactly what she wants me to do? The song has a refrain of escapism—“So I run,” “I just run,” “I’m tired of runnin’, runnin’”—so maybe so. Beep beep. —Ashley Reese