Yep: Miley Cyrus, “Doll Parts”: My longest-held and strongest opinion about anything Miley Cyrus does is this: she should stop making pop music and pivot to covers. Per a brief google, it seems she has heard my cry and is doing a Metallica covers album at some point in the distant future, but until that day comes, I will give an enthusiastic Y to Ms. Cyrus covering Hole’s “Doll Parts” on the Howard Stern show. It’s rare that three of my very specific and wide-ranging interests converge and rarer still when the result is actually pleasant and not a nightmare. First, the thrill of Howard Stern saying that “Doll Parts” is one of his favorite songs, followed by Miley Cyrus doing a passable rendition of one of my preferred Hole songs? 2020's blessings are few, but this is a nice one. I’ll take it. —Megan Reynolds
Y: Busta Rhymes, “Boomp!” (music video) - Look, outside of the obvious Y2K nostalgia, “Boomp!” the best song about vegetables I’ve heard all year, and that’s enough to get a “yes” out of me. Watch the video above, and make sure to stay tuned for the break, where Busta feeds asparagus to a dolphin. Green, phallic vegetables never looked so glamorous. —Maria Sherman
Not really, but fine: Molly Lambert, “Seasonal Depression” - I’m sure there is no shortage of songs written about seasonal depression, or in the state of experiencing it, but few are brave enough to call what it is—devastation brought forth by darkness. Lambert’s interpretation is literal, and as the song moves forward and the verses get more specific, “Seasonal Depression” becomes increasingly schmaltzy to the point of theater. Nevertheless, I appreciate her attempt at identifying a problem and offering a solution, but as she sings in the opening line of the chorus, “I cannot heal the whole world with a song that I wrote.” No one expects you to, but now that it has been said—it certainly does not. —MS
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Sure: Carly Rae Jepsen, “It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries” (music video) - This song lacks energy—a rarity for Carly Rae Jepsen, whose effervescent pop can make taking a walk feel like flying—but the video more than makes up for it. Shouldn’t an honest Christmas song, one that makes sure to mention your vegan boyfriend, your crazy uncle’s nut-job political opinions, your rambunctious nieces and nephews, make for a banger? Not quite, but it is a glorious three-minute short worth a viewing. I mean, what else do you have to do? It’s not Christmas till somebody cries, after all. —MS
YYYYYYYY: Shame, “Snow Day” - What I’ve loved about the new singles from Shame’s upcoming sophomore album, Drunk Tank Pink, is that every song is a slight departure from what Shame fans are used to, and they’ve managed not to suck. “Snow Day” is no exception. While the punky spoken word portions may not be to everyone’s liking—the lads definitely listened to The Fall while making this album—I find it thrilling. “Snow Day” is oozing with breathless gasps and melodic transitions, and frantic instrumentals, and it sends you on a five-minute musical journey that is just as cathartic as the lyrics.
I dismiss everything I see in front of me
All mountains crumble and turn to dust
Colour slips away
Just like it always does
If I can’t see you then why should I see?
They say don’t live in the past
And I don’t
I live deep within myself
Just like everyone else
Shame lead singer Charlie Steen sounds like he’s arguing his point as much as he’s convincing himself of the point he’s trying to make. I and my anxiety ravaged psyche can relate. —Ashley Reese
Yes, but also, fuck my life: Arctic Monkeys, Live At the Royal Albert Hall - Let me be frank: this is nice and all, but I can’t listen to this 2018 recording of Arctic Monkeys’s Royal Albert Hall concert without writhing in jealousy that people got to hear “From the Ritz to the Rubble”—a song from the band’s 2006 debut album that they never perform live anymore—IRL. Sigh. —AR
Ja: Communions, “Splendour” - I’ve loved Copenhagen’s Communions for half a decade now, from their early flirtation with icy post-punk to the shimmery, accessible indie-pop rock they craft now. “Splendour” is named appropriately; with buoyant bass and guitars recorded through a vocoder. Each listen requires a readjusting of the lens to hear clearly, and it’s worth it every time. —MS