Music

R&B singer Queen Naija teams up with Dreamville starlet Ari Lennox to get revenge on a cheater in her newest single and video, “Set Him Up” (out April 15), after finding out that both she and Lennox are being two-timed by the same guy. The lyrics, both sultry and smooth, read like a text conversation between best friends, making it the perfect women's empowerment single. According to Revolt, The single is expected to appear on Naija’s deluxe version of her 2020 project misunderstood...still. Throughout the video, Naija...
Norwegian artist/writer Jenny Hval and multi-instrumentalist Håvard Volden make meditative, experimental music together as Lost Girls, and Menneskekollektivet (which translates to human collective) is their first full-length. Fraying the seams of Hval’s solo stylings—ambient/electro-pop anchored by intimate singing with soliloquies—here, the mood is more exploration and improvisation. And it certainly is a mood. The 12-minute title track opens with soft, existential contemplations spoken over protracted synth notes (“We are/And sound hugs our bodies”), eventually giving way to a hypnotic dance beat, Hval’s otherworldly voice singing...
Katy Kirby grew up a choir girl in her Texas hometown, and she takes that learned musicality into unexpected places on her debut full-length album. By juxtaposing soft, gentle vocals and rich harmonies with snuck-in lyrical jabs and complex indie melodies, there’s something surprising in every song. “Traffic!” is a shimmery pop number that features a bouncy, octave-jumping chorus and quick-witted lines about a self-absorbed character. The languid tune of “Secret Language” is inspired by the waltz-like cadence of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Kirby shows great...
New year, new album, new Julien Baker. No longer strumming away in her bedroom, her third solo LP is arena worthy. The requiem “Song in E” will have fans raising their lighters while ethereal opener “Hardline” could be a lost Lorde track. In the four years since her last record, she has become more self-assured and introspective. (“Highlight Reel” is a glitchy romantic revelation.) “I’ll believe you if you make me feel something,” she sings on “Faith Healer,” which questions the escapism behind our vices....
“Honey, you've got to look this up. Hank Williams was taught by a Black man named Rufus ‘Tee Tot’ Payne,” Frankie Staton, 66, tells me over video chat. “When Bill Monroe created bluegrass, he played with a Black man named Arnold Shultz. When Bob Wills created Western swing, he was trying to emulate Bessie Smith.” A talented singer and songwriter in her own right, Staton is also a walking roots music encyclopedia best known for co-founding the Black Country Music Association, a group which, from 1996...
In February, posters featuring musician St. Vincent, a.k.a. Annie Clark, in a velvety burgundy suit and a Michelle Pfieffer-in-Scarface blonde bob were plastered through city streets. “Warm Wurlitzers and wit, glistening guitars and grit, with sleaze and style for days,” the poster read. “Taking you from uptown to downtown with the artist who makes you expect the unexpected. So sit back, light up, and by all means have that bourbon waiting, because… DADDY’S HOME.” Daddy’s Home is the name of St. Vincent’s forthcoming seventh album, set...
Up-and-coming rapper and singer Yung Baby Tate takes the art of the self-pep talk to higher heights in the music video for her latest hit single, “I Am.” The Georgia-born artist broke out onto the music scene six years ago with her melodic debut album ROYGBIV, and has since managed to make a name for herself in the rap game without straying too far from her R&B roots. “I Am,” track number two on Tate’s 2020 EP entitled After The Rain, is the women’s empowerment...
On March 26, Lil Nas X released the music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” and the internet has not known peace since. “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” accepts and subverts the religious themes that resign queer people to hell. With this video, Lil Nas X accepts the fate prescribed to him, goes to hell and gives a beautifully executed lapdance to the devil while he’s there. Like many queer people, Lil Nas X experienced self-hatred in his teen years due to Christian...
KIDS—the second album from acclaimed Israeli rapper Noga Erez—radiates ferocious energy as it explores both political and personal reckonings. In contrast to her debut record, Off the Radar, KIDS delivers a hefty dose of plastic pop. “End of the Road” and “Bark Loud” are candy-coated explorations of mortality and self-worth, while “Story” feels like a danceable, stream-of-consciousness poem. Each track offers something unexpected; a swath of brass or the tender sound of a page turning. For those moments when you’re walking alone through the neon,...
Josiah Wise, AKA serpentwithfeet, forged his creative identity in the fires of deliberate introspection and holistic growth, emerging triumphantly with DEACON, a grounded, neo-R&B album uniting his vocal training, gospel upbringing, and newfound warmth. Previous albums have traversed the melancholy and yearning he has known, and with DEACON, we are baptized into an era of unapologetic Black queer contentment. “Hyacinth” displays Wise’s vocal range, embracing melodies and piano accompaniments that are diaphanous, vulnerable, and self-possessed. The radiance of this album resists fleeting happiness, instead summoning the quiet magic...