Not that we haven’t said this often in the months since this column debuted, but what a week to drop a new jam, huh? We’ve already written at length about Demi Lovato having her “VOTE” message muzzled by NBC after she performed her new song “Commander in Chief,” which slams President Trump and his policies — you can read about that semi-censorship here but here’s the performance, and a photo of how it was supposed to end.
On a lighter note, we also already wrote about James Blake’s excellent new EP, “Before,” which is a throwback to his earlier club-oriented material. But now on to the fresh meat.
Ty Dolla $ign (feat. Jhené Aiko & Mustard) “By Yourself” In the almost three years since Ty Dolla $ign released a solo album, he’s guested on approximately six billion songs by other artists (along with a few songs of his own), including Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj, J Cole, Skrillex, Kanye West, Kehlani, SZA and literally dozens more. So it’s appropriate that even thought he’s calling his forthcoming third full-length “Featuring Ty Dolla $ign,” they’re all featuring on his record. About this team-up with longtime friends and collaborators Jhene Aiko and Mustard, he says, “’By Yourself’ is an ode to all the amazing women, especially all the single women and the single mothers, who do this thing called life on their own. Especially now more than ever. Ladies if you’re handling your responsibilities by yourself, just know we see you and appreciate you.”
Beabadoobie “Together” “Hey is this the new Veruca Salt?” is a perfectly natural reaction to hearing this song, at least for people of a certain age who might think they’ve suddenly been time-warped to 1995 and the era of Liz Phair and Alanis Morissette — even though Beabdadoobie (a.k.a. British-Filipino singer Bea Kristi), whose “Coffee” has clocked more than 50 million streams, was born in 2000. Here she’s moved out of the bedroom pop of her early recordings and stepped into full-band mode — you can read more about all that in our interview with her here — proving that even Gen-Z can’t fight the seether.
Ari Lennox & Elite “Cognac Eyes” Just to mix things up a bit, here’s a new song that this rising R&B singer apparently dropped on SoundCloud by herself: “So sorry fixing one thing in cognac eyes. It will be available in 20 minutes on my secret SoundCloud page that the label doesn’t know about,” she tweeted on Monday. Either way, this Elite-produced song another sultry slice of sumptuous R&B from one of the most promising young singers in the game — who gets bonus points not just for singing and rapping with authority here, but also for the Minnie Riperton references in the lyrics.
Alaina Castillo “Párate” This prolific bilingual Houston-born singer has been dropping songs at a steady clip for the past couple of years, and although she frequently mixes up styles and languages, her last single, “Tonight,” was a straight-up pop song that didn’t give much hint of the powerful Spanish-language track here, the title of which basically translates to “Stand Up.” “Párate is a song about feeling so weak, mentally and physically, that you eventually just get fed up with it and decide to say, ‘Enough,’ get up and start moving towards the life you want to live and the growth that you desire,” she says. “It’s talking about a change or a movement that is started by trying to overcome those challenges.” Words to live by, and there’s no time like the present, right?
King Princess “Only Time Makes It Human” This characteristically up-front song is the first in the next phase from this young Brooklyn-spawned singer, who received an early cosign from Mark Ronson, who signed her to his Zelig label, featured her on his “Late Night Feelings” album and co-produced this song with Mike Malchicoff and the King herself. It continues in the soulful-pop vibe of her 2019 debut “Cheap Queen” but steps up the tempo and the sass.