Katy Perry's back with a political disco tune that considers the entertainment-industrial complex. Plus, Lupe Fiasco releases DROGAS Light, Nashville singer-songwriter Erin McCarley plays with tone on "GOOD," German folk band Milky Chance continue their streak of easy-going hits, and Bermudan producer and DJ Noise Cans finds a tropical groove that still sounds fresh.
"Chained to the Rhythm," Katy Perry
Pop disco gets a darker spin when reading between the lines of the new release from Katy Perry. Featuring Bob Marley descendant Skip Marley, the song has both glitter and darkness. "Living our lives through a lens /
Trapped in our white picket fence like ornaments," she muses, an unapologetic dig at the very American culture that has come to revere her.
"Tranquillo," Lupe Fiasco feat. Rick Ross and Big K.R.I.T.
Rapper Lupe Fiasco just dropped DROGAS Light, and while the album is a mixed bag (Fiasco reviewed his own work and gave it a 7 out of 10), "Tranquillo" is a highlight. The track brings us back to what makes Lupe tick: dense double-entendre rhymes that work like poetry over smooth, casual melody.
"GOOD," Erin McCarley
Nashville singer-songwriter Erin McCarley goes darker than usual for "GOOD," an echoing, reverb-filled pop track. The accompanying music video is a meditation on modern social malaise, just like the song itself.
"Ego," Milky Chance
Easy, breezy, and folksy, Milky Chance's "Ego" feels like a modern-day Vampire Weekend: the soundtrack of a casual road trip by the beach undertaken by the coolest of surfer kids. It's underpinned by a subtly darker current, though: "So meet me by sea, you see it's ours / And our place to be somewhere else," it goes, suggesting a necessary escape.
"Caan Dun," Noise Cans feat. Louise Chantál
Bermudan producer and DJ Noise Cans gives us a fresh-sounding take on today's oft-maligned popular "tropical house" in "Caan Dun," a song that evokes both warmth and nostalgia, thanks in no small part to rich vocals from R&B singer Louise Chantál and a coursing Caribbean beat.