From Selena Gomez’s return to the world of pop alongside Kygo to rapper Jidenna’s haunting meditation on police violence, here’s a playlist for your weekend listening consideration. Also in the lineup: a new trap track from producer Flume, rock band COIN’s toe-tapper of a tune and a new pop obsession in the form of singer TOTEM’s single “Up & Down.”
“It Ain’t Me,” Kygo feat. Selena Gomez
After a break during the latter part of 2016, Selena Gomez is back with the help of Norwegian DJ and producer Kygo, whose tropical house touch turns “It Ain’t Me” into a moody electro-ballad and takes Gomez’s voice in a new direction. “I had a dream we were back to seventeen, summer nights and the liberties, never growing up,” she sings, reflecting on a relationship gone awry. “I’ll take with me the polaroids and the memories, but you know I’m going to leave behind the worst of us.” File this one under Gomez: all grown up.
“Helicopters / Beware,” Jidenna
The American-Nigerian rapper behind 2015’s hit single “Classic Man” turns his attention to police violence in this incisive new song off of debut album The Chief. A rich melody opens up into a slow and reflective rap track, using the metaphor of helicopters as an entry point to explore the challenges of being black in America. “They’ll shoot you down without warning/ When they see you shining bright,” he sings melodically, in a chorus that’s at once beautiful and deeply sad.
“Up & Down,” TOTEM
Zayn meets Nick Jonas meets Justin Bieber in rising pop and R&B singer TOTEM‘s catchy new single, “Up & Down.” His voice winds smoothly through the choppy electronic beat, finding an easy falsetto amid the driving bass. “I’m alright, not recovered/ It got me high to try and love her,” he croons in a song that reflects on the rollercoaster that is romance.
“Enough,” Flume feat. Pusha T
Riding high after Grammy wins for Best Dance/Electronic Album and Best Dance Record, Aussie producer Flume dropped a handful of sonically challenging, but still very engrossing, new songs this week. “Enough” is the unexpected standout, a trap track that continues with Flume’s smart habit of collaborating with rappers to give his electronic beats organic energy. Pusha T’s slow, emphatic rhymes roll over a beat that’s gritty and haunting.
“I Don’t Wanna Dance,” COIN
Nashville-based alt-rock band COIN is quickly establishing its brand as upbeat-with-a-twist songwriters. “I Don’t Wanna Dance” pulls on retro sounds and the sunniness of toe-tapping rock from the likes of Vampire Weekend, with relatable lyrics, to boot. “Darling if I’m being honest/ honestly, I should go,” sings lead vocalist Chase Lawrence. “I’ll let you down, I know it.” Luckily, the song doesn’t.
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