DJ Khaled comes through with another summer banger — this time featuring no one less than Rihanna herself. Former Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto debuts her solo album with the immediately catchy “In and Out.” Icona Pop, one of Sweden’s great pop exports, adds another notch to their belt of hits with “GIRLS GIRLS.” Electronica duo Odesza turn ambient tunes into soaring anthems on “Cornes of the Earth.” And D.C. rapper Chaz French pens the perfect ode for Father’s Day Weekend, a track with plenty of depth.
“Wild Thoughts,” DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller
What do you get when you combine Carlos Santana and Rihanna? Thanks to DJ Khaled, we now know the answer: an irresistible, Latin-inflected summer jam with some smooth verses courtesy of the addition of Bryson Tiller. But we all know this is Rihanna’s show, as she deftly croons her way through the slow-burning track, which owes a deep debt of gratitude to the instantly-recognizable guitar riff from Santana’s 1999 classic “Maria Maria.” Thanks, Rihanna, for heating up the summer.
“In and Out,” Beth Ditto
Beth Ditto is best known as the memorable frontwoman for disco-punk band Gossip and a fashion icon in her own right. But with her first solo album, Fake Sugar, Ditto shows us a whole new side of her musical self: a pop powerhouse with an ear for Americana-drenched tunes that run the gamut from Gossip-style punk-lite to country-tinged rock to bubblegum disco bops. Through it all, though, Ditto’s eminently strong voice rings true. “In and Out” is one of the lighter tracks off of Fake Sugar, but also one of the catchiest, with rockabilly moments and a soft, singalong chorus that newer fans will quickly latch on to.
“Corners of the Earth,” Odesza feat. RY X
Get lost in the atmospheric electronica of Odesza on new song “Corners of the Earth,” a dreamy track off of upcoming album A Moment Apart, due out in the fall. The Seattle-based production duo have a keen ear for songs that resonate with the spot right below your collarbone — their 2014 hit “Say My Name” featuring Zyra is evidence enough of that — with “Corners of the Earth” delivering their shimmering electronic layers behind an aching vocal from Ry X that ultimately builds to the level of epic anthem. So, yeah, this song will give you feels.
“Pops,” Chaz French feat. Marco Mckinnis
Chaz French oozes funk and swagger on “Pops,” the rising D.C. rapper’s first single off of upcoming album True Colors, out in July. The track is an ode to a father — just in time for Father’s Day — but it’s a complicated type of admiration, filled with references to struggles with incarceration and drug dealing. And yet. Chaz’s rich tones and the haunting, subtle backing melody give the song its own, deeply-felt emotion.
“GIRLS GIRLS,” Icona Pop
Swedish pop supergroup Icona Pop gave us seminal party anthem “I Love It” back in 2012, cementing their name as a go-to for girl-power tracks sure to get people on the floor. “GIRLS GIRLS” is an apt follow-up, a club-ready groove mixing their signature singalong choruses with a tropical house edge. “Some nights I remember, some nights I forget,” they shrug, supremely unbothered by anything other than the pursuit of the party. Sounds like summer.
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