Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O teams up with producer Danger Mouse for an unexpected, haunting new project on Lux Prima. Three pop stars of three different backgrounds join up for a fun-loving power move on "R.I.P." with Sofia Reyes, Rita Ora and Anitta. A new girl band — backed by Charli XCX — makes their debut with the spunky rock-pop single "Win." Sia, Labrinth and Diplo share their latest warm-weather bop with "No New Friends" just in time for spring break. And L.A.-based singer-songwriter Stephen mixes electronic production and intimate vocals in creative ways on "Voyeur Girl."
"R.I.P.," Sofia Reyes feat. Rita Ora and Anitta
The pop factory in which "R.I.P." was cooked up knows exactly how to stir up a bop. Sofia Reyes is a Mexican pop singer, Rita Ora is a British pop mainstay and Anitta is one of Brazil's rising stars. Together, the trio serve up a track that's boosted by their multicultural influences (you'll find Spanish, English and Portuguese in here, along with an eclectic mix of elements nodding at all three of their musical backgrounds). But of course the secret sauce is an infectious beat and the casual girl power vibe.
"Win," Nasty Cherry
Nasty Cherry is an appropriate band name for this sweet and sour pop-rock girl band. Backed by pop's secret weapon Charli XCX, the four-woman group debuted this week with "Win." It's their only song so far, but a promising kick-off for a group that seems looking to take the girl group concept in a punkier, darker direction — while still having plenty of fun. "You think I’m broken on the inside," they suggest, but "Win" is about sticking to your guns even when the odds are stacked against you.
"Ministry," Karen O and Danger Mouse
Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O and super-producer Danger Mouse teamed up this week for Lux Prima, a nine-track album that sees the two early-aughts favorites from very different genres team up for a project that is haunting and surprising. O is best known for her rock 'n' roll yelps; Danger Mouse is a chameleonic electronic collaborator. Throughout Lux Prima, they stretch the bounds of their comfort zones in satisfying ways. But on "Ministry," the second track on the album, something entirely different emerges: it's a pretty, unhurried, lushly instrumental song that O sings with floating delicacy. It's also a good reminder: artists contain multitudes.
"Voyeur Girl," Stephen
Singer-songwriter Stephen is a bit of an enigma, putting out sporadic bursts of music that vibrate with sincerity; his debut album, Sincerely, came out all the way back in 2016. His latest project, the five-track It's Too Much Love to Know My Dear, includes the sparse but effective "Voyeur Girl," a creatively produced electronic track beating with austere emotion. In its waves of sound, Stephen explores how old-school diaristic songwriting can move forward into a new style that retains the same intimacy.
"No New Friends," LSD
The full collaborative album between pop master Sia, hitmaking DJ Diplo and rapper Labrinth isn't out until April 12, but in the lead-up they've gifted us yet another track, "No New Friends," that's just the latest in their series of unimpeachable bangers. Bouncy and bright — thanks to Sia's sing-song chorus and the Caribbean influences that Diplo favors across much of his recent work — it's a warm-weather track just waiting to soundtrack the season's inaugural pool parties. (Those happen over spring break, right?) "We got all we need, no new friends now," the chorus goes. Remember senior spring of high school or college? This is a song for that feeling of having it all figured out.