It’s a good week for self-love: Lizzo‘s new album is one anthem of independence after another, including the joyous “Soulmate.” Soulful singer Camille Trust’s new ballad “Lavender” is like a warm hug from a good friend. Lolo Zouaï’s “Out the Bottle” is a confident trap-pop track perfect for those nights when you’re starting to feel yourself. Beyoncé’s “Before I Let Go” off of her new live album for the documentary Homecoming is a celebration of her own highs. And then there are The Vamps, apologizing in style for letting a relationship go awry on “Waves.”
Lizzo is a master of the self-love anthem. On her new album Cuz I Love You, the singer-rapper-flutist-dancer hammers that fact home. “Soulmate” is pure joy: “Look up in the mirror like ‘damn she the one,'” she insists, celebrating her independence: “True love ain’t something you can buy yourself; true love finally happens when you by yourself.” These are mantras that could feel gimmicky, but in Lizzo’s hands they are undeniably honest, delivered in style over bouncy big band beats. Listening to “Soulmate” is nourishing; dancing to “Soulmate” is inevitable.
“Before I Let Go,” Beyoncé
When Beyoncé released her Coachella performance documentary this week, she also gave the world the gift of a live album. Most of that album consists of songs fans already know and love: “Crazy in Love,” “Formation,” “Partition.” But at the very end of the extensive 40-track package — played over the credits of the documentary — is a new cover of an old song, an R&B-funk bop that’s timeless but inflected with Bey’s swag. It’s a showcase for her athletic, memorable voice, which rises and shines throughout, but it’s also a kind of retrospective on where she’s been and where she’s going. “I did the damn thing,” she says, and that’s a fact.
“Out the Bottle,” Lolo Zouaï
In the vein of BANKS, Ariana Grande or AlunaGeorge, Lolo Zouaï is making a case for the continued relevance of the moody-pop-meets-hip-hop wave. With French-Algerian roots and a background of homes in California, Paris and New York, the 24-year-old Zouaï’s music is placeless, genre-less and entirely of the moment. “Out the Bottle,” off of debut album High Highs to Low Lows, which she co-produced, is a catchy trap-inflected track delivered with the lightest touch. It’s full of brash confidence at the start — “Sippin’ on rosé on this flight,” she brags, “I got a window and an aisle” — but traces an entire journey to self-doubt in just a few short minutes. Zouaï wrote this debut before even getting signed to a label; now she’s one to watch.
“Lavender,” Camille Trust
Like the gentlest, kindest of hugs from your most supportive friend, “Lavender” is the sweet lullaby you sometimes need to hear to remind yourself that you can luxuriate in your own skin, partner or no. “You know that he won’t text you back, and God knows you don’t deserve that,” Camille Trust sings, her voice lingering delicately on the last note. Trust is a powerful singer whose soulful bops can get the dance party started. But on “Lavender,” she proves that she’s just as good at digging into the emotional side. Like the warm bath she suggests in the song’s lyrics, “Lavender” is soothing and reaffirming, both tender and bracingly strong.
“Waves,” The Vamps
The Vamps are the British pop rock band that you may not know by name, but have probably heard playing on a radio somewhere anyway. Deeply catchy by nature, their music feels meant for singalongs and road trips. “Waves,” off of their new Missing You EP, is another hand-clap-ready tune that feels stadium-sized. With a rollicking, country-flecked musical bridge and lyrics that speak mostly of regret — “‘Cause I’m a fool, I let you down, I let you down” — it’s an elaborate apology in song form, and it also might get stuck in your head long enough that you’ll have no choice but to forgive them.
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