Tiff’s Turn-Up: Songs for Spring 2018
Albert Hammond Jr.
Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. returns this March with Francis Trouble, his follow-up to 2015’s Momentary Masters. “Muted Beatings,” the first single, is a heartbreak song. Francis Trouble is inspired by Hammond Jr.’s twin brother Francis, who died in the womb. Although this is a delicate subject, Hammond Jr. has assured us there’s no need to get dreary about it, stating in a press release: “What the music says may be serious, but as a medium it should not be questioned, analyzed or taken too seriously. I think it should be tarted up, made into a character, a parody of itself. The music is the mask the message wears and I, the performer, am the message.”
Wasn’t Drake supposed to be taking a “break” to focus on acting? The Canadian mogul dropped not one, but two new songs after mini snippets surfaced, and the big standout, “God’s Plan,” captures that familiar Drizzy flow that made us fall in love with him way-back-when. As Drake addresses fate and makes sure that North side eats, producer Cardo secures the bag and delivers a beat made for the clubs. Now, we wait for Drake’s follow-up to More Life, so in the meantime, enjoy seeing how many guys will have the caption “She say “do you love me? / I tell her only partly / I only love my bed, and my mama, I’m sorry” on their Instagrams.
“The Night Song”
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ravyn Lenae. After turning heads in 2017, the Chicago-born singer is coming for careers this 2018 with her neo-soul, contemporary R&B flow. “The Night Song” is off her new EP Crush, and it’s really a jam about being free, feeling good, and doing YOU. Lenae’s airy vocals with Steve Lacy’s touch on production make it a lavish and cool pick-me-up track for any day, anytime. When she sings “got my edges on tight, it’s a party tonight,” I really feel that. If you haven’t checked out Crush, go get your life, you’ll thank me later!
“Get it Again”
Shy Glizzy feat. Dave East
Glizzy had a crazy 2017, first being featured on DC rapper Goldlink’s Grammy-nominated song “Crew,” then closing out the year by dropping the project Quiet Storm. His gentle-spoken, contemporary trap melodies are a vibe, and he continues to prove he’s nowhere near ready to slow down. Although not a solid ten, his latest mixtape has its moments, one being “Get it Again,” an unforgiving track in which he gloats about the joys of being rich, spending money, becoming richer, and assuring everyone he’s here to make money, not friends. East takes his own jabs while channeling that traditional NY swag, and although both rappers have different vocal styles, they make a great duo.
Two years after Miguel’s amazing and annoyingly underrated album Wildheart, the R&B cool-guy has given us War & Leisure, his fourth album. War & Leisure may be political, but it also has a sexy, psychedelic feel that will remind you of Prince. “Banana Clip” is a sleek bop with Miguel professing that he’d do literally anything for his lover. Lines like “M-16 on my lap / We hear missiles in the sky / No matter where I go on the map / You got my protection / Banana clip on my love for you / Let it ring like (graa)” sound obsessive and homicidal. All literal meanings aside, the song is just really damn good.
Charli XCX feat. Kim Petras & Jay Park
Charli’s latest project, Pop 2, is art-pop at its finest. I’ve never been a stan for Charli, but with this mixtape, she is on to something great. From start to finish, Pop 2 is full of futuristic, supersonic, electric, romantic bops. It gives off a vibe that is Britney Spears mixed with a touch of Spice Girls, and we are here for it. “Unlock It” is a club anthem full of dazzling sounds and bubble-gum lyrics: “you got the candy colored eyes / Pink and gold chain.” German singer/songwriter Kim Petras lends her soft voice on verse 2 just enough to add a little flavor, while Korean-American R&B artist Jay Park chimes in later to spit a lit verse. The perfect song for a night out with your fellow queens or when you just need something to dance to.
The original Hepburn-sung version of “Moon River” contains a bittersweet melody mixed with sad and hopeful lyrics. It perfectly fits her delicate, thin voice, but Frank’s take retains the original’s beauty, while adding layers and strong guitar strums to make it more his style. He even goes as far as to leave-out/substitute lines for his own, and while in most cases I would say that’s a negative, Frank slays it. Some time ago, Frank mentioned he was sitting on a follow-up to Blonde. Whether or not this Breakfast at Tiffany’s tribute is a single off a new album or a “for the time being thing,” we’re thankful.
The Baltimore duo has released a single that will be on its as-yet-untitled seventh album, which is due out this spring. Beach House can make you feel like sitting in a corner and crying, but “Lemon Glow” feels like a different direction for the group. It’s a dark and edgy love song centered on intimacy and connection. Victoria Legrand’s voice is wonderful, exhaling on top of electric, sharp sounds and tied the band’s familiar drum machine. To be honest, it gives off OG Crystal Castles vibes, and I mean that as a total compliment.
“Make Me Feel”
Janelle Monae is a woman of many forms: actress, producer, singer, and songwriter. After three albums and an EP, the queen is back with two new singles for her upcoming album, Dirty Computer. One of two new singles, “Make Me Feel,” recollects Prince’s “Kiss” thanks to its funky and soulful jam topped off with Monae’s impassioned vocals. The song is about strength and sexual freedom, and if you’ve seen the video, you know Janelle Monae isn’t leaving anyone out, making it the perfect bisexual bop.