New Music Friday always promises a plethora of that good-good new-new from some of your favorite artists, maybe some long-awaited, maybe some tired, through, and delayed, and maybe some songs by a treasure trove of #whos you've never heard of before. We know. It's overwhelming! Thank the heavens PAPER is here help sift through the goodness, the garbage, and the noise, and bring you the best every Friday. We gotchu, sis. Let's bop to it!
The latest cut from Reese LaFlare is "Hol' Up," a taste of his video-game and pop-culture inspired new album, Final Fantasy, coming November 8. For "Hol' Up," Reese's free-flowing verses pull no punches over a minimal, bass-rattling beat, a harder-edged switch-up for the stylistically diverse rising star. For the Kill Bill-themed video, also out today, Reese matches this grittier sonic palette with plenty of cartoonish gore, much like the film it's based on. For Final Fantasy's album cover, Reese poses as a shirtless Prince avatar. It all works to show that Reese, even at his most menacing, has a wild sense of humor.
Kylie Jenner took the internet by storm with her singing debut, a lullaby to an already-awake baby Stormi, entitled "Rise and Shine." It had the internet collectively going, OK vocals! OK vibrato! We see you sis. Where's the album sis. And of course, when something goes viral, it takes no time for users to add their own spin to the original source material. Et voila, the above snippet from @levelupdub takes "Rise and Shine" and gives it an EDM drop and frenetic synthlines. It was good enough for Jenner to retweet, so it's good enough to climb the Billboard Hot 100, naturally. Could you imagine?
Related | Kylie Jenner: Get Rich or Die Following
Kitten's newest EP, Goodbye Honeymoon Phase delivers on lead singer Chloe Chaidez's promises to save pop rock. "ME" is one example of this promise in action, with gigantic, '00s mall-punk guitar riffs, Avril-friendly sugary melodies, and Chaidez's shouty-emotive vocals to the front of the mix. Living her life in public isn't easy and she's "sick of them," them being the hangers-on and ill-intended users "pretending to know" who she is. But when Chaidez defiantly sings "you don't know me," it's her way of reclaiming herself as whoever she decides to be. I have also listened to this song 278 times, according to iTunes.
Kash Doll purrs alongside Lil Wayne to a minimal, bass-heavy tune on her debut album, Stacked, but she's allergic to dogs, she states in "Kitten." It's a fun, playful, and empowering addition to Kash's collection of harder-hitting songs. Only until Kash gets the respect (and the ice) she deserves, will she consent to sharing the best parts of herself, ending the song with a taunting, "good boy." Turn this up high and feel your inner feline power come alive.
"Harleys In Hawaii" is a cute look for Katy Perry — a sun-dappled, trap-inspired pop track about the simple pleasures of a getaway with a lover. Not trying to save the world, just Perry, her irresistible hooks, and her beau cruising on motorcycles right into the sunset.
Related | Katy Perry: Outside the Box
Caroline Polachek's colorful, cinematic Pang is out today. "Caroline Shut Up," a standout, pulls from the singer's internal monologue, and how it threatens to ruin the moment of being with a lover. She sensationalizes this experience with modernized doo-wop touches and vocals that swoop and glide, but at the core of it all is a woman painfully aware of her neuroses. But here is a place she can put them for safe-keeping.
Los Angeles singer-songwriter Destiny Rogers drops "Lo Lo" today, a catchy track outfitted with an energetic bassline and rap verses by P-Lo and Guapdad 4000, moody chimes, and lyrics celebrating the glory of simply doing one's thing. Rogers rides the beat with confidence and sass, taking "Lo Lo" to high, exciting heights.
Swedish pop artist Skott's latest, "Midas" is a sophisticated, dimensional ballad about an image of perfection that struggles to maintain itself, whether it's an insecure partner, or the pursuit of beauty and the finer things in life. "You're used to hearing that you're something/Above the ordinary golden/You wanna be the one and only/Doesn't it get lonely?" Skott croons, before her voice soars into the stratosphere. "You wanna be my love," she sings. It's hard to love someone who can't be loved. An image of perfection can only stay that way for so long, before it cracks. What lies beneath is the facade is something real.
Sudan Archives is unlike any artist out right now, combining pop melodies, R&B, and instrumental flourishes from Northeast African violin to experimental electronic soundscapes, in a way that is both fresh and accessible. "Glorious" shines in its ability to do this and more. There's a rapped verse in the middle of it about the material things people glorify. Sudan Archives knows people focus on bottom lines, but when she sings, she asks us, the listeners to go deeper, with a sound so diverse, it pulls everyone in. How low must we go before we reach our true potential?
What's your favorite track this week? See you next week, lovers!
Photography: Kenneth Cappello