Just hours after releasing the date of her highly-anticipated forthcoming seventh album, Lover (23 August, FYI), Taylor Swift has now blessed us with a brand new single from within, “You Need To Calm Down.” In true TayTay style, the 80s-style synth bop goes in on haters, bullying and double standards, but then the rainbow-tastic lyric video and inclusion of “GLAAD” (an acronym for the organisation of Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) confirms her support of the LGBTQ+ community. And the lyric “cos shade never made anybody less gay”? Genius.
All the songs we’ve got on repeat this week.
Taylor Swift – “You Need To Calm Down”
Banks – “Look What You’re Doing to Me”
For a long time now, absolute divine entity Banks has been filling our heads with empowering records that have made us seriously feel ourselves (“Goddess”, “Fuck With Myself”). We stan so hard. And after a long hiatus, she’s back with a new album, III, out on 12 July, and to give us a little teaser, she’s dropped a new track, and we’re obsessed. Layered production + her fierce af vocals. Yes, thank you.
Kelsy Lu – “Foreign Car”
Since the classically-trained cellist came on the scene with her unique brand of R&B-meets-neo-soul, we’ve been hooked. And her latest banger, co-produced by Jamie XX, sees brooding, measured vocals combined with a propulsive rhythm. And don’t miss the mesmerising visuals shot in the French countryside. It’s a next-level trip.
Pell – “Skyfall”
From the opening bars, it’s an undisputed feel-good head-nodder from the New Orleans-hailed rapper. An ode to his hometown, additional features from Ambré Perkins, Malik Ninety Five, and Icon makes for an infectious R&B track.
Ashley O – “On A Roll”
Earlier this year, the internet exploded with the news that pop queen Miley Cyrus was to feature in Charlie Brooker’s viral tech-fear series, Black Mirror. Playing a musician in inner-turmoil, her show character/fictional alter-ego Ashley O has now dropped an accompanying music video (which riffs on Nine Inch Nail’s track “Head Like A Hole”), and we’ve had it on loop ever since. Donning her signature bubblegum wig, she writhes around in a futuristic set and even has a bath in pink paint. Why not?
BiG HEATH – “Pablo”
The latest track from Cambridge up-and-comer BiG HEATH is a testimony to the fact that not taking yourself too seriously still has currency in the music industry. Explosive production and charismatic vocals accompany tongue-in-cheek visuals which see the rapper as the modern embodiment of Pablo Escobar.