We’ve been starving for a Shygirl full(ish)-length since 2018’s Cruel Practice, and now we finally have it in ALIAS. Featuring prod’s from frequent collaborator Sega Bodega, SOPHIE and Happa, the album’s sonic palette goes hard, switching between the gameboy-drill stylings of “LENG” to the manic sexiness of opening track “TWELVE” with plenty more club-ready rhythms in between. In fact, the whole shebang would slide easily into any sex-affiliated playlist, hence the condoms and certified Shygirl™ fans available with the album’s preorder. We’d like to imagine the project’s artwork is an homage to Doctor Who’s Britney-loving-camp-queen and literal sheet-of-skin Cassandra, in her younger, more rebellious youth, but who knows… Can’t wait to revisit this next month when we rank our albums of the year.
We meet Shygirl’s ALIAS, go on tour with Miley and Dua, and fire shots with Megan Thee Stallion in this week’s Wonderlist.
SHYGIRL – ALIAS
Miley Cyrus – “Prisoner feat. Dua Lipa”
Miley Cyrus could accidentally release a helium birthday balloon into the sky and we’d put it on the Wonderlist, we seriously can’t get enough. Her new era has been ticking all the boxes, and then some, with this Dua feature only adding to our infatuation. For “Prisoner” the pair hit the road in a kooky minibus where we see them maim teddy bears, eat spiders and furiously rip their fishnets before hitting up a sold-out show. We’re manifesting a joint tour with them both AS SOON AS they start rolling out these COVID vaccines, okay?
Megan Thee Stallion – “Shots Fired”
Megan Thee Stallion is the auteur of another eagerly-anticipated project this grey-skied Friday. Good News is the prolific rapper’s official debut album, and our favourite Hot Girl has spared no expense packing the project full of lyrical spitfire and bass-heavy beats for us to memorise word-for-word, inviting the City Girls, SZA, Da Baby, 2 Chainz and a whole host of other talents along for the ride too. “Who you taking shots at, goofy as bitch?” she asks a certain trigger-happy Canadian on our immediate favourite track, “Shots Fired”. “I told him, ‘You’re not poppin’, you just on the remix” – case closed.
ROZET – “Rigmarole”
Responding directly to the beyond belief events that transpired before, during and after the most recent US election, trailblazing newcomer ROZET has debuted the video for sharp alt-pop cut “Rigmarole”. Taken from her debut offering Torso Tales, a seven-track audio-visual EP, the track follows “Crook” by taking viewers to a cult-like countryside dystopia, whose inhabitants just happen to don crowns made from kitchen utensils and the wackiest masks you’ve ever seen in the wake of coronavirus. “Rigmarole” is a defiant step away from the repetitive loop of injustice and misinformation, and a demand to be heard. ROZET, we’re listening!
Cautious Clay – “Dying in the Subtlety”
Bloody hell! We reckon Cautious Clay has the lushest vocals we’ve ever heard. Seriously. On “Dying in the Subtlety” the singer blends said delicious stylings with tantalising electronic indie, ruminating on the topic of miscommunications in a one-sided lyrical conversation with himself. After losing sight of the bigger picture of friendship, the song speaks to those moments of subtle uncertainty that spin our heads out and make our hearts explode, both in good and bad ways. Did we mention there’s even a nod to Jason Statham in there somewhere? That surely has to make it a 10/10 hit. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
Judi Jackson – “Crashing Down”
Jazz FM’s vocalist of the year Judi Jackson is inspiring hope on her latest tranquil track, “Crashing Down”. Taken from her forthcoming debut album, out late next year, Jackson’s vocals are heaven-sent, unfurling with expert warmth across stripped-back drum’s and a live orchestra as she weathers life’s many storms. “As I went through so much pain in my life, I remembered that everything always comes back around …Karma, Yin and Yang, nothing lasts forever,” says Jackson of the song’s meaning. “Everything has a quality of impermanence and that is beautiful. No matter what is thrown at us in this crash course called life, we continue to drive, we get back up and we ride because we are strong.”
Cedric Gervais x Franklin – “Everybody Dance (feat. Nile Rodgers)”
This track definitely tops the list for collab’s we’d never have expected to happen, but 2020 continues to be the year of surprise twists (and world-halting viruses). You will, of course, be familiar with THEE 1978 Chic classic “Everybody Dance”, here it’s been reimagined as a festival-ready house bop, and we have to say it’s just as catchy. Can you just imagine this dropping at the dance stage of your choice jamboree, sun shining, a fresh double vodka and coke in your hands as you balance on the shoulders of your strong torso-ed bestie, Instagram Stories-ing the day’s festivities. Summer soon come… we beg!
Kings Elliot – “I’m Getting Tired Of Me”
It might not be spring yet, but London-based pop newcomer Kings Elliot is in full bloom, unleashing a punch-packing ballad about anxiety and the singer’s own self-destructive tendencies. Though heavy and deep-meaning, “I’m Getting Tired Of Me” maintains an air of optimism, of enduring, of reaching the other side. This is best visualised in the track’s accompanying video, an accidental capture of Elliot in the midst of a panic attack. Bearing witness to something that’s almost taboo, Elliot lets us in on such a personal side of her life, and makes it clear that no matter how bad some things may seem, they always pass eventually.
SAINt JHN – WHILE THE WORLD WAS BURNING
Hitting the nail on the head in regards to all the chaos ensuing in this hell-bent year, SAINt JHN’s third studio album, WHILE THE WORLD WAS BURNING, is all about the rollercoaster ride we’ve been on throughout 2020. A pandemic, impending economic and environmental collapse, widespread protests for social justice, and a nail-biting US election result have all played their part in shaping this project, with the likes of Kanye West, 6LACK and Kehlani strapping in for the ride too. Whether it be the sweet and subtly-synthy vibe of “High School Reunion, Prom (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)”, or deep-breathing sensuality of “Ransom”, rest assured all possible emotional bases have been covered in the making of this masterpiece.