Music Reviews
CULTURE

Harry Styles’s New Song, The Vibe Shift, and How to Be a Person Again

“As It Was” is a sad-disco dance track that encapsulates this moment of manic nostalgia and hyper-longing

Harry's Home Album Cover, Out May 20

I’m trying to be a person again.

I don’t know exactly what that means, however. There’s no roadmap for the latest new normal. The old normal — now obsolete, apparently — was pre-pandemic life, which we’ll never return to. As offices open back up and many places discard mandates and restrictions, people are still getting Covid. And many of the lifestyle adjustments we made during the pandemic are permanently ingrained — permanently altering our relationships to work, ourselves, and others.

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Lorde - Solar Power

Lorde's decision to move away from her moody, neon-drenched sounds of old and into a more buoyant, sunny frame of mind has proven divisive.

Her album Solar Power has received mixed reviews, with some fans missing the gnarly emotional impact of her previous masterpiece, Melodrama.

But there's a subtle kind of magic on Solar Power, similar in its potency to Melodrama but of a different breed. Melodrama had a way of diving into the deep emotional core of human experience — love, terror, horror, high drama.

Instead of re-entering that core and attempting to draw more blood from her heart, on Solar Power Lorde chooses to float around the edges of experience, admiring life from a distance, as if staring down from the sun. She dances in spaces of silence and reflection. She remembers the heat of the past but makes the conscious decision to turn her face away, towards more wide-open vistas.

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Willow Smith

Willow's latest album, lately i feel EVERYTHING, is an absolutely stunning entry into the pop punk canon and a vivid glimpse into the future of rock and roll.

Anyone who's been following Willow's career shouldn't be surprised by this. Willow has always been a futuristic artist, one step ahead of everyone else in terms of both her lyrics, her music, and the way she presents herself to the world.

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"I wish I could tell myself / don't do it for anyone else," sings Nandi Rose Plunkett on "Party's Over," one of the many bittersweet tracks on her latest release, Mythopoetics.

As Half Waif, Plunkett has been crafting strangely beautiful, buoyant, and sad music for years. With a knack for nimble electronic beats and thought-provoking lyrics, she's always been uniquely talented at capturing the strange sense of being isolated in your own mind while acutely feeling for others. Now, though, she seems to be intent on reclaiming her own sense of personal autonomy.

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Lucy Dacus

Most of us are guided, consciously or unconsciously, by our pasts. Confronting those patterns that we learned as kids takes a lot of bravery, and many people spend their whole lives running from those memories.

But on Home Video, her latest and most ambitious album, Lucy Dacus takes a deep, fearless dive straight into the past. Blending Y2K nostalgia with perspective and wisdom, these songs find Dacus reexamining her youth and her relationships of old, picking them apart in a way that seems designed to transport any listener back to their own teenage years.

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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Brooke Alexx and the Euphoric Nostalgia of "Summer in the Hamptons"

We're Calling It: "Summer in the Hamptons" by Brooke Alexx Is the Song of the Summer

Song of the summer? Brooke Alexx understood the assignment.

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