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How to Have a BRAT Summer

This summer is about partying, having existential crises, and working it out on the remix

From the moment Megan Thee Stallion crowned summer 2019 “Hot Girl Summer,” each subsequent summer has fought to earn its own moniker. And just before the solstice, Charli XCX came to claim the crown with her album BRAT. The very instant the neon green album cover made its way to our Spotify feeds, it was clear it would be an instant classic.

And now, after sitting with the album for a few weeks — and blasting it through my headphones like armor against the heatwave — it's undeniable that these timeless tracks will define summer 2024. So everyone, like your pilot after a flight, I’d like to be the first to welcome you to BRAT summer.

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scandalous

2024 Grammy Awards Recap

New Taylor, snubs everywhere, and lots of outfits
Biggest moments at the 2024 Grammys

The 66th annual Grammy Awards were last night at the Crypto.com Arena in the not-so-sunny Los Angeles, California. As storms raged outside the arena, I tuned in for close to five hours of red carpet coverage and the sparkling ceremony to watch music's biggest night and make my own judgments.

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Culture News

15 Looks That Saved the 2021 Met Gala

So many disappointments that not even Rihanna could save us.

Timothee Chalamet Flirting with Keke Palmer was the best moment of the night

via Vogue on YouTube

Let's just say it: the Met Gala was … embarrassing.

We waited two years, we speculated for months, and then the night finally came and it was disappointing at best, but more aptly described as a horror show of mediocrity and misses. And then we woke up the day after and had to remember that no, it wasn't a dream.

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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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Lorde Solar Power

By: AFF-USA/Shutterstock

Lorde is back just in time for Hot Vaxxed Summer with a sunny new single called "Solar Power."

The song, Lorde's first in four years, comes along with an appropriately sunny video that features Lorde in a brilliant yellow dress, dancing on a beach and looking like the embodiment of joy.

Lyrically, the song seems to be a call to live your wildest and most hedonistic summer dreams after a terrible year indoors. It's also an ode to self-love, with Lorde referring to herself as a "prettier Jesus" (no, you can't make this up).

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Music Features

Lorde, Sia, Pearl Jam, and More Demand Politicians Stop Playing Music Without Permission

A new letter from the Artist Rights Alliance demands that politicians receive permission for the political use of music.

Rock Stars React to President Trump: Year One

Update 8/4/2020: Canadian-American singer-songwriter Neil Young has filed a copyright infringement suit against Donald Trump's presidential campaign for the use of his songs "Rockin' in the Free World" and "Devil's Sidewalk" without a license. The Trump campaign reportedly played the songs at the June 20th rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where it's suspected that the late entrepreneur and Republican political figure Herman Cain contracted COVID-19.

The suit states that Young "cannot allow his music to be used as a 'theme song' for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate." The lawsuit will serve as a test case for license exclusions in the case of political events.

Imagine pouring your hard work, your talent, and your heartfelt emotions into a work of art for all of humanity to enjoy, only to have it co-opted by a symbol of hatred and division.

For a stunning number of musicians who vehemently oppose Donald Trump's presidency, that is exactly what has happened in recent years. Despite repeated statements that they don't want their music played at his political rallies, Donald Trump's re-election campaign has continued to use music from artists like Adele, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Pharrell Williams, Axl Rose, and honestly too many others to mention.

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