Featuring new songs from Pabllo Vittar, Chance the Rapper, Rico Nasty and more!
Fresh Music Friday is here to give you a breakdown of new singles, EPs, and albums to check out as you make your way into the weekend.
Get ready to jam out with some of our favorite up-and-coming artists, plus celebrate new releases from those you already know and love.
1. Pabllo Vittar - "Flash Pose" (Feat. Charli XCX)
Brazilian singer, songwriter and drag performer Pabllo Vittar tapped Charli XCX for a new song called "Flash Pose," a fun and clubby cut about looking really hot and posing for pictures––and feeling confident while doing it. As was to be expected coming from two of pop's biggest icons, "Flash Pose" sounds instantly infectious. The last time Charli XCX and Pabllo Vittar put out a song together, it was for Charli XCX'S 2017 excellent album Pop II on the song "I Got It"––you know, the one that goes, "I got it, I got it, I got it, I got it, I got it" ad infinitum.
2. Chance the Rapper - "Do You Remember" (Feat. Ben Gibbard)
Reader, the day is here. Chance the Rapper just dropped his long-awaited official debut album, which features a whole host of guest appearances from Bon Iver to Nicki Minaj to Death Cab frontman Ben Gibbard. As a veritable Death Cab fanatic and Chance the Rapper enthusiast, this is the collaboration I never asked for but absolutely needed.
"Do You Remember," is a nostalgia trip of a groove where Chance wistfully raps about past summer memories and features Ben Gibbard's distinct, melancholic voice on the chorus: "Do you remember how when you were younger / The summers all lasted forever? / Days disappeared into months, into years / Hold that feeling forever." At this point, I will forgive BG for never putting out the other Postal Service album he promised. Some ideas for a future supergroup include: Chance Cab For Cutie. Alternatively, Death Chance The Rapper.
3. White Reaper - "Real Long Time"
White Reaper is gearing up to put out their fourth album after recently signing to Elektra Records. A few months ago, the Louisville rockers shared the forthcoming album's first single "Might Be Right," which marked the band's first new music since 2017's The World's Best American Band, and this week they unveiled a new power-pop track called "Real Long Time."
While the guitar tones on the new songs can lean into '80s rock revivalism, both "Might Be Right" and "Real Long Time" show White Reaper continuing to hone their instantly recognizable brand of flashy, energetic power-pop—both vintage and novel—by blending together garage rock scuzz and Thin-Lizzy-approved riffage.
4. Rico Nasty - "Time Flies"
Hot on the heels of her latest project with Kenny Beats (Anger Management), Rico Nasty is back with a new track, and this time she's adopted a (slightly) pared-down vibe from her usual rapid-fire style verses. Her new song, "Time Flies," is a little less incensed and shows off a more melodic approach, with Nasty waxing introspective on a sing-songy hook: "I don't wanna be on the ground when the time flies / Had so many friends goin' / Wonder when it's my time / I live every day like I'll die by the night time / It took me so long getting back to my right mind."
5. Loving - "Vision"
This week, Canadian indie rock trio Loving unveiled a new single called "Visions" via Last Gang Records. Loving is made up of David Parry, Lucas Henderson, and Jesse Henderson, and together they create lovely, easy-going tunes that pair well with the sunny stretches of late July afternoons or aimless drives. On "Visions," drowsy guitar slides and warm acoustic strumming take shape around soft percussion as Jesse Henderson muses about the "strange prison" of how we envision our futures.
6 + 7. Caroline Polachek - "Parachute" and "Ocean of Tears"
Last month, Caroline Polacheck (formerly of Chairlift) shared "Door," the first single she's released officially under her name, marking both a return and a new beginning. Polachek previously put out songs under the moniker Ramona Lisa and went on to explore more ambient territory in CEP before shifting to her latest project. This week, Polachek followed up "Door" with two new songs: the sparse slow-burner "Parachute" and the pulsating, R&B-tinged "Ocean of Tears."
8. Palm Haze - "Almost Soon"
Vancouver-via-Brazil shoegaze duo Palm Haze released a new track today called "Almost Soon," which comes off of their upcoming album Rêve Bleu (out August 30th via YHS Records). With a sound that's reminiscent of gaze-y heavyweights like My Bloody Valentine, "Almost Soon" is a stunning display of control of texture as the band strikes the perfect (maybe even Lynchian) balance between sounding heavy and dreamlike. Vocalist/bassist Anna Wagner's cool-toned voice curls around waves of anesthetic, foggy distortion as she assures the listener: "Whatever you do, whatever you say, it's okay."
9. Germano - "Lost Crowd"
Brazilian-born pop artist Germano isn't sure of what the future may hold, but he's taking it in stride. Today he's sharing his first single, "Lost Crowd," a moody electro-pop tale that reckons with feeling lost and finding comfort in the unknown and celebrates the beauty of contradiction. The song kicks off with Germano's magnetic vocals and eases into a lush swirl of electronic instrumentation and settles into a laidback chorus that perfectly balances Germano's introspective lyrics with the song's wistful melody. The song is accompanied by cinematic visuals featuring Germano and three others dressed in matching white t-shirts and jeans as they go through synchronized acts of hanging out in empty loft apartments and parks. Germano's debut EP is expected out later this year.
10. Alexander Noice - "Affectation"
Alexander Noice wears many hats; the LA-based composer, guitarist, producer, and bandleader is known for his experimental, often genre-defying compositions that dip into minimalist art-rock and jazz. His latest, "Affectation" welcomes you into Noice's eclectic menagerie of sounds through a flurry of layered of vocals and eerie harmonies—the result is wholly mesmerizing. Alexander Noice's forthcoming LP, Noice, is out August 23rd.
One Texas couple became a meme after they went 18 minutes without shredded cheese on their fajitas. What could be worse?
Karens. Even if you don't know them by name, you know who they are.
Karens have been asking to speak to managers all over American suburbia ever since Kate Gosselin debuted her infamous reverse-mullet on Jon and Kate Plus 8 in 2007. "Karens"—the collective nickname for middle-aged entitled white women who love nothing more than being pains in your ass—have been walking among us for quite some time, but as shelter-in-place orders and mask mandates have taken over the world, the presence of Karens has become even more apparent.
Last weekend, a Karen went viral in a since-deleted Tweet for a reason only Karens would empathize with. Jason Vicknair, a 40-year-old man from Allen, Texas, was just trying to enjoy his first date night out in three months with his wife at a Tex-Mex restaurant called Mi Cocina. Things took a turn for the worse.
We caught up with the 19-year-old singer-songwriter to discuss her latest single, her creative process, and her relationship with God.
Maude Latour crafts pop songs that are nothing short of mesmerizing.
The 19-year-old singer-songwriter is currently based out of New York––but after growing up in several different countries, she's cultivated a larger-than-life curiosity about the world that shines through her music, making for a dazzling technicolor pop sound that feels intimate and expansive at the same time.
Be careful not to let the seemingly feel-good sensibility of Maude Latour's airy songs fool you; her lyrics tend to explore heady topics with writing that ranges from environmentally-conscious poetic monologues to philosophical musings on religion and the metaphysical world. It may seem like a lot to pack into tracks that run between three and four minutes long, but the emerging songwriter manages to make it look and sound effortless.
In the same vein as Lorde, Latour combines celestial soundscapes and intricately arranged melodies with otherworldly digital flourishes, threaded together by her arresting vocals and topped off with a glossy, well-produced sheen. The mood she evokes, though, is distinctly her own––both playful and nostalgic––and made through her vivid storytelling and introspective meditations that complicate the usual coming-of-age narratives seen in contemporary pop.
"Starsick" is the most recent single in a string of infectious pop songs from the artist, following previous tracks "Plans" and "Superfruit." The accompanying visuals for "Starsick" more closely resemble a short film, and so we caught up with Latour to discuss her inspiration for the video, her aesthetic vision, and her relationship with religion.
You can watch the video for "Starsick" and read our Q+A with Maude Latour below.
Describe the process of making the video for "Starsick."
I started making the video by carrying around a camera for a week (a typical week of summer in New York), which is my favorite thing on the absolute entire planet. My friends and I in Central Park, fire escapes (okay, people, be safe though—fire escapes are dangerous), performing live, staying up all night with Morgan during sleepovers. It all just came about so naturally and in such a beautiful way. Everything is filmed by my friends in our natural habitat.
How did it feel to see the finished result?
When I saw the final product, I could not believe how true it was to the vision. It has been a dream of mine to put out a video like this.
"Starsick" opens with a seemingly stream-of-consciousness monologue about climate change, dreams of becoming the president, and existential questions about the world at large. Can you elaborate on your inspiration to deliver your thoughts in this way and how they tie into the song's message?
My mind kind of works in monologue poetry like that. My dreams, memories, and recollections of eras are formed in monologues. That's how I write lyrics as well. I always used to think the "afterlife" was some sort of witnessing of the entire monologue montage of your life. It is my most transcendent state.
How do this song and video compare to your last two singles—"Plans" and "Superfruit"—in terms of the creative process behind it?
Well, I think "Starsick" is the natural progression, sonically, from the last two songs. It provides a deeper view into this world I'm building, while complementing the other baroque pop styles well. I try not to take myself too seriously, and I love how "Superfruit"'s video is comedic and true to my daily life at school (because that's where I wrote the song). "Plans" was more of a tribute to making the song beautiful with my friends, the way we used to sing together. But for the "Starsick" video I wanted it to encapsulate the emotional significance of this song to me. I was ready to open up in the video about the world I'm trying to build and beginning to execute this philosophy I'm working on in my life.
You mentioned that you wrote this song as a birthday present to your friend Morgan, who I believe appears in the video. How did you decide to create a birthday gift in the form of a song and a video?
Yes! Morgan is in the video. Well, I was using romance and drama as my inspiration most of the time when writing. But I started trying to describe this friendship, which is one of the most important forces in my life, and started writing this song as a song to her. I decided it because I needed to get her a birthday present, and I knew I needed to sing about this, making music that I actually care about.
Your lyrics in "Starsick" touch on birthdays and growing up. Would you describe this as a coming-of-age song?
I think it's more of a manifestation of being afraid of growing up. I have always had this guilt about it since childhood, hence the "swear I didn't mean to." I definitely think it's a coming-of-age moment, accepting growing up and, in the process, being freer.
Did you set out with a deliberate aesthetic vision when making the video or did it happen more naturally?
It definitely happened naturally! Ooooo is there an aesthetic? I had no idea omg, honored. lol. Well, Ella Sinskey, who put the video together, has a beautiful cinematic style to her work, and her editing really brought it to life.
Where did you find the vintage-looking clips used throughout the visuals? What was your inspiration behind incorporating them?
This was all Ella's brilliant research and extensive collection. I wanted it to be a montage of the larger than life images in the poem... these huge meta ideas, the timeless clips are simply adding to the nostalgia of growing up and time moving.
You mention "God" a few times in your song and your intro. How would you describe your relationship with religion?
I explore religion fluidly, and think of it close to interchangeably with pure spirituality. I am still exploring my relationship with religion, and it is ever-changing. I have been studying different religions and their overlap, as well as the essential elements of all religion and spirituality. I am looking forward to developing my relationship with my thoughts, soul, existence, and the universe. I think there's an understandable misconception of organized religion that somehow hasn't translated to my generation, and I think my generation has the power to find a universal spirituality (that can be interpreted differently for different people) that can lead us to a more peaceful world. This song was created during a really intense period of spirituality and meditation for me; that's why it's so incredibly special to me. It is born out of one of the most important eras of my life.