Every Friday, OUT's pop critics weigh in on the week's most important new music releases. This week saw Rina Sawayama emerge with a debut album that sounds shockingly like early Britney Spears mixed with lyrics about social media k-holes, as well as drops from Fever Ray, Willow, and Baynk. Watch and listen to everything, below.
RINA by Rina Sawayama
This London-based artist already blessed us with a 90s-inspire R&B bop called "Tunnel Vision" about the k-hole of technology this week, but it was just a precursor to a full album heavy on everything from guitar riffs to R&B rhythms that somehow also sounds like early Britney Spears mixed with a closing credits song for an Olsen Twins movie. "I got one hundred tabs open in my mind but closed for business," she sings on "Tunnel Vision," before guest vocalist Shamir adds: "Emotions are too much for me, so I spread my love through likes. I didn't even leave my house last week, but I know what you did last night." Big mood.
Plunge by Fever Ray
In Karin Dreijer's first solo release in 8 years, Plunge, the surprise Fever Ray album that dropped without warning this morning, finds The Knife singer at her frenetic best. While we're partial to her single and suitably insane video "To The Moon and Back," it's the breakneck pace of "IDK About You" that won us over-and not just because it's about an anonymous, drug-fueled hookup. Let the musical adrenaline of the song guide you into having the sluttiest Halloweekend of your life.
"Rainmaker" by Sleigh Bells
Say goodbye to the days of Sleigh Bells creating the soundtrack to your "Adderall during finals week" era. The noise pop band is set to release a new mini album called Kid Kruschev but before it drops, they're back with another new single. This time, the group slides into a rave-pop sound and employs a beat that you've heard in at least a half dozen 90's rap hits-shoutout to the drum break from the Soul Searchers' "Ashley's Roachclip." If you need us, we'll be reminiscing about the Matt Damon film of the same name.
"Guy.exe" by Superfruit
We've always had a soft spot for the effortlessly fun sound of Superfruit, the offshoot band of Pentatonix members Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi, but this is a whole new, spooky level. Mitch plays a mad scientist trying to create the perfect man and ends up creating Scott. Things don't exactly go as planned but hey, at least they have time for a big dance-off.
Over two years of catchy singles, this New Zealand-based singer has laid the groundwork for his debut album. Now, with this week's release of the Someone's EP, he's broken through the hype surrounding his release and produced a rich collection of bops that prove there's more to the New Zealand music scene than a certain melodramatic singer.
"Havana" by Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug
It turns out the former Fifth Harmony singer is good at more than going solo and creating sensual bops about Cuba's capital. She's also hilarious! In the visual for her steamy track with Young Thug, the singer shows off her acting skills with a telenovela-inspired video. In the David Meyers-directed clip, she plays a host of characters including a telenovela star, a nerdy girl, and a film star. Come for her trying unsuccessfully to look nerdy and stay for Young Thug looking aggressively out of place as lounge singer.
"Queen of This Shit" - Quay Dash
If you're still recovering from Sophie's brilliant debut "It's Okay to Cry," this may be your antidote. The latest single from transgender rapper Quay Dash was produced by Sophie and is the banger we needed to kickstart the weekend. After the five-track Transphobic announced her debut, she's taken to the new track to announce that she is, indeed, the "Queen of this Shit" and it's easy to see why. As Sophie's genius production guides Quay along, she displays a prowess for rapping that is unmatched. "I'm the queen of this shit, bitch, fuck that" is our new favorite lyric.
"Romance" - Willow
Count on the human incarnation of Mother Earth to emerge from whatever woodland nook she lives in to give us a new song and announce a surprise album, The 1st, that's set to drop on Halloween, which also happens to be her birthday. On "Romance," Willow touches on everything from social construction of morality to one of her and her brother Jaden's favorite topics: ancient biology. She even takes on social commentary, singing, ". "I'm imagining a different history where man and woman stay equal in the eyes of society. Where we don't condemn different people for exercising their freedom."
"Come Home With Me" - Zolita
If you weren't already gagged over this queer, feminist pop artist, her latest track will win you over. The 22-year-old California-born singer has already carved out a place for her misogyny-busting tracks but on her latest, the lesbian singer focuses on the lonely girl in the club she wants to take home. "That boy you came for...he left with her," she sings. "I know you're lonely too. If you come with me, promise I will take care of you."
When I Was Young by MO
It's been three years since the Danish pop powerhouse released a multi-track album but, like lightning, she's come out of nowhere to drop a six-track EP called When I Was Young. Among the standouts from the mini-album is the cute little bop "Bb." The synth pop artist wrote the track as a sonic backup plan if her boyfriend broke up with her, saying to V Magazine: "This was secretly a song I wrote imagining how I would feel if he left me... I was such a lovestruck little birdy back then." Luckily, they're still together and we got this song out of it so it's a win-win.
Stop everything because Sam Smith just dropped the biggest club banger of the year. Just kidding. It's another ballad. But, hey, don't fix what isn't broken, right? The latest track is Smith's personal favorite because, according to him, it's "the most personal song I've ever written in my life." If you've been looking for the perfect piano-driven breakup song, it's here.