–Claire Lobenfeld, Listen: Kehlani, “Hate the Club” [ft. Masego], Halfway through the gentle ebb of his album Mas Amable, DJ Python turns down a slipstream of inner consciousness. But instead of aiming for the sugar rush of Swift’s early work or the arena grandeur of 1989, it stands as one of folklore’s subtlest moments. The instrumental break following an unexpected chord change lurches like a luxury liner in choppy water; melodic lines become queasily detuned. Sophia Allison of Soccer Mommy nailed our constant recursion, atrophy, isolation, gall, and grief back in the early spring. Few tracks exemplify this duality as well as “Mequetrefe,” an ode to self-expression sans shame. His voice, dexterous as Prince’s, does the most in a full range of light and shade. Embed is unavailable. Warm, lo-fi keys and a loosely strummed guitar cushion the restlessness of self-work and sobriety, as she plainly states that she’ll “put on a good show for you.” Her voice crackles as she wrestles with the precarity of declaring acceptance—what it means to give it to yourself, to others—and the nerves of speaking a truth in shared company. As a muted instrumental flutters in the background, recalling a hollowed-out version of his anthem “Chicago,” a choir of Sufjans repeatedly asks, “What now?” Against the odds, a swell of synths finally hints at something like salvation. On “Fancy,” glistening drums and spare guitar strums set the stage, but the Ghanaian-American singer’s babyish delivery is the real draw. After months of inertia, Jayda G brought the dancefloor to us. Lead single "Distant Past" is the standout track, in which Higgs pleads for escape from the present day only to realize that certain backwards ideologies want to revive mentalities from a darker age. Axel Flóvent. Heavy kick drums and more chanted vocals kick in at the chorus, ramping the tension somewhere nervy and disquieting. Poet LA Warman’s wary monologue sways over a faint backbeat suffused with the kind of dread usually found in haunted dubplates. –Evan Minsker, Earl Sweatshirt and Maxo have both made their homes in the rain-blurred realm where raps feel like unspoken thoughts, where beats resemble humming machinery a block away—a world of smudged loops, two or three notes long, punctured by diaristic jottings that flash like lightning. But it’s also easy to hear the broader spiritual resonance in this ode to a lonely man with little joy left except for intoxicants and the object of his desire. As the song builds, despair is tempered by a burst of energy that hints at survival. –Will Miller, In the flattened cycle of life in pandemic times, even the most mundane things can feel like arduous tasks. She’s said that this song is the story of her life, and while she’s right that things go wrong no matter what, the lyrics also pose a reasonable question for the rest of us: what have you got to lose? It makes for a funny muse, this “you,” trembling through a chorus possessed equally of fierce desire and trepidation. “I’ll fill myself back up like I used to do,” she trills, buoyant over a wide-open, folky guitar. She swats him away handily, the diss track equivalent of receiving a long text and dismissing it with a “K.” Its opening line, delivered in her characteristic hush, reflects decades of Black radical feminist critique: “I see a demon on my shoulder, it’s looking like patriarchy.” After coolly ethering Cole—over a cascading Madlib beat, no less—Noname busies herself with more important things: eulogizing murdered activist Toyin Salau, highlighting the crisis of violence against trans women, name-checking George Floyd, and calling for a break up of Amazon. Directed by Stefan Scaini. While she luxuriates in the heady, horny stuff of the verses—of perfect symmetry and blown candles—the beat throbs with lockstep control, less feeling love than meaning business. The atmosphere is intimate and understated, as if we’re hearing her thoughts before she has time to process them. She seems lost in the moment, like she has no one to please but herself. Over three and a half breathless minutes, she shoots off rounds of snappy taunts and neck-breaking flexes; you can practically feel Flo Milli curling her lips and flipping her hair as she compares you to “a toilet with some lips.” The Alabama rapper serves up plates of deliciously petty barbs and flaunts four different flows, offering us a taste of her lifestyle of money-making and man-taking. Last updated on 08.27.2014 Whether your year was more “people, I’ve been sad,” “certified freak, seven days a week,” or “fetch the bolt cutters,” the best songs of 2020 provided a brief escape from the turmoil outside our windows. They push their maximalist tendencies to extremes, stretching every second with sound as a way of staving off the death that looms everywhere: "I don't want to get older," as Higgs sings on "Spring / Sun / Winter / Dread". His yearlong blitzkrieg campaign garnered him a No. –Noah Yoo, Dua Lipa’s “Physical” is pure adrenaline: a stand-up-the-second-you-hear-it masterpiece of power pop that can transform a dancefloor into something feral, or at least help you eke out one last push-up. Evgeni Koroliov. We've no one to blame but ourselves, they report; meanwhile the third album by maximalist art-poppers Everything Everything feels like the final part of a trilogy about mankind's desperate self-destruction. Because there’s a time to lend quiet dignity to all the “black top white trash” and “featherweight queens,” and a time when they just want to burn brighter than the Las Vegas skyline. –Jayson Greene, Listen: DaBaby, “Rockstar” [ft. Roddy Ricch], Lomelda’s Hannah Read reckons with physical and emotional distance on “Hannah Sun.” She begins with a transatlantic separation, then zooms in progressively, first to a hometown phone call, then a close embrace. Stream Tracks and Playlists from You'll Never Get To Heaven … This is club music sequenced with computers and hardware, but “Melt!” is resolutely human at its core—a frenzied celebration of our planet that also warns of its impending demise. “I need to get back, I’ve gotta see the girl on the screen,” he announces. No Photo. The song ends with a crunching loop of distortion, sonic rubble from which to once again become whole. “I hold your joy/I hold your pain,” she sings over heavenly synth tones. “Suite pour l’invisible,” from Roxanne’s second album, Because of a Flower, maps self-knowledge onto a soothing drone and keys that twinkle like bokeh. On "No Reptiles", Higgs dismisses theories that world leaders are evil reptilian shapeshifters by pointing out that they're just "soft-boiled eggs in shirts and ties". –Matthew Strauss, Koffee’s summertime anthem opens with a question that most people have probably asked themselves at some point in 2020: Where will we go after this whole “quarantine ting” is over? Just because it’s comfort food doesn’t mean it’s easy to cook. Oh one fine day, And it won’t be long, You’ll look for me, And I’ll be gone. This version contain the colored jazz chords used in the original version with Dionne Warwick. –Jazz Monroe, The slow-motion electronic pop of Bullion’s “Hula” soundtracks a series of vacations, recounted as pleasantly fogged memories. Waxahatchee Breaks Down Every Song on Her New Album. There is goodness on the other side, but he can’t make out its shape. None were greater than “We Paid,” his triumphant collaboration with protégé 42 Dugg. –Clover Hope, Adrianne Lenker’s music feels like a whisper even when her band screams behind her, and on her solo music, that whisper is pinpoint-accurate; listening to her sing feels like a tap on the shoulder. After years of playing in emo bands and releasing candy-coated electropop, Ela Minus splits the difference on “dominique.” The standout from her debut LP, acts of rebellion, is a depressive ode to sleeping all day and never leaving the house set to bright, buoyant melodies. Only one artist made his album better with its deluxe edition: Lil Baby, who added a number of great songs to My Turn. “How much longer till December?” Yves asks at the end of the chorus. The booming "Regret" glimpses a vanishing act on the TV news—perhaps of young people joining ISIS, or volunteers signing up to help aid efforts. Get to Heaven is the third studio album by British band Everything Everything.Recorded primarily in Angelic Studios in Northampton during the latter half of 2014 with producer Stuart Price, it was released on 22 June 2015 on RCA Records.A deluxe edition, featuring an additional six tracks, was released simultaneously. –Jessica Kariisa, “I Know Alone” may have been written before the pandemic, but its reflections on solitude hit especially hard in a year when pretty much everyone was forced to live life as a glorified hermit. It’s a cold truth made warm in Rose’s hands, thanks to revitalizing choral harmonies that mirror the magic of self-affirmation with each swell. On “Laugh Now Cry Later,” Champagne Papi slips on his silk robe, so unperturbed by old feuds that he’s willing to be publicly annihilated by Marshawn Lynch and Kevin Durant in the video. –Noah Yoo, The best part of the video for “Don Dada”—a cocky, bouncy, sexy slice of hip-house courtesy of New York rapper Cakes Da Killa and producer Proper Villains—is when Cakes, in an ice-white tennis skirt, steals the focus from a leonine model by shaking his ass in triple-time. add tag. Backed by sauntering keys and quivering strings, Letissier sings in her native French about teenage loneliness and angst. All rights reserved. When the song ends and the spell breaks, you can’t help but see your own loved ones with his wide-eyed wonder. There are entire memes devoted to this idea; DaBaby spoofed it himself in the video for his Lil Yachty and Drake collaboration “Oprah’s Bank Account.” In 2020, DaBaby showed that he wasn’t just unstoppable; he was flexible. –Abby Jones, The world might not need a song of triumph from Drake in 2020, but when he steps into the role of self-aware charmer, it’s hard to resist. View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 1990 Vinyl release of You'll Never Get To Heaven on Discogs. –Alphonse Pierre, Lil Uzi Vert just beamed down in a pair of Balenciaga jeans that cost more than your biweekly paycheck (before taxes), and he is ready to rap. –Simon Reynolds, Beatrice Laus, aka beabadoobee, initially gained attention as a bedroom indie artist who dreams of Pavement and scored her first major success earlier this year playing the Dido to Canadian rapper Powfu’s Eminem on his sad-sack TikTok smash “death bed (coffee for your head).” But with “Care,” the lead single from her debut album Fake It Flowers, Laus makes a bid for stardom on her own terms. Get to Heaven pivots on the violent last resorts of the disenfranchised, and the false prophets who claim to save them. On “Lost One,” a crackly ballad that concedes to the slipperiness of time, she confesses into an abyss about the sting of falling short in a partnership. 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