This week Black Boy Bulletin is introducing a new installment, Best New Tracks. Every Wednesday (hopefully) an article will be posted highlighting the best tracks released in the past week.
Troye Sivan, “My My My!”
Troye delivered a highly enjoyable debut LP in Blue Neighborhood, and the lead single for his sophomore release builds and expands on its dark synth-electropop. “My My My!” is an exercise in purposeful euphoria. The song is one of freedom and lust, and it is a gorgeous introduction to the next era of Troye Sivan’s career.
Carrie Underwood featuring Ludacris, “The Champion”
After a horrific fall and quiet hiatus, Carrie returns with what might be her most pop-leaning record to date. “The Champion” is a self-empowerment song, a genre that too often falls into the cliché category. Regardless, Carrie’s gravity-defying vocal performance saves the song from being a mess. She sings with such conviction and power that you can’t help but feel your confidence boost in tandem with hers. Ludacris delivers an unnecessary and corny verse, but there is something endearing about the whole thing.
Russ too often comes off as self-important which makes music hard to swallow. “Flip,” is a song that would soundtrack the windup of the first punch in a fight. The lyrics are pointed and biting, but his delivery is carefully calm and controlled. This juxtaposition allows the song to flourish. Russ gives away the perfect amount but still keeps some of the intensity for himself.
Dan + Shay, “Tequila”
Dan + Shay create a respectable twist on the alcohol motif in country music with, “Tequila.” With an earnest vocal performance and a songwriting that hints at an imminent pop breakthrough, “Tequila” sounds like a well-deserved hit.
Brothers Osborne, “Shoot Me Straight”
A seven-minute tour de force of insane instrumentation and haunting vocal performances, Brothers Osborne delivered. Following up their smash hit, “It Ain’t My Fault,” was a daunting task, but instead of actively pursuing another commercial hit, they doubled down on what made them critical darlings in the first place. “Shoot Me Straight” is a nearly perfectly crafted song. Alternating between alcohol and gun metaphors had the risk of being overkill, but it works so so well.
Camila Cabello, “In The Dark”
Camila could possibly have the #1 song and album in the country next week. Her album is pretty good, and “In The Dark” is a clear standout. The song isn’t about sex as the title may suggest. Camila is asking her partner to share their entire self with her, scars and all. It’s a simple, slyly melancholic tune that plays up all of Camila’s strengths.
Lil Peep & Marshmello, “Spotlight”
The most anticipated release of the late Lil Peep is actually quite beautiful. The recently deceased rapper’s unique combination of emo and rap is given an extra shot of adrenaline with Marhsmello’s production. It’s great!
Hayley Kiyoko, “Curious”
Hayley Kiyoko is the new lesbian pop queen. Her boldness to use female pronouns in an audacious and catchy love song is commendable, Her soft vocals glide over the sheen production with ample precision. I’m curious to hear more from her.
Jack White, “Connected By Love”
Jack White finally returns with solo material! After a killer collaboration with Beyoncé on her landmark Lemonade album, Jack returns with a blisteringly bluesy track. There isn’t much to it lyrically, but that allows Jack’s legendary guitar-playing to take center stage.
Jorja Smith featuring Stormzy, “Let Me Down”
Jorja Smith is rising rapidly and her latest track, a soulful collaboration with Stormzy, might just really set her off. Jorja’s vocals are absolutely impeccable in the song, it’s full of emotional runs and interesting riffs. Towards the end of the song, she sings the hook slightly different every time and between that and her chemistry with Stormzy, she scored big with this one.