Lily Allen "Three"
Lily Allen is one of my all-time favourite artists. I love her pop songs, I love her unfiltered shares, I loved when she used to cry on MySpace back in the day, I love it all. I am so excited to hear she's got a new album coming out (8th June; mark your calendars). Let's read the tea leaves of what's coming up: Allen says she's going to be brutally honest on this one. Apparently, Sheezus, which was rather disappointing, suffered from a lot of meddling by record labels and pressure to do things like not talk about being a mum. So one of the first songs, "Three," above, that she drops from the new album is written from the point of view of her 3-year-old. That's a classic Lily Allen "fuck your rules" move. She also worked with producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia, Kelly Clarkson) on the last one, which is what you do when you want a big hit. For this album, she's back on the Mark Ronson wagon, and she hasn't worked with him since her debut album. In fact, he did "Littlest Things," which is one of her more intimate and lovely tracks. If that's what is in store, sign me up.
Sade "Flower of the Universe"
First things first: Sade can do no wrong. Her track for the A Wrinkle in Time soundtrack is soothing, as one expects a Sade smooth jam to be. But it's also uplifting and clearly covered in Black girl magic. There's something mournful in her voice, which is not unusual for Sade, but in the context of this song, it puts me in the place of listening to a woman who is full of calm confidence and imbuing me with a little of it.
Fatoumata Diawara "Nterini"
Fatoumata Diawara brings the music of Malawi to your ears with this gorgeous track. I'm very into how the guitar doesn't even sit on top of the music, it is just out in left field doing its own thing with total autonomy from the melody of the song. "I didn’t want to sing in English or French because I wanted to respect my African heritage. But I wanted a modern sound because that’s the world I live in," she said of the track, whose video puts the migration crisis at the forefront. It was created by Ethiopian photographer Aïda Muluneh.
Lissie "Love Blows"
Ever feel like all the things you've been told about a woman's place in the world and the role that romance should play in your life are part of a lie you've been fed? So does Lissie. Here, it feels like Lissie is chanting ideas I've had back at me, directly in my ears via her microphone. I love a good sad song, and this may be my new fave.
Doja Cat "Go To Town"
On the flip side of the coin, I love a good tribute to cunnilingus, and Doja Cat more than delivers. She caught my ears in the first verse with some questionable phrasing (your genitals do not taste medial, what?), but I've been talking to a lot of female songwriters about what voice we're missing when men write songs for women and a take that's quite this joyful on oral sex is most certainly among them. She walks the line between celebrating it and demanding it, but honey that's real.
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