January 2021 Singles!

75 Singles From January That I Listened To!

Viagra Boys - Girls & Boys
The final single released in preparation for the Swedish Art-Punk band's creative sophomore effort is an effective embodiment of the wild energy which makes lead-vocalist, Sebastian Murphy's character so compelling. Not to mention the inclusion of some heavy guitars and some off-the-wall jazz embellishments just to accentuate how wonderfully exciting the band's sound is.

Madlib - Hopprock
Madlib & Four Tet are teaming up for an album which is due to come out this month! And this is the second single from said album! Of course, I don't think I would be able to dislike a Madlib-Four Tet collab. And yeah! Whilst it takes a while for "Hopprock" to hook the listener, when it does, it's a mesmerizing melody with a certain hue to it which might contextually grow when it is amongst other tracks of the album.

EDIT: Album hasn't even come out and it already has grown on me. The melody on the second half is just instantly memorably in all the best ways.
slowthai & A$AP Rocky - MAZZA
The third single promoting, "Tyron" is a sharp turn from the heartfelt and emotive tracks, "feel away" and "nhs". This time, slowthai creates a druggy, intoxicating and almost hypnotic banger with help from none other than cloud rap pioneer, A$AP Rocky. Glad to see these names collide! This album is going to be even better than "Nothing Great About Britain", mark my words!
Virgil Abloh - Delicate Limbs
I'm still not sure what Virgil himself had to do with this song, however serpentwithfeet and kwes. absolute kill their contributions to this track. I've always thought serpentwithfeet's vocals were piercing, especially when he uses his gospel influences and casts a shadowy, more modern light upon them. This definitely fits that vibe, just wish it was a little more developed.
I need to listen to more of this guy. Lil Texas' new single is an outrageously fun and danceable ode to electronic music and also I guess hardcore aesthetics? If I had to use one word, I'd say enthralling. This shit is fire.
Blanck Mass - Starstuff
Is Blanck Mass going to go electronic/prog for their new album? Cause...like...yeah. That sounds great. This track is a super rewarding journey into a ethereal soundscape which descends into a pummeling finish. It's not as wild as most Blanck Mass songs, but it has me intrigued.
Julien Baker - Hardline
This is the best thing Julien Baker has ever decided.
Combine Julien's sharp delivery with one of her most focused and vivid lyrical efforts along with a very creative instrumental. THat's what you have here. The track is simultaneously hard-hitting and emotionally cutting.
Desiigner - Amen
Am I really talking about a Desiigner track in 2021? Apparently so...Luckily it's because he's just given us one of his best bangers after a streak of uninspired filler for the last couple years. The production here is creative and instantly enthralling and the way Desiigner chooses to sort of match the enunciation of his flows with the production contributes yet again to the undeniable energy of this thing. Not perfect, but pretty darn fun!
Sleaford Mods - Nudge It
Sleaford Mods have a lot to say with this new single. From what I understand, they lyrically focus on the topic of "Class Tourism", it's pretty sharp and interesting. The Amy Taylor appearance gives the track an necessary boost of energy and the chorus is as quirky and odd as ever. Basically, this is the quintessential Sleaford Mods track. Hyped for the new album.
Ariana Grande - 34+35 (Remix)
If the initial goal of this song was for it to be sexy, then the choice to include Megan and Doja was a clever one. Wasn't a fan of the original but Megan and Doja's undeniable charisma and memorable one-liners bring so much more life to a pretty mediocre soundscape.
Rhye - Come In Closer
Anyway, this single is pretty to-the-point & blunt, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it's masterfully done. An incredibly sensual, sweet and soothing melody which will be stuck in my head for the rest of the month. Not as good as the other Rhye singles but still this album is looking promising...
Hayley Williams - Teardrop
I don't understand why people aren't giving any love to this brand new Massive Attack cover from Paramore frontwoman, Hayley Williams. I thought it was artfully more subtle than the original, which fits Hayley's aesthetic perfectly. I mean, of course, the original is far better, but I wasn't expecting Hayley to top the original in any way.
C. Tangana - Comerte Entera
Spanish artist, C.Tangana gives us a surprisingly effective sensual bop with some really clever production and vocal cuts. I've listened to Tangana before and I've never found his vocals to be this distinct and compelling but damn. This song just works. I wish it was a bit longer, but I am interested to see where he goes with this direction. Shit is sexy.
(Also, gotta respect the nod to Toquinho of all people)
Ovrkast. - Love Somebody
Ovrkast still must define himself as a vocalist and artist in the future if he wants to stand out amongst the mountain of promising artists associated with the sLUms movement. However, this song is just sort of sweet. The mixing is crisp and allows for a more intimate performance from Ovrkast as he details events in his personal life. I do wish it was a little longer...
Alice Gas - BALONEY (Freestyle)
About as Bubblegum-Bass/ Hyper-pop as you can get. An humorously cute and teenager banger for anybody who vibes with the movement that 100gecs have started. I'll keep an eye out for anything from Alice from now on, since this really was pretty endearing.
DaBaby - Masterpiece
It's DaBaby being DaBaby. What do you expect?
I've always enjoyed DaBaby's trademark flow and compared to some of the weaker material of his recent projects, I think this one is extra energetic and charismatic. He does provide an amount of one-liners which I must appreciate. Plus, the instrumental is oddly experimental for DaBaby, so yeah I fuck with it.
Bicep - Sundial
The weakest single so far. Doesn't stop me from being insanely hyped for the upcoming Bicep album. This track doesn't do anything wrong, it's just nowhere as high-impact or meticulously colored as tracks like "Atlas" or "Saku". Maybe it'll grow on me in the context of the album.
Flo Milli - Roaring 20s
Kenny Beats & Flo Milli should collaborate more. This track is stupid fun and both the production and Flo Milli's performance bring an incredible amount of charisma and instant entertainment to the track. Flo Milli's delivery is just as confident and youthful as ever and the sample Kenny uses is pretty admirably ridiculous.
Vagabon - Reason to Believe (feat. Courtney Barnett)
Definitely a grower for me. I'm not sure if this is connected to an album or not. But, yeah.
This is a folky, emotional ballad or sorts from Vagabon.
It's not necessarily the most gripping or engaging, but it's certainly potent enough for me to remember why I love Vagabon's vocals so much.
Selena Gomez - De Una Vez
I've never been a huge fan of Selena Gomez's music at all. However, I'm excited to see if she keeps doing this Latin Pop sound and showing love to her roots, cause to be honest, this is the best she's ever sounded. Not to mention, how I'd rather hear anything in this vein over the dull shit she was doing on "Rare".
shame - Nigel Hitter
Another enjoyable track from shame in preparation for their upcoming album. I like the quirky idea behind the track and the subtle embellishments accentuating the jagged nature of the track. I don't know why this was a single though, since it sounds more like an interlude or a way to bridge two more high-impact tracks together. It's sort of static.
Juice WRLD & Young Thug - Bad Boy
The production here is KILLER and Young Thug sounds more energetic than he has in a LONG TIME. This could've been insanely great...but Juice's performance just seems unfinished and dull. I hope this doesn't become a pattern for Juice's future posthumous material, since his performance here and on "Real Shit" have been uhh...blatantly rough & again...sounding like they weren't finished. I'll let it slide for now since the instrumental and Thugger go hard, but eh.
Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over the Country Club
Controversial take. I don't really care about this track.
Look, I get it, everyone loves Lana's music (not her stupid instagram Bullshit). I just thought this song in particular was nothing special. I think the melody in the chorus is mega sticky and I can vibe with that. However, lyrically this is painfully formulaic for Lana and I don't think the stripped-back instrumental vibe really did much for this song. It's pleasant but ultimately I'm not going to return to this much.
Run the Jewels - JU$T [What So Not Remix]
I mean, there's not much to say about this one. Of course, the original is one of the best RTJ tracks EVER. And I do think this remix isn't atrocious, especially towards the end where the production is more cinematic and the progression feels more purposeful. However, a lot of the elements of this remix feel unnatural and forced, like this is already a statement of a track, we don't need these dramatic embellishments...
Smino - MLK DR
Smino drops a pretty endearing and humorous track for Martin Luther King Jr. day. That's about it. It's definitely undercooked and the instrumental could be a bit more interesting but whatever. I live for the way that Smino said Asparagus.

Jhay Cortez & Myke Towers - Los Bo
Two pretty promising guys in the Reggaeton/ Latin Trap scene and they combine for just a mediocre track. I think the production is pretty sharp, it certainly sounds like a hit. However, both Myke and Jhay are punching below their weight here and for the run-time this has, it becomes tedious. It's still enjoyable, it just could've been better.
Criolo - Fellini
Criolo is a legend and I am certainly looking forward to whatever he has coming up, however this single is a little underwhelming. I don't know why the mixing is soo awkward or why Criolo's flows sound sort of amateurish but they do. The production is intriguingly colorful and lyrically Criolo has some memorable lines, however this feels unfinished and never quite kicks off.
Danny L Harle & DJ Danny - On a Mountain
I was waiting for there to be a some twist or something. Danny L Harle is part of the whole Dog Show scene. So, I guess I thought he was going to take this 2000's dance-pop sound and make it sound more exaggerated and interesting like on "Dreaming" or some of his remixes. But no. This is just a sort of underwhelming dancepop track that I can take or leave. Eh.
Anne-Marie, KSI, & Digital Farm Animals - Don’t Play
I guess this is KSI's thing now?
It's okay. Certainly tolerable. KSI's second single with Digital Farm Animals which focuses on bringing back that good ol' clubby hip-house sound. I think this one though is pretty damn bland and KSI himself isn't helping much. I'd much prefer listening to his other singles recently which have been much catchier.
Jimmy Edgar - PAUSE (with Matt Ox)
JImmy Edgar has had some interesting singles for this new project of his. This one features Matt Ox of all people and it's expectedly awkward because of it. I don't see myself coming back to this, however it's just weird enough to earn my admiration.
Olivia Rodrigo - drivers license
I'm sorry. I can't bring myself to care about this one. It's tolerable though.
Ameer Vann - IDFIATOK
I thought Ameer Vann's solo career was going to be a lot of things. What I didn't expect was it to be this boring. Ameer's solo stuff has just been some of the most inessential rap out there, he's not sure of what lane he's in. I guess he's trying to sound "rebellious" or "grimy" but it's just not working. It's a shame cause I used to love his performances with BROCKHAMPTON, but obviously he's just not as compelling alone. At this point, th eonly reason why I'd listen to Ameer Vann is because of name recognition, his music is doing nothing new.
dvsn - Use Somebody
I don't think I'll ever enjoy dvsn's watered-down and bland approach to R&B, but to be fair this new single at least has some lush production backing it up and the vocals aren't absolutely forgettable. It's acceptable but I'd never return to this track.
RMR - Her Honeymoon
Ugh. I really enjoyed most of RMR's adventurous genre-blending in 2020, but I can't really defend this. I guess it's good that he's still focusing on blending country and hip-hop but his vocals are just so tame in the verses which only emphasizes that grueling vocal performance on the chorus. I don't know, I just think RMR was combining some of the least enjoyable elements of melodic trap and pop country for this track..I hope it's just an isolated incident.
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February 2021 Playlist