In BANKS’ second single off her upcoming album, we hear a different vibe from the singer than we’re used to. A strong electro hook leads “Look What You’re Doing To Me” to be one of her most upbeat songs to date. While Banks continues to keep her moody and poetic lyrics, fellow singer/songwriter Francis and the Lights lends a hand (and voice) to this new spunky single.
“Look What You’re Doing To Me” seems to stray from BANKS‘ usual stream of conscious lyrical format (listen to The Altar start to finish) and shifts to a more call & response lyrical structure. Her voice is as powerful as ever, almost sounding strained in some verses as she explains her feelings towards a lover she can’t seem to resist. “Then you give me one more, heavenly eyes, I’m dying for, why you just looking me over?” she sings in a painful yet electric tone.
After the massive flop of her experimental 2017 album Witness, Katy Perry is back in a big way, with a big song, ready for a BIG summer. At first listen, “Never Really Over” reminded me of 2010 Teenage Dream-esque Perry – AKA – the PRIME of her career, musically and artistically (“Teenage Dream”, “Wide Awake, “The One That Got Away”). “Over” feels like the song that will bring Perry back to all the fans she so abruptly lost back in 2017.
Why does “Never Really Over” work so well?
Well, it goes back to the production and songwriting credits. Here are the eight songwriters credited for being a part of “Never Really Over”:
Dagny: Norwegian singer/songwriter. Her hit song “Love You Like That” follows the same musical production as “Never Really Over”. Dagny’s “Like That” is actually credited as the sample for Perry’s new tune. Not to mention, Dagny’s incredible ear for pop melodies.
Michelle Buzz: Buzz comes from the EDM songwriting world, credited on songs like “All Night” by Steve Aoki and “Burn Slow” by Jaira Burns
Jason Gill: Straight from the pop world, Gill is responsible for hits like Zara Larsson’s “Funeral”, “(Not) The One” by Bebe Rexha, Dagny’s “Used To You”, and so many more.
Farrago: After discovering singer Daya, Gino Barletta used his platform to become a successful producer and label exec. He’s also a co-writer of “Sit Still, Look Pretty” and “Hide Away” also by Daya.
Hayley Warner: Another EDM alum. Warner is featured on songs like “Go Back” and “Need You Right Now” by Hedegaard.
Zedd: A master of mixing pop and EDM for radio ready hits, Zedd is all over this track. From the ticking clock sounds mimicking his 2018 hit “The Middle” to the slight “drop” during the chorus, this Germany native has mastered songwriting and production. Perry remembers bringing the new song to Zedd, saying, “I brought him the song and he said, ‘Wow it sounds amazing.’ Specifically, the lyrics in the second verse that I really love is: ‘I guess I should try to go to therapy to try to get you out of my brain, I can’t even go on the internet, without even checking your name.'”
Leah Haywood: This singer/songwriter can be credited for songs by Aly & Aj, The Cheetah Girls, Ryan Cabrera, and more. She is 1/2 of the songwriting/production duo Dreamlab with Daniel James.
Daniel James: As the other 1/2 of Dreamlab, James has also exclusively worked with Judah the Lion (“Over my head”, “pictures”, “Don’t Mess With My Mama”) and Jeremy Zucker (“Bout It”, “Upside Down”, “Pick It Up”).
Maybe Katy Perry finally found the perfect team to help assemble her return to dominate pop music, just like she used to. I have high hopes her upcoming album will bring back what was once lost.
Perry released a euphoric music video to accompany the start of this new era. The California native can be seen dancing around in a sunshine filled field at some sort of healing heartbreak camp. A genius idea to tag along with a genius song. The video already has over 30 million views.
BAYNK’s part 2 of his Someone’s collection of songs just dropped last week. Part 1 was released back in 2017 (featuring hit song “What You Need“), and part 2 is even better. Featuring vocals from Sinead Harnett, Glades, Hablot Brown, and Martin Luke Brown.
Start to finish, the Someone’s EP 2 itself is charming in so many ways. the way BAYNK produces his music is so eclectic and specific. He manages to mix several genres into one incredibly powerful song. “Simmer” feels funky and romantic, “Settle” is an electronic SMASH, “Go with U” is a fun head bouncer, and “Shatter” is a stunning closer to a career defining EP.
On his collaboration with Glades, the New Zealand native told Pop Dust: “I heard Karina’s voice pop up on the radio one day and fell in love with her tone. The same day I got in touch with them they happened to be working on their album in Hollywood…The whole band is so lovely and the song really just came together like magic.”
BAYNK’s song writing process usually starts with piano as he’s been playing it for so long. You can hear some subtle piano chords in almost every song on the EP. While the lyrics just seem to come naturally to him; “I never write down any lyrics I just freestyle until I have something I like.”
“Chapped lips and your timid heart” are the poetic lyrics on Hayden Scott’s 2018 release, “Summer Heat“. A song that popped up on one of my Discover playlists, which I immediately added to my library and continued to play on repeat for the rest of the day. There’s something unique about Scott’s voice; it’s deep yet gentle in such a unique way. He hugs the line between talking and singing as he tells stories you can’t help but feel passionate about.
His latest single, “White Sedan” feels like an extension of “Heat” in a way. The singer explained the new song on his Instagram, saying, “I had this deep desire to create something that could serve as a time capsule for my friends and I before we leave this town to claim our places in this world.”
I caught up with Hayden to discuss his plans for this year and musical inspirations:
At what age did you start working on music? How old are you now?
“I’m 21 now, and if my memory serves me correctly I started really writing in seventh grade. I was always a drawer, doodling all over my notebooks and schoolwork. I fell in love with words and painting pictures in that way, a few well thought-out words can spur loads of imagery in your mind. It wasn’t until high school that I really found my way into some form of production. I mostly just plinked around until I found my way around the programs.”
Do you have any fun hobbies?
“I like to drink wine and watch trashy British television with my friends, and when I’m not at school or working on career-related activities I’m either playing Bejeweled or thinking about how inconceivably small our galaxy is in comparison to the actual vastness of the universe.”
The lyrics on “Summer Heat” are so poetic. How did the writing process go for that song?
“In the full-scope narrative of the EP (coming this summer) Summer Heat sort of delves into more flippant and vapid feelings I experienced in finding my more grown-up self. It’s all very hit or miss, those first six months on your own. There’s a lot of ups and down in navigating emergent parts of life, and I think I found a way to speak eloquently about a truly awkward phase in my life. Puberty 2.0.”
Who has musically inspired you the most?
“Sonically speaking, Bon Iver and Peter Gabriel. Lyrically, Peter Gabriel, Solange, David Bowie, and Lorde.”
“White Sedan” feels euphoric. What inspired that track?
“It’s really just an ode to my friends and the city of Florence (Alabama). I wanted to immortalize us all in our current states, and now, my friends and I, we can all look back and hear this song and think of all our years here.”
Any plans for an EP or full-length album?
“DREAMDOGS EP, Summer 2019!!!! I think an album will follow soon after. The EP is virtually done at this point, so I’ve been trying to let myself write for freely and create new projects with less structure. A lot of my creative attention has been hyper focused on the EP and really fine- tuning everything there, so I’m moving into other songs now that feel linear with what’s on the EP.”