AG5: Thank You, Next

(Image via yournextshoes.com)

Recently, the pop star has been quite vocal on social media regarding her upcoming fifth album. Through fan questions and her own snippets, here’s what we know so far.

  1. She’s already played it for Republic Records and celebrated with champagne after (that’s gotta be a good sign).
  2. There will be no collabs on the album.
  3. The album MIGHT be called thank you, next
  4. We might hear the album before the end of the year
  5. The new material will also be featured on her upcoming Sweetener tour
  6. She says thank you, next “is kinda the exact opposite of knew better but…you’ll see.”
  7. Ariana made the album in 2-3 months
  8. Another song on the album is called “Needy”
  9. Some lyrics for “Needy” include “tell me how good it feels to be needy”
  10. The album won’t have an intro
  11. “Thank you, next” will be the last track on the album
  12. She says track one will “be your favorite”
  13. “Thank you, next” is about Pete Davidson amongst other past flames. Ariana says, “I’m so … fuckin…. grateful for my ex… tis far from a diss track… it’s the opposite”

Listen to “thank you, next” below:

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A Kim Petras Halloween

(Image via altpress.com)

Pulsing dance/pop synths are the highlight of each track off this spooky mixtape. Kim Petras has already mastered pop but proves she has a dark/dance side on TURN OFF THE LIGHT, VOL. 1. 

Starting with “Close Your Eyes,” you’re immediately swept into another world; a sweaty dance club around mid-October, filled with runny eyeliner, fishnets, and a harsh beat twisting through your blood. Petras’ punky vocals push through every musical layer possible, hitting the highest notes over a glorious dance drop. Picture ballroom ceilings draped in cobwebs and red velvet; that’s how grimy yet enchanting this mixtape feels.

“Turn Off The Light” has a similar backbeat as the iconic “Thriller” complete with a vocal sound bite from none other than Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. While “Tell Me It’s A Nightmare” has a vintage Lady Gaga feel (think “Judas” or “Monster”); so dramatic-pop, it hurts.

Fans flooded Kim with love and support for the new Halloween-inspired music. Petras tweeted: “I’m so happy u guys ! I love you more than I could ever express”

If you’re not in the spooky spirit, listen to this on repeat all October and you’ll be transformed into a wicked pop witch.


 

Man Crush Monday: Post Malone

(Image via nme.com)

The 22-year-olds sophomore album titled, beerbongs & bentleys is jam-packed with an 18-song tracklist. Featuring a couple we already know the words to; “Candy Paint” and “rockstar”. Post Malone makes a rap album that almost doesn’t feel like rap at all.

Malone carries his own weight on this album; although he has some stellar features (Nicki Minaj, G-Eazy, YG, Ty Dolla $ign…) Songs like, “Rich & Sad”, “Psycho,” “Zack and Codeine,” and “Better Now” have that addicting Post Malone sound. Some beats are pop, while others are harsh hip-hop.

He’s unlike other rappers, as we hear on the acoustic ballad, “Stay”; which seems to already be a fan favorite. Malone’s wavering voice glides alongside a smooth acoustic guitar. He sings about the struggle to maintain a relationship; “Tell me that it’s all okay, I’ve been waitin’ on this all damn day, call me in the mornin’, tell me how last night went, I’m here, but don’t count on me to stay.” Never have I been able to listen to a rapper sing an acoustic ballad like this and still like it.

This album has been in the works for a couple years now. Malone tweeted in late 2016: “beerbongs and bentleys isn’t a song…. It’s a whole project. also a lifestyle and it’s coming.” Time definitely did this project justice. Full hip-hop albums are hard to love in their entirety, but Post Malone has managed to make each song stand on its own full of bubbly choruses and insanely cyclical beats.

According to forbes.com, beerbongs & bentleys already destroyed the record for the most streams of songs on an album in the U.S. All 18 songs were played 48 million times in just the United States.

 

To see Post Malone live, click here!


 

The Curious Case of Hayley Kiyoko

(Image via teenvogue.com)

It feels as though Hayley Kiyoko came out of nowhere. All of a sudden, you hear the thudding beat of her lead single, “Curious” and it pulls you in right away. Who is this girl? And what is she doing to me?! Little did we know, Kiyoko was going to blow us all away with a debut album worthy of all the recognition in the world.

Opening with an enchanting overture, reminiscent of an M83 production, “Expectations (Overture)” leads the album into the extravagant and expressive work of art it is. Strings and chorus-like vocals add euphoric elements that feel almost church-like. Which kicks straight into the funky “Feelings”. A stand out single dealing with the transparency of human emotion. Kiyoko confidently sings, “I over communicate and feel too much. I just complicate it when I say too much.” While the song structure remains basic like any other pop song, the funky guitar adds a new groovy layer.

While the pop scene is supercharged with “boy crazy” female leads, Kiyoko remains true to who she is. She’s a lesbian, and proud of it. “I’m not over-sexualizing my music. I make out with women because I love women, not because I’m trying to be sexy. That’s not to turn heads — that’s my life” she tells Refinery 29. Teaming together with one of the most honest women in the pop/R&B genre proved Kiyoko can secure any song she wants (listen to the fun Kehlani assisted “What I Need”).

Songs like, “Mercy/Gatekeeper” and “Under the Blue/Take Me In” prove Kiyoko’s artistry in a genre that is so often saturated to the point of overconsumption. “Mercy” cranks out dramatic muffled vocals that almost feel like an inner monologue. “All I wanna do is cry and bang my head until I start to fly” spin out of Kiyoko’s mouth as she describes a turbulent time. The song feels like an emotional rollercoaster, up and down, as if she couldn’t decide how the song was going to end. Perhaps mimicking what she felt in real life. The words, “just give me mercy, cause I keep hurting, hurting” repeat throughout the song, adding to its raw honesty.

Each track feels different from the rest in a way that’s indescribable. “Molecules” and “Let It Be” close this album in such a delicate way. “Molecules” deals with a shift in perspective about a friends tragic loss. On Instagram, Kiyoko said “Let It Be” is about “Accepting the bravery to move on, and start a new beginning, even if it’s hard.” She then went on to say, “Sometimes good things come to an end and you don’t know why or how it happened. But there was a reason for that chapter in your life. You grew and learned to love. It’s hard to follow your heart and listen to your gut when you know things won’t work out.”

Expectations exceeded all my expectations. It serves a hot dish of fun, honest, and raw pop. Something the music industry should be admiring and honoring very closely.

The Sounds of Lord Huron

The words, “I will wait by the river, in the light of the moon,” sound like the beginning of an old poem; something Shakespeare would write to a far-away lover. She’d read it and shed a tear as the realization of his love for her finally became clear.

lord huron
Image via brooklynvegan.com

Lord Huron’s third single of 2018, “Wait by the River” is an enchantingly beautiful love song. Lead singer, Ben Schneider sings about all the things he’ll do to get this love back; “I will cry out to heaven,” “I will beg for forgiveness,” “I will wait by the river.” A slow drum beat keeps “River” at a romantic pace, while Schneider’s vocals itch higher and higher with piercing imagery to follow.

Their third album, Vide Noir, will be released April 20th. Spanning two years in writing and recording (in their Los Angeles studio), Schneider told Northern Transmissions what inspired Noir, “My nighttime drives ranged all over the city—across the twinkling grid of the valley, into the creeping shadows of the foothills, through downtown’s neon canyons and way out to the darksome ocean…” he continues, “I started imagining Vide Noir as an epic odyssey through the city, across dimensions, and out into the cosmos. A journey along the spectrum of human experience. A search for meaning amidst the cold indifference of The Universe.” It’s no surprise, the visual aspect of this album will be just as gorgeous as the mixed sounds on each track.

Listen to “Wait by the River” here: