Scene Selections: New Singles
With due dates approaching and tests looming, it can be hard to keep up with the latest music releases. That’s why the Scene writers picked out a few of their favorite new singles to keep you in the loop.
“Give a Little” — Maggie Rogers
By Margaret McGreevy, Scene Writer
Maggie Rogers’ single “Give a Little” is a hopeful glimpse into the future — the perfect song to hum during the first weeks of college. The chorus repeats, “Maybe we could get to know each other,” a sentence I said (in my head) approximately 1,000 times during Welcome Weekend. It’s a song about new beginnings. The beat is poppier and faster-paced than her previous single “Fallingwater,” but just as catchy. Try not to bop your head — it’s almost impossible. Her lyrics blend together dreamily and weave between whimsical, electric background sounds. The music video, which dropped Aug. 15, is a homage to ’70s skate culture and features Rogers, her girl gang and plenty of her signature dance moves. It is easy to watch and jam-packed with nostalgic summer imagery.
But this song has a weighty backstory. On Twitter, Rogers revealed that the song is a response to the gun violence and subsequent school walkouts in April 2018. These high schoolers, who marched for their lives, became her main inspiration. “Give a Little” is an invitation to empathize and a starry-eyed look at what the world could be. In her own words, “visionary, not reactionary.”
“Thick and Thin” — LANY
By Dessi Gomez, Scene Writer
The all-male trio LANY released the third single “Thick and Thin” from their highly-anticipated second album “Malibu Nights,” which will arrive Oct. 5. They return to a fast-paced percussion beat for the base of the song, which is characteristic of many of their past songs, as well as the guitar chords and crooning vocals that shine through periodically. It makes sense that “Thick and Thin” returns to many of the emotions expressed in the single “Thru These Tears” because, as the first track of the album, it can represent the original thoughts and feelings from the initial moments of a breakup.
Lead singer Paul Klein communicates just how strong these feelings were during the relationship, saying “I could see my whole life with you baby.” Klein desires an explanation for the sudden change of mind, asking “Was it really love if you could leave me for something so innocent? / Is this the end?” He sings of confusion with the words “All the good times / How’d you forget? / I was your best friend, yeah / Remember when you said.” The bridge contains the ultimate heart-wrenching words “Said you’d be there for me through everything / Said that you’d have my back through anything.” These words, as well as those of the chorus, “Thought you’d be there through thick and thin,” emphasize sadness and disappointment.
“I Feel A Change” — Charles Bradley
By Jake Winningham, Scene Writer
Charles Bradley’s story is one of the most unique in all of pop music. The former James Brown impersonator was discovered by a record producer in 2002 and put out his first record in 2011 at the age of 62. In between that first album and his death last year at 68 from stomach cancer, Bradley released three impressive LPs of throwback soul. His last album “Black Velvet” will be released posthumously this November, and advance single “I Feel A Change” is one of Bradley’s strongest performances. Backing group the Menahan Street Band lays down a steady groove for Bradley to wail over, with sharp guitar stabs and spaghetti-western horns filling in the margins. If you’re a fan of ’60s-style rhythm and blues, or just looking for a song to help you ease from summer into fall, give this a listen.
“17 Days” — Prince
By Marty Kennedy, Scene Writer
Someone call Baby Jessica because the ’80s are back! This summer, the Prince Estate decided to posthumously release some of Prince’s unheard live tracks in a new album titled “Piano & A Microphone 1983.” While the new album will be available in its entirety Sept. 21, one of the singles, “17 Days,” has already been released. Another single from the new album was also released, “Mary Don’t You Weep,” which appears in the new movie “BlacKkKlansman.” “17 Days,” while originally a track on Prince’s 1984 album “Purple Rain,” is now a live recording, featuring solely Prince’s vocals while he plays a piano, just as the title of the soon-to-be released album suggests. This live, unedited version adds a new wave of passion from Prince into this old song and provides a new depth to the style of Prince’s music: more soul and more emphasis on the vocals. The song even includes a solid minute of The Purple One scatting and playing the piano, an unusual style for his music. Providing a less poppy and more heartfelt rendition than the original, “17 Days” is just the piece to listen to for some Prince nostalgia.
“Drip Too Hard” — Lil Baby and Gunna
By Ryan Israel, Scene Writer
Lil Baby and Gunna are two of the hottest names in trap music right now. Each had their own path to success; Lil Baby took off thanks to a Drake feature on his hit single “Yes Indeed” and Gunna made stellar appearances alongside industry veterans Young Thug and Travis Scott. Now the two Atlanta rappers are officially teaming up, as their joint single “Drip Too Hard” came along with the announcement of a collaborative album “Drip Harder” to be released later this month.
The two rookie rappers emerged as a formidable duo on the earlier single “Sold Out Dates” and on “Drip Too Hard” they keep their chemistry. Lil Baby comes in first, bouncing along with the track’s bass-heavy beat. For the chorus, Baby reflects on the motivation for the lifestyle that he and Gunna have been living, saying “Doing all these shows, I’ve been on the road / Don’t care where I go, long as I get paid.” Gunna plays the role of facilitator on the track; he effortlessly glides through the lane on his verse and tosses a alley-oop to Baby who brings the track home with a slam dunk on the reprise. While “Drip Too Hard” is fairly short, it’s also incredibly sweet and it captures the lightning-in-a-bottle synergy between Lil Baby and Gunna.