#7SONGSAWEEK REVIEW / by Noor Kalouti

Hello all!

Things are finally settling down as the holidays approach and in preparation for that brief vacation I’ve brought you a lit-litty roundup!

Unlike last week, this one’s hip-hop and trap heavy—but don’t let that discourage you (remember, my taste is impeccable). Rather, take a moment to twerk (or walse, whatever) to these new releases from Domo Genesis, Bianca Rhoden, and SAINt JHN.

1. Out of Words: Bianca Rhoden

First of all, I am immediately pulled into this track by Bianca’s first line: “my mouth is dry”. Both somatic and raw, it introduces the vulnerability of the track through Bianca’s feminine, soft, and relatable voice. I enjoy the simplicity of this piece—there are no unnecessary, over-the-top build-ups, which is something that I’d expect in this style of pop. I also admire the track’s imperfect cadence; the song ends abruptly with Bianca’s voice echoing in my ears. The piece was released last week via Loop Discos. This is my first time hearing of Bianca and I am impressed with the originality of this mainstream pop song. With that said, I fear that she has the potential to release generic pop music, formulaic pieces of music like “No Promises”. So, Bianca, do you, babygurl, and stick to it.

2. Consecutive Normal Punches (feat. Buddy) : Domo Genesis

This track comes off of Domo’s new EP Facade Records via Genesis Music.  The record dropped earlier this month and features Buddy, aka Simmie Smith, an established West-Coast rapper.  In my opinion, Buddy’s performance on this track was a little more engaging than Domo’s, but it was very close. Both of these sun-kissed wordsmiths spit fire. Listen and let me know if you agree.

3. Startender (feat. Offset and Tyga): A Boogie Wit da Hoodie

This song is the litty in the lit-littiness of this week’s roundup. Yes, this is a banger with a single purpose—hype up the club—but that shouldn’t devalue it as a piece of music. It does its job well, so how can I discourage that? In any case, this track was dropped earlier in the week via Atlantic Records and produced by T-Minus—a platinum-selling producer. My favorite verse here is, as always, Offset, though I really appreciated Tyga’s hook. It did a good job of cementing the R&B aesthetic of this song.

4. White Parents Are Gonna Hate This: SAINt JHN

SAINt JHN is one of the best-kept secrets in today’s trap scene—a talent that is often overlooked. His style blends gothic and hip-hop aesthetics in a manner entirely unique to him, and his music is just as intriguing. He’s known for his raw, filterless and passionate personality which shines through on this track. This IDGAF banger was produced by Arsenio Archer and released last week on HITCO and SAINt JHN’s collective Godd Complexx.

5. Saba: Where It’s At

Compared to Saba’s last release Beautiful Smile, this one is drastically more cheery—sounds like Saba finally moved somewhere with more sunshine. Dropped last week though PIVOT, a collective founded by Saba, this track’s upbeat production is handled by his long-time collaborator, Dae Dae. Although I’m usually a fan of Saba’s music, I find this track fairly vacant—Saba raps about unkept promises demanding “Where’s it’s at?”. This Saba’s fifth official release since his album CARE FOR ME which dropped in April.

6. Hella Down: gianni

Meet Gianni, the LA-based producer and DJ who likes to remix classics like Brandy’s 1994 hit “I Wanna Be Down. It’s rare that I share remixes, but when I find one that’s well-arranged, I am the first to bump it! In this case, Gianni’s remix brings Brandy’s track back to life. It has all the elements of a good remix, the most important being the reference to the original track. Gianni doesn’t splice Brandy’s vocals but pitch-shifts them instead, making it easy to identify the track. He focuses his energies on producing a whole new environment for those vocals to flourish in and the outcome is groovy, upbeat and original.

7. Falling: LEISURe

Unlike most roundups, this one ends on a fairly mainstream note. I’ve just discovered LEISURE, a dreamy band based in Auckland and praised for their blend of indie pop and electronic music. This is their first release since the refreshing album Leisure was dropped in 2016. If you haven’t already, listen to the album first. It is a better introduction to them than this track. If you’re already a fan, however, you’re sure to enjoy this cut.