Ciara Freaks It Again, Maluma Embraces Being a Fuckboi, and Mitski Can Do No Wrong


Yes: Ciara “Freak Me,” feat. Tekno – Ciara seems well aware that we’re approaching the middle of August—the most stressfully humid part of summer—which means we’re in need of a lush, breezy Afrobeat tune to take us through the dog days. With this gyration-ready single and “Level Up” (which she wisely fashioned into a viral jam), she’s making a strong, late-summer push. She’s also provided a brief choreography video, which is something she should do for every song she ever drops from hereon. —Clover Hope

Yaaaw: Dilly Dally, “Sober Motel” – I fell in love with Canadian rock band Dilly Dally and the scratchy, howling voice of their lead singer Katie Monks when they released their gem “Desire” a few years back. This song “Sober Motel,” off their upcoming album Heaven, is similarly intense, inspired by the band grappling with the ways in which alcohol is romanticized in rock. —Hazel Cills

Yes: Mura Masa, “Complicated,” feat. NAO – I’m into everything NAO does (if you missed her underrated 2016 album For All We Know I suggest: please correct that!) and this bouncy collaboration with British producer Mura Masa is super cute. J’adore it. —HC

Y: Mitski, “Two Slow Dancers” – As it is, and it is—Mitski can do no wrong. “Two Slow Dancers,” the third and final single from her upcoming fifth studio album, Be the Cowboy, will perhaps persuade even the most ballad-averse to slow down and embrace somber, fucking sad sensuality. It’s gorgeous and it kills me. —Maria Sherman

Duh: CupcakKe, “Blackjack” – In CupcakKe’s world, there is no shortage of down-and-dirty, clever rapping about fucking—lines like “the dick like Ariana ponytail cause I swear that shit was the longest” and “Pussy looking real plus size/Now we doing math together” make “Blackjack” something I’m not taking off repeat for a second. —MS

No: Maluma, “Mala Mía” – Translated as “My Bad,” this song seems to be Maluma’s attempt at mocking people who criticize him for his flirtatious ways. Or perhaps more accurately, it is the Colombian artist’s complete and unapologetic ownership of his fuckboi persona. I saw this at the ungodly hour of right-before-caffeine and then again at still-too-early-for-wine, and am sad to say it has made me dislike him even more than his performance at Premios Juventud did. What makes me even more upset is that, still, in an alternate universe, I probably Would. —Ecleen Caraballo

Si: Karol G + J. Balvin, “Mi Cama (Remix)” feat. Nicky Jam (Video) – This is one of those songs I’m continually tortured by via both Spotify-generated playlists and loud cars in Queens. Still, it’s catchy, and the addition of Nicky and Balvin, whose bromance I find to be adorable and annoying, is exactly what the song needed. The video leaves much to the imagination, yet laughs at your dirty mind for assuming exactly what Karol G and director Mike Ho wanted you to. —EC

Yeah but also not so loud??: Michete, “Stupid Girl” (Video) – You know that thing where you crush on someone and make your sense of self-worth entirely dependent on whether or not they like you back? That, but give it a beat! Michete’s “Stupid Girl,” off of her 2017 album Cool Tricks 3, is a low-key, laidback spiral that explores the dark side of living for male validation in simple, yet entirely too real terms.

“It’s inspired by situations I’ve been in and ways I’ve felt while dealing with men,” the Seattle artist told PAPER.“ [I]t’s all about finding reasons to love yourself and to be excited about life that don’t revolve around men or romance… When you realize that life has so much to offer outside of romance and that you can be a complete, valid, and fulfilled person without a romantic partner, I think it gets a lot easier to stop being such a dumb bitch.” Check out the video above, directed by Michete and Stephen Anunson, which kinda reminds me of a queer kid after-school special where the lesson of the week is “Fucking love yourself!!!!” —Harron Walker

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