Drake Is Ready For a Post-Panny Summer of Freaking On Strangers


Yeah, why not: Drake, “What Next”: Here’s some new music from Drake, who would like you to know that he has returned from taking some Drake-time. Per the chorus, he rested over the summer, stretched on New Year’s Day, fucked on Valentine’s Day, and is now here to tell us that he’s back and we should be ready for something. Overall, the song is largely fine? It sounds like Drake circa his most Drake era, which for me, is roughly 2012-2013, and because of that, the song sounds dated. This isn’t Drake’s fault, though, it’s TikTok’s fault, which exists in some sort of nightmarish conversation with modern music so that I cannot hear a new song (Cardi B’s “Up” springs to mind, as does anything that Da Baby does), without thinking immediately about how it will be repeated ad nauseam on TikTok. “What Next” is off a 3-song EP, “Scary Hours 2,” which is also just regular Drake being Drake, but if he’s making new music now, then I’ll take it! A post-panny hot girl, orgy-filled summer of freaking on strangers and cautiously licking each other’s faces as a greeting beckons. If “What Next” is the warm-up for Drake producing a banger on the levels of “Nice For What,” then I will take! It! —Megan Reynolds

Absolutely, hell yes: Molly Lambert and Elle King, “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” – No ‘80s music video parody has ever looked as goddamn cool as Molly Lambert and Elle King’s “Drunk,” and that’s saying something—one of them is Rob Schneider’s kid, a man with no edge. Who doesn’t love a country pop-rock hit about a night out? Crush me with this chorus; it’s ascending Lumineers-esq. harmonies, its syncopated percussion. This is rural road, long drive music. —Maria Sherman

Eh: Jack Harlow ft.EST Gee, “Route 66″ (music video) – Very famous 20-something Jack Harlow heads back home to Louisville for “Route 66,” and I’m unfortunately coming to the realization that… he might have bars beyond the clippable moments that proliferate on TikTok. If you need me, I’ll be repeating “Bitch I’m from Kentucky but this ain’t no fuckin’ Dixie Chicks,” to myself, wondering why his laid-back, lethargic, party boy rap resonates. I suppose each generation gets the Asher Roth it deserves. Eh. —MS

Y: ATEEZ, “Fireworks (I’m The One)” – My favorite K-pop boy band going, ATEEZ, has expertly studied the school of Bad Bunny—his flow is all over “Fireworks (I’m The One).” The video, too, is high-concept public transportation dystopia, like if Mad Max took place under ground. Mingi, currently on hiatus for mental health, is missed—but his baritone is heard, loud and clear, and what more could you want? —MS

Yes more drama: Erika de Casier, “Drama” – The music of 21-year-old Portuguese-born Danish musician Erika de Casier frequently makes explicit reference to the cosmically syncopated golden era of Timbaland and Missy Elliott’s productions—many of which were produced before she was born. But de Casier’s work tends to put an intimate spin on the form—so hushed and mumbled is she over intricate percussion that her pop comes on the DL. “Drama” is classic de Casier, a doe-eyed, who-me?, assessment of the chaos that finds her whether she invites it or not. “You want drama? I’ll give you a reality show,” she purrs, threatening you with a good time in the most modern of terms. —Rich Juzwiak

Ou-ou-ou-ou-oui: Marie Davidson & L’Œil Nu, ‘’C’est parce que j’m’en fous (Jlin Remix)” – Jlin, whose frenetic breed of electronic production uses footwork as a jumping off point, puts her singular spin on an electropop track by Montreal’s Marie Davidson & L’Œil Nu, and the result is nothing short of a suggestion of pop’s potential future. Sugary and speedy, Jlin’s remix hurtles at you like a fully articulated robot dog who’s starved for affection and prepared to lick your face with its bionic tongue. I’m completely blown away by this slight modification of Jlin’s sound toward pop. What a thrill! —RJ

Corny in the absolute best way: Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic, “Leave the Door Open” – As the daughter of two Black Baby Boomers, I grew up on a healthy diet of ’70s love songs by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Barry White, The Spinners, The O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, the Chi-lites… you get the picture. And it’s that old-school R&B flavor that obviously inspired “Leave the Door Open.” From the instrumentals to Bruno Mars’s wide lapels in the music video, this collaboration acts as a fun little throwback that both my parents and I can enjoy (and there’s nothing I enjoy more than listening to Anderson Paak sing “I look too good to be alone” because, yes, 100 percent true). Bruno Mars’s vocals sometimes took me out of the song, not because they were bad, but because they, at times, felt a little overwhelming. Like, “Yeah, we get it, you’ve got some pipes!” But he managed to reel it in enough for me to overlook. Maybe this is my bias speaking: I think Mars has a tendency to make everything he touches a little bit corny, even if it’s good. It’s a gift and a curse that he somehow manages to pull off, however, and “Leave the Door Open” is no different. —Ashley Reese

Sure: St. Vincent, “Pay Your Way In Pain” – My friend Claire referred to this as the start of St. Vincent’s “Thin White Duke” era, and I couldn’t get that phrase out of my head as I watched St. Vincent’s long-awaited return unfold before me in the video of her new track, “Pay Your Way In Pain.” I admittedly haven’t been all that moved by a St. Vincent release since her 2011 album Strange Mercy, but “Pay Your Way In Pain” has my attention. I mean, do I love the song? Eh, I’m not sure. I’m not crazy about it yet, and I don’t see myself going out of my way to listen to it, but I… respect it? I fuck with the vision? I know that everyone is ‘70s-pilled right now, but so far I’m really feeling St. Vincent’s take on it: the outfit, the guttural screeching, and the proto-music video aesthetic left me feeling like I did a line.

Let’s see how the rest of this rollout goes, shall we? —AR

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