Dua Lipa's Cartoon Avatar Loses Her Mind in the Club


Y: Dua Lipa, “Hallucinate” We finally have a music video for one of the best songs off Dua Lipa’s most recent album, and I would like to get my hands on whatever drugs the director did before coming up with this concept. The video is fully animated, featuring a Dua avatar that looks like the lovechild of Braceface and Dave the Barbarian. Cartoon Dua travels through a fantastical world that is simultaneously reminiscent of old Mickey Mouse cartoons and the mid-episode That 70s Show transitions. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I can’t deny it’s a fun watch. I won’t be surprised if it ends up on Adult Swim next week. —Lisa Fischer

Ya: Juice WRLD feat. Halsey, “Life’s A Mess” – Any music released posthumously carries extra weight, but there’s something uniquely affecting about hearing the late Juice WRLD lament, “Ah, sometimes life’s a mess/I get high when I’m upset,” considering the conditions of his tragic death. Beyond those extramusical elements, “Life’s A Mess” with Halsey is a gorgeous emo ballad, the reassurance that with human connection, you can always heal. —Maria Sherman

Y: H.E.R. “Do to Me” – H.E.R.’s latest, a reggae slow jam, evokes the feeling of a sunset-sway in the breeze in the arms of the one who loves you—“Tripping over the sound/of you loving me so loud”—maybe your pet in this case. —Clover Hope

Y: Bully, “Every Tradition” – Normally, indie rock could benefit from some nuance—explicit explication distracts from artistry instead of bolstering it, and as the old writing adage goes, it’s best to “show, not tell.” Bully’s “Every Tradition,” however, is about as direct as it gets, and it works. Here, singer Alicia Bognanno admonishes traditional societal structures that don’t align with her value system. “If you’re gonna shame me/Turn around, bite your tongue till it bleeds,” she directs her ire at those pressuring her to want what all women are believed to want: children, marriage, the house, etc. “Don’t need you to save me/Something’s off, you’re wrong about the dream.” At least, her dream. —MS

Also yes: Magik Markers, “Machine” – I’m a sucker for Magik Markers’s ambitious approach to discordant song structure; you could call it noise, but that feels like only a sliver of the story. “Machine” sprung out of nowhere—perhaps the result of quarantine inspiration—an at times haunting declaration to “animals of the 21st century,” those whose world is quickly shape-shifting around them. “You should never turn your back to the sea,” singer Elisa Ambrogio riffs, “and me.” —MS

Y: Prins Thomas, “Træns 6” – Norway’s Prins Thomas is best known for his disco-inflected workouts, but his new project finds him reaching less far back in time for a slightly different retro flavor. Træns, his new album out today, finds him dabbling with early ’90s trance sounds which often manifest as “Træns 6” does, in a kind of avant-pop Eurohouse vibe. Imagine if the Real McCoy were realer than real or if “Mr. Vain” was slightly more hung up on artistry than commercial appeal. This sounds like a bunch of android horses galloping in formation, to which I say: Stomp the shit out of me. —Rich Juzwiak

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