Experience Whitney Houston and Kygo's Pleasant 'Higher Love'


Y: Whitney Houston and Kygo, “Higher Love” – If you’re familiar with the oeuvres of both parties at hand, you know exactly what this cover of Steve Winwood’s 1986 No. 1 sounds like without even pressing play. But press play anyway because it’s nice. Kygo takes a vocal Houston cut during the I’m Your Baby Tonight sessions (her cover eventually was released as bonus track on the Japanese version of that album) and grafts it onto his signature tropical house style. The result transmogrifies the song considerably yet maintains its decided adult contemporary vibe, just in a new place and time. This song sounds like getting older, but, like doing so while wearing sunglasses and sipping craft cocktails. Not exactly transcendent stuff, but pleasant enough. —Rich Juzwiak

It’s… fine: Ellie Goulding and Juice WRLD, “Hate Me” – Some collaborations are so odd, you can’t help but wonder what Chad at Capitol Records forced the two artists together. This isn’t one of them. Juice WRLD’s emo rap and Goulding’s restrained sad-pop vox simply make sense. “Hate Me” is definitely not the song of the summer, but I could see it fulfilling the space “Lucid Dreams” has left vacant, and honestly? That’s all it should ask for. —Maria Sherman

Y: Florist, “Time Is a Dark Feeling” – Earlier this week, Frida posed a very important question in a very important blog: Would you live on a Norwegian island with not clocks? A place essentially without time? Something tells me Florist, the project of singer-songwriter Emily Sprague, would—and just imagine all beautifully stripped, whisper-sung songs she’d create there. “Time Is a Dark Feeling” is disarming, warm, and wearisome, with some of the most beautiful lyricism I’ve heard this year: “These are days like the deepest caves/You would never dare to descend into,” she sings, “Thankfully/There’s a golden portrait of ivy/Every morning I see.” I’d love to see it, too. —MS

Absofuckinglutely: serpentwithfeet featuring Ty Dolla $ign, “Receipts” – “Receipts” has all the hallmarks of classic serpentwithfeet: Simultaneous sparseness and lushness, ear-filling harmonies, enough melodic kinks to fill a dungeon. In addition, it has a feature from Ty Dolla $ign, an open admirer of serpentwithfeet’s avant-R&B for years. It’s a lovely thing that the very gay serpentwithfeet and the ostensibly straight Ty can join forces to sing about love in a single song, so matter of factly and without ensuing scandal. And to think it all happened during Pride Month! —RJ

Not feeling it: Cardi B, “Press” (video) – There’s a lot going on in this video; some might even say, too much. As previously stated, the song itself is serviceable, a mild summer anthem that feels a little undercooked. The video places Cardi in a courtroom setting (mirroring her real-life circumstance) and legal couture, including an outfit accessorized with platinum eyebrows that make her look like a high-fashion gnome. The scenes then get increasingly bloody and murderous: an army of naked blurred-out models, dead bodies, and a story that ends with Cardi drowning an inmate in a toilet. Maybe this represents her inner turmoil about being a public figure? Could’ve been reigned in just a tad! —Clover Hope

Y: Pip Millett, Do Well EP – As I was dancing around to a seven-minute Willie Colon salsa track the other day, I realized that songs, EPs and albums, are significantly shorter nowadays. When done well, that can be to the artist’s benefit, and I think Pip Millet is exhibit A. The soulful Manchester-native woos listeners and viewers away with simple, subtle, seemingly effortless croons. Four songs in 13 minutes left me satisfied and ready for more. —Ecleen Luzmilla Caraballo

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