Lorde’s ‘California’ Is a Throwback to ‘Royals,’ but Without Any Teeth

Ed Sheeran has also released a song from his upcoming album, which is fine


N: Lorde, “California” – I don’t have a lot of time in general for millionaire pop stars who sing about how taxing and tiring their lives of luxury and fame are on albums that will only accelerate that experience for them. Case in point: Lorde’s plucky, cool “California,” in which she says “goodbye to all the bottles, all the models,” plays like a throwback to her first sneer at celebrity excess on “Royals.” I don’t love L.A. either, so maybe we have more in common than I think! – Hazel Cills

Sure, I guess: Ed Sheeran, “Visiting Hours” — Another title for this track could have been “Supermarket Flowers II” but I suppose Mr. Sheeran wanted to mix it up a bit. This sad ballad is off his upcoming album “=” which seems like it will be following the typical Sheeran formula. Fine by me, since there’s no need to fix what ain’t broke, but after the year we’ve had I don’t think I need as many sad songs as I used to. —Shannon Melero

Not for me, but for someone: Eddie Vedder, “Drive” — Surely there is an audience for Eddie Vedder covering REM. Theoretically, it’s me: I belong to the generation for whom this song should resonate, and yet the only REM song I am interested in hearing is “Tongue” or, if I am feeling particularly melancholy, “Nightswimming.” Good for Eddie Vedder, though, really, and good for Flag Day, which I think is a movie? —Megan Reynolds

Beep boop blip blorp (Y): “In My Arms,” Disclosure — Nature is healing (is it…?), and so we have new music from Disclosure, which is the precisely the sort of vibe that goes best with fall weather. Though it’s still August and there still swampy, the cool stylings of these British men immediately transported me to sweater weather. This single, off their new EP, Never Enough, is a perfect little number for contemplative silly little walks or private dance parties of one to four people in a darkened kitchen, sloshing tequila on the floor, with someone flickering the overhead light to simulate a rave. —MR

Yup!: Kilo Kish, “Bloody Future” – Kilo Kish often feels like she’s in a league of her own, wielding her unique brand of electropop with alluring vocals and cryptic lyricism that make me feel like I’m dancing in a club and having an existential crisis at the same time. She knows her strengths, and she’s played to them her new song “Bloody Future.”

The song is clearly about the growing climate crisis—“hot hot hot hot/crumbling earth/under our purse strings”—so it’s only fitting that the accompanying video (directed by Kilo) takes place in the future. It’s 2061, and Kilo Kish lives with a robot, who acts as both her life partner and assistant, in what appears to be relative isolation. Blood drips down her face throughout—no doubt a foreboding sign of something grim to come—yet she carries on as if it’s nothing. Hell, maybe that’s exactly what we’re doing right now, just to stay sane. —Ashley Reese

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