Mandy Moore Is Back, and She Thinks She's Stevie Nicks Now


Kinda, yeah: Mandy Moore, “When I Wasn’t Watching” – Yes, Mandy Moore is back. “When I Wasn’t Watching” is her first new song in a decade, and while it’s nothing to write home about… I’m happy for her? She’s trying her best Stevie Nicks here, but her ’70s is more ’90s folk-y adult contemporary. I’m not mad at it. —Maria Sherman

Yes: Say Sue Me, “Your Book” – My favorite Busan, South Korea indie rock band has returned and is surfier than ever. Los Angeles bands would be wise to take note of their lo-fi lite, shoegaze-y ways. —MS

Also yes: Moor Mother, “Black Flight” – One day I hope to be smart enough to fully appreciate all the contours of what Moor Mother creates. Until then, I will listen to this on repeat to appreciate every one of her and Saul Williams’s rumination on colonialism and slavery. As they say: “Black flight/Gotta get away.” —MS

Maybe: Celine Dion, “Imperfections” – Celine Dion has seemingly emerged from her grief cocoon and presented the world with four new songs, most of which are medium and one, “Imperfections,” which is kind of nice. I do like a ballad, but I love a Celine ballad more than most things. In “Imperfections,” Celine is still sad, but is ready to move forward. Something about her vocals on this track are a bit too glossy for my taste—Celine is at her best when she’s guttural and emotional and raw—but otherwise, I will listen to this song more than any of the others she released. Perhaps it will grow on me and maybe also on you. —Megan Reynolds

Cool: Jhené Aiko, “Trigger Protection Mantra” – Jhené Aiko, known for her meditative style of R&B, made an actual meditation song, and aside from the cumbersome title, it is indeed calming. This is to solely be listened to during meditation sessions or yoga and is worth adding to your sleep playlist. It’s good to have non-instrumental music to relieve stress. —Clover Hope

Yes: Gang Starr feat. J. Cole, “Family and Loyalty” – Gang Starr’s first in 16 years is a beautiful tribute to Guru’s legacy. The timeless, chill-inducing track features both members of Brooklyn’s beloved duo, including vocals from the late MC Guru, who passed away in 2010. “Diamonds are forever like my infinite thought/Like respect in the hood that can’t be bought,“ Guru sings in a hook that hits different without him here. The song touches on everything from friendship and family to the growth that comes with hurting. Naturally, they hop between topics while drawing a line that divides the diamonds (real rap legends) in the genre, and the stones that melt in their presence. In opting to include J. Cole (of all new wave hip-hop artists), DJ Premier knights the North Carolina native a great. Cole recognizes the honor and holds his ground, proving he deserves to live in this instant classic. The legendary Premier, of course, holds nothing back here. The nostalgic, jazzy beat oozes palpable emotion that takes us back to the ’90s and will surely linger in my mind for days. —Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo

Hmm, yeah, okay, I dig it: DIIV, “Blankenship” – After the Mad Men fan section of my brain thought about Don’s very dead secretary Ida Blankenship (RIP), I was able to actually pay attention to the song, which admittedly took me a little more time to warm up to than the other singles from DIIV’s forthcoming album. At moments, the song sounds oddly radio-friendly, reminding me of alt-rock from the early 2000s… but not necessarily in a good way. After a few listens, however, I’ve found myself liking it more and more. I don’t know, I think this one is a grower. —Ashley Reese

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