Mariah Carey Can Do Bad All By Herself, Noname Gambles With Love, and New Lana Del Rey


Love it: Mariah Carey “GTFO” (video) – Mariah’s long proven to be the best at delicate cut-downs decked in 10-cent words (here: “You left me lost and disenchanted”; “My prince was so unjustly handsome”). This, which comes with a softly filtered video of Mariah dawdling about the house in lingerie, is one of those glorious moments. Disenchanted, she makes space to lay out her disappointment with her “knight in shining armor” and suggests, gently, that he get the fuck out—and take his tings with him. This reminds me of the beautiful lullaby threats on Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel. —Clover Hope

Y: Kelly Moran, “Helix” – Kelly Moran, the New York pianist and producer, got her start in classical music before transitioning into the electronic music world of Warp Records (she currently performs with Oneohtrix Point Never live, and the pair collaborate frequently.) In “Helix,” both her traditional skillset and predilection for innovation come across in a piano composition that grows, in complication, exponentially throughout the work. To call it relaxing would undercut its ferocity, but to say it’s a challenging listen would deny its accessibility. I’d recommend it to anyone who finds themselves intimidated by either musical worlds—it’s an inviting taste of both. —Maria Sherman

Kind of? And I hate myself for it?: Carrie Underwood, “Love Wins” – Carrie Underwood is certainly talented, and in more ways than one—beyond her pipes, she has an incredible ability to be completely, infuriatingly innocuous and apparently sell it to the country music buying public as somehow purely political and good. So is the case with her single, “Love Wins,” and it’s video, which dropped on September 11. In it, Underwood sings about fighting for love and respecting your fellow person and that’s about it. “Can’t we all just get along?” is the observation of the naive, but hell, the song is good. —MS

Yeees: Noname, “Window” – Chicago rapper Noname is back and I’m in love with this lush, orchestral song from her debut album Telephone 25. In a recent interview in The Fader, Noname revealed that she lost her virginity for the first time at age 25 (she’s 26 now), and you can hear her finally exploring that side of her life in “Window.” “I knew you never love me, but I fucked you anyway,” she says, coolly. “I guess a bitch like to gamble.” Gambling never sounded so good. —Hazel Cills

Yep: Ciara “Dose” – Hearing this and Ciara’s previous singles “Level Up” and “Freak Me,” it seems she’s been injected with a nice, freeing dose of self-assurance. There’s a bit of empowerment-pandering thematically here (“I’m a groundbreaking woman/I get loud when I wanna” sure), but it’s paired with an audacious stomping drum line that makes you wanna (I’m sorry) get in formation, promptly. —CH

Oh yeah: Kelela, “LMK (Remix)” feat. Princess Nokia, CupcakKe, Junglepussy and Ms. Boogie – I loved the impossibly straightforward, sex-positive anthem “LMK” when it came out last year, as the lead single off Kelela’s debut studio album Take Me Apart. The song is an open question, a ball lobbed into a hesitant suitor’s court, that also works as an homage to the singer’s powerful sense of self. (“No one’s tryna settle down,” Kelela sings, “all you gotta do is let me know.”) On the remix, Kelela invites four other voices into her circle, and they all sound as good as the original, while repping their own style. My favorite is CupcakKe when she raps about guys who “gave me head in the back of the Benz/then tried to get close, I told them don’t zoom in.” A reminder that, like the song goes, it’s not that deep. —Frida Garza

Oui: Lana Del Rey, “Mariners Apartment Complex” – The dreaded Jack Antonoff produced Lana Del Rey’s latest and yet, somehow resisted the urge to make his presence known with an obnoxiously bouncy synth, as is unusual to his particular style. The result is a gorgeous rock ballad, somber in sound alone. Really, this is the most optimistic LDR has been in a minute, possibly ever, and the fact that it immediately recalls Mazzy Star’s biggest hit, “Fade Into You” is no mistake. I won’t be mad to hear it in whatever film inevitably licenses it. —MS

An absolute yes: Ah Mer Ah Su, “Need You, Need Me” (video)Ah Mer Ah Su’s floaty, featherweight vocals are as gravity-defying as ever on “Need You, Need Me,” a standout track off her recently released debut album, STAR, even as the story she’s telling gets super heavy. The song, as she told Fader last week, is about rediscovering your own strength after getting out of an abusive relationship, and it’s inspired by the Oakland singer-songwriter’s own experiences. “I found myself wishing I could leave this cycle, yet still going back,” she said. “One of the ways I was able to change my narrative was through the power of sisterhood. My sisters helped me see that I was worth so much more.” The song’s Vice Cooler-directed video puts that sisterhood front and center as Ah Mer Ah Su and her co-stars—Oakland artist Saturn Rising and Brooklyn model slash performer Zenobia—grab hold of each other and don’t let go until they’re all smiling and dancing and nothing but joy. —Harron Walker

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