Normani and Sam Smith Wanna Dance With Strangers, and Bhad Bhabie (Sorry) Does It Again


Overall yes, with a couple of caveats: Sam Smith and Normani, “Dancing With a Stranger” – I haven’t stopped listening to this since this morning, which is a testament to two things: How good Normani sounds on this R&B dance number, and the catchiness of the hook. Regardless of whether it’s Normani or Sam Smith belting, “Look what you made me do/I’m with somebody new,” the line makes me want to hit the club and forget about everyone who’s (maybe accidentally) wronged me. The song is decidedly mid-tempo, stays in one lane pretty much all the way through, and I want a little more from it, but true to its name, it sounds like pure late-night fun, and that is good. —Frida Garza

Yes: Bhad Bhabie feat. Tory Lanez, “Babyface Savage” (video) – Music fans have long accepted the fact that this white girl birthed straight from Dr. Phil’s talk-show loins will remain a fixture in our lives by continuously releasing music that is flames, including this song and video. She certainly knows her strengths: savage raps, a fast flow, and enviable aloofness. Once again, it works. —Clover Hope

Y: Red Velvet, “Sappy” (video) – K-Pop girl group Red Velvet’s “Sappy,” according to Billboard, tells the tale of a woman confronting a “sappy” boy, requesting he pick between his two love interests instead of stringing them along. I’m happy to report that is not the focus of the bright, pastel pink music video, and it doesn’t totally come across in the song’s brassy-maximalist pop—though I do think “sappy” is a peculiarly soul-crushing insult. The message in the visual, then, must be: the dude is so innocuous, he’s excluded from the narrative. That, and this choreography, is something I can get behind. —Maria Sherman

Yes, in Swedish: Westkust, “Swebeach” – Gothenburg’s Westkust is an indie pop shoe-gaze band I adored a handful of years ago, hadn’t heard about in at least four, and assumed had broken up after one fantastic record (which, quite frankly, more artists should consider). Apparently, they’re back with a new lineup, still fronted by the unstoppable Julia Bjernelind—their latest track “Swebeach” ascends into noise-pop bliss, but her vocals are what really sells it. I’m so happy they didn’t call it quits. —MS

Y: Juanes feat. Lalo Ebratt, “La Plata” – Vallenato meets pop. This new single exhibits why Juanes was a favorite over a decade ago and continues to be one today. In an ode to his Colombian roots, Juanes manages to fuse the new (in this case, with rising reggaetonero Lalo), and old (with the classic folk sound) with ease. That embrace of the risky, plus his continuous unpredictable evolution as an artist, is what made “Pa Dentro” such a hit and keeps his music so fun and relevant. This track is likely here to pepper us for an upcoming album. I’m already a fan of the flavors he’s whipping together. —Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo

Lana Del Rey, “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it” – As much as I love the drama of this song title and want to like it, I can’t jibe with the pace and sparseness for longer than 10 seconds at a time, but I could imagine succumbing to the sluggishness while taking a particularly luxurious bath. —CH

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