In which impressions are formed & reformed
“Sorry Not Sorry (Acoustic),” Demi Lovato
So I wasn’t big on the original until it came on at one of the three (3) spin classes I have taken in my life, and for some reason a switch flipped and I’ve liked it ever since. It probably had something to do with the production, because I think the acoustic version is even better: it sounds like a live jam with a roomful of talented backup singers—Demi is in fine voice, of course. And it emphasizes that perfect kiss-off of a lyric.
“Rollin Stone,” Little Simz
Apple Radio played this track as I waited on an interview with Griff (see below) and got me addicted to it for several consecutive days. Her accent is the kind I could listen to forever. The beat change halfway through is so cool. It’s a single off her new record, for which I am eager.
“Play Date,” Melanie Martinez
Not sure why I didn’t come across her sooner, but better late than never. Caught a snippet of this song in a YouTube video, looked it up, and am now a fan of the whole album Cry Baby. (I hear it’s experienced something of a revival on TikTok.) We love an artist with a concept!
“Body,” Megan Thee Stallion
The rhythm of the first line of the third verse—the category is body—is so satisfying. I mean, she knows her way around a rhythm, but that particular one takes the track from good to great.
“E•MO•TION,” Carly Rae Jepsen
The album named for this song (or for which the song is named, I don’t know which came first) is six years old, if you can believe it, and for me it only gets better with each listen. I love the line not a flower on the wall / I am growing ten feet, ten feet tall. And not only because it gives me Alice vibes.
Not gonna lie, I lip-sync to this song and feel tough as hell. Menacing.
“How Does It Feel,” Avril Lavigne
Underrated song on an underrated album. I get to exercise almost two octaves when I sing it. Need I say more?
“Triste com T,” Pabllo Vittar
For months on end, nothing has induced me in the least to want to go dancing in a crowded club, and then I heard this track, and then maybe I opened up to the idea.
“Black Hole,” Griff
She advertised it on Spotify, I clicked, and here I’ve listened to it way more than I ever expected to. Very solid hook.
“Trader Joe,” Junglepussy
Discovered through a podcaster’s recommendation, and I kid you not when I say it lodges in my brain for twenty-four-hour stretches at a time. Unbelievably chill. I think I like him more than I like Trader Joe’s is one of the best opening lines in recent memory.
I’m largely unfamiliar with BTS, honestly, but this song has had me bopping all summer, strutting down the street like the world is my music video. Granted, I’ve always considered the world my music video. (Their spot on Colbert was, well, fab.) I appreciate the shout-out to milk, a drink that does not get enough credit.
“Hard Out Here,” Lily Allen
Loved this one since it was released back in 2013 thanks to my roommate’s perpetual radio habits. What with advancements in movements for the rights of all women, the “glass ceiling” isn’t as all-encompassing a metaphor as it was once thought to be, but the lyric still makes a point—and a damn catchy one. Exemplifies how smart Lily’s stuff is, and how she’s never hit the superstar level that I feel she deserves to. The video is wonderfully ironic, too.
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” Whitney Houston
Because I’m a human being who needs joy.