Lana Del Rey - “A&W”
“A&W” is the second single from Lana Del Rey’s newest album Did You Know There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. On this track, Del Rey discusses themes of her sexuality that have been incredibly prevalent in her work throughout her entire career. Specifically, Del Rey revisits themes of being “The Other Woman” on this track. She questions, “Did you know a singer could still be looking like a side piece at thirty-three?” and the answer is, yes.
This track is a testament to all things Del Rey. The laments of “Jimmy only love me when I wanna get high” and “I haven’t seen my mother in a long long time” cement this track's place as another “Sad Girl” classic in this icon’s discography.
Overall, the song’s production is more than impressive. Grammy Award-winning producer Jack Antonoff said “A&W” is his favorite Del Rey collaboration. The song starts as a slow ballad about being the other woman and quickly evolves into something more. Rather than lamenting about being the other woman, Del Rey chooses to embrace this. Also, there are points in the track where you can hear Del Rey hitting her vape pen as she records. Del Rey doesn’t care how you perceive her. She knows who she is, and she’s proud of it.
- Cate Cianci, Staff Writer
Teezo Touchdown – “Familiarity”
Rapper Teezo Touchdown’s new single “Familiarity,” sees more exploration and experimentation from the Tyler, The Creator associate. The track melds together elements from hip-hop, pop, and rock to create a catchy upbeat fusion.
Teezo Touchdown’s delivery is a clear highlight, reminiscent of MARINA’s vocals. Contrastingly, the lyrics are less happy, with Teezo singing about the struggles of an up-and-coming artist. Catchy guitar riffs and the driving drums help carry along his unique vocal performance and create a unique, exciting sonic experience.
While there is still no news on a potential debut album from the Texas rapper, he’s already released two singles in 2023, so keep an eye out for more.
- Arlo Winokur, Staff Writer
Manchester Orchestra – “The Way”
Manchester Orchestra’s single “The Way” from their new album, The Valley of Vision, vividly constructs the journey of what it feels like to go through the trials and tribulations of losing one’s way in life and getting it back. The song begins with lead singer Andy Hull saying, “I think I’m losing my mind.” Hull calls this situation “diabolical.” Then, not much later, he says, “I have lost my way.” As the song ends, Hull finally conquers his demons, saying, “I think I finally found my antidote.”
Hull’s soothing yet powerful vocals, paired with the song’s piano and drum arrangements, give the experience a cathartic feel. The drum beat resembles the sound of a beating heart—which heightens the vulnerability of the experience. To add to this experience, the band also created a 180-degree 3D virtual reality film to accompany The Valley of Vision.
- Isabella Kohn, Staff Writer
Lana Del Rey - “Let the Light In”
“Let the Light In” is a standout track from Lana Del Rey’s new album Did You Know There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. On my first listen-through of the album this song is what truly got my attention. Lana Del Rey has demonstrated an ability to write timeless poetry that excites and challenges her audience. The song is so effortlessly Lana Del Rey. It represents to me, a perfect mix of past and present songwriting styles. Also, the track is riddled with typical provocative Lana-isms like “Don’t be acting like I’m the kind of girl who can sleep” and “You know I got nothing under this overcoat.”
Beyond these calls to a younger Del Rey, a more evolved musician is revealed. The stunning orchestral background supplemented by absolutely breathtaking harmonies with Father John Misty showcases Del Rey’s ever-evolving musical prowess. When I listen to this song, I can’t help but smile and think, “Lana is back.”
- Cate Cianci, Staff Writer
Steve Lacy – “Helmet”
“Helmet" is a standout track on Gemini Rights. The song showcases Steve Lacy's talent and creativity. Lacy sings about wearing a metaphorical “helmet” to protect himself from the outside world as he touches on themes of insecurity and self-doubt. Lyrically, the song revolves around Lacy's emotional guard after a break-up, and his refusal to let his ex back into his life. During the bridge, he sings “ You were so automatic, so you know I had to have it. But loving you was a hazard, so I got my heart a helmet.”
The cheery guitar paired with cleverly foreboding writing lends to a level of musical sophistication we often see from Lacy. Ultimately, the song’s melody is simple yet effective, with the guitar and keyboard creating a rich, layered sound that is both calming and engaging.
- Breanna Nesbeth, Music Coordinator
Blondshell – “Joiner”
“Joiner” by Blondshell is an answer to a cry for help. The song is rife with commiseration and a slight hint of codependence: “I think I wanna save you. I think I wanna join in. I think I wanna save you.” There’s an edge to the track, but I think we could all use a friend like Sabrina Teitelbaum.
Blondshell, Teitelbaum’s self-titled debut, is an unflinching reckoning with the traumas of her past. Accompanied by an ever so slightly jangly guitar, Teitelbaum’s self-assured vocals are the sound of someone finding themselves.
- Eden Unger, Staff Writer
Each week, our intrepid music staff picks out some new songs you can't miss. For even more new releases, listen to All New From 8-9 every evening on 88.9
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