More new music for the weekend, including Frank Ocean’s first single of 2018.
If late winter has you down, music is here for you. There were huge surprise releases this week, along with some anticipated releases — of course, those ones that sneak up on you tend to win you over. Here’s the three best from Friday’s fresh batch.
Frank Ocean – Moon River
The standard “Moon River” has been around nearly 50 years, and it’s one of those songs that’s so corny, so beat to death by repetition, that it’s almost bottomed out in the realm of Paul Anka’s “My Way” for groan-worthiness. For Frank Ocean to not only cover it, but make it a surprise release speaks to his hubris. For it to be an instant classic speaks to his talent.
Ocean revisits his pitched-up delivery from Blonde, giving this song a kind of b-side feel in its conversational tone. It’s subdued, and Ocean pays attention to the lyrical detail. I can guarantee all you remember about this song is the chorus — Frank makes you remember that the verses are poetic too. “Two drifters off to see the world / There’s such a crazy world to see.”
Beach House – Lemon Glow
Another surprise return this week, this one from Beach House. There’s an intense comfort to this band’s releases — their sound so unique with its hazy guitars, looping melodies, and breathy vocals that it surrounds you like a blanket. Back in 2015, I saw them as part of Iceland Airwaves, and the indoor venue was so stuffed it started to stifle. Somehow, Beach House made it calm — and “Lemon Glow” is a return to this sound, while an evolution lyrically. Beach House usually speaks with generalities, if you can understand the drawl at all. On this track, there’s definitive, sensual turns — peaking with the chorus “When you turn the lights down low / Lemon colour, honey glow”
YG – Suu Whoop
Maybe the most fun new release this week, YG returns to form on “Suu Whoop” — a thick, Southern hip hop track that brings us back to 2014 and My Krazy Life. That album, which should’ve have been forgotten after four years, set a standard of straight-up party rap, bringing us “Who Do You Love?”, “I Just Wanna Party”, and “My Nigga” on the same damn album. No surprise that DJ Mustard is the common thread through all this, and is in peak form for “Suu Whoop”, which grabs a Migos-style hook for the chorus and really bangs on the verses. YG keeps the track moving with a smooth delivery, and it’s seriously satisfying in its under-3 minutes of run time.