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This Week's Must-Listen Releases: From Beyoncé to Latto

Stream this week's must-listen releases, hand-picked by our editors.

Beyonce's "Texas Hold ‘Em"

In a surprise announcement this week, Beyoncé announced her upcoming album Act II and shared two new songs from the country-themed project. Yet diverging from the more traditional anthem of its genre, “Texas Hold ‘Em” isn’t a conventional country song; its melody follows a banjo and a deep dance-inspired beat, intertwining country and soul, letting listeners know that this won’t follow its genres lineage, she sings “this ain’t Texas, there ain’t hold ‘em.” Following her previous pop-dance album, Renaissance, which paid homage to queer artists of color who largely gave rise to the genre, her approach to her newest project follows in paying tribute to the Black origins of the country genre, reclaiming its sound and its cultural roots. 

Phoebe Green's "Embarrass Me"

In the rollout for her forthcoming EP Ask Me Now,  out May 26th, Phoebe Green shares her most recent single, “Embarrass Me,” an emotional pop spectacle that draws on both the angst and stillness of grief. Confiding in her vulnerability, Green softly admits to falling for a web of lies and false facades before constructing her escape; the height of the song comes when she coyly flips the script amid a climaxing electric melody: “Sit and wait for the applause, followed by the second course, I don't mean to be so cynical, the audience seems bored.” As though to close the curtain on a drawn-out chapter she removes herself from the experience by leaning into the upbeat playful pulsating chorus. “It’s about mourning something before it’s over - being aware of a dynamic and the repetition of it but feeling completely trapped,” Green says about the track. “I love emotional pop music so much, I feel like I can only do that when I’ve mostly healed from something otherwise, I want it to sound as miserable as I feel (lol), but I think there is a franticness that comes with grief that makes me not want to be still, and a relief that comes with feeling distance from it now.”

Adanna Duru's "Nappy Hour II"

Adanna Duru’s six-song EP “Nappy Hour II” is a collection of the artist's most experimental ethos, from witty jabs at the satirical state of modern romance to whimsical R&B ballads, the artist expands her lyrical and musical confidence without being confined to a singular sound. On the first track, “if i was a boy :)” Duru takes a humorous approach to the relatable experience of being mistreated by men, a quirky lighthearted anthem where she’s careful not to take herself, or the male gaze, too seriously, “If I was a boy, I'd swing my dick around (swing my dick around).” In a departure from her more playful tone, “Put It Down” experiments with her Afropop roots and trades playgirl for a lover girl persona, a sultry ballad where lust overwhelms her consciousness, even if the boy she’s falling for is in love with someone else. The stand-out track “Say Ah” comes at a moment of artistic maturation, where her lyrics, uncomplicated by the syncopated R&B melody, draw out a candid feeling of vulnerability, an authentic and celebratory breakthrough that permeates the record. “I want to inspire people to love their uniqueness,” says Adanna. “That’s why I can’t get away from the phrase NAPPY HOUR. I am celebrating my uniqueness. I always find myself in a blend of pop, R&B, afrobeat, & contemporary singer-songwriter. I’d rather not limit myself because I love so many different things. I am the through line.” 

Kacey Musgraves' "Deeper Well"

“Deeper Well,” the titular track off of Kacey Musgraves' forthcoming album, is a farewell track as much as it is a serene arrival at a new period of life, where she leaves gravity bongs and people in the past to embrace the stability in the idea of getting older. Unlike her previous project, where she dealt with divorce and a reluctance to let go, “Deeper Well” is a self-aware pivot, where she willfully says goodbye to habits that no longer serve her, whether it be people with bad energy or an emotional dependence on weed. By leaning into the wisdom she’s gained with age she wards off much the insecurity and need for temporary satisfaction that feels hand in hand with adolescence, instead of waning on the past she surveys her most present thoughts as though sustained by them, singing “No regrets, baby, I just think that maybe it's natural when things lose their shine…I've gotten older now, I know How to take care of myself, I found a deeper well.” Guided only by an acoustic guitar, the country singer nods toward a path she has yet to venture but one she’s unafraid to go down alone. 

Latto's "Sunday Service"

This week, after a slew of teaser snippets, Latto released her single “Sunday Service,” a not-so-subtle diss track that, true to its title, positions herself at the forefront of a series of controversial nips between the Atlanta rapper and Ice Spice, as though to give a closing sermon in none other than a Sunday service. In the track, she raps, “Twenty black Suburbans, we pull up like Sunday Service (Skrrt)/I just want a one on one, don't know why she so nervous (Boop).” and even more pointedly, “Think I’m the shit, bitch, I know it, hoe” a response to Ice Spices viral song “Think You The Shit.” To add fire to the fuel, leading up to the release, Latto posted a video to her TikTok rapping these lyrics as Ice Spices’ video “Pretty Girl” played in the background. Yet removed from the antics of the single, “Sunday Service” is a triumphant attempt at asserting her dominance. On top of a playful, bouncy beat, Latto’s nonchalant delivery remains collected and calm. 

Check back next week for more must-listens.


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