The Week’s 5 Essential Releases Worth Listening To

Jordan Osborne, S&C online editor and founder/editor of online culture publication Vendor, rounds up the week’s biggest music releases.

This week isn’t just about Taylor Swift and the war of words that will inevitably ensue- there are plenty of big releases worth getting excited about if out-and-out pop and celebrity feud are not your utmost vicarious pleasure. Here are the week’s five big releases that should be on your radar:

Taylor Swift is back with ‘Look What You Made Me Do’
Taylor Swift, the ubiquitous pop star with more beef than your local Toby Carvery, has returned with a typically scathing new single. ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, which rather oddly samples Right Said Fred’s ‘I’m Too Sexy, is the latest chapter in her infamous feud with Kanye West. The new track from Swift is her first retort since Kim Kardashian famously leaked a conversation between West and Swift proving that Swift had approved controversial assertions made by West on his 2016 hit ‘Famous’. The track, taken from West’s album The Life of Pablo, declared in regards to Taylor Swift, that ‘I made that b***h famous’ and ‘I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex’. Swift also announced that her sixth album Reputation, her first since winning the Grammy for Album of the Year for 1989 in 2016, will be released on November 10th.

Listen to ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ below:

Queens of the Stone Age’s seventh album Villains
Perhaps the most surprising inspiration for Villains was frontman Josh Homme’s intense fondness for ‘Uptown Funk’, so much so that he recruited Mark Ronson as producer for the record. While the album still puts the band’s signature riff-driven rock at the forefront, Ronson’s production adds a breezier disco touch to proceedings. It’s still the punchy rock we’re used to from QOTSA but this time round it seems just as appropriate for the dancefloor.

Listen to ‘The Way You Used to Do’ below:

The War on Drugs return with new album A Deeper Understanding
The War on Drugs’ back catalogue digs deep into ’80s influence, dissecting the coarseness of Springsteen-esque rock cut with the dreamy gloss of synthesisers. And their latest album, A Deeper Understanding, adds yet another arresting chapter to the archives. Led by the autonomous production of lead man Adam Granduciel, A Deeper Understanding‘s psychedelic texture can often make the sketching of place and its characters broad and inarticulate and yet the album’s first single ‘Thinking of a Place’ deals with that quandary perfectly: A Deeper Understanding masters dislocation from reality, offering a space where the listener can truly escape and forget.

Listen to ‘Thinking of a Place’ below:

Miguel teams up with Travis Scott on ‘Sky Walker’
R&B lothario Miguel is back with his first lead track since his triumphant 2015 record Wildheart. ‘Sky Walker’, like Miguel’s previous record, stacks the layers to the point of toppling over; trap beats spit and sizzle, synthesizers loom in the backdrop and horns blare intermittently as Miguel’s falsetto glides over this intricate structure. As for Travis Scott, a go-to collaborator for everyone from Justin Bieber to The Weeknd over the last year, adds a fitting pop-rap modernity to Miguel’s time-hopping R&B. ‘Sky Walker’ isn’t Miguel’s finest work, but it’s a solid book-ending jam just as the sun begins to set on the summer.

Listen to ‘Sky Walker’ below:

And finally just for a bit of fun… Rod Stewart gives ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’ a reboot with the help of DNCE
Rod Stewart’s 1978 hit ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’ may seem a little outdated now (especially to us millennials) but it’s still one of the most popular tracks in Stewart’s repertoire. And as we’re in a peak period for cultural reboot and revamp, why not let Stewart jump on the bandwagon. The track has been given a bit of a modern makeover with some help from the Joe Jonas-fronted band DNCE, and they managed to send the internet into a mini meltdown as they debuted the new version at the MTV VMAs at the weekend.

Listen to ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’ below:

Image by Eva Rinaldi, via flickr