This Month in Music: July's best tracks
#1 Snakehips ft Zayn Malik: Cruel
Until this collaboration with Zayn Malik, I’d never heard of Snakehips (I must be living under a rock). This British dance music duo have made quite a name for themselves, by remixing tracks from some top artist’s (such as The Weeknd). It wasn’t until 2015 when Snakehips really gained attention; recruiting a fairly new R&B talent Tinashe, and the vocal styling’s of Chance the Rapper, for their breakout single “All My Friends” which became a top 5 hit in the UK. Snakehips have teamed up with the best thing to come out of One Direction, Zayn Malik for their new 2016 single “Cruel”. This track sees Zayn’s soulful vocal tones accompanied by a more upbeat, electro instrumental. Zayn’s vocals are still as dulcet as ever, and work well with this catch club banger. I’m not use to hearing Zayn feature on a such a heavy dance styled track; as his solo material was more R&B focused, but this new style really works for him. Definitely worth a listen.
#2 French Montana ft Drake: No Shopping
French Montana is no great lyricist, his rap’s lack substance and is for the most part, quite one dimensional. Although credit where credit is due; he has slightly redeemed himself with his latest track, No Shopping. The instrumental is what I expect from a party style rapper, clean production, and a high level of computerized base and piano. In typical French Montana style, he talks about the finer things in life; money, women, and partying (he must have a very niche market). Drake however takes his verse as an opportunity, to indirectly insult fellow rapper, Joe Budden (both are currently involved in a feud). Although never directly saying Joe Budden’s name, certain references about Joe Budden’s only mainstream hit, are made clear- “Pump, pump, pump it up. I’m not a one hit wonder, they know all my stuff. You let me turn into the man that you almost was”. I won’t analyse the lyrics to much, but all in all, this is a pretty decent party track.
#3 5 Seconds of Summer: Girls Talk Boys
My favourite Australian export 5 seconds of Summer are getting heaps of attention with their lead single from the new Ghostbusters Soundtrack, “Girls Talk Boys”. The Australian piece has taken a really different direction with this track; there is no trace of their usual pop-punk sound. Scrap the sound of teen angst, and replace it with an overly poppy Bruno Mars/DNCE type of song. The energetic beat and lively lyrics will have you doing your own version of carpool karaoke in no time. 5sos definitely deliver some attitude within this song, although I do hope the boy’s revert back to their original sound. If you like the band or not, you can’t deny this song is super catchy. It’s the perfect song to make you bust a move (or ghost).
#4 Tory Lanez: Flex
R&B new comer Tory Lanez just dropped his new single “Flex” off his upcoming August 19 the album “I Told You”. The smooth, slow jam styled track highlights Tory Lanez impressive vocal range; "Flex" also features a rap verse, compliments the low-key layout of the track. Although the rapped verse was a nice addition, Lanez strength is definitely his singing ability. As the title may suggest “Flex” centers on a change in attitude from individuals, now that Tory Lanez (real name Daystar Peterson) is gaining attention within the music industry. While I like Tory Lanez for his raspy vocal tones and not overly performed lyrics, I do think “Flex” lacks any real lyrical depth; I think Lanez , armed with his particular singing style could really tap into something special.
While many compare Tory Lanez to Drake, not only as their both from Toronto, but both make similar music. I find that Drake has a lot more commercial appeal, but Tory Lanez has the better voice. Flex is definitely a cool R&B track if you’re into that style of music; it’s a great lead single and sets the scene for Tory Lanez to break the mainstream market. If Lanez continues to produce music of this quality, he may just have what it takes to rival Drake’s success.