Listen to this week’s YouTube Music playlist here.
Cardi B, “Money”
Sounds like: A rap queen’s well-earned victory lap after a big year
Perfect for: Making money moves
Kulture’s mom is back and ready to flex. Since making her remarkable full-length debut with Invasion of Privacy earlier this year, Cardi B has gone double platinum, scored a pair of Number One singles and given birth to her first child with husband Offset. “Money” is her first solo single since then, and it’s a rightful victory lap for the Bronx rapper, who gets to celebrate all the money moves she’s made in the year since “Bodak Yellow” made her the one to beat.
Normani x Calvin Harris featuring Wizkid, “Checklist”
Sounds like: A R&B princess surveying her kingdom
Perfect for: Feeling a tropical breeze in the middle of a cool autumn
The era of Fifth Harmony’s final four going solo is upon us. Normani was first up to bat this week with a pair of sleek Calvin Harris collaborations. Both “Checklist” featuring WizKid and “Slow Down” are promising reflections of her R&B potential, but “Checklist” has that dancefloor “it” factor that could make this her first solo smash.
Lauren Jauregui, “Expectations”
Sounds like: A pop chameleon carving out her own defining sound
Perfect for: Letting a wayward paramour know what you’re not putting up with anymore
Not to be left out, Lauren Jauregui made some post-Fifth Harmony moves of her own this week with the guitar-driven “Expectations.” The slow-burning single comes after what she refers to as her “features era,” when she worked with her friend Halsey and her boyfriend Ty Dolla $ign. On “Expectations,” she’s a woman avoiding being scorned, contemplating what exactly her lover is up to while at the club without her.
Marianne Faithfull, featuring Nick Cave, “The Gypsy Faerie Queen”
Sounds like: An eerie, gorgeous tribute to one of literature’s greatest comedies
Perfect for: A mid-autumn night’s dream
Marianne Faithfull and Nick Cave are perfect foils with their taste for darkness and drama. Their latest collaboration is the lead single off Faithfull’s 21st studio album, Negative Capability. The mournful “Gypsy Faerie Queen” is a stirring duet inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Faithfull singing from the perspective of Puck. Negative Capability, which features collaborations with other members of Cave’s camp, is out today.
Gerard Way, “Baby, You’re a Haunted House”
Sounds like: An earnest twist on some spooky thrills
Perfect for: Strutting into those final Halloween functions in a truly ghoulish couple’s costume
Halloween is over, but who says spooky season has to end so soon? My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way released his first new solo song in five years, and it turns the ghosts we all live with into a power-pop banger. With touches of garage fuzz, Way celebrates those phantoms and turns the baggage that haunts us and our relationships into a romantic concept. Nothing too scary about that.