Other duties have prevented me from rounding up the best new songs for a couple weeks, so with this edition you are truly getting the crème de la crème, as they say in one of those other languages.
Ghetto Sage – “Häagen Dazs”
Noname is the most exciting rapper in the game right now. (I almost fudged that statement with a "might be," but fuck it, why dither? Is Kendrick gonna sue me?) So naturally she bats cleanup for her new supergroup, tying the track together with typically dense metaphors like "His body's a casket/The lining cherry wood/The pussy turned him ashes to ashes." But her neighbors Saba and Smino not only hold their own, but establish this as a scene document. It's a Chicago thing.
Frances Quinlan – “Rare Thing”
It’s disorienting to hear the Hop Along singer’s distinctive vocal style whoosh hither and yon over synths rather than guitars, like she performed in front of a green screen, then was superimposed over an incongrous landscape. The good kind of disorienting, I mean. That's partly because her idea of synthpop is as mutable and idiosyncratic as her idea of indie rock is.
Liz Phair – “Good Side”
It's like she woke up one morning and realized "If Soccer Mommy can write a great Liz Phair song in 2019, why can't I?" (Note lowercase "w" and "c.") If you think, “There’s so many ways to fuck up a life/I’ve tried to be original” reads like a classic Liz Phair opening line, you should hear her sing it.
Prince – “I Feel for You”
Demos suck. They’re unfinished products typically released to sucker fannish pseuds who mistake loose threads for spontaneity and value an illusion of intimate access to the artist over the impact of a finished artwork. (If you really want to learn about "the creative process" [barf], just trying making some damn art.) But Prince is (sometimes) different, because his demos are (always) performances, crafted to seduce an imaginary audience he can't ignore even when he's alone in the room.
City Girls – “JT First Day Out”
Half of the trash-talking Miami duo comes blasting out of stir with pent-up ferocity. “I ain’t got no love for these bitches/I ain’t Barney, bitch”? “You hoes always bringing up old shit/Go get a sugar daddy, suck an old dick"? Can't way for day #2.
Tinashe ft. Ms. Banks – “Die a Little Bit”
Finally freed of her RCA contract, the most misused R&B star of the decade (a title for which there's way too damn much competition) self-releases a track to showcase her moody side, sullied only by the over-enunciation that got her that Rent gig. Let Tinashe be Tinashe.
Every week, music editor Keith Harris scours the vast musicscape for six worthy tracks to add to City Pages' ever-expanding 2019 playlist.