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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

VH New Music Fridays: Chainsmokers, Cage the Elephant and more

The Hustler Life staff reviews this week’s new releases

In VH New Music Fridays, the Life staff cover this week’s new music releases, from pop to country to alternative.


Pop: Taylor Hopkins

The Chainsmokers, “Kills You Slowly”

The latest single from DJ duo The Chainsmokers follows in their standard hit pattern of modern romance lyrics, a strong electric beat and whispered singing. “Kills You Slowly” doesn’t differ much from past work and while it was just released, this song feels like something I’ve heard before. Following a couple that clearly wants to break, some lyrics seem more pathetic than relatable: “Arguments that never end you talkin’ shit to spice up conversation/ I’m so sick of back and forth these fights with you are startin’ to feel contagious/ said that I’m no good for you right before we walk into your parents’/ then you put on that smile again and grab my hand even though you hate it.” While I won’t be surprised to hear this song on the radio, I also won’t stay on whatever station plays it.


Hip Hop and Electronic: Brendan Sawyer


Producer NGTHMRE and trap legend A$AP Ferg collide on “REDLIGHT,” an explosive and triumphant trap banger. The production on this track is nothing short of colossal, as NGHTMRE surrounds rolling hi-hats and a punching bassline with steady, crescendoing horns that swell throughout the song. Ferg’s performance matches if not surpasses the instrumental, as he bombastically boasts “I feel like I’m a giant but I’m 5’8” and “Any beef come to me get sauteed” With braggadocious lyrics and killer production, the duo really feels untouchable on this track.

Flume, Friends feat. Reo Cragun

Flume follows up his smash-hit mixtape Hi This is Flume with a new single “Friends.” The track features the more experimental production show cased on Hi This is Flume, with its stuttering synths, deep bass and the producer’s trademark wavy, wonky melodies. Reo Cragun gives an incredibly passionate performance as well, their vocal melodies overflowing with emotion. Flume crafts an incredibly moving single with Friends, proving to be more than just a b-side of his mixtape. I hope he has more singles to offer in the future.


Indie and Alternative: Angela Karas

Sky Ferreira, “Downhill Lullaby”

Slow-paced, ambient, yet also grunge: these adjectives best describe Sky Ferreira’s “Downhill Lullaby,” her first new song since 2013. The over five-minute-long track admittedly becomes a bit tedious, but because this is but the first song she has released off her upcoming album Masochism (the release date is currently TBD), “Downhill Lullaby” likely is not wholly representative of the album’s sound. Considering the six-year gap between releases and the fact the LP has not yet been assigned a release date, it will be interesting to see how much time elapses between this release and that of her next single or potentially the album itself.

Interpol, “The Weekend”

Interpol is back with the single “The Weekend.” Unfortunately, it does not seem to stand out as anything particularly noteworthy or memorable. The song itself maintains a mid-tempo and awkwardly fits somewhere in the grey area between high-energy rock and more introspective and at times intellectual quality of more reserved alt-rock. This track is perhaps worth a listen, but not much more.

Cage the Elephant feat. Beck, “Night Running”

As the April 19 release date for Social Cues draws nearer, Cage the Elephant has released the sole collaboration on their album. Prior to “Night Running,” Cage the Elephant had previously only collaborated once in their ten-year career (2013’s “It’s Just Forever” features Alison Mosshart of The Kills), yet Beck seems a natural choice. The two have announced a joint tour together (no Nashville date, sadly), so we’re sure to see this song live. Beck and Cage the Elephant complement each other well, and while the track is perhaps a bit slower than expected, it nonetheless delivers and showcases even more variety marking the upcoming album.

Good Cop Bad Cop, “Silk and Leather”

Good Cop Bad Cop, the side project of Arctic Monkeys’ drummer Matt Helders in collaboration with Milburn frontman Joe Carnall, have released their debut album. “Silk and Leather” was the sole single they released prior to the eponymous album and is a relaxed take on what could arguably be considered psychedelic alt rock. Ultimately, there is nothing inherently wrong with the single and the accompanying album, but it perhaps lacks the hype of other Arctic Monkeys-affiliated acts (think The Last Shadow Puppets and Alexandra Savior). Helders is essentially one of the best drummers in the industry, and this single sees him putting his talents on the backburner.


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About the Contributor
Alexa Bussmann, Former Content Development Director
Alexa Bussmann is from Minnetonka, Minnesota. She majored in political science, economics and Spanish. Alexa previously served as Content Development Director and has written for The Hustler since her freshman year. She wrote the "Hannah, Alexa and Joe" and "New Music Fridays" columns. In her free time, Alexa enjoys trying new coffee shops in Nashville and following U.S. politics.
Reach Alexa at: [email protected]

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