VH New Music Fridays: Louis Tomlinson, Kesha, Lil Nas X and more

The Hustler Life staff reviews this week’s new releases.

Shun Ahmed

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

 

Pop

“Walls,” Louis Tomlinson

Louis Tomlinson has finally released a single, becoming the last member of One Direction to release independent music. This indie track was a heartfelt dedication to his time in a band, reminiscing on the importance of relationships that come and go and how they build people to be stronger. A few notable lyrics are “So this one is a thank you for what you did to me/Why is it that thank-yous are so often bittersweet?” I can say those verses have been stuck in my head since hearing the song for the first time. 

“Treat Myself,” Meghan Trainor 

This album was quite a surprise. Many people know Meghan Trainor for her super pop, high-beat songs like “All About That Bass” – this album, however, had such a mixture of musical tones in it! From “Funk,” a tune to dance your heart out to, to “Lie to Me,” an emotional song to just immerse yourself in, the album was truly a well-produced and seemingly very personal release, even with the pop tones and upbeat rhythms she kept throughout.

“High Road,” Kesha 

This album was an experience unlike anything else. On one hand, you have the Kesha that is releasing music she wants to show people, with new genuine feeling that wasn’t previously accessible when her record label controlled her. On the other hand, you have songs like “Raising Hell” that bring back 2012 “Tik Tok” Ke$ha vibes that we all grew up loving, making her even more of an iconic figure in music now that those happy melodies are more genuine.

“Only The Young,” Taylor Swift 

Featured in Swift’s newly released “Miss Americana” documentary, this song aligns with the feminist, powerful messages she released in “Lover” while simultaneously maintaining her poppy, catchy vibe that will definitely get stuck in your head. A few lyrics to note are “They aren’t gonna help us/Too busy helping themselves/They aren’t gonna change this/We gotta do it ourselves” which definitely tug at heartstrings, alongside her references to the normalization of school shootings and the sad present state of politics. It motivates the people to continue talking, fighting and keeping the people in power in check. 

“Anyone,” Demi Lovato

Demi released this emotional ballad that discusses her battles with music, alcohol, religion and other distractions from all of life’s problems. This raw production had no doubles and seemed as if it was a one-take song, and after hearing it produced and sung live at the GRAMMY Awards, you could feel the intensity of her words alongside the minimal piano, which made it a masterpiece that can make anyone emotional. 

 

Rap/Hip-Hop

“King of My City,” A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

With a more mellow piece, “King of My City” really touches the reality of city life, where no matter how powerful you feel, people die all the time trying to reach the top. With a bunch of witty lines like “VVSs Elliot, not Missy/Sorry miss, these Elliot VVSs,” he keeps the song well-produced and well-liked, especially with the kick that comes in half-way through. 

“Guess What,” Russ ft. Rick Ross

Initially, I was really surprised when I read that both artists were on a track together; however, after giving the single a listen, this funky track definitely had one of the catchiest rhythmic/melodic combinations I’ve heard in awhile. It also had hints of old hip-hop tracks in the song, which made it so much more enjoyable on my end!  

“Rodeo,” Lil Nas X ft. Nas 

This catchy, country-threaded song definitely gets heads bopping. With a variety of well-produced build-ups and drops, it’s a song that anyone can dance to. This country-trap song was initially released with Cardi B as the guest rapper, but hearing the twist of having Nas instead was a hit, making this song, even though it was literally about a rodeo, a fun song overall.