CommRadio Singles Round Up: Jan. 31

Story posted February 2, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by CommRadio Arts & Entertainment Staff.

Singles Round Up – The Arts and Entertainment Department takes a look at some of the recently released singles from the past week.

“(Pick Me Up) Euphoria” - James Blake ft. Labrinth

James Blake and Labrinth team up for the latest Euphoria Season 2 single, this one titled “(Pick Me Up) Euphoria.” This song compliments the television show perfectly. All the previous songs, created by Labrinth resemble this, including the atmospheric chorus and ethereal vocals.

Labrinth has an incredibly unique style, which he puts on display during the chorus and outro of this song. His vocals are quite delicate, yet they pack a punch. His voice so easily gives the audience chills. Labrinth sounds especially remarkable on the outro with his wild background vocals paired with his staccato singing.

James Blake sounds phenomenal in his verse. Although it is less atmospheric, his verse compliments the more infectious chorus. Blake’s signature melodies are evident throughout his verse. Yet, he truly shines at the end where the chimes and his voice compete for the spotlight. This intentional competition works wonders for the tone of the song, as well as adds a bit of flare to Blake’s vocals.

The instrumentation in this song is very muted. There is no real instrumentation other than a piano during Blake’s part. Labrinth’s chorus is almost entirely acappella other than a synth paired with a sound effect, which sounds very similar to the sound of pouring rain. The fact that the instrumentation is quite faint throughout allows the audience to focus on both artists' vocals.

Overall, I think this is a perfect song for the Euphoria soundtrack. It is a very simple song, but both artists shine vocally. This song does not need much instrumentation to keep the audience interesting. This song is a perfect fit for Labrinth’s Euphoria catalog and should definitely be checked out. - Jack Freiser

“Cutie” - COIN

Musical group COIN released their first single of 2022, “Cutie,” on Friday.

Though lacking lyrical substance, the catchy rhythm is what sells this single.

With the title being a play on words of popular clementine brand, Cuties, COIN makes references to tangerines throughout the chorus, using the fruit name as a term of endearment.

Channeling that citrusy sweetness, COIN crafts a summery love song relying on an energetic beat and falsettos.

The first verse features choppy lyrics that are paralleled by the instrumentals. Moments of split second silence are created to let the words ring out before continuing, creating a captivating pace that entices audiences to listen on.

Oozing with a playful mood, “Cutie” will definitely find itself on more playlists as the weather warms up. - Megan Kelby

“Magazine (feat. Salami Rose Joe Louis)” - Toro y Moi

Chaz Bear, known professionally as Toro y Moi, has dropped two new singles for his upcoming studio album, “MAHAL.” With both tracks, he has also released accompanying music videos with stunning visuals. “MAHAL” is expecting a late-April release, and judging by the teasers, listeners are in for a special experience.

Using elements of chillwave and mid-fi pop, “Magazine” is a relaxing and surreal escapade. The drum breaks keep a steady beat that sets the tone for the track. They are combined with relaxing guitars and synthesizers that sound gorgeous. It is leisurely and upbeat at the same time, the vibes are immaculate. The track ends with a guitar solo with even more glamorous effects including a wah-wah pedal.

The vocal performances as well are refreshing; it sounds like both artists are underwater with the effects that are thrown on top. Salami Rose Joe Louis is essentially whispering but is captivating enough to give someone chills. When the vocals are layered, it makes the track seem more ambient and spacey.

Lyrically, the song is environmentally conscious and isolationist. “Nothing here to see, factories overseas | Cut down all these trees, we buildin' Model T's,” says Toro y Moi on the first verse. Part of the chorus goes, “The thoughts of what you said are in my head | I wanna be away from everyone.” Overall, the track is very fun-loving and replayable. - Caelan Chevrier

“Real Thing” - Pink Sweat$ (feat. Tori Kelly)

Pink Sweat$ brings pop-lovers another track to swoon over just in time for Valentine’s Day. The song is a part of his newly released EP, “Pink Moon,” which was released the same day as the single.

The collaboration was teased on January 13th through Instagram and TikTok showing Pink Sweat$ and Tori Kelly beautifully singing the chorus.

Overall, the song has a sweet tone and expresses a tender romance describing the feeling of being in love as a near angelic connection and further defining it as the “real thing.”

The instrumental is simple and is characterized by a four-note ascending pattern from the guitar. It makes the song perfect for replays and, hopefully, an acoustic version.

Kelly’s voice completely meshes with Pink Sweat$’s and her crystal clear high notes truly add to the song’s passion-filled ambiance.

The vocal harmonies, the soft tone overall and the gentleness of the lyrics really make the song a solid track. - Erell Williams

“Keep It Up” - Rex Orange County

Needing reassurance to keep pushing on: a universal experience among human beings.

“Keep It Up” not only motivates listeners to get rid of the fears caused by overthinking about things that are beyond their control, but goes as far to relate to their feelings within its verses.

Starting with the album cover, the yellow thumb up with the smiley face saying “Keep It Up” is enough to evoke a smile from anyone. The brightness of the thumb contrasts with the dreary setting of the background, showing that even through the negative thoughts or experiences, you are still such a bright light in the world.

“Every time I open my mouth, I have regrets in my mind, every time, and no one seems to figure me out…It's making me feel so depressed,” are just a few of the thoughts caused by social anxiety and feeling that you are not enough for the people around you.

This negative self-image initiates an endless cycle of more insecurity, overthinking, regret and fear, which restrains you from seeing the wonderful things that could happen if you tapped into your full potential.

Rex Orange County combats these negative thoughts with, “Yeah, you're only holding out for what you want, I know that it's so frustrating, it's enough, keep it up,” which are lines that automatically create a wave of positivity among listeners.

Definitely a tune to add to your feel good playlist. - Abby Chachoute

 

Jack Freiser is a second-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jef5614@psu.edu.

Megan Kelby is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact her, email mkk5701@psu.edu.

Caelan Chevrier is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email cjc6789@psu.edu.  

Erell Williams is a first-year majoring in broadcasting journalism. To contact her, email exw5303@psu.edu.

Abigail Chachoute is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact her, email axc6070@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Caelan Chevrier's photo

Caelan Chevrier

Second Year / Journalism

Caelan Chevrier is a second-year student in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University studying broadcast journalism and marketing with the goal of graduating with a bachelor’s degree in four years. His plan is to get involved in numerous media-related clubs during his stay. His career goal is to spread informative, meaningful and entertaining content across various platforms and to be a positive impact on the community. He has also spent time working at The Westport Local Press in his hometown of Westport, CT. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jack Freiser's photo

Jack Freiser

Second-Year / Telecommunications

Jack Freiser is a second-year student in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University studying telecommunications. He is very passionate about both music and film. He aspires to impact the music business as a successful A+R by signing artists who will be culturally relevant and will leave an impact on the world, and through keeping a strong relationship with the artist and their team. Email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Megan Kelby's photo

Megan Kelby

Second-Year / Journalism

Megan Kelby is a second-year from Newark, Delaware majoring in journalism and minoring in English and history at Penn State. She is a member of the arts & entertainment department for CommRadio. To contact her, email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Erell Williams's photo

Erell Williams

First Year /

Erell Williams is a first-year student, and her intended majors are Broadcasting Journalism and Chinese. She grew up in Douglassville, Pennsylvania. She is a member of the CommRadio News and Arts department. To contact her, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).