“Young & Beautiful,” Lana Del Rey
It’s not like Lana Del Rey needs the exposure for her new single, “Young & Beautiful.” After all, it’s included in The Great Gatsby remake by Baz Luhrmann, so with that marketing machine behind it…well, let’s just say that if you don’t know who Lana Del Rey is by now, you will after this film premiers. After dipping her big toe into cover tunes that fit her like a blue velvet gown, it’s nice to hear Del Rey making original music again. “Young & Beautiful” doesn’t have the pop sensibilities of “Video Games” or “National Anthem,” but its lush quality will make a good addition to the film — in whatever sequence they use it in — and will keep Del Rey flush with ‘60s era wigs and gallons of mascara for years to come.
“Bounce Together,” Lola King & The Kickstarts
Sometimes simple is simple. And sometimes simple is catchy when it comes to songwriting. Lola King & The Kickstarts make a simple sound very catchy with “Bounce Together” — and infectious slice of Brit-pop that has a kind of working-class attitude. King doesn’t hide her British accent, which adds a nice bit of geographic authenticity, and it’s that kind of flourish that may have blokes and birds singing along in the pub in her homeland, and anglophiles in North America doing the same — but most likely in the privacy of their cars.
“Wake Up,” Aaradhna
It’s been almost two years since Amy Winehouse died, and like jokes about tragedy that have the phrase “Too soon?” attached, it seems odd to read that New Zealander Aaradhna cites Winehouse as such a major influence in her music. It just seems too soon. However, too soon or no, you can certainly hear a whiskey-fueled vocal style in “Wake Up.” But that forlorn quality in Winehouse’s music is absent from “Wake Up” — which is more about not being a slacker and wasting the day. If this song won’t get you out of bed or off the couch to do something, then I’m afraid I can’t help you with your problem.
“Get Lucky,” Daft Punk
If it wasn’t for Nile Rogers, this song would blow. His signature guitar sound from the Chic-era is what takes “Get Lucky” from ho-hum to “turn it up” in short order. Okay, perhaps I’m being too harsh. The chorus is a pretty infectious ear worm, and the retro-electronic voices in the bridge adds a nice throwback to the ‘70s. For some Popdose readers, they remember when there was a lot of hoopla about disco being dead around 1980/81. But one listen to “Get Lucky,” and you have to ask yourself: did disco really die?