Song of the Week: “What’s It Gonna Be?” by Shura
U.K. artist Shura masters the art of crafting the perfect pop piece with her latest single “What’s It Gonna Be?” The song stays true to Shura’s recurring themes of fear and rejection in “2Shy” but takes a more assertive and upbeat approach with driving, ‘80s-infused electronic production. It is an honest, emotional dance-pop anthem worthy of comparisons to “Heartthrob”-era Tegan and Sara and “Art Angels”-era Grimes, with the right amount of emotionally charged lyrics to leave you crying on the dance fl0or. If this release is any indication of what her full-length debut “Nothing’s Real” will be like, it is sure to be the best pop album of 2016.
— Joselynn Ordaz, Staff Writer
Song of the Week: “Twice” by Catfish and the Bottlemen
Catfish and the Bottlemen aren’t out to woo listeners with outside-of-the-box thinking. Their guitar-heavy, drum-driven brand of rock ’n’ roll is a call for simplification, and “Twice” echoes this allegiance to unpretentious instrumentation. They’ve resisted the familiar sophomore trade-in — electric guitars and booming drum progressions for synths and keyboards — and continue to rely on frontman McCann’s seductive snarls and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. “Twice” opens with the same rhythmic drum sequence as past single “Cocoon,” but relies instead on a hypnotic bassline to carry the melody. McCann manages to underlay all of his songs with an empowering “life is great” motto — a slogan that never becomes cliched because McCann genuinely believes that “if you love the way you’re livin’ / it’s just hard to fret about much.” In “Twice,” this technique transforms a list of lamentations into a feel-good celebration of the simple.
— Karly Nisson, A&E Editor