New Music Roundup: Tinashe, ArtCLass & Olawumi
’80s beats and heartbreak.
This song feels way off-center for Tinashe, which is good because I always felt like she took her R&B sex appeal way too seriously. On “Superlove,” it actually sounds like she’s having fun. I credit the Dream-produced beat that reminds me a lot of 1996’s “Da Dip” by Freak Nasty. Or like anything Ciara put out in the early 2000s because you can’t tell me this would seem out of place alongside “1, 2, Step” and “Get Up.” But I guess to give credit where really due, it largely borrows from the synths and syncopated percussion of ’80s freestyle music. Whatever the inspiration for this new direction, I like.—Danielle Cheesman
Sia, “Cheap Thrills (OCAC Loungemix)” Feat. Sean Paul
The original “Cheap Thrills”—a Sia x Sean Paul mash-up between a dance song and some lightweight reggaeton—had a tropical feel. But this remix by Detroit-based producer ArtCLass is for the steppers. The way he reimagines the song is refreshing. With firm, thumping kick drums, crisp claps and subtle hi-hats, ArtCLass manages to give the record a downtempo lounge feel to bop to, on some cool sh*t.—Driadonna Roland
Olawumi returns for the last installment of her R&B series , The Feels, with “Still.” The song highlights the enduring effort that one takes to make a failing relationship work, that excruciating heartache felt from a harrowing soul that’s clearly hurt and worn out. That very feeling is brought to life with Olawumi’s deep and sorrowful vocals. Especially as she sings: “But I tried, I tried, I tried, I tried, I tried.” The heavy bass and synths add depth to the song, but it never masks this artist’s pain. —Erin Ashley Simon