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First Impressions: Megan Thee Stallion, Rosalía, Hayley Williams And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 01/29/2020

First Impressions is our weekly chance to go head-to-head on the new tunes of the week. Each of the contributing writers reviews the track and then slaps a score out of 5 on it. This week we’re looking at Doja Cat’s Birds Of Prey contribution, Megan Thee Stallion’s second cut of 2020 and more.

Doja Cat – Boss Bitch

Sam Murphy: It’s been a while since I’ve heard a rap over an electronic peat that pulsates like this. Boss Bitch is straight out of the Azealia Banks/Tink playbook but Doja Cat has the charisma to carry it off. It feels a little abrasive at times but I guess that’s the nature of a song for a movie. 3.5

Kahlee: I love that Doja Cat feels like a different person every time we hear and this track is no exception. She sounds more determined and purposeful than ever. The production is giving me the classic Azealia-Banks-like bass-heavy vibes that I’ve always loved. I’m gonna enjoy this song while I can because it’ll definitely get over played at the gym. 4.5

Emma: Yes, yes, yes! I’m a sucker for a solid bass line and an easy chorus to sing with friends at a club and that’s exactly what I’m getting from this track. It’s catchy as hell and one that’ll definitely get over played, but honestly? I’m okay with that. This one is going straight to the ‘Boss Bitch’ playlist. 5

Megan Thee Stallion – B.I.T.C.H.

Sam: I wasn’t expecting Megan to slow it down like this. The beat sounds like it’s dripping gold and Megan’s delivery is just as decadent. She really can’t do any wrong in my mind but that said I do love when Megan races all over a beat. 4

Kahlee: B.I.T.C.H isn’t what I expected from Meghan Thee Stallion right now but I’m not mad about it. I was anticipating more of a heavy hitting party banger but her verses are still sharp as ever and the chorus is incredibly catchy. Huge fan of the more chill production on this one. I have a feeling it’ll grow on me. 3.5

Emma: I’ve gotta say, I’ve never heard anything from Megan Thee Stallion before, but I can definitely get behind this! It’s giving me a subtle 90s vibe which is cool. I agree with Kahlee, I feel like this is something that’ll grow on me slowly. I can see me humming the chorus for the next week. 4

ROSALÍA – Juro Que

Sam: I was wondering how long it would take Rosalía to head back to flamenco. This is even more stripped than any thing off El Mal Querer and it’s just so mesmerising. The way she elongates her voice and follows the melody is masterful and it peaks when she uses that subtle autotune on “Bolso Gucci, diamante’ y marfil”. 4.5

Kahlee: I’ve always liked Rosalía but this is really the track that pulled me in. It’s my favourite parts of both her albums in one song. She’s returned to her flamenco roots with such an incredible experimentation and I’m so excited to see what she’s going to do next. 4

Emma: This isn’t my favourite genre of music, but I can appreciate it. Definitely had a few goosebumps show up with some of those notes, but other than that it fell a bit flat for me. 2

Love Regenerator (Calvin Harris) – Hypnagogic (I Can’t Wait)

Sam: Ah, Calvin. I do appreciate that he’s doing what he likes and it’s really worked for him for the past few years. This, however, feels a little like someone proving they can play with the big boys. There’s really no need for him to start releasing acid house. There are others that do it better and it unnecessarily makes him look like a rookie. 2

Kahlee:  I really wanted to like this. I wanted to like it so bad. I’m a sucker for some early rave inspo but this is just missing something. I hit the second minute and it started to feel like it was going somewhere and then it didn’t. I’m not mad Calvin, I’m just disappointed. 1

Emma: Once again, I have to agree with Kahlee – this just wasn’t it for me. It sounded like it was going to go somewhere, but then it just didn’t? Those piano chords got me feeling like I should be in Ibiza for about two seconds and then gave up. 1.5

Hayley Williams – Simmer

Sam: I really wasn’t expecting Hayley Williams’ solo project to be so dark. That caught me off guard and distracted me on my initial listen but having sat with it for a week I’ve come around. It’s not the song that’s going to define this era for her I’m sure but it’s a beautiful, winding trip that introduces us to new pockets of her voice and fresh musical inclinations. 4

Kahlee: I was so excited for this Hayley Williams solo project. I like Simmer, I think it’s cool, but I felt like I was waiting for something that never came. It left me a little dissatisfied. 2.5

Emma: Definitely a really cool track! I’m into the acapella-y bits, she’s got an incredible voice that I feel is really good for that sort of thing. It didn’t really build up or go anywhere, but I’m kind of okay with it. 3

Kali Uchis – The Turn

Sam: It’s a song tucked away in a movie soundtrack so it was never going to change the world, as Chaka Kahn would say, but this is really beautiful. Hearing Kali over an instrumental this orchestral and brooding is a little treat and I’m going to take it. 4

Kahlee: This feels a lot edgier and haunting for Kali Uchis and I’m loving it. Her voice is the real standout aspect of this song. The only let down of the song for me is that it feels like a song from a movie and not a real track. This is a switch for Kali Uchis and I hope to see more of it. 4

Emma: This is an alright track for me… The spooky vibe is pretty cool and I imagine it’ll fit the movie it’s made for pretty well, but it’s probably not something that I’ll give a second listen to. Lovely voice, though. 2

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