The Slice: July 2021


Summer’s here and the airwaves are dripping in honey.

Rare – Vardaan Arora

Originally a Selena Gomez song, Arora has transformed what was a somewhat standard pop song into something much more elastic. The synths throb and burst, his voice, layered in vocoder, bounces along the rhythm, inviting you to dance.

W.M. – Tom Aspaul

I’ve got to say, I never expected Spotify to recommend me a song expounding the joys of going for a night out in the West Midlands, featuring the lyric, ‘line one, cause there’s only one line’ and I never would’ve thought it would be as undeniably catchy as this.

Renegade – Big Red Machine

This truly is the golden age of Taylor Swift. Last year, she released not one, but two albums, and she doesn’t show any signs of stopping if this earworm collaboration with old pals Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner. It’s sonically similar to Long Story Short from Evermore, but it packs even more of a punch.

Tension – Dagny

Scandinavian pop music is never too far away, and my current obsession is this Dagny track. Starting gentle, the track continues to build until you feel like its about to snap – the perfect sonic approximation of the tension you feel when you don’t know how things are going to work out.

Break The Ice – Britney Spears

Britney Spears has been in the press a lot again recently as she begins her fight against her conservatorship, proving that we truly never tire of ‘Britney’. Break The Ice is a standout track on Brit’s 2007 album Blackout, all cool synths and slick, dance floor beats. An album ahead of its time, Blackout, and this track specifically, inspired the PC music of artists such as Charli XCX.

Dating a Drug Dealer – The Sunshine State

An easy, breezy track with a dark undertone, Dating a Drug Dealer has some great verses alongside a chorus that is at once funny and desperate. It’s a hard song to get out of your head,, and I find myself humming it throughout the day at work.

Origin of Love – Stephen Trask

This month I decided to rewatch Netflix’s Sex Education in preparation for the upcoming third season, and upon reaching the prom scene, I fell in love with this song playing in the background. An epic tale of how love was born into the universe, Origin of Love originally featured in the musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Bunny is a Rider – Caroline Polachek

After a brief rock interlude, we crash back into the land of pop with this cheeky little track from the oft experimental Caroline Polachek. While not as weird as some of her best tracks, Bunny is a Rider remains a thoroughly enjoyable listen, one that can be played on repeat almost indefinitely. I may or may not know from experience.

Symptomatic – Peach PRC

Josh, the previous release from Peach PRC was a song that took me off guard and had me eagerly anticipating what was coming next. Syptomatic is a great pop song, sounding a little bit 80s, a little bit 2000s, but those lyrics feel so 2020s. Addictive.

Airplane – Magdalena Bay

Delicate and airy, Airplane is a beautiful song from Magdalena Bay, and undoubtedly the standout from their album. The verses are nice enough, but the track really takes off as it swoops into its chorus, vocals gliding over soft synths. In the final lap however, things crescendo as drums crash in, giving the track an immensely satisfying climax.

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