After three long years, the SZA single hiatus is finally over.
Despite dealing with label delays and vocal injuries, the platinum-selling R&B singer returns with her first release as a lead artist since 2017. Since dropping her critically-acclaimed debut album Ctrl, SZA has only appeared on 10 tracks– all as a featured artist. Fans have been patiently waiting for solo music and the time has finally come. “Hit Different” delivers a mellow, contemporary R&B sound coupled with SZA’s angelic cadence and Ty Dolla $ign’s melodic vocals.
The track features a chorus sung by Ty Dolla $ign, paired with the nostalgic production of The Neptunes. Pharrell Williams’ signature 4-count start can be heard at the beginning, while SZA and Ty Dolla $ign collaborate effortlessly throughout the rest of the record. The song is elegantly smooth and laid back, branching off of that similar sound that made Ctrl so unique. The singer begins with “I was into you from the beginning even if you wasn’t mine / Scared to admit my shortcomings led to overdraft in this affair, declining.” She continues on about her entanglement: “Can’t trust decision when you near me / Get myself caught in your crossfire.”
SZA excels at conveying vulnerability through her music, with “Hit Different” being no different. Her verses are deep-cutting and raw, making you feel like she’s confiding in you. Her performance on this slow jam is nicely complimented by Ty Dolla $ign’s harmonies, making this the perfect comeback single to keep us fans at bay until her next release (at least for now). You can listen to the song and watch the official video here.
Written By: Nathalie Lum
Photo Sources: Entertainment Tonight Canada and Vulture
This week has been a rollercoaster of mostly devastating news, and global concern continues to linger in the air over the recent election of Donald Trump for U.S. president. There’s no denying that during these days of frustration, we’re solaced by particular things — people, surroundings, creative expression. And well, if you’re reading this blog post, you might be doing so as an attempt to distract yourself from reality. Excellent, otherworldly art is more necessary than ever, which is why the Thursday release of the xx’s new single, “On Hold,” is so relieving.
Fans of the trio have likely kept Jamie xx’s (Jamie Smith) debut solo record, In Colour, on repeat since last year, falling in love with Smith’s tracks featuring fellow the xx members Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft, whose voices are now recognizable not only in the indie pop sphere, but in the dazzling, sometimes moody world of house and dubstep. In Colour was ingenious, and expectations for the xx’s newest material in four years are rightfully high.
But “On Hold” hasn’t disappointed, and it’s additional proof of how marvelous a producer Smith is. The single is crisp electronic pop — upbeat enough to shimmy to — and features a warped but well-utilized portion of Hall and Oates’ 1980s chart-topper “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).”
“On Hold” reminds us that in an incredibly imperfect world, some things can still sound pretty darn close to perfect. The song is housed in the latter half of the xx’s greatly anticipated upcoming album, I See You, scheduled for release on January 13, 2017 via Young Turks. Check out the track list below.