Before I introduce “Basement Queens,” this ebullient new number written by Minneapolis rapper Lizzo and Northampton singer/guitarist Sad13 (aka Sadie Dupuis, also of Speedy Ortiz) for Google Docs, please indulge me: I recently began reading Every Song Ever, a forthcoming book by New York Times pop critic Ben Ratliff, which posits that because we have so much access to “every” style of music, there are ways to meaningfully engage with all of it, and that maybe we should. (At least, I think that’s the main thesis—I’m only on page 15, and relishing it.)
In that vein of thinking, the idea that this weird cyber world gives musicians a similarly wide-reaching range of tools to work with, and maybe it’s prudent to expand these tools beyond, like, Ableton Live 9.5 (shout to Ableton Live 9.5, though). In the same way that musicians recorded together by post before they shared mp3s on email and now basically live and collaborate in the freakin’ cloud without ever speaking a single word, Lizzo and Sad13 wrote this song in (and sponsored by) Google Docs and Google Hangouts before coming together in Brooklyn to record it. No, none of these things are like, FROOTY LOOPS or some kind of patch synth, but they make living in 2016 infinitely more convenient than even 1986. Go internet.
Anyway! The whole point of “Basement Queens” is not technology, it’s about being queens of the basement, aka “calling shots behind the scene,” aka being women who write their own music. Beyond that, it sounds fucking great. The track features Dupuis’s signature joyous unhinged guitar style matched with Lizzo’s confident flows, plus a deeply addictive counter-melody in the vocals. It’s listenable and gettable here for free on the internet. Above, watch a video of the duo making the song together (great for people who are really into “process”).
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