Y/N is a guide to the week’s music releases based on our very scientific, non-subjective Yes/No rating system. It’s very serious.
Y: The spectacular Zola Jesus is back and boy is she ever back; “Exhumed,” from her forthcoming fifth album Okovi, is full of the kind of gorgeous drama we expect from her powerhouse dirges, hovering somewhere between jeep bop and industrial banger. That over-driven kick drum is hitting me right in the heart and gullet. —Julianne Escobedo Shepherd
Y: MIA has made some pretty disappointing statements over the past year (and I include her last album in that assessment). But her return with “Goals”—which coincides with an art exhibition of her longtime collaborator, the Mexican photographer/.gif artist Jaime Martinez—is a nice back-to-basics for an artist who is always provocative yet whose soft, tender tracks are always some of her best. Minimalism suits her.—JES
Y: Ray BLK is just so dynamic, a London singer and rapper who’s being compared to Lauryn Hill for obvious reasons. “Doing Me” has a breezy, sharp, feel-great summer vibe, and you might also want to hang out with her while you’re at it. I wanna roll up with her in a trackie, too! —JES
Y: It’s pride month so L.A. producer/singer MNDR teamed up with the Scissor Sisters for “Twerlk,” this crucial house track to soundtrack your catwalk, whether you’re a fashion model on a runway or just strutting around the bodega. As the musicians describe on their Soundcloud page, all proceeds from this track will be donated to the Contigo Fund, a PULSE memorial charity helping queer Latinx and other people of color in Florida.
Y: This song “Need To Feel Your Love” is a little softer than the Philly punk band Sheer Mag’s usual fare, but I really don’t mind its Cheap Trick/T. Rex-biting ‘70s vibe. -Hazel Cills
Y: The new Torres (aka Mackenzie Scott) single is great, which sounds like Scott is fixing a thousand-yard stare on a lover, as is the song’s creepy accompanying video. -HC
Y: Alvvays is the sort of band who’d probably guest on Riverdale as the group playing at prom and not just because they had a god damn song about being in love with the comic’s titular character. They make the sort of dreamy, shoegaze-adjacent pop that’s built for teen movies and the band’s new song “In Undertow” is just delightful. -HC
Y: Billboard predicted that if you love New Edition, then you’ll dig this New Jack Swing-inspired song from Lido and the band They. So I clicked and indeed “Not Enough” does conjure images of the Running Man and that excellent dance scene from Love & Basketball, though the song feels more boy-band-hip-hop-choreo than straight-up New Jack. Most important is that the beat cheers me up and reminds me that not enough people are mining the Swing era. —Clover Hope
N: With her second single from Inspired—called “Inspired”—Miley Cyrus is leaning fully into the gentle acoustic sound she wants us to believe is authentic. Look above. There is literally a flower in her hair. I can’t stand this! Say something nice: The octave stretch near the end shows Miley can do good things with her voice. —CH