Y/NY/N is a guide to the week’s music releases based on our highly scientific, non-subjective Yes/No rating system.  

Will pass: Zayn Malik and Nicki Minaj, “No Candle No Light” - Nicki Minaj tends to spread herself thin with collaborations, but there used to be a time when it was worth it. This Zayn track is what would play if you were running through a forest in search of your long-lost love. Notice it has a similar squeaky, wailing hook as Justin Bieber’s “Where Are Ü Now” but isn’t nearly as irresistible. Maybe because Zayn is a boring canvas? No candle, no light, no thanks. —Clover Hope


Yessssssss: JENNIE, “Solo” - BLACKPINK, the highest-ranking K-Pop girl group on the Billboard Hot 100 (and if you’re green to the genre, perhaps the first or only one you’re familiar with), has had a landmark year—and still, member Jennie Kim’s going solo. The singer/sometimes rapper dropped her debut single, the aptly titled “SOLO” this week, a bilingual breakup anthem that could very well fit into her namesake group’s repertoire: part-R&B affectation, part-EDM, wholly-aware of global pop trends, this should be a damn hit. J’adore it. —Maria Sherman

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Ya: Spellling, “Haunted Water” - Who knew soulful darkwave is truly what my heart desired? Spellling, the misspelled musical project of Oakland synth-pop artist Tia Cabral, is a relatively new discovery, but I fell hard and fast—it’s goth-y, certainly; minimal, sure; but it’s Cabral’s voice that’s challenging to pinpoint. She purposefully restrains the full scope its power, and that’s what gives her songs such a gorgeous, mournful, spiritual quality. “Haunted Water” is a single off her second LP, Mazy Fly, and it will convert you. —MS

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What, no gift receipt?: Katy Perry, “Cozy Little Christmas” - I don’t want a lot for Christmas, but if there’s one thing I don’t need it’s Katy Perry doing a bad drag version of Mariah Carey’s good drag version of Phil Spector-style Christmas music. This is so cheap, it sounds like it comes wrapped in paper from Dollar General. —Rich Juzwiak

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Y: Hannah Diamond, “True” - It’s nice to hear a pop song from PC Music’s Hannah Diamond that doesn’t play like a half-baked thesis on the elements of pop stardom or an attempt to induce sugar shock through sound alone. Yes, this is saccharine and buying into the purported earnestness seems about as wise as finally investing in that pyramid scheme that guy’s been emailing you about, but slowing down the tempo seems to make all the difference here. Unlike a lot of Diamond’s previous output, this isn’t boldfaced italic quoted “lovely”—it’s simply lovely. —RJ

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Yes, yes, yes: Helado Negro, “Please Won’t Please” — Put on this Helado Negro song when you’re feeling in the doldrums, and you’ll feel a bit more at home; it sounds exactly like taking a candle-lit bubble bath, warm and quiet and completely heartening. Yes, there’s a twinge of melancholy in Roberto Carlos Lange’s voice, but there’s also a resounding sense of comfort, especially when he sings “History shows / That brown won’t go / Brown just goes.” Listen when you need a pick-me-up and you won’t be disappointed. —Frida Garza

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Y x 2 – Thank you baby Jesus for new Helado Negro music. Amen. —Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo


Y: Nana Mendoza, “Suave” – While we’re at this hypothetical bubble bath party of 1, go ahead and add this one to your playlist. I stumbled upon Mendoza’s music today and am happy I did. She sounds like a Latina Ella Mai. I’m into it. —ELC