These are the tracks we’ve had on repeat this month.
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – “Havana”
For those that don’t know, Camila Cabello is 20 year old Cuban-American singer, formerly of girl band Fifth Harmony. Now she’s ditched the other four (who?) and has transformed into a 2018 Jennifer Lopez/Shakira/Rihanna-type sexy siren, smashing charts worldwide. Her Latin-flavored reggae pop single “Havana” has reached the top of the UK, Canadian and Australian charts, and her debut solo album Camila is a US Billboard number one. A Japanese chart topper is surely imminent.
Amy Shark – “Adore”
Amy Shark (real name Amy Billings) is an Australian indie pop singer-songwriter and producer from Queensland, Australia. “Adore” was released in her native country in 2016, but Shark only took the track overseas in the winter of 2017. She will also contribute to the soundtrack of upcoming US 20th Fox Century movie Love, Simon later in 2018 – so we’re expecting big things. “Adore” is the kind of sultry love ballad that only a Lorde or Lana Del Ray addict could understand.
Justin Timberlake – “Filthy”
He’s been releasing music for the past 22 years, but 37-year-old Justin Timberlake is as contemporary as ever, and probably even futuristic on the lead single to forthcoming album Man of the Woods. “Filthy” is an edgy R&B cut with throwback synth-funk that echoes the likes of Bruno Mars and Prince. The song was written and produced by Timberlake, Timbaland, and Danja.
Charlie Puth ft. Boyz II Men – “If You Leave Me Now”
The talented US singer has been around for while, but Charlie Puth is only on album number two, due in May 2018. “If You Leave Me Now” is a beautiful a cappella style ballad featuring none other than the kings of 90s soul, Boyz II Men. With soaring melodies and flawless vocals, this is the soundtrack to a candlelit dinner.
Belle and Sebastian – “I’ll Be Your Pilot”
Scottish indie band Belle and Sebastian released three EPs between December 2017 and February 2018, titled collectively How To Solve Our Human Problems. (This isn’t the first time they’ve put out albums like this: they released three back-to-back EPs back in 1997.) “I’ll Be Your Pilot” comes from part two of this series. Written as a lullaby from parent to child, the acoustic track goes back to Belle and Sebastian’s signature style, in contrast to their more recent disco inspired material.
Liam Payne and Rita Ora – “For You”
The third and final Fifty Shades movie came out worldwide for Valentine’s week (though, sadly not in Japan). Whether you love the movies or think they’re cheese in croquet, there’s no denying the soundtracks are romance gold – attracting A-List singers in the past from Ellie Goulding to The Weekend. The lead single from Fifty Shades Freed comes from Liam Payne and Rita Ora, and is titled “For You.” The track is a beautifully produced subtle groover about waiting a lifetime for a lover.
Taylor Swift – “Getaway Car”
We can bet plenty of singletons will be spinning a T Swizzle album this month. From latest album Reputation – a shift in direction subject-wise for Swift (“the old Taylor is dead”, after all) – she compares the destructive drive of criminals in a getaway car to that of a toxic relationship. It’s “Look What You Made Me Do” with a hint of “Out of the Woods.”
Song (Spotify): https://open.spotify.com/track/5YPTYLMdNEgk7CPNPqqFyA
Miyavi feat. Daichi Miura – “Dancing With My Fingers”
Avoiding the subject of love this month? Japanese guitarist, and this month’s Weekender cover star, Miyavi, collaborates with singer and dancer Daichi Miura on this energetic dance rock track. “Dancing With My Fingers,” comes from his latest release, Samurai Sessions Vol. 2. The video captures their unique guitar versus dance duet, and was directed by renowned filmmaker Takashi Miike.