Weekend Playlist: New Music From Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nicki Minaj and Rex Orange County

Plus, EDM-inspired tracks from both Tom Misch’s new project Supershy and a collaboration between PinkPantheress and Sam Gelliatry

Every week, so much new music is released that it can feel like a chore to sort through it all. That’s why LAMag compiles a Weekend Playlist with select hits released throughout the week.

This week’s biggest release might just have been Megan Thee Stallion’s highly-anticipated second album, entitled Traumazine. Though it debuted to critical acclaim, it can be hard to explore all the new music out there if one release steals the show. So besides Megan’s latest work, here’s what else is in the soundscape.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Burning”

Yeah Yeah Yeahs may not have released an album in nine years, but their passion for rock is certainly still burning strong.

“Burning” is the second single to debut from the indie rock band’s upcoming album Cool It Down—but if anything, it does the opposite of providing a chilling effect. The track exudes a bold and powerful sound. Singer Karen O explained in a statement that the song draws inspiration from her own life. She recalled a time in which a candle left in her apartment lit fire to many of her belongings but somehow spared the items that held the most sentimental value. “Burning”, she explained, is a song begging for the fire of the earth to spare what we love most. Maybe that fire should spare all copies of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ latest track.

Supershy and Vula, “Take My Time”

If “Take My Time” proves anything, it’s that Supershy is anything but shy.

Supershy is the name given by R&B/soul artist Tom Misch to his new alter ego. Debuting in April, Misch explained to fans on social media that he created the project as a space for him to explore EDM music. Four months later, he’s released a total of four songs under his new name. For “Take My Time,” he brought on the American singer, Vula. The song radiates a smooth and groovy energy—certainly one that puts the “dance” in electronic dance music—with just a dash of disco. Upbeat and funky (but not funky enough to scare the mainstream away), Supershy’s “Take My Time” will be the life of any party.

Nicki Minaj, “Super Freaky Girl”

Nicki Minaj doesn’t miss.

“Super Freaky Girl”—the Trinidadian-American rapper’s take on Rick James’ “Super Freak”—sees Minaj add her signature flow to a funk classic. The song will please fans of both classic hits and modern innovations alike with its retro instrumentals and contemporary songwriting. Minaj provides enough of her unique twist so that the track is clearly not just a cover of its predecessor, but still allows for its roots to be easily recognizable. Even sampling some of James’ original lyrics, Minaj strikes the perfect balance between the old and the new in her latest single.

Rex Orange County, “Threat”

Despite the title of Rex Orange County’s new song, “Threat” is by far the most gentle and calming song on this week’s list. Relying mostly on the guitar, the track is one of Rex Orange County’s quieter works. Though it is a departure from his tendency to employ a plethora of quirky instrumentals, the song reflects growth in the English singer and songwriter. The lyrics see him dive deep into his personal insecurities, opening up about his feelings of inadequacy. Though more on the subdued side for a summer single, “Threat” proves that Rex Orange County is far above adequate.

PinkPantheress and Sam Gellaitry, “Picture In My Mind”

PinkPantheress has already seen viral success online, but there’s nowhere that says she can’t find it again.

The English singer, songwriter, and producer—whose song “Break It Off” exploded on TikTok in 2021—is back for more, this time collaborating with Scottish EDM artist Sam Gellaitry. PinkPantheress is known for her trendy sound and aesthetic, which continues with “Picture In My Mind”. Gellaitry’s EDM influence adds a groovy and upbeat flair to the track, contrasting the darker tones often explored by PinkPantheress in her other work while allowing the song to retain its “cool” factor. To sum it up, “Picture In My Mind” is certainly a track for the in-crowd.

Other worthy mentions: A repeat artist

Niki—whose single “Oceans & Engines” LAMag highlighted on July 9—is back with the release of her full album, entitled Nicole. The album, which breathes new life into a series of songs she wrote in high school, is Niki’s favorite of her work so far. And based on the praise she’s gotten so far, it might just be fans’ favorite, too.

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