Layla McMurtrie: This is Layla McMurtrie coming to you with the Eastern Echo Music Podcast, where I talk about the hottest releases of the week, both reviewing and recommending. On this week’s episode, I will be talking about the hot new albums from Doja Cat and Tyler, the Creator. I will also discuss singles released by both Jaden, Willow, and more.
At the end, don't forget to check out our Spotify playlist, where I will be adding a mix of my favorite releases each week. I am your host, Layla McMurtrie, and this is the Eastern Echo Music Podcast.
After releasing single “LUMBERJACK” on June 16, Tyler, the Creator fans were eager to hear "CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST,” the artist’s newest full-length LP. And we were definitely not disappointed.
The project is sort of a mix of sounds similar to older projects like Goblin and WOLF, as well as Tyler’s last two more melodic albums, "Flower Boy" and "IGOR." This versatility paired with Tyler’s more knowledgeable musical expertise and the unique features could place the new album as his best.
From harder rap features like NBA Youngboy, Lil Wayne, and Detroit native, 42 Dugg, to amazing vocals from Brent Faiyaz and Fana Hues on “SWEET/I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE,” this album demonstrates Tyler’s ability to mesh well with other artists, regardless of their personal sound. Rather than letting big voices take over a track, he makes something new and unique with their work to fit perfectly aside his own creative vision.
After Tyler previously bashed musicians for talking solely about their lavish lifestyles, he did a lot of it himself on this LP. However, the hypocrisy is well-deserved.
Other than vanity though, the main storyline this project explores is that of Tyler being in love with a close friend’s girlfriend. On the second to last track, “Wilshire,” he goes into detail about the relationship for over eight minutes. One lyric states, “They say ‘bro’s over hoes ’I’m like ‘Mm, nah, hey’ / I would rather hold your hand than have a cool handshake.” Certain lines like these, and the story in general, has some listeners investigating as to whom Tyler may be discussing. However, the musician is very private about his love life, so, unfortunately, the world may never know.
Later on in the track, Tyler explores bisexuality saying, “Men or women, it don’t matter, if I seen ‘em, then I had ‘em.” His lack of fear and openness to talk about certain subjects, especially as part of the hip-hop & rap community, has been one major thing that sets him apart from a great deal of other musicians.
While that track definitely may have been dragged on a little, it is still a genius masterpiece, as is the album in its entirety. Some albums feel like well-thought-out projects, and this one is definitely one of those: a true work of art.
I would give it a solid 4 to 4.5 out of 5 Swoops.
The next album I will be talking about, from June 25 as well, is Doja Cat’s "Planet HER," which isn’t as well put together as I wish it was. Still, this doesn’t necessarily mean I dislike it. On the opposite side of the work of art spectrum though, this album feels less like an art project and more like a compilation of some hit tracks and others that feel unfulfilling.
I do love Doja Cat, and she is definitely unique with her weirdness and out-of-the-box style in all areas, but I do feel like this LP could have been better.
From the hot SZA collaboration, “Kiss Me More,” to the hypersexual “Need to Know,” and The Weeknd feature, “You Right,” the singles all got stuck in my head, as they must be pretty memorable. However, other than that, there are only a few other tracks I really like.
Intro track “Woman,” takes inspiration from afro-beats, as Doja spits feminists bars on a tune you can’t help but love. Next is “Naked,” another fun sex-positive anthem-like many.
While I do enjoy Doja’s eccentric sex songs, I am honestly a sucker for raw emotion, truly meaningful lyrics, and softer vocals. So the slower track, “Love To Dream,” has been one of my personal favorites. In a tweet from May 18, Doja stated that the song is about “fantasizing and reminiscing about an ex.” Daydreaming about and missing someone you used to love is a far too familiar feeling that many people can relate to.
Some of Doja’s tracks are just fun and meaningless, but others are relatable without a doubt. An example is the general fan-favorite track, “Ain’t Shit.” The song was highly anticipated after being teased multiple times on Doja’s Instagram live streams.
So, as you just heard, this project does have a handful of pretty good pop-rap tracks. But the album as a whole feels like something is missing that I can’t quite put my finger on. I feel like Doja could be more experimental with production and venture into deeper topics more often too. Still, the LP shows talent and potential, and I hope to hear even more growth from her in future years.
I would give this project a 3 out of 5 Swoops.
Next, I would like to discuss the most recent singles from not just one, but both of the amazingly talented musicians from the Smith family.
And yes, that may be like one of the most common last names there are, but you know who I’m talking about.
First, on June 22, Jaden released his single, “BYE,” an amazing track great for the summer. I love the way he switches up his flow, a must-have for making a longer track like this one not get boring. The feel-good, loving track sets a perfect mood for driving in the car on your way to the beach on a hot summer day. There is speculation that this single is the first from an iteration of "Cool Tape Volume 3, CTV3: Day Tripper’s Edition."
I would give the single close to 5 out of 5 Swoops.
Jaden’s younger sister Willow has confirmed a new full-length project is on its way, titled “lately I feel EVERYTHING," set to be released July 16. Its first single, “transparent soul,” was amazing, and the newest track, “Lipstick,” while maybe not living up, doesn’t disappoint. The track is another empowering punk hit, giving listeners a taste of what to expect on the LP.
I would give this track a good 3.5 to 4 out of 5 Swoops.
Next, 5 Seconds of Summer band member Luke Hemmings has recently announced his debut solo project, written in solace during quarantine. In an Instagram post June 30, Hemmings said the following:
“I couldn’t be prouder to introduce you to ‘When Facing the Things We Turn Away From’; a project that grew out of a year of enforced stillness. I’m so grateful for the journey this album has taken me on and I’m so thankful to have had this creative outlet during my time at home. Lyrically and sonically, this album has allowed me to decipher the last 10 years of my life and help me make sense of the person I am today and how I got here. It will be released everywhere Aug. 13. Today, you can hear a first taste of the album; ‘Starting Line’. Thank you to my brothers in 5sos for your support and allowing me to pursue this project. Endless love to you.”
The LP seems to be about self-reflection, and the first single demonstrates that without a doubt.
The Chorus states, “I wake up every morning with the years ticking by / I’m missing all these memories, maybe they were never mine / I feel the walls are closing / I’m running out of the time / I think I missed the gun at the starting line.”
The lyrics of this opening track are deep and truthful, and the rest of the song continues this honesty.
This track foreshadows a project that has the potential to be very powerful and a great start to a successful solo career for Hemmings. Fans of 5SOS are excited to hear the full project.
I would give the track 4 out of 5 Swoops.
Finally, on July 2, hot stars Brent Faiyaz and Drake paired up for “Wasting Time,” a single produced by The Neptunes, a.k.a. the production duo composed of Pharell Williams and Chad Hugo.
The song is about both Faiyaz and Drake’s respective connections with the women in their lives. They talk about their understanding of the need for space, but still wanting to spend as much time with the woman they love as possible.
I would give the single 4 out of 5 Swoops.
Lastly, some other July 2 music releases you may want to check out include G Herbo’s new album, "25," as well as the posthumous project from Lil Peep, a collaboration with close friend Lil Tracy titled "Castles."
Be sure to check out many of the tracks I just talked about on our Spotify playlist curated by yours truly, including a mix of all the amazing artists and releases I discussed.
As always, thank you for listening, and don’t forget to tune in for our next episode set to be released on July 20. I am your host, Layla McMurtrie, and this is the Eastern Echo Music Podcast.