Tracks of the week Reviewed: Gallant, VanJess, Princess Nokia and Shelley FKA DRAM

Gallant & VanJess - No More Tries

No More Tries” features on Gallant’s 2nd EPNeptune” and presents his first project release since his sophomore album “Sweet Insomnia”. Gallant said the following about the album “On Neptune, I get to dive a little deeper into the feelings of regret, self-criticism and aimlessness that I started on my first album ‘Ology’ and combine those with the ambient and early 00s vibes that always get stuck in my head,” Gallant explained in a statement. “Everything around me felt blue and distant when I put this EP together, and I think that’s what you get when you play it back.” The project does also boast Arin Ray ,VanJess and the musical powerhouse that is Brandy as its features. (1)

No More Tries” depicts the story of the reluctant parting of a relationship ,where elements such as insecurity look to have blighted a once unbreakable love and reduced future projections of any wistful ideas of being in each other's company to long term unhappiness. The following words “Ready or not, we can't keep this up, babe / Even when we stuck, I'm thinking about you” are one of the many examples of the begrudging nature of this separation within this track; and in turn emphasise that the sustainability of long term love requires more than the raw emotion itself.

The song utilizes early 2000s RnB syncopations as the backdrop is made up of a gentle guitar pattern, soft coos and a laid-back drum progression as the track manages to add a modern feel to nostalgic instrumentation.

Princess Nokia - It's Not My Fault

It's Not My Fault” is Princess Nokia’s latest single and follows on from a highly productive 2020 which saw her release two albums “Everything Is Beautiful” and “Everything Sucks”. The video attached to this song is the most striking element of the entire production as Princess Nokia teamed with Sebastian Sdaigui to help direct a video that paid homage to Jennifer Lopez’s track "If You Had My Love" video. Princess Nokia said the following on the visuals, "My video symbolises my mainstream coming of age, just as it did Jennifer’s. It symbolises the average millennial woman, taking control of herself as the subject. I control my narrative and I celebrate my beauty. It’s hyper-futurism and almost 22 years later we are moving into a more interactive era." (2)

It's Not My Fault” is an unapologetic ode to Princess Nokia’s character and sense of self as she speaks candidly on her lavish lifestyle, whilst simultaneously poking fun at those of whom are uncomfortable with the way she carries herself. The chorus echoes these sentiments the greatest as the following words perfectly encapsulate a woman of whom is assured and brimming with infinite degrees of self-confidence “It's not my fault (It's not my fault) / That I'm that bitch (That I'm that bitch) / So talk that shit (So talk that shit) / 'Cause I'm still rich ('Cause I'm still rich)

The track's melody is very upbeat in nature and makes great use of trap hi hats, sliding 808s, claps and a high pitched synth to help reflect the bravado present within the lyricism.

Shelley FKA DRAM - Cooking With Grease

"Cooking With Grease" is the latest single brought out by Shelley FKA DRAM and this song will feature in his upcoming self-titled album. "Cooking With Grease" joins “Exposure” as singles that will feature in his sophomore album. This album will be debuted on April 16, 2021 and it will also present Shelley FKA DRAM’s first project release in nearly 5 years.

"Cooking With Grease" sees Shelley FKA DRAM articulate the story of an individual who is attempting to rekindle a relationship with somebody that they’ve had a troubled past with previously. The pre-chorus moves to act as a repeated plea sounded by the protagonist as he attempt to remind his love interest of the conditions she has fallen victim to ; potentially in attempt for her to find reason and eventually return to him “He's got you dotting your "I"s / And crossing your "T"s / He's got you cleaning your dirt / Before it gets back to me"

Sonically this track is both pensive and contemplative and utilizes sombre piano melodies, a backing drum progression and finely dispersed viola additions to cultivate these emotions.

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