Rita Ora’s new song “Girls” has become a controversial tune, rather than the anthem of bi-sexual freedom she intended. Ora worked with a powerhouse crew of female pop vocalists including Cardi B, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX, saying that she was trying to bolster the same type of female inclusion that 2001’s “Lady Marmalade” instigated. But singer-songwriter Haley Kiyoko made a public proclamation against Ora’s song, stating that “this type of message is dangerous because it completely belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community.” Similarly, singer Katie Gavin, who performs under the stage name Muna, wrote the following:
Ora’s apology came quickly and with authenticity, when she made a statement on Monday to her fans. “‘Girls’ was written as an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life,” says Ora. “I have had a romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.”
The argument from singer Kiyoko focused on the lyrics that implied Ora only felt compelled to pursue women when consuming alcohol. The singer explained that in her experience, she never needed “red wine” to “kiss girls.” But for better or worse, part of pop music’s m.o. has always been making taboo subjects palatable for the masses, even when that results in watering the message down. It’s a double-edged sword, in that tracks like “Girls” can bring more awareness and acceptance to marginalized communities, even if the authenticity of that representation is questionable. No matter what side of the debate you fall on, “Girls” features some of the heaviest hitters in pop music – and that’s something we can get behind.
On Mother’s Day, Lykke Li shared an intimate video of her childhood movies, intermixed with videos of her own son. The video is called “Utopia,” which Lykke Li explains relates to the space her mother created for her as a child. “Utopia is all my mother ever wanted for me,” she says “and all I ever want for him.”
Another ode to the mothers in our life, Common Holly’s latest release features images of her interspersed with flashes to her mother, who lip syncs her daughter’s lyrics. This video was quite a long time in the making – the single is from Common Holly’s album Playing House, which was released in October of 2017.
The latest video from Brooklyn band Wet features its singer, Kelly Zutrau prancing around in a white leotard before a bland background; the minimalist setting is a stark contrast to the musically rich production on single “Lately.”
Beach House released their latest album, 7, for streaming in full via YouTube. The accompanying video follows the aesthetic of their previous releases; black and white graphics drift by as their soundscapes accompany the optical illusions.