Sometimes the stuff making up my weekly playlist isn't all that new at all—sometimes it's a revamped version of a song I already love, a cover, or refreshing remix. That was definitely the case this week! Read on to refresh your mind with five new releases from nationally acclaimed and locally based artists.
"ITTILY Dance Mix," Zyah Belle, ROMderful, Mat/Matix
Los Angeles to Portland transplant Zyah Belle is a soul singer who caught my attention while slaying a set a The Thesis back before COVID. In July, the artist dropped a quality downtempo song called "I Think That I Love You," but even more recently a delightful dance remix surfaced. The production is given some exciting alterations and additions from multi-instrumentalists/producers ROMderful and Mat/Matix, like some cute sounds reminiscent of video game actions included throughout. If you're a fan of singers like NAO and Ari Lennox, you're likely to fall for Zyah Belle's unique voice, too.
"Buy You That Cone," Schaus
In late January, Portland electronic indie pop project Schaus (AKA the solo project of Scott Schaus) recently released the single "Buy You That Cone" from his forthcoming Pop EP, dropping on March 19. Check out the weird and trippy visual as well, but be prepared to have a yearning for an ice cream cone. The song has a sentimental vibe, with Schaus repeatedly singing "Buy you that cone even though the truck is gone." Schaus also released a track called "Sweet Sorry," a cool medley/mashup/interpolation of Justin Bieber's "Sorry," Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape," and Tierra Whack's "Only Child."
"We Belong Together (Mimi's Late Night Valentine's Mix)," Mariah Carey
I forgot to talk about this when it dropped right around Valentine's Day, but it's definitely worth mentioning here: Mariah Carey recorded a new rendition of her 2005 classic "We Belong Together." And even at its challenging climax, it's clear Mariah is still very much in the game. She really still be singin'! The best part is that she also released an excellent seven-minute extended version, and the latter half is super loose, with Mimi getting extra jazzy and adlibby. But if you simply don't have time for that, enjoy the original or the three-minute remake. Make sure to check out the video she bestowed upon us, too:
"Native New Yorker," LION BABE
The original "Native New Yorker" by disco/soul trio Odyssey is already a classic ode to female empowerment, but LION BABE's new cover of the 1977 classic gives it a modern twist and Michael Jackson's influence is palpable. Speaking of Michaels, it's featured in a new Michael Kors ad, which I actually appreciate, because there's too many commercials that are obnoxious, irritating, and make me see red. (Advertising people: Please make more TV ads like this Michael Kors one, or any other ad that features beautiful songs, like that recent All State commercial featuring Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'.") Anyway, if I were the music supervisor, I'd definitely put this ode to NYC women at the end of the new Sex And the City revival—even though it won't be nearly the same without Samantha. If you want more LION BABE material, check out their recent covers of Nelly's "Hot in Herre," Mos Def's "Umi Says." I also love their 2018 single "Get Into the Party Life," and 2017's "Hit the Ceiling."
"Body - Joel Corry Remix," Megan Thee Stallion
I never thought I would say this, but this remix of Megan THEE Stallion's "body-ody" is even more enjoyable than the original... and I can't get enough. Megan's already-low pitched delivery is further slowed down and screwed up, making her lyrics easier to process: "I'm a hot ebony, they gon' click it if it's me/All my bitches been gettin' these niggas through the quarantine/ Bitch, I'm very well, on my shit as you could tell/Any ho got beef from years ago is beefing by herself."
The production gets a clubby, uptempo revamp by Joey Corry that is perfect for cardio workouts, pumping iron, dancing all night, cleaning sessions, or really anything you need to get amped about. My only complaint is that it's not long enough. Can I have a seven-minute extended version of this as well?