Singles round-up: Sulking into Spring

April showers bring pop downers. If you don’t have enough to mope about lately — well, you do, yes, but regardless, here are five moody tunes to immiserate you, in ways both good and bad.

Chairlift
“Crying in Public”

The lyrics sketch an urban panopticon, but really, doesn’t the title describe what we do on social media all day long? Typically too glib when hit-hungry (“Romeo”) and too subtle when woodshedding (the rest of Moth) here Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly serve up just-right spoonfuls of Everything But the Girl’s porridge. Polachek overdoes neither stoic verse nor sniffly chorus, and little touches like the way the Wimberly’s guitar quietly but inexactly foreshadows the vocal melody to come are hardly irrelevant. I would buy so many Gap t-shirts to this song.

 

Demi Lovato
“Stone Cold”

There’s an art to tasteless oversinging. OK, maybe “art” isn’t exactly the right word. OK, maybe “art” is exactly the wrong word. Whatever. Lovato grabs this garbage tune by its ears and slams it against the floor with relentless, shameless, pitiless gusto, like the colicky lustchild of Steven and Bonnie Tyler. The climactic high note is both unforgiving and unforgivable and could only be delivered by a cyborg with a t-shirt cannon where her heart should be. I love it.

 

The Chainsmokers feat. Daya
“Don’t Let Me Down”

The production duo that should rename itself Jamie PG-13 churns out the spiritual descendant of ‘90s hair-salon/wine-bar trip-hop, updated stylistically for contemporary easy-listening consumption, with queasy electrogulps standing in for domesticated breakbeats. I don’t want to call this progress. But I don’t want to remember Olive either.

 

Sia feat. Sean Paul
“Cheap Thrills”

Rihanna would have scuffed mournful depth into this party trifle as surely as Adele would launched “Alive” into orbit. But that doesn’t mean there’s no reason neither didn’t.

 

FKA Twigs
“Good to Love”

Sade Bush has had her moments (the candidly cautious “Lights On,” the nastily gasped “Two Weeks”) but I can’t even hypothesize what’s relatable or attractive about this sullen, overworked plea.

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