Top 10 songs: Nicki Minaj returns to her ‘Pink Friday’ roots, Courtney Barnett shares familiar commentary

With the school year’s coming to an end, here are 10 tracks to help you through your nostalgia.


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This school year has seen a wide range of new music, spanning genres, topics and styles. It’s nearly impossible to acknowledge every song that has come out in the past nine months, so here are 10 of the ones that made an impact.

“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe

Monáe released this song in February 2018 as the lead single for her third album, Dirty Computer. The song discusses bisexuality and is heavily inspired by the works of Prince, who helped produce the album.

“Saved by a Waif” by Alvvays

“Saved By a Waif” is a highlight of Alvvays’ second studio album. The LP came out this past September and featured the band’s signature dream-pop sound. This song talks about peers who have lost control of their lives in the pursuit of pleasing their parents, and the hook features the line, “You cut your hair / Now you look like a little boy.”

“Lemon Glow” by Beach House

This song is Beach House’s lead single for its upcoming album, 7. The music video, along with the song, was dropped without any publicity in February 2018 and depicts a constantly changing black-and-white-checkered pattern, which fits into the song’s dreamy feel.

“No Exit” by Tennis

“No Exit” is a release from the very beginning of the school year. Tennis’ Alaina Moore told Genius that it was intended to be a dance song for depressive types, adding that “I’m never carefree, even when I’m dancing.” The music is upbeat while the lyrics are slightly dark in contrast, making for a compelling mix of feelings.

“Barbie Tingz” by Nicki Minaj

One of the two singles released in April 2018 from Minaj’s upcoming fourth album, this song marks Minaj’s return to her Pink Friday roots. The song entered the No. 83 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 within 12 hours of being released.

“Pristine” by Snail Mail

Snail Mail’s Lindsey Jordan is out of high school and ready to take on the indie-rock world. At eighteen, her band just released the first single from its upcoming album, Lush. Jordan writes songs that are full of teenage desire and difficulty, but she still comes off as wise beyond her years. “Pristine” is full of familiar discomfort and confusion.

“Curious” by Hayley Kiyoko

Released in January 2018, this song was the third single from Kiyoko’s debut album, Expectations. Much like Kiyoko’s other music, the song is heavily inspired by queer themes but was her first single to chart.

“Nameless, Faceless” by Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett’s Tell Me How You Really Feel will be her first album in two years. Her first single off the album shows her lyrical prowess, and the lyrics are full of relatable experiences about womanhood. The chorus paraphrases a Virginia Woolf quote — Barnett sings, “Men are scared that women will laugh at them … Women are scared that men will kill them.”

“Havana” by Camila Cabello

Following Cabello’s departure from the girl group Fifth Harmony, she began working on her self-titled album. “Havana” was the second single released from the album in August 2017 and rose to international success. The song focuses on celebrating Cabello’s Cuban roots.

“Los Ageless” by St. Vincent

Masseducation is one of St. Vincent’s most pop-influenced albums yet. But while some of the songs are upbeat, the message is overwhelmingly dark. “Los Ageless” explores the empty glamor of fame, as well as dealing with the end of a relationship. Near the end of the song, songwriter Annie Clark slows down, gets introspective and reflects on her flaws, sharply contrasting the upbeat feel of the rest of the song.

Edited by Brooke Collier |

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