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Rapper Noname appeared on the Bigfoot Stage on day three. A weekend to remember, the Sasquatch! Music Festival wraps up on May 27, 2018. (Dana Sparks/Emerald)

A single is a way for an artist to keep fans on their toes by releasing music without the pressure of a full album. It is usually an indicator that an album is on the way, and gives listeners a stylistic preview of what’s to come. Let’s dive into the last few weeks and look at a few noteworthy, recently released singles.

Noname - “Song 32

Chicago rapper Noname has gotten increasingly popular in the last year. With the release of her second album, “Room 25,” in September, she proved that she’s here to stay. Before “Room 25,” she released her first record, “Telefone,” in 2016. She was also featured on fellow Chicagoan Chance the Rapper’s album “Acid Rap.”

Noname rang in the new year with “Song 31,” the first release since “Room 25.”It’s easy to wonder if “Song 31” and “Song 32” will lead up to “Song 33” and potentially an album in the near future.

“Song 32,” released April 5, is a jazzy track that addresses colonialism, wealth and a struggle with self love. Noname hooks listeners with the repetitive “Yippee-ki, yippee-ki-yay” lyric.

Her flow is unique and calming, sure to entice first time listeners to want more.

Anderson .Paak - “Make It Better (feat. Smokey Robinson)

Anderson .Paak blends hip-hop, R&B, funk and soul into his groovy style. He released “Oxnard” (named after his hometown) two years after the release of his 2016 breakout, “Malibu.” It was a long awaited release, but the record was well-received.

“Make It Better” is .Paak’s latest single, released on April 4. While the song itself seems easy to sing along and groove to, the lyrics present a sadder narrative. Paak sings about falling out of love with someone and trying to repair a relationship.

The artist will release his fourth album, “Ventura,” on April 12.

Mac DeMarco - “All Of Our Yesterdays

Indie artist Mac DeMarco is known for his goofy personality and do-it-yourself mentality. Originally from Canada, DeMarco now lives in Los Angeles where he is working on a new album, “Here Comes The Cowboy,” with a release date of May 10.

A month ago, DeMarco released a single and video for “Nobody” off his new album, accompanied by a pretty bizarre video.

DeMarco released a second single, “All of Our Yesterdays,” on April 2. It’s a straightforward DeMarco track and sounds like it could have been on “This Old Dog,” his most recent album from 2017.

With the slow, smooth DeMarco vocals one can expect, he dreams of the past on this track, with memories lingering in a nostalgic, swaying tone.

You can catch Mac DeMarco live at the McDonald Theater on Thurs., May 9.

Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus - “Old Town Road

On April 5, Billy Ray Cyrus hopped on Lil Nas X’s country/rap track “Old Town Road,” originally released in December, and it is now the #1 song in the United States.

This release has sparked a lot of discussion and controversy. It’s a blend of country themes (horses, southern accents, boots, you name it) and rap typicality (Gucci, nice cars) laid over a trap beat. “Riding on a tractor, lean all in my bladder” exemplifies this contrast.

After claims from Billboard that the song wasn’t country enough, Billy Ray Cyrus responded on twitter saying, “I was thinking, what’s not country about it? What’s the rudimentary element of a country and western song? Then I thought, it’s honest, humble, and has an infectious hook, and a banjo. What the hell more do ya need?”

Lil Nas X describes the meaning of the song in a Genius Verified video.


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