While it's been a grim season for movies, and this summer's television has been all about chiseled warriors, flying beasts and too many main characters (I am speaking, of course, of American Ninja Warrior), pop music is having a magnificent summer. Kesha is back, "Despacito" has been number one since May, and Quavo seems awfully busy. While the world falls to pieces, at least we can dance.
But I need you to know what Europe and certain segments of American Gay Twitter have known for months: this summer belongs to Dua Lipa.
Who? Dua Lipa is a 21-year-old Londoner of Albanian-Kosovar descent, who was discovered singing covers on YouTube at age 14. Her self-titled debut album was released earlier this summer, and it owns me. Like everything and everyone I truly love, she got on my nerves at first. She is styled like a cast member of one of those British reality shows they're always talking about on the Daily Mail gossip sidebar. She occasionally sings in that post-Sia way where the word "heart" has five syllables and no R. Her single "Blow Your Mind (Mwah)" followed me all around London last fall, and its hook contains the titular kiss noise, and the titular kiss noise is ridiculous: regal, affectless, utterly over it. Oh jeez, I remember thinking, this one is following all of the Vanderpump rules.
I am thrilled to reveal that I was wrong. The Shahs of Sunset reunion episode attitude is part of Dua Lipa's appeal, but she has plenty of other colors in her palette. Subsequent single "Hotter Than Hell" is just as confident but much more passionate, and "Be the One" is the pop bummer banger of the year.
But when she plays it cool, the results are magical. "New Rules" is my personal song of the summer, and if you agree, that is all I need to know to declare you a close friend. It's the only song on the record not co-written by Lipa, but her attitude is all over it: She's locking the door on an unreliable ex-boyfriend, going over and over the policies that will allow her to kiss him off (mwah) for good. She is tough and vulnerable, and the stutter-beat fake-out in the pre-chorus gets me every time. I've had "New Rules" on repeat for so long, my Spotify Daily Mix is now just a prescription for Truvada. But it's the video that really sells it.
What's your favorite part? Dua's listless lip-syncing? The fact that everyone is a little sweaty? The woman all the way to the right who can't quite stick the flamingo pose, and the fact that they left it in? Better watch it 50 more times to help you decide! I sure have.
Throughout the album, she displays the self-assurance and sophistication of a pop star five albums deep. There is drama and passion, there are no left-field rap breaks or gratuitous guest appearances (save for Miguel on "Lost In Your Light," and Miguel is always welcome). Dua Lipa is filled with summer jams, and we've only got a few more weeks left to listen to them in the correct setting: in a pool, plastic tumbler of rosé in hand, passionate political conversation ignored in the background.
Leave Demi, Selena, and Carly Rae for the basics. I'll see you at Dua Lipa's party.
From: Esquire US