First Out: New Music from Rina Sawayama, King Princess, Arlo Parks & More

Rina Sawayama, “Lucid”

For fans of both Rina Sawayama’s debut album, Sawayama, and Lady Gaga’s dance-pop haven Chromatica, this new single is exactly for you. Sawayama teams up with Chromatica producer BloodPop on “Lucid,” a pure electro-pop banger where the star decides to dissociate into her own dream world, conjuring up her fantasy relationship while the throbbing house beats and glittering synth runs pulsate around her.

“Me and Lauren Aquilina wrote this together on the floor of my tiny rented living room back in early 2018,” Sawayama said of putting the new song together. “BloodPop sent us the beat and the melody flowed out so easily that I remember at one point I started hoovering ’cause I knew this would be easy to write lol. I’ve kept this song secret for 2 years so I’m so excited to finally release it to the world! 2020’s been a tough year so I wanted to finish it off with a dance bop to take us into a more hopeful 2021.”

King Princess, “Pain”

On her debut album, King Princess established herself as a new alt-pop/pop-rock icon — but with her latest string of singles, she’s trying something else entirely. “Pain,” for example, employs some of the star’s best tactics: a grooving bass line, her top-notch vocals, and much more. But added in are some key dance signifiers — a smashing 808 beat, a few production breakdowns, and much more. It makes for one of her most interesting tracks yet, as King Princess straddles the line between dance and rock effortlessly.

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Written by Lydia Smith

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