Big lick energy: built around a priapic funk riff, Boys is a raunchy summer anthem that seeks to enforce almost the exact opposite of a hosepipe ban. Lizzo cheerfully compiles a wide-ranging taxonomy of guys with whom she might get freaky and if Charli XCX’s similarly themed Boys felt like a strung-out tale of addiction, this is more of a celebratory all-you-can-eat buffet. Lizzo will even consider dudes who wear bow ties, which practically makes this a charity record.
Sheryl Crow ft Annie Clark
Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You
After a recent detour into straight-up country, Crow is back on her polished pop-rock trajectory, recruiting St Vincent to help craft a barbed salvo aimed at the sort of fat cats who would happily crash an entire economy for their own financial gain. (The political seriousness is signalled by the “want to” in the title instead of Crow’s usual “wanna”). It may not bring capitalism to its knees but loop the first 30 seconds and you’ve got a half-decent Gorillaz single.
The Joy Formidable
The Wrong Side
Welsh trio The Joy Formidable have been diligently ploughing a leek-and-potatoes rock furrow for more than a decade now, and initially The Wrong Side sounds as if it might be just another mid-tempo chug-a-lug attempt to trudge up Mount Catharsis. Once it gets going, though, there are all sorts of weird bits thrown into the mix, from honky-tonk piano to owl-hooting guitar solos. More Feeder than Gwenno but fun nonetheless.
Ain’t nobody giving Chaka a bus pass. Despite turning 65, the venerable queen of funk is launching yet another phase of her variegated career, this time in cahoots with former Major Lazer knob-twiddler Switch. As per that billing, Like Sugar sounds like some long-lost 70s funk-soul nugget given a sympathetic 21st-century glow up by Switch’s whizzy production.
YG ft 2 Chainz, Big Sean and Nicki Minaj
Old-school Compton dude YG likes money so much you suspect Sheryl Crow would disapprove. Over a slice of DJ Mustard minimalism, he shares some hard-won lessons about the importance of safeguarding considerable wealth. A shame, then, that the security-minded YG has his own track stolen by 2 Chainz and his daffy verse about throwing a birthday party that will be “big shit, like a dinosaur did it”.