February is coming to a close, and boy, was it a month packed full of powerful, unapologetic, and infectiously catchy new music.
Janelle Monáe dropped not one, but two new singles on Feb. 22, the first music she’s released since her 2013 album, The Electric Lady. Both singles, “Make Me Feel” and “Django Jane” were released with accompanying music videos.
In “Make Me Feel,” Monáe dances carelessly in a club to the sounds of swelling synths and Prince-infused guitar. “It’s like I’m powerful with a little bit of tender,” she sings, celebrating the vulnerability of being in a relationship, while still maintaining her autonomy within it.
In contrast, the instrumentation of “Django Jane” is much sparser, leading all of the listener’s attention to Monáe’s rapping. In the video, Monáe sits atop a throne, surrounded by a posse of women. The track’s lyrics call out critique of Monáe’s image (“Remember when they used to say I looked too manish”), mansplaining, gendered power dynamics, and the silencing of women (“Hit the mute button / Let the vagina have a monologue”).
Twin Cities-based rapper Dessa released her latest album Chime on Feb. 23. Dessa is known for writing songs about heartbreak, but on this album, she turns her focus inwards, and delivers hits about building yourself back up and learning from grief.
Melbourne trio Camp Cope are dropping the album “How To Socialise & Make Friends” on Mar. 2, but for now, the album is available online for streaming. “The Opener,” the album’s first single, talks about dealing with sexism in music. Guitarist/singer Georgia Maq repeats condescending lines that men dish out to female musicians. “All my successes got nothing to do with me,” she sings. “Yeah tell me again how there just aren’t that many girls in the music scene.”
Check out the playlist below to listen to these tracks, and other new jams released this February.
New Music: February 2018
- “Nameless, Faceless” – Courtney Barnett
- “Cool” – Soccer Mommy
- “Make Me Feel” – Janelle Monáe
- “Django Jane” – Janelle Monáe
- “5 out of 6” – Dessa
- “Picturesong” – Girlpool
- “The Opener” – Camp Cope
- “Keep it Out” – Half Waif
- “Next of Kin” – Lucy Dacus
- “Being Alive” – Frankie Cosmos
- “The Joke” – Brandi Carlile