With the simple and customary declaration of love you,” Ariana Grande announced a new Soundcloud page yesterday (URL “/arianagrandeforrealidkwhyicantgetmyownlinkbutok”) on Twitter, and then casually released two new songs on it. Despite the fact that she’s a Grammy-nominated artist, Grande clearly isn’t afraid to live like an aspiring pop musician hustling on Soundcloud. Her new page came stacked with two previously unreleased recordings, “Voodoo Love” and “OG Honeymoon Avenue.”
As with any selection of Ariana songs, her influences are all over the place. The first track is a particularly shameless slice of time-capsule 90s pop, with prismatic, glittery synths, toy-keyboard piano hits, and a breakbeat that can most accurately be filed to “Mandy Moore’s debut album.”
I love Mandy, but Ariana has at least three times her voice; her typically breathy, intimate delivery on the verses bridges beautifully into the kind of soaring chorus that Grande requires on any track she takes on these days. In some ways, the song itself is nothing particularly distinctive, feeling a bit like a loose B-side that Ariana just wanted to purge from her archives. But her performance gives it shape and form, molding it into something that feels, a few listens in, like it could be a radio staple.
Those partial to Ariana’s first album Yours Truly will be surprised and delighted to discover that OG Honeymoon Avenue is just a driving Back to Black-ish retake on the album’s opening power ballad. The horn-studded instrumental comes courtesy of the Dap-Kings, backing band for beloved NYC vintage-soul revivalist icon Sharon Jones, and if it wasn’t them, one would have thought it was. It’s less emotive and (certainly) tearjerking than the original, but the unlikely, uptempo treatment is an inspired experiments — and years and many smash singles later, the song is still one of her best.
Ariana seems to be just having fun at the moment, or perhaps she’s getting bored. Her May album [Dangerous Woman[(https://www.inverse.com/article/15958-ariana-grande-s-dangerous-woman-has-a-ton-of-bangers) continues to hang just outside of the Top 10 on the pop album charts, and her sensual dance creeper “Into You” gradually garners more radioplay. She also released an a capella version of “Into You,” with a blurred-out lyric video.
Always, that voice. Grande stans only, please: