Header image: Texan hip-hop collective, BROCKHAMPTON is led by Kevin Abstract and has been sounding off in the music industry for taking an all-around creative approach to the craft. Image Source – BROCKHAMPTON / Spotify
It’s time for no skip albums and giving interludes the recognition they deserve. Interludes, usually known as the ‘skippable’ 60 to 90-second musical gap in albums are often missed by the general public due to their nature. Usually consisting of instrumentals, skits, or distinct voice notes from artists, it doesn’t necessarily convince listeners to press the save button. However, we may have overlooked some interludes that are making big waves from their little splashes.
Here are some interludes that might just make you change your mind about them.
Wavy (Interlude) by SZA ft. James Fauntleroy
SZA’s first and only interlude as of the moment makes waves in our books. Featuring songwriter-producer to the stars, such as Beyoncé and Jay-Z, James Fauntleroy shares the limelight in the chorus.
The 33-year-old R&B sensation rose to universal acclaim upon her debut studio album, ‘CTRL’. Dubbed as one of the most defining albums of this generation, SZA garnered high praise for her ability to be relatable, becoming one of the faces who speak out on emotions that most are afraid to come in front of, like the feeling of wanting to “kill your ex while still loving him” or being bold enough to call one out for “wanting me when you got a girl”. Penned by SZA and produced by DJ Dahi, ‘Wavy (Interlude)’ features a 1-minute love story of unrequited love. It’s as if James Fauntleroy and SZA are saying the same thing from different perspectives throughout the track. “I’ve been in the dugout/looking for a way out/You know just takin’ it slow/Now I’m feeling one out/Looking for a way out/Somebody show me the door” One that can symbolize getting out of an uncomfortable situation where feelings feel like an obligation, while another perspective can be grounded on the uncontrollable nature of loving someone even if it hurts you. Featuring a dreamy and mellow instrumental that compliments SZA’s soulful vocals and Fauntleroy’s clean tones, the vibey atmosphere is surely set in a minute.
Stargirl Interlude by The Weeknd ft. Lana del Rey
The crowning glory of all interludes. The Weeknd and Lana del Rey’s ‘Stargirl’ holds Spotify’s record as the most streamed interlude in its history, another trophy on Abel’s overflowing mantle of recognition.
The Canadian pop powerhouse has been a long-time close friend of Lana del Rey, having worked on over 5 official tracks together, including ‘Party Monster’, the second track off the same album, ‘Starboy’ that most aren’t aware del Rey co-wrote and gave background vocals for. ‘Stargirl Interlude’ sings like a haunting and enigmatic ballad that creates a soundscape for Lana del Rey’s ethereal vocals. Many can draw the obvious relation to the song with the album’s namesake, ‘Starboy,’ which could symbolize a conversation between a male and female figure. Abel sings about his power, money, and glory in the initial verses but eventually shares his personal pains, “We don’t pray for love/We just pray for cars”, “Look what you’ve done/I’m a motherf*****’ Starboy.” As if in a tug-of-war, del Rey speaks from the perspective of a starboy’s lover, one that’s been swallowed whole by what fame entails; loving and hating every second of it, “And I shouldn’t cry, but I love it, starboy.” But from the ups and downs of being a hitmaker, Abel shares that his glass is brimming with creativity and inspiration and that this isn’t the last time he’s making history.
25 Reasons Interlude by Tink
The unconventional R&B artist, Tink releases 25 Reasons Interlude in her latest album, ‘Pillow Talk’ which takes a spin on unique beats and seductive undertones captivating both critics and listeners with her experimental style.
For fans of Summer Walker and Kehlani, we present Chicago-born and bred artist, Tink, who’s pushing boundaries in her genre and soon, the industry. In her most recent work, ‘Pillow Talk’, the lovechild of Tink and producer Hitmaka released last August, it’s the definition of when people use “that’s a vibe” as an adjective. As an overlooked R&B singer, Tink has undergone comparisons to Aaliyah and Lauryn Hill that put unprecedented pressure on her while discrediting the distinct craft she has been building for herself. ‘25 Reasons Interlude’ is one of the best examples to showcase her talent as an artist who has creativity that knows no bounds. The track starts off with what sounds like a swinging door or a bed spring clearly being used, which is probably more accurate if you know what we mean. Tink turned this seemingly obnoxious sound into a slow, sensual beat where she professes her gratitude for her lover, her guardian angel–”Boy, I think you God sent/Make me feel so competent,” “’Cause I feel like we’re meant to be/I want your love all over me” While not exactly stating 25 reasons on why she loves her man, we definitely have 25 more on why we love her.
Wednesday Night Interlude by Drake ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR
The hitmakers of ‘Come and See Me,’ Drake teams up again with October’s Very Own, PARTYNEXTDOOR for an interlude to add to their roster of emotive and soulful mixes.
‘Wednesday Night Interlude’ is for exactly what it says, chilling at night on a random Wednesday with your mind up in the air. ’If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’ was a defining moment for “summer ‘16”, a cultural phenomenon (hailing from one of Drake’s song titles)— and a mystery as to how the summer of 2016 just had a different air when it came to music; producing the best albums of the generation, from Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ to Kanye West’s ‘The Life of Pablo’. Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR have mastered the trade. The duo not only creates a genre-bending fusion of both rapping and singing in this interlude with soulful synths and catchy hooks on a melodic piano instrumental, but also mastered the art of being the vulnerable one in a relationship. Picture this: It’s Wednesday night and he’s lonely, reminiscing about the time you went to Miami and how there’s no one to call and no one that can compare to you, “Ain’t no other woman that should come for me when I’m lonely/Mix the Remy with a little bit of Henny/I’m running on empty/I’m lonely.”
HEAVEN BELONGS TO YOU by BROCKHAMPTON
BROCKHAMPTON stuns audiences with an unexpected feature of raw and rugged British rapper slowthai in HEAVEN BELONGS TO YOU, the interlude in their 2019 album ‘Ginger’.
Comprised like an art collective, with photographers, web and graphic designers, and singer-songwriter-producers in a 13-man bunch, BROCKHAMPTON is undoubtedly one of the most eclectic yet harmonious musical acts of our decade. Led by Kevin Abstract, the band sings like a class of art students, all blessed with diverse talent, that united to make a difference in the world by resisting convention and experimenting voraciously. HEAVEN BELONGS TO YOU is a 1-minute long entry that can describe the collective in a nutshell. With riotous and exhilarating beats that have hip-hop and R&B influences, the interlude tells a clear narrative of living a rambunctious youth that has landed them in hot waters–and not apologizing for it, “Like God can’t judge me, but only God can see/I ain’t bein’ judged, no one judgin’ me/I walk on water, pain and torture, what I bring to these/And there’s a war in my head, just like the Middle East”. The lyrics seem to draw inspiration from a very fitting Bible verse, Philippians 3:18-21. It speaks of making mistakes and being judged for them, getting nicked for something you didn’t do, tempted by the destruction that chaos brings, but at the end of the day, heaven can still belong to you. It seems like BROCKHAMPTON offers solace for the in-betweeners and souls in gray areas who seem to enjoy limbo more than heaven.