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House Playlist: Nicki Minaj, Jack White, & Veronica Falls

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<em>House</em> Playlist: Nicki Minaj, Jack White, & Veronica Falls

Nicki Minaj, “Starships.” Following two lackluster promo singles meant to bolster the rapper/singer’s hip-hop bona fides, Nicki Minaj isn’t taking any chances with the official lead single from her forthcoming sophomore album. The Red One-produced “Starships” aims to reprise the success of Onika’s crossover smash “Super Bass,” similarly mixing her signature rapid-fire verses with a pre-chorus and main hook on loan from just about every Eurotrash song on the radio right now. The track begins with a guitar riff that sounds nearly identical to that of Jessie J’s lame “Domino,” but ultimately has more in common with Rihanna’s “We Found Love”; both songs’ verses and hooks seemingly exist solely to serve their stadium-house breakdowns. Lyrically, “Starships” is about as inconsequential as they come: “Fuck who you want and fuck who you like” is as deep as it gets—and that’s only icing on this hot-pink, multi-tiered gay wedding cake. Sal Cinquemani

Jack White, “Love Interruption.” The vitriol-spewing “Love Interruption” finds Jack White saddled up with Nashville neighbor Ruby Amanfu, a smoky-voiced songwriter who popped onto the radar singing backup for Wanda Jackson last year. Together, they chime a sweet ode to masochism: “I want love to roll me over slowly, stick a knife inside me.” Love is a murderer; love is a wild beast, a manipulative banshee, a swift master of torture. This, coming from the guy who, in It Might Get Loud, compared picking up the guitar to picking a fight. Love, making music, mortal combat—it’s all the same. M. Sean Ryan

Veronica Falls, “My Heart Beats.” Veronica Falls churned out instantly memorable hooks and ceaselessly gratifying lyrics throughout frustratingly overlooked self-titled debut, and the Scottish noise-pop quartet’s “My Heart Beats” continues that brand of compelling, immediately captivating musicality. Vocalists James Hoare and Roxanne Clifford once again deliver splendid, finely intertwining harmonies, dually weaving the line “You sing to me so quietly, on and on” back and forth while robust string and percussion sections palpitate the lead riff. “My Heart Beats” seems to be about learning to recognize and deal with love’s peculiarities, and never shying away from communicating one’s true emotions. This is evident in the last 30 seconds, as the song’s title is repeated in a sudden outflow of unabashed, youthful energy that, given the right listening mood, could easily prompt a couple’s overdue embrace. Mike LeChevallier

House Playlist is a series dedicated to highlighting our favorite new singles, leaked songs, and album tracks.