Cure your musical FOMO and discover some of the really good releases of the year so far in this sort-of comprehensive list.
LÉON – Surround Me
This new track from Swedish singer-songwriter LÉON is big. It’s got big jazzy vocals, big chorus and big emotions. It’s pretty infectious too – one can fall into the trap of singing this in public, unaware of being the star of one’s own music video, resulting in getting weird looks from those around you. But we insist; don’t overthink it and surround yourself with this song.
Julia Michaels – Worst In Me
In case you didn’t get the memo, Julia Michaels is running pop music these days. Her name is attached to almost every big pop track these days. She also has a good voice so it was natural she would do this “pop vocalist” thing herself. We picked “Worst In Me” off her latest EP Nervous System because it’s one of those tracks that are described as “emotionally devastating” and “beautiful”. Listen to it and you shall be convinced that those descriptions are well-earned.
Tigertown – Warriors
All good pop songs follow a pretty simple formula – Catchy tune + “feels” = Brilliant song. This upcoming alt-pop group from Down Under have brought the catchiest tune with the most feels in their new track “Warriors”. Listen to the track to hear what we mean.
Jessie Ware – Midnight
This track opens with a bare-bones instrumental but then goes all-in into foot-tapping spectacular. The song is Jessie’s way of telling about the good place she’s in these days – she got married, had a kid – the whole “marital bliss” situation. She’s loving this life and it can be heard in her strong vocal performance. Listen to the track if you want to join her in that happy place.
Purity Ring – Asido
Release to mark the anniversary of their debut Shrines, the new track by Alberta-natives Purity Ring is another demonstration of their trademark sound – beautiful, haunting vocals against synth-heavy, electronic instrumentals. This is not necessarily a bad thing – in fact, it shows how far the duo has come in perfecting it. Listen to the track and hear their latest (and greatest?) creation.
Mura Musa – Nuggets (feat. Bonzai) & Second 2 None (feat. Christine And The Queens)
We really want to tell you Mura Musa’s success story – his journey from producing tracks in his bedroom to working with artists like Charli XCX and A$AP Rocky but you’re too busy choreographing an interpretive dance to these two tracks from his self-titled debut LP. Never mind, carry on.
Bonzai – I Feel Alright
Featuring production by Mura Masa and PC Music member Danny L Harle, this track has enough energy to get rid of your weekday blues and power your workouts. As Pop Twitter would put it, this track will cure acne, raise your school grades, water your crops and give you 20/20 vision*.
*Not an actual guarantee
Khalid – Young Dumb & Broke [Remix] (feat Rae Sremmurd Lil Yachty)
Produced by frequent Lorde collaborator Joel Little, “Young, Dumb & Broke” is the second track on Texan Khalid Robinson’s debut LP American Teen and is a perfect example of his brand of moody, bittersweet pop music. On this remix, Rae Sremmurd and self-proclaimed “King of the Teens” Lil Yachty reminisce over their own high-school days and turn the track into a celebration of their and Khalid’s success.
Snakehips & Anne-Marie – Either Way (feat. Joey Bada$$)
It’s 2017 and we finally have a song about that indecisive person who isn’t letting you know about their plans (C’mon let me know). Perfect track to listen to on your way to hang with your friends.
Aminé – Caroline (Live On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)
At some point, we’ll have to talk about Amine. His new album Good For You is out and promotion for it is in full swing –banana recipe videos, pop-up shops, fake newspapers, the works. His breakout track “Caroline” is everywhere and we’re out here spreading it further. We could have posted the original but we posted this live performance. Why? You need to listen to that outro. By the end of the track, you’ll want to be best friends with Aminé. It’s that good.
KWAYE – Sweetest Life
KWAYE has been shaking the blogosphere with one impressive track after another promising to end the soul-funk drought with his jams. This one is no exception. Press play and get ready to shimmy. You’re welcome.
Bleachers – Everybody Lost Somebody
If you missed out on Bleachers’ Gone Now – one of this year’s great pop releases – then make up for it by listening to this track from the LP. It effortlessly marries catchy pop with complex emotions that are at the heart of every Bleachers track. The theme of unchecked emotional baggage is present here more blatantly than ever accompanied by an infectious feel-good horn section. Great for when you’re sad-running and need to get out of the funk.
Hurray For The Riff Raff – Living In The City
Hurray For The Riff Raff front-woman Alynda Segarra takes on a daunting task in her Lou Reed-inspired track – encapsulating the feeling of a busy city and all its drama in one song. She mostly succeeds in this with the help of jangly, summery electric riffs and a vocal performance that has a spoken-word quality to it. When she sings “Living In the City/Oh it’s hard/It’s hard/It’s hard” the feeling resonates in a deep, emotional way. Easily, one of the best tracks of this year.
Danny L Harle – 1UL
HUGE DANNY has come a long way from his breakout track “In My Dreams” and his new EP 1UL is proof of that. His trademark playfulness has become more magnified and ambitious with each release and it shows on this track. This is Danny turned to 11. At times it sounds like the ATB track “All Around The Word”, which is probably a deliberate homage bundled in a cheeky aside.
Feist – Century
Don’t walk but run towards the new Feist LP “Pleasure”. If you’re not easily convinced, listen to the track “Century”. It comes with a music video so you can dance along or stage dance fights to.
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