This week’s New Music Friday from Spotify features 98 songs from artists across various genres and popularity. Excluding the obvious hit “Rain On Me” by powerhouse vocals and pop sensations Lady Gaga featuring Ariana Grande, below are fifteen songs that stood out especially to me.
- “Tonight” by The 1975
The 1975 is an English pop rock band formed in 2002. Officially releasing their fourth studio album Notes on a Conditional Form yesterday, the single “Tonight” starts out with a whimsical intro and samples The Temptations’s, “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)”. It is part of a 22 track album considered their longest and eclectic, but most impressive album to date. “Tonight” touches on heartbreak, but is accompanied by a feel-good melody with the use of saxophones and soothing vocals by frontman Matty Healy.
- “Prospect” by Iann Dior featuring Lil Baby
Previously known as Olmo, Iann Dior gained popularity upon releasing songs on Soundcloud before he was discovered by Nick Mira and Taz Taylor who are behind hits from artists such as xxxTentacion and Lil Uzi Vert. He debuted his first studio album in November 2019 and his next album is expected to release June this year. With a catchy beat and the asian string instrument strumming in the background “Prospect” piqued my interest and shows potential for the Puerto Rican born rapper, singer and songwriter.
- “Open Up” by UMI
A student at the University of Southern California, 21-year old UMI speaks candidly about the ending of a relationship in her latest track, “Open Up”. On top of being impressed that she’s a student at one of the best universities in the country, I enjoy her effortless vocals and trademark lo-fi production. She has an upcoming EP set to release on June 21 and is definitely an artist to watch.
- “Long Sleeves” by Gracie Abrams
Gracie Abrams has only been releasing music for 6 months but has already caught the attention of Lorde and Pure Heroine‘s producer, Joel Little. Following her critically praised single, “21” in February this year, “Long Sleeves” similarly demonstrates authenticity in her performance of her romantic and heart-pulling lyrics. I really enjoy her airy, somewhat raspy voice and am looking forward to her debut project in June.
- “Free Porn Cheap Drugs” by G-Eazy
I’m not an avid G-Eazy listener but the reason this song is in my top picks list is because the rapper sounds completely unrecognizable. He is not rapping about the usual fucking bitches, getting money theme and actually, he’s not rapping at all. G-Eazy’s singing voice in the pop/alternative rock single pleasantly surprised me and I personally find his new chapter refreshing.
- “sadder badder cooler” by Tove Lo
I love love loved Tove Lo’s debut album, Queen of the Clouds. But quite frankly, I have not really kept up with her music since then. “sadder badder cooler” is part of the deluxe edition of her fourth studio album, Sunshine Kitty, that came out last year. Tove Lo, herself, describes the song as “full of glitter and power” which is confirmed by her super cute animated music video below. I enjoy the song’s juxtaposition of melancholic lyrics with synth-heavy production and pop beat.
- “MadHappySad” by BabyJake
When BabyJake landed his record deal with Republic Records in 2018, he said he aimed to merge “the seventies Rockstar with a modern rhythmic sound.””MadHappySad” has every element you can ask for: a catchy beat, good vocals, rapping, use of autotune to switch things up, and most importantly, relatable lyrics (except maybe the part about winning a Grammy). BabyJake actually has another song out right now with Dillon Francis called “Touch” which is supposedly equally as catchy.
- “blue” by Kamal.
Kamal. appears to be a fairly new artist who debuted last year with a two-track EP. All I gathered from a quick search on Google is that he is based out of London and has 400 followers on Twitter and about 5000 followers on Instagram. I really like his calming voice and song so I hope he continues making great music!
- “Pomegranate” by deadmau5 & The Neptunes
For those of you who many not know who The Neptunes are, they are a production duo consisting of Pharrell WIlliams and Chad Hugo. They are behind hits such as Britney Spears’s “I’m A Slave 4 U,” Kelis’s “Milkshake” and Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” and have been nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame Class of 2020. I’m a fan of their side project, N.E.R.D. which features the duo as well as childhood friend Shae Haley. “Pomegranate” was apparently recorded during a secret session at the most recent Art Basel in Miami and is part of deadmau5’s next studio album.
- “Crickets” by Chloe Angelides
Chloe Angelides has written songs for various artists including Jessie J, Ciara, Selena Gomez, and Nicki Minaj, to name just a few. She has been vocally featured on songs by Pitbull, LunchMoney Lewis and Ekali & Illenium. For a few years, she played in a band that she created off of Craiglist, but ultimately found success in songwriting. Angelides’s voice is beautiful and “Crickets” gives me “Marvin’s Room” vibes. “Crickets” is one of only two songs listed on Angelides’s YouTube channel but I hope the music industry will enable her transition from songwriter to pop star sooner than later.
- “Energy” by Disclosure
Part of the brother duo’s first LP in five years, “Energy” features a sample of preacher Eric Thomas who may sound familiar from his feature in one of Disclosure’s fan favorite singles “When a Fire Starts to Burn.” The song reminds me of a carnival with its vibrant and energetic beat. The music video below is interesting to say the least. I can’t wait to dance to this song (when bars and clubs open back up).
- “He Say She Say” by Mulatto
Female rappers are having their moment right now and I am here for it. Many of them are on the charts simultaneously and are collaborating with one another like Mulatto, the 21 year old winner of season 1 of Jermaine Dupri’s rap reality show, The Rap Game. I am hooked on her track “B*tch From Da Souf (Remix)” in which she collaborated with Saweetie and Trina and “He Say She Say” proves that Mulatto is not slowing down. The beat is hypnotic and her confidence oozes out of her bars.
- “Naive by Gia Woods
Persian artist Gia Woods considers “Naive” her most favorite song she has written to date. After each of her two former long-term relationships ended, she was told, “You never felt like my girlfriend.” Yikes. She transformed her lessons learned into a song with a catchy hook and vocals that sound warped like each word is melting into the next. Extra shout out for contributing to a more ethnically diverse pool of pop artists.
- “What’s Going On?” by Gemaine
Gemaine gained popularity through a six-second Vine video on which he later capitalized to create a full-length version and his first single called “Freaky.” “What’s Going On?” is one of three songs part of this self-produced EP and is exactly the type of song I want to listen to after a long day of work when I want to slow down, relax, and maybe take a bath. The song is slow enough that it doesn’t sound like it follows the formula of every other popular R&B song but it is not too slow that the song feels like it’s dragging on.
- “Be Fine” by Roland Faunte
With only about 4500 followers on Instagram and about 700 followers on Twitter, Roland Faunte is excruciatingly honest and raw in his 2018 album “Sewing Kit”. Similarly, Faunte gets personal in “Be Fine” saying, “I’ll be fine but for now I need things to love for / It’s hard when you feel you have nothing to offer anyone.” His voice somewhat reminds me Rex Orange County. Faunte’s music is sincere, cathartic, and simply beautiful.