The entirety of Justine Skye’s newly released Space & Time album, which was produced by Timbaland, is worth an immersive listen, but “In My Bag” serves as a laser-focused mission statement, with Skye’s voice glistening within the hooks and while operating over the sharpest production of her career.
Ah, to be in high school, clumsily sorting out an unlikely dating scenario! Jeremy Zucker’s “18,” a tale of a teen dude dating a college girl and experiencing various pitfalls along the way, charms by way of its lyrical details — especially when Zucker’s minor concerns fall by the wayside and he sings at the end of the chorus, “I wonder when she’ll stop coming home / I hope she doesn’t leave me here alone.”
Riton feat. Bad Boy Chiller Crew, “Come With Me”
To follow up his global smash “Friday,” U.K. producer Riton has teamed up with fellow Brits Bad Boy Chiller Crew — whose Full Wack No Brakes album was one of last year’s most joyful releases — for “Come With Me,” a bullet-time party-starter constructed around a euphoric house refrain and rhymes that make your head bump unabashedly.
Charli Adams feat. Novo Amor, “Seventeen Again”
Although Alabama native Charli Adams wrote “Seventeen Again” about packing her bags and heading to Nashville at that age, the song was created with Welsh musician Novo Amor as the pair was exploring Cardiff, making for a whimsical, cross-continental duet marked by carefully arranged vocal harmonies.
“You, you / You could be my boo,” Alysha sings on the new single “Florence,” the British singer-songwriter’s tone bursting with warmth and hope. Deploying “boo” in this context subtly nudges the track toward throwback R&B, and the move works — it’s easy to picture “Florence” among your turn-of-the-century favorites on rhythmic radio.
JC Stewart, “Loud”
JC Stewart has been hanging out at the pop cool kids’ table: his previous single, “Break My Heart,” was co-written with Niall Horan, while he’s supported artists like Lauv, Anne-Marie and Lewis Capaldi on the road. New track “Loud” sparkles with promise, as the rising singer-songwriter pushes his voice toward a falsetto before falling back down into a somber pop-rock croon.
Greyson Chance, “Nobody”
Greyson Chance switches between a silky, mournful croon and lustful falsetto with remarkable assurance on this surprisingly jaunty bop about a lover he can’t get over, even though “we’re no good together and I should know better.” It’s just one of eight award-worthy gems on his new EP, Trophies.
Duckwrth, “Make U Go”
Rising L.A. indie rapper Duckwrth brings a sing-song playfulness and retro soul grooves to “Make U Go,” a syncopated, funky slow jam that’s more about wonder and awe than libido, and all the more fascinating for it.
Pom Pom Squad, “Drunk Voicemail”
Brooklyn’s Pom Pom Squad stir up feedback, fuzz and sugar-sludge melodies for “Drunk Voicemail,” which takes a familiar topic – someone you’re infatuated with, even though your brain raises the red flags – and gives it a fresh, vital urgency.
Car Seat Headrest, “Golden Years”
While some of us patiently wait for a studio version of the ripping take on Lou Reed’s “Waves of Fear” that Car Seat Headrest brought to Brooklyn Steel in 2018, we have a four-song covers EP from Will Toledo to tide us over, including his bouncy take on David Bowie’s Station to Station classic “Golden Years.”