A.C.E ft. Grey, “Down”
Our favorite boys A.C.E have already had a lightning start to 2021 thanks to their “Fav Boys” rework with Steve Aoki and rapper Thutmose, which got them to Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Song Sales charts (the fourth K-pop act to do so). Their newest single “Down,” a collaboration with EDM/pop duo Grey (Hailee Steinfeld, Zedd), is a summery, shimmering pop treat, with a music video that doesn’t take itself too seriously. From cup-stacking to, um, A.C.E-stacking, the members float and frolic around a homey set — only pausing to take a call from their fanbase CHOICE. Come for Donghun, Jun, and Byeongkwan performing some type of CPR on Chan, but stay for yet another on-repeat bop. As one fan put it, “[A.C.E] released the song of the summer and it’s only April.”
Boys World, “Touched by an Angel”
Rising girl group Boys World is here to shake up your playlists with their new EP While You Were Out. An early favorite is the bouncy, infectious “Touched by Angel” — a combination of Ariana-esque vocals, hyperpop lite, dance music, and something all their own. We’re excited to hear more from what will surely be one of 2021’s major acts to watch.
Regard, Troye Sivan, and Tate McRae, “You”
Over the past year, Troye Sivan has been making hit after underrated hit (“Take Yourself Home” is still on repeat for me). This week, he’s teamed up with Kosovan DJ and producer Regard and Canadian singer-songwriter Tate McRae for an ambient love song about not being able to quit an old flame. The trio is a good mood match — Tate and Troye’s harmonies are effortless atop the dance-pop sheen.
Grace Vanderwaal, “Repeat”
Grace Vanderwaal’s rock ‘n roll era continues with her new single “Repeat,” a rock-country banger with a video that sees her in a delightfully cocky romp around the city. The early Pink energy is intense, and Grace’s capacity for evolution and risk-taking is part of what makes her so exciting to listen to. “Don’t say that I should know better,” she rattles off in her smoky belt. “Don’t know why I’m drawn to fear.”
Dre’es ft. Kiefer, “2011”
Singer-songwriter and MC Dre’es is taking us back in time. “2011 is an anniversary present to myself, a celebration of my artistic journey that began in 10th grade and everything that has happened in my life since then,” he said in a statement about his newest single, which features his mentor Kiefer. The music video is a topsy-turvy coming-of-age story, with hangouts and friends and good vibes galore. The piano melody builds and builds as Dre’es sinks deeper into lush reminiscence: “Everything that’s wrong, we’re gonna get it right.”
girl in red, “you stupid bitch”
Not to be confused with the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend song, girl in red’s newest single is a plaintive punk-rock plea for a crush to stop making bad decisions and choose her instead. “But you never listen/Take my advice as criticism/Then make the worst decisions,” girl in red intones, caught between wanting to shake some sense into someone while also knowing in the back of your mind that it’s a lesson they’ll have to learn themselves.
Laura Marano, Alextbh, “Honest With You”
Laura Marano is best known for her acting work (Austin & Ally, Lady Bird) but she’s released a handful of album over the years, 2019’s Me and 2020’s You. This latest single, a collab with pop pro Alextbh, is a cute, lighthearted duet in the vein of Lauv’s “I Like Me Better.” Catchy from the get-go, “Honest With You” is easygoing and airy, showcasing the fun sensibilities of both artists.
Terry Presume, “Did Me Wrong”
Singer-songwriter Terry Presume has casually dropped one of my favorite songs so far this year, the lovely “Did Me Wrong.” Combining sweet acoustic guitar, folk production, and rap verses, Terry weaves a poetic tale in the “my baby left me” canon. His voice is magnetic in whichever form it takes in the moment, breathing life into simple, honest lines: “I should have known all along, but I’ll keep on going.”
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