NOTD & Nina Nesbitt, “Cry Dancing”
Impressive Swedish production duo NOTD, plus talented indie-pop voice Nina Nesbitt, on a song titled “Cry Dancing”? The formula here was certainly winning, and in practice the song soars even higher than expected, with Nesbitt shimmying away her problems a decade after Robyn did the same with “Dancing On My Own.”
Lianne La Havas, “Please Don’t Make Me Cry”
The entirety of singer-songwriter-guitarist Lianne La Havas’ new self-titled album, so rich and soulfully rendered, is worth the five-year wait since her last project, but “Please Don’t Make Me Cry” makes for a haunting centerpiece, ghostly voices joining the fray midway through as the beats skitter around in search of some calm.
The opening keys on Joan’s new song “Brokenhearted” will remind you of a middle school slow dance, the lights dimming to set the mood for PG-rated romance. The song swims in a sense of nostalgia but the duo pulls it off, thanks to a tender vocal take that commits to the choked-up sentiment.
Shaylen, “Forgive Myself”
“Don’t know how to love myself,” Shaylen admits as “Forgive Myself” opens, soon chastising her decision-making and lack of self-care before embracing her flaws on the chorus. As far as brutally honest self-assessments go, “Forgive Myself” is at once easily understood and affecting.
THEY. & Tinashe, “Play Fight”
Tinashe just enjoyed a busy New Music Friday: in addition to her solo track “Rascal (Superstar),” the R&B mainstay teamed up with the rising duo THEY. for “Play Fight,” a delectable duet and nice addition to any playlist primed for a socially distanced summer gathering.
On “Dribble,” Aussie artist Sycco (born Sasha McLeod) brings smoky vocals to a fittingly staccato chorus. It’ll fit snugly on your playlist between fellow cool-girls BENEE and Tones And I.
Kiiara, "I Still Do"
“Heavy” star Kiiara is finally gearing up to release her debut album this fall, and "I Still Do" is a tight, melodic first taste. Says the pop singer in a release, “’I Still Do’ is about questioning why I have love for someone, despite the situation. The truth is that I just cared and I still do.”
Julia Stone, "Break"
Angus & Julia Stone's Julia makes her solo return with the off-kilter "Break," which was produced by St. Vincent. The accompanying video finds Stone and a group of dancers performing elaborate moves against the backdrop of Mexico City.
Mating Ritual, "Voodoo"
L.A. duo Mating Ritual (Ryan Marshall Lawhon and Taylor Lawhon) have unleashed yet another jam in "Voodoo," from their upcoming album The Bungalow, due Aug. 21. The duo is on a quest to release five albums in as many years; they’re three for three so far, and this fourth one is shaping up to be full of alternative anthems, if “Voodoo” and previous single "Ok" are any indication.
The Regrettes, "I Love Us"
Los Angeles rockers The Regrettes are their most sophisticated yet on the synth-y "I Love Us," which arrived along with a cheeky animated visual. These days, bandleader Lydia Night notes that she's been inspired by Charli XCX, The 1975, St. Vincent and Brockhampton, so don’t be alarmed if you hear hints of eccentric pop infiltrating The Regrettes' typical raw rock sound.