Anger, confusion, self-doubt and frustration are all transmitted through Alec Benjamin’s sweet, lilting voice on “The Way You Felt,” a post-breakup track in which the singer-songwriter sorts through his feelings in real time. The pain feels genuine, and Benjamin’s soothing delivery creates the impression that the shock hasn’t fully registered; in the meantime, programmed drums capably soundtrack his broken heart.
Niko Rubio, “You Could Be The One”
A percussive whoosh arrives when 20-year-old singer-songwriter Niko Rubio utters the phrase “You could be the one!” on her debut single, capturing the dramatic thrill of unsuspecting romance. The kicky pop-rock track allows Rubio’s tone to sink down low and soar skyward, turning into a captivating showcase for the newcomer.
Scarlet Pleasure, “Somebody Else”
The long-running Copenhagen trio Scarlet Pleasure has unleashed a rhythmic, skin-hugging groove that manipulates and melts down lead singer’s Emil Goll’s voice, creating an R&B haze best consumed late at night. “Somebody Else” will worm its way into your brain and onto your playlists.
Sofiloud, “Dance You Off”
Sofiloud comes from the Lofoten archipelago in Norway and touts “making her music from below the arctic circle” in her bio, yet new track “Dance You Off” is anything but icy, cheerfully deploying its hooks and embracing the pastel-colored synth-pop of the turn of the century.
Jessie Ware, “Please”
Come June 11, British pop star Jessie Ware will release the deluxe reissue of her 2020 album What's Your Pleasure? featuring six new songs, including the glorious "Please," a sunny dance-track featuring airy vocals that glide over its thumping beat.
Jack Larsen, “Saving Grace”
The rising pop singer-songwriter-producer from the Chicago suburbs returns with a three-track EP, Running On Mercy, including the glitchy "Saving Grace" that features a digitized, childlike chorus paired with twisting production.
Dawn Richard, “Boomerang”
The boundary-pushing R&B star’s sixth album, Second Line, honors a storied New Orleans tradition with an electrified-fusion of dance, pop, soul and more, best heard on the glimmering and dancefloor-ready "Boomerang."
With a richer voice and a stripped-down sound, Daya – now six years out from "Hide Away" but still just 22 – has settled into a more reflective mood and sound with the atmospheric, meditative and truly gorgeous "Montana."
Featured on Kučka's debut album Wrestling, "Your World" is a gauzy, romantic synth-pop plea. Her ethereal vocals bring to mind early Grimes, and the singer-producer's sophisticated stew of rhythms and electronic tones recalls everything from the Knife (an admitted influence) to Flume (a collaborator of hers) to, yes, Grimes again.
Lauren Jauregui, "Temporary"
A gentle, soulful acoustic strummer that comes across like a ray of sun on a slow Sunday, Lauren Jauregui's "Temporary" is an English-Spanish song inspired by her dialogue with a middle schooler, intended as a way of opening up honest conversations about mental health as part of the Sound It Out campaign.