Pabllo Vittar, 111 1
While it may only be the first part of her larger album, Pabllo Vittar stunned fans with 111 1 in 2019. The EP serves as a showcase for the star’s supreme talents and her club-ready bangers, like “Ponte Perra” and her Charli XCX collaboration “Flash Pose.” But perhaps the most fascinating factor on the album is Vittar’s decision to sing in three different languages throughout the four tracks — her native Portuguese, English and Spanish. For an artist eyeing global recognition, the drag queen’s choice to reach her fans via their own language is an inspired one -- S.D.
With sharp songwriting and an invigorating new sound, Shura burst onto the scene in 2014 and gave fans high hopes for her career. Her sophomore album Forevher plays, from front to back, as the fulfillment of those expectations. With unexpected genre twists and some poignant lyrics about the hardships of long-distance relationships, Forevher is the kind of album that Shura’s biggest fans won’t stop talking about for years to come -- S.D.
Tegan and Sara, Hey, I’m Just Like You
With only two members in their band, you'd think Tegan and Sara would have already tried out every permutation of their voices at this point in their 20-year career. But when Tegan Quin hands lead vocals over to Sara Quin on the crashing rock jam "I Know I'm Not the Only One,” splitting the track right down the middle, it’s a genuine thrill — like flipping the switch from black and white to full color. The identical twins have spent much of their careers writing separately, but as they’ve become increasingly collaborative over the years, their work has also taken on new power. On their ninth studio album, Hey, I’m Just Like You, made up of reimagined versions of their earliest demos, the line between a “Tegan song” and a “Sara song” erodes in surprising ways — proof that, in looking to the past, their creative futures have never been more exciting. -- NOLAN FEENEY