Good Music/Def Jam
Kacy Hill, signed by Kanye West after a stint as his backup dancer, mines a haunting James Blake vibe all over debut EP Bloo. But Bloo’s “Arm’s Length” is more Adele, with Hill’s crystalline voice flying over a piano romp, hinting that the 21-year-old could jump from critical curio to alt-pop star. -- Alex Gale
After going middle-of-the-road with Jackie earlier this year, Ciara takes a refreshing leap outside of her comfort zone with a stirring, downbeat cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” for the Last Witch Hunter soundtrack. While her voice occasionally errs on thin, Ciara delivers an appropriately bewitching performance. --Steven J. Horowitz
“Love Me,” the first single from British quartet The 1975’s second album, is a spirited step away from the radio-friendly teen rock of its debut. An -impressive coming-of-age shift, the song sounds like classic Peter Gabriel, while frontman Matt Healy embraces a newfound rock-star growl. -- Nick Williams
This article originally appeared in the Oct. 24 issue of Billboard.