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
“Paint It Black”
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.