1. Mac Miller, “Self Care” (from Swimming)
This snapshot into Mac’s personal rehabilitation is auditory excellence. After sobriety battles, public breakups, and a DUI arrest, Mac is trying to get out of his own head. His flow floats more on the sing-song side of rap due to the way his cadence raps around the muddled synths on the track. “Self Care” isn’t a song for radio or your turn-up playlists, but it is definitely a damn good song.
2. MØ & Diplo, “Sun In Our Eyes” (from Forever Neverland)
The couple made in pop music heaven return for another breezy banger. “Sun” is a melancholy dancefloor bop where the two reflect on summers past while still trying to make the most of the present. It’s great.
3. twenty one pilots, “Jumpsuit” (from Trench)
twenty one pilots have finally returned to the music scene after they dominated 2016 with their Blurryface album and Suicide Squad soundtrack contribution, “Heathens.” On “Jumpsuit” we get glimpses of the cutting, pop melodies that dominated Blurryface behind more aggressive guitars. Structurally, the song is quite unpredictable with verses bending in and out of choruses and a bridge that radically alters the mood of the song. Expect to hear “Jumpsuit” everywhere this fall.
4. Ariana Grande, “God is a woman” (from Sweetener)
5. Kiana Ledé, “Take It All” (from Selfeless)
Kiana Ledé has blown up online recently, and her latest release is worth the hype. There are great songs across the record, but “Take It All” is far and away the strongest track. Potent bass, emotional vocals, and inimitable attitude make this track so strong. Don’t forget that I put you on to Kiana, because she’s about to be the next big thing.
6. Denzel Curry, “CLOUT COBAIN | CLOUT CO13A1N” (from TA13OO)
Denzel exploded into the mainstream when his “Ultimate” became the soundtrack of the viral “Bottle Flip” challenge. On his latest single, Denzel’s rapturous flow takes on the menacing production for a rumination on the destructive side of popularity chasing.
7. Cole Swindell, “Love You Too Late”
Cole has been widely underrated for a minute now, but with that “wide open, wide open” hook and the infectious melody, this could be the next big country-pop crossover hit.
8. Childish Gambino, “Summertime Magic”
I reviewed Gambino’s Summer Pack in full here, but this song truly gets better with every listen.
9. Lenny Kravitz, “Low” (from Raise Vibration)
Definitely the eldest among this crop of artists, Lenny Kravitz is still killing it on his new single, “Low,” With his nimble fingers shredding that guitar and his pop sensibilities in full effect through his songwriting, “Low” is a smash.
10. Tinahse, “Like I Used To”
Tinashe is cool and biting on her new single. A musical read of an ex, “Like I Used To” take typical trap-R&B up a notch with her killer runs and countermelodies throughout the second half of the track.