1. Billie Eilish, “you should see me in a crown”
On her latest single, Billie leans more into her alternative side. “Crown” is a patchwork of twitching beats and ballsy proclamation. The most stunning feature of this song is the stark contrast between softness and loudness in both the vocal performance and overall production. This contrast works as a perfect metaphor for the battle between light and dark that comes with the power that a crown holds; this attention to detail only elevates this great track.
2. ZAYN, “Sour Diesel”
I gave a longer review of this track here, but the bluesy sensuality of ZAYN’s newest single should be on everyone’s playlists.
3. Chance the Rapper, “Work Out”
This another track I already reviewed, but it’s a shame that “I Might Need Security” is hogging all of the attention. While that track is great as well, “Work Out” deserves some love as well. The hook, alone, is simply too good to be ignored.
4. Popcaan, “Naked” (from Forever)
Popcaan was featured on this list a week or two ago with “Firm and Strong,” and he’s back again with his another single from his latest album. On “Naked,” another lightweight dancehall track, Popcaan croons about exactly what you think a song with this title would be about. Derivative? Maybe, but it’s still great fun.
5. Imagine Dragons, “Natural”
Imagine Dragons have been on a hot streak for a minute now and “Natural” is no exception. A more gruff and rock-ish counterpart to their recent dance-pop collaboration, “Born to be Yours,” with Kygo. Dan Reynolds’ voice sounds as powerful as ever and the mixing is particularly spectacular on this track. Give it a listen!
6. The Internet, “Mood” (from Hive Mind)
Hive Mind is easily one of the best albums of the year so far, and “Mood” is a clear standout. On “Mood,” Syd’s silky voice flirts between funk and quiet storm. The Internet’s gift for arrangement really shines through on this track. With cascading layers of horns and harmonies, “Mood” is pure excellence.
7. Silk City, “Feel About You”
Silk City, a new dance/electronica duo comprised of Diplo and Mark Ronson, released their debut single and it’s pretty good! With a rousing and soulful vocal performance from Mapei and a throbbing bassline and dance-inflected strings, this is definitely a super fun track.
8. DRAM, “Best Hugs”
DRAM, the king of feel-good music, surprise-dropped an EP, and this is the best song on it. On the “Best Hugs,” DRAM wears the 80s influence on his sleeve and his gleeful falsetto floats across the infectious beat.
9. BROCKHAMPTON, “1998 TRUMAN”
The sample of a Jim Jones speech might be the best part of the track, but BROCKHAMPTON’s inimitable energy truly makes this track slap. The boys shift between rap, rock, and pop to create a consortium of sounds that somehow work together.
10. The 1975, “Love It If We Made It”
After the disastrous “Give Yourself A Try,” The 1975 make a quick return to form with this new track. A mixture of personal and global politics and sociological theory, “Love” is a track that is rambunctious and confusing and everything in between. But, it finds beauty in its mass of chaos.
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