Against all odds, the new music drops are actually ramping up.
13. Kllo – Still Here
Kllo have announced a new album Maybe We Could kicking it off with this emotive garage tune Still Here. The beat shuffles and kicks as Chloe Kaul’s elongated vocals bring a calm.
12. Essie Holt – Lover x Liar
Essie Holt’s debut EP Silent Wars is out and it’s a triumphant pop project that solidifies her as one of Australia’s great new artists. Lover x Liar is one of the highlight of it. It’s an adventurous, detouring pop song that juxtaposes with both moments of calm and panic.
11. Kiana Ledé – Second Chance (Feat. 6lack)
Kiana Ledé has released her debut project KIKI today and it features this masterclass in songwriting. Second Chance is a soulful, raw R&B track that she pours absolutely everything into.
10. Nathan Wong – Breaking Bones
Debut releases are either a gentle introduction or a daring statement and Nathan Wong’s Breaking Bones is the latter.
This is the Melbourne-based artist’s first offering and it’s a bold power ballad that sees him soar vocally. He positions himself in an interesting lane because it sits somewhere between soaring pop and scuzzy indie rock. That sweet spot turns out to be a well of emotion as the crisp pop melodies cut through over raw guitar.
9. The 1975 – Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America
The 1975 have dropped their slowest cut from Notes On A Conditional Form, unleashing Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America. The British band have served up an array of stylings so far moving from the intense People to ’90s rock on Me & You Together Song. This time around, it seems it’s Bon Iver who is providing the inspiration as they pair acoustic guitars with distant, experimental horns.
8. DaBaby – Find My Way
Just like Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby is trying his hand at tender beats on his new one Find My Way. It’s an acoustic guitar-driven cut that has DaBaby serving bars without his usual intensity.
7. The Weeknd – Missed You
After Hours continues to expand but we’re not complaining. Missed You is an A-grade ballad, simmering away with honest clarity.
6. Empress Of – What’s The Point
I’m Your Empress Of, Empress Of’s third album, is out and it’s full of highlight. This synth-heavy, rush of emotion has grabbed us the most though. What’s The Point is a cry-on-the-dancefloor smash.
5. Hayley Williams – Over You
Hayley Williams giving us positivity! That’s something we didn’t think we’d be writing in 2020 but she’s come through with a gorgeous, upbeat cut that has her looking to the light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Rina Sawayama – Chosen Family
Rina Sawayama has served so many different styles in the lead-up to her record SAWAYAMA and she’s nailed them all. Chosen Family sees her take on the Disney ballad except she’s replaced the brand’s usual emotional vagueness with direct, vivid lyrics.
3. Headie One & Fred again.. – Smoke (Feat. Jamie xx)
There’s not much more to say than this song absolutely slaps. We love a pulsating Jamie xx dance track and it’s made even better with the UK’s best new rapper Headie One who has an unmistakable presence even when surrounded by gigantic beats.
2. Troye Sivan – Take Yourself Home
Troye Sivan has done the opposite of delaying new music, going headfirst into a new era with Take Yourself Home. It’s the first solo single Sivan has released since his 2018 record Bloom and it feels like he’s been doing some growing. What strikes immediately is that this does away with the euphoria of My My My! and replaces it with dark, transcendent tones.
1. Frank Ocean – Dear April
It’s almost as if Frank planned to drop this during self-isolation. Dear April has this solitary introspection that resonates so potently at this time. It’s just Frank and a melancholic guitar. Just how we like it.
You can find this sort of stuff and more on our Top Tunes playlist: