It’s 2021 and our problems haven’t disappeared but at least we have new music.
12. Oscar DeLaughter – Just Woke Up
LA artist Oscar DeLaughter is doing it all for himself, self-releasing this self-written and self-produced bop. Just Woke Up is about accepting the misfortunes while still looking forward to the future.
11. Olivia Rodrigo – Drivers License
Olivia Rodrigo got her start on Disney but she’s kicking off her music career with a mature cut Driver License. A self-confessed Switfy, Drivers License combines Swift’s full-throttle pop music with Lorde’s left-centre takes on melody. It’s thrilling.
10. ZAYN – Vibez
Out of nowhere, the now enigmatic popstar ZAYN announced he’s got a new album Nobody Is Listening out next week. Vibez kicks it off and it’s a low-key bop with some really pleasant vocal work.
9. Charlotte Lawrence – Talk You Down
Charlotte Lawrence is edging her way into pop’s top crop and Talk You Down helps that push. It’s a dark, distorting tune with a chorus that’s haunting.
8. VanJess – Curious (Feat. Jimi Tents & Garren)
Nigerian duo VanJess have released a string of strong singles lately. Curious is the latest and it’s a neon-lit, late night jam that takes its time to create a sensual atmosphere.
7. Saweetie – Best Friend (Feat. Doja Cat)
Saweetie and Doja Cat looks like absolute superstars in the entertaining video for Best Friend. It’s a similarly clever tune, riding off both girls’ irresistable personalities.
6. Odette – Amends
Odette’s forthcoming album Herald is shaping up to be really special. The latest Amends is a song that wrestles between liberation and self-doubt. The production is captivating and Odette’s voice is excellent.
5. Zara Larsson – Talk About Love (Feat. Young Thug)
Zara Larsson’s second album POSTERGIRL has been set for a March release and Talk About Love comes alongside the announcement. It’s a slippery, slinky pop song that pulls in Young Thug who doesn’t hand out pop features often.
4. Jazmine Sullivan – The Other Side
Jazmine Sullivan’s first album in almost six years HEAUX TALES is excellent. The tail end of the record gives us The Other Side, a future-looking soul tune that bounces with optimism. That voice is unmistakable too.
3. Taylor Swift – Right Where You Left Me
Just incase you hadn’t already had enough swift, the deluxe version of Evermore is here. She ventures even further back towards country on Right Where You Left Me and it’s captivating.
2. slowthai – MAZZA (Feat. A$AP Rocky)
Everything off slowthai’s forthcoming record TYRON has been great so far and MAZZA is not exception. He joins forces with A$AP Rocky for a relentless tune that deals with addiction, mental health and sobriety.
1. Nao – Antidote (Feat. Adekunle Gold)
Nao has us feeling all the warmth with Antidote. She’s teamed with Nigerian singer Adekunle Gold and together they wrap us in a blanket of flawless vocals and shining positivity.
If you like these, you can find them and more in our Top Tunes playlist:
Or, if you’re after a little more tempo, try this one: