This week, we’re listening to Michelle Branch’s rock ‘n’ roll-influenced comeback with her first single since 2010, as well as an unstoppable anthem from Imagine Dragons, a soulful song from rising R&B singer Khalid, the grime stylings of Stormzy, and the smooth, haunting hip-hop of Sampha.
"Reverse Faults," Sampha
Sampha—the hip-hop producer behind some of the industry’s biggest stars—is finally getting his own moment front and center on debut album Process. There’s a languid, looping rhythm to “Reverse Faults” that revels in the circular heartbreak of the lyrics. “I shot the blame and it scattered / Now there’s bullet holes spread across the walls,” he sings, finding a flow in the chaos.
"Believer," Imagine Dragons
Another release, another showstopper of an anthem from Imagine Dragons. “Believer” is bound to blow up, if only because it’s the soundtrack to Nintendo’s Super Bowl ad for the Switch—and with its stadium-sized drumbeats and rapid-fire lyrics, it’s hard not to see this one gaining plenty of popular traction.
"Shot Down," Khalid
"Hopeless Romantic," Michelle Branch
"Big for Your Boots," Stormzy
If you’ve never heard of grime, the hip-hop-flecked-garage genre popular in the U.K., prepare for its entrance into the stateside mainstream in a big way. Stormzy’s British-accented raps have an insatiable energy that plays deftly against the beat on loop, which stands out thanks to a hypnotic choral component.