Camila Cabello comes in hot with blazing new single “Havana.” Indie Brooklyn singer Domino Kirke shows a new side to the talented Kirke family with a dreamy acoustic track. Rock trio *repeat repeat offer a little summer spice in the sunny “Girlfriend.” Miami producer Alyx Ander presents a fresh new club tune with an assist from Voice veteran Caroline Pennell. And singer-songwriter Jamie Lawson is sure to fill the Ed-Sheeran-sized hole in your fresh music playlist with “Can’t See Straight.”
"Havana," Camila Cabella feat. Young Thug
Camila Cabello shows off some flair on “Havana,” an almost-sleepy track with a syrupy baseline. Cabello has experimented with everything from pop (“Crying in the Club”) to hip-hop (the new release “OMG” with Quavo) in her short solo career outside of Fifth Harmony so far, proving her versatility. But “Havana” hits a freshly sultry note that we hope to see more of in her September debut album. The Pharrell-produced track plays smartly on Cabello’s heritage as a Cuban — and gets an added volt of lyricism from Young Thug.
"Girlfriend," *repeat repeat
There’s something refreshingly retro about *repeat repeat’s “Girlfriend,” a sweet rock tune that steers right to the good edge of saccharine. The Nashville-based trio finds a tender balance between lead vocalist Jared Corder’s old-school rocker tone and vocalist/keys player Kristyn Corder’s lilt, backing their tangled duet with a little bit of grunge and a little bit of surf-pop. The song may insist it’s about turning someone into a partner, but the cheekiness of the melody winks at a lighter kind of fling. Good thing it’s summer.
"Friend of the Family," Domino Kirke
Slow it way down with Domino Kirke on “Friend of the Family,” a single off her forthcoming debut album out Aug. 25. The ethereal acoustic artist — sister of actors Jemima and Lola, of Girls and Mozart in the Jungle fame, respectively — has found her creative lane instead in music. She gives her languid tunes a dreamy quality, letting her voice act as an instrument to lift pleasantly murky melodies into newfound clarity; “Friend of the Family,” for instance, rises and falls in a soothingly unhurried lilt. “I could never remember the lines that an actress might say,” she muses softly as an opener. Luckily, lyrics come easily to her.
"Can't See Straight," Jamie Lawson
For lovers of good old singer-songwriter rock of the Ed Sheeran and John Mayer variety, add Jamie Lawson to your shortlist of artists to keep on the radar. British musician Lawson — who is signed to Sheeran’s own record company, and wrote “Can’t See Straight” alongside the “Shape of You” singer and verified hitmaker Johnny McDaid of Snow Patrol — oozes the same kind of unabashed romance and classic musicianship that has launched his compatriot to stardom. “Can’t See Straight” is the first single off an upcoming album, Happy Accidents, dropping Sept. 29.
"Wake Up for the Night," Alyx Ander feat. Caroline Pennell
Get a little lost in Alyx Ander’s dreamy soundscape on “Wake Up for the Night,” which takes good advantage of the New York-born, Miami-based producer’s classical piano background to present a vibey tune in turns low-key and driving. It’s only his third release, but in “Wake Up for the Night” we get his keen sense for tapping the emotional space that electronic music can access best. Featuring floating lyrics from The Voice finalist Caroline Pennell, it’s a track perfect for summer playlist rotation.