Pink makes a cathartic, empowering comeback with a new single after five years without releasing an album. Avicii also releases new music a year after officially retiring from his live DJ career: another cathartic one, but club-ready too, this time with an assist from Rita Ora. Oasis's Liam Gallagher is launching his solo career with tracks that feel like throwbacks — and that's not a bad thing. New talent Morgan Saint makes a case for sinuous, stylish pop. And R&B's R.LUM.R shows us how trap and blues can happily coexist on his new album, Afterimage.
"What About Us," Pink
Pink is back after five years since releasing her last album with "What About Us," a searching ballad laying bare her signature strong voice. Like a spiritual successor to 2012 hit "Just Give Me a Reason," Pink veers in the direction of emotional powerhouse pop instead of punk on this track, the lead single off upcoming album Beautiful Trauma. In its simplicity, it hits all the right notes of catharsis — and adds on a clubby beat to keep her in chart territory.
"You," Morgan Saint
The mostly self-taught singer-songwriter Morgan Saint finds an aching blend of pop and melancholy on "You," the lead single off her debut EP. There's a clarity in her voice — and the bare-bones production — that cuts close. Originally an illustration and photography student, Saint's foray into music really kicked of thanks to wanting to expand on a poetry project, proving her adept at multiple mediums of expression. In "You," she's searching for someone, the soft backing beat like an echoing sonar system. If this is any indication, the fans will be happy to find her.
"Lonely Together," Avicii feat. Rita Ora
When Swedish wunderkind DJ and producer Avicii announced his retirement from live performances in April 2016, he was arguably at the peak of his game — this is the artist, after all, behind radio megahits "Levels" and "Wake Me Up," headlining major festivals and selling out club residencies. Luckily for fans, his break from the scene was short-lived. On Thursday he released a new six-song EP of his uplifting tracks. "Lonely Together" plays to his unerring formula: a strong, pared-back melody takes the foreground, building up to an irresistible EDM drop. Rita Ora's distinctive pop vocal tops this one off, making it a good contender when you want those Avicii-style feels.
"For What It's Worth," Liam Gallagher
Old-school Oasis fans will be happy to hear that Liam Gallagher, the lead vocalist from the classic British rock band, is at it again in "For What It's Worth." The latest single off his first upcoming solo project due out in October, As You Were, "For What It's Worth" is an earnest rock tune in the vein of "Don't Look Back in Anger." With Gallagher's signature nasal vocals and electric guitar riffs mixed with soaring strings, it pulls on all the traditional tricks. And that's a good thing.
"Bleed Into the Water," R.LUM.R
R.LUM.R (pronounced AR-lamar) is an R&B talent with a whole new edge. On "Bleed Into the Water," from new EP Afterimage, the rising Nashville-based star incorporates trap elements to elevate his lyrical delivery to an irresistibly beat-driven place. Known for what others have coined as "power ballads," it's hard to not stop and listen when an R.LUM.R beat drops. His smooth vocals will keep you coming back for more.