This week, Julia Michaels switches things up with a second solo single to follow up breakout hit "Issues." Halsey's new album gives her space to stretch her down-tempo pop style even further, while newcomers Jaymes Young, Alec Joseph, and Riz La Vie play with balladry, mainstream pop tunes, and the intersection of R&B and rap, all adding something new to their chosen form.
"Uh Huh," Julia Michaels
The singer-songwriter behind "Issues" now brings us second single "Uh Huh," a more up-tempo modern pop tune with an acoustic scratchiness and unexpected vocal kick. Michaels is making her mark on the pop landscape with her ability to keep coming up with songs that sound completely different from other charting tunes (she's also contributed to "Bad Liar" and "Sorry," for example).
"Old Young," Riz La Vie
Rising New York City-based artist Riz La Vie occupies a blurry space between singing and rapping, R&B and hip-hop. There's an alluringly aggressive rasp and waver to his delivery on "Old Young," the standout off his new EP Keep. He takes full advantage of that barely-contained vocal energy in the track, channeling it into lyrics that verge on the poetic — while still giving the prettiness of his subdued melody space to breathe.
"Stone," Jaymes Young
Slow it way, way down with Jaymes Young on "Stone," a new single from the singer-songwriter out of Seattle. There's a simplicity and an introspection in his latest song that feels like this would be the kind of healing tune to play on repeat on a rainy evening when you need a hit of catharsis. Sit back, close your eyes, and soak it in.
"Where Did Summer Go," Alec Joseph
Summer is just getting started, but that's no problem for 19-year-old Alec Joseph, who's already nostalgic for the best of seasons in new single "Where Did Summer Go." The toe-tapper of a pop tune makes a case for the glory of a summer love, with its light-hearted whistles and peppy production deepened by his expressive voice.
"Bad at Love," Halsey
Halsey serves up much more of her signature style of highly personal storytelling on new album hopeless fountain kingdom, with "Bad Love" a prime example. Her voice shines here, as does her ability to turn a narrative into a relatable chorus.