Cardi B and Bruno Mars team up once more for a slow jam that hits all the right notes on “Please Me.” Israeli artist Dennis Lloyd returns after viral hit “Nevermind” with an equally alluring follow up. Enigmatic composer Johan considers the experience of millennial malaise with catchy results. Fletcher hits her stride with another relatable pop anthem in “Undrunk.” And Latin American boy band CNCO put out a Spanglish bop with “Pretend.”
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"Please Me," Cardi B and Bruno Mars
For fans of “Finesse,” Cardi B and Bruno Mars — now both Grammy winners following Cardi’s historic night earlier this month — have teamed up once more for a throwback jam. Full of funk and soul, “Please Me” is exactly what the title suggests: a sensual track to throw on when the mood arises. As usual, Cardi is having a ton of fun with her verses, while Mars holds down the vocals with his signature smooth style.
"everybody's cool but me," Johan
“Uber Pool again. Home at two again. I got no crew again. I’m missing youth again,” sings Johan off the top off his new track “everybody’s cool but me,” identifying a particular kind of millennial malaise and loneliness over a spare, atmospheric beat. The mononymous singer-songwriter and composer, who previously contributed to a popular orchestral arrangement of Kanye West and Beethoven’s works titled Yeethoven, has spent the last year lending his composing abilities to artists like Travis Scott, Vic Mensa and Alessia Cara. Now back to his own music, Johan draws on his classical music roots to add a twist of heightened production to his dark, existential pop.
Sometimes, you just really want to rewind: to get a chance for a do-over on mistakes and decisions, especially in love. That’s what singer-songwriter Fletcher is asking for on “Undrunk,” her first single off an upcoming new EP. It’s a rich, relatable pop track (and highly personal accompanying music video) that is, ultimately, an ode to the all-encompassing experience of regret. “Wish I could get a little un-drunk so I could un-call you / at 5 in the morning,” she laments. “But some things you can’t undo.” It’s about a former relationship gone awry, but Fletcher’s honest look at her own mistakes feel universal, with soaring pop chords that she sings with both melancholy and warmth.
"Never Go Back," Dennis Lloyd
Last summer, Israeli singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lloyd’s “Nevermind” was a sly viral success, finding its way onto charting position by nature of its eminently catchy and understated nature: a little bit R&B, a little electronic, a little jazz. Now we have “Never Go Back,” the next chapter in Lloyd’s developing career. Over a slinking beat with strains of Citizen Cope, Lloyd sings in English and Spanish about one of those tricky, inconclusive love stories. There’s a trumpet break; there are high hats. But Lloyd’s contemporary take on jazz-rock feels fresh, and his raw storytelling irrepressible.
It’s worth getting to know CNCO, the Latin American boy band poised to break big with their punchy mix of Spanish lyricism, dance skills and on-trend beats. “Pretend,” their newest release, is an instant crowd-pleaser: a mix of Spanish and English over a smooth dance-worthy melody. They’ve been around for a minute, first releasing an album in 2016 after being put together on reality show La Banda and touring with Ricky Martin. And with music like “Pretend,” the five-member group is proving they’re ready for star treatment.