The fact that The Highwomen even exists is impressive. They make that statement over an unabashedly pretty melody, going in and out of duets and harmonies with seamless, generous sweetness. Carly Rae Jepsen has built a cult following on the power of her brand of pure, heart-on-your-sleeve pop. Her widely-praised third album was even nakedly called Emotion.
Lizzo – Tempo (feat Missy Elliott)
There you are, with access to something like million hours of music and it's so difficult to choose just one song. We live in a time where our incredible access to music is both a blessing and a curse. How does one curate the thousands upon thousands of songs that will be released this year alone? Thankfully, we're pretty much tethered to our headphones most waking hours listening to all the latest tracks from the best and least known artists of today. Here, we've curated the best songs of so far. Listen to our Best of playlist on Spotify. Not Yola. The singer soars above the backing with her warm, flexible, undeniable instrument. Where that check at?
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G enre is dead; all hail the new masters of global, category-defying hits from artists old and new. Rendered in minimalist, twanging piano chords and tightly-wound vocals, it swings from breathy devastation to high notes of carefully controlled keening. It also marks her return after nearly three years of absence from music, foreshadowing a new openness in work to come. While California hip-hop has witnessed a fearsome revival over the last few years, its community was struck by tragedy when Nipsey Hussle, one of its titans and fiercest advocates, was shot dead in Crenshaw in March. The song distills reggaeton to its purest composite parts, with Guaynaa locking into an infectious flow and gliding over the complicated syllables with the ease of an Olympic skier. He fanned the flames of an online cowboy craze and boosted his reach with a social media fluency, a cunning sense of humor, and a perfectly-chosen saddle partner in Billy Ray Cyrus. That is to say, it sounds like the future of global pop music. Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa. Getty Images 4.
From pop comebacks to international acts finding crossover success to gorgeous ballads and irresistible dancefloor bait, was quite the year. Here are the songs we couldn't stop playing this year. Think the vulnerable voice of Nina Simone waxing poetic about the ills of millennial dating. Following in the footsteps of international kings like Burna Boy and WizKid, Rema's crisp, charming vocals float over a bouncy rhythm that blends Afropop and hip-hop to create three minutes and 15 seconds of sheer joy. Sex sells, but Rapsody has never been one to conform to hip-hop's misogynistic views of women. Angel Olsen's lush, throaty voice connects with an eerie, '80s-leaning production to create a musical masterpiece.