Released just two weeks before Jill Scott's new album Woman dropped (listen here), "Closure" reignited my excitement for the project in record time. I still belt my heart out to the soulful, bluesy first single "You Don't Know" and I'm still bopping to second single "Fool's Gold," but it was "Closure" (and its hilarious ending skit) that assured me Woman would be yet another great Jill Scott album.
I've had a soft spot in my heart for Sevyn Streeter since Fuse played her first video "I Like It" on heavy rotation in early 2013. Since then she's consistently dropped solid singles and EPs, including her latest EP Shoulda Been There, Pt. 1, featuring the above title track with her boyfriend, B.o.B.
Los Angeles-based Eric Bellinger may be a new name to some, but trust – the soulful singer/songwriter has been doing his thing in the indie R&B scene for a minute now. He even has a GRAMMY for writing heavily on Chris Brown's 2011 F.A.M.E. album. Bellinger just dropped his new album Cuffing Season, featuring "Creep," a reworked version of TLC's classic hit of the same name. The iconic girl group's T-Boz popping up halfway through with a slick verse is just icing on the cake. Want more? Check out Bellinger's new "Valet" remix featuring Fetty Wap and 2 Chainz.
Sliding in just before August rolls around is former Fuse fam member Bridget Kelly with a legit summer BOP! Over a minimal beat of synths and finger snaps, the sexy Brooklyn singer/songwriter trades flirty jabs with (also sexy) singer/rapper Mack Wilds. "Act Like That" is the first single off Bridget's upcoming project, Summer of 17. I'm excited to hear what Bridget's been cooking up!
Behold, the first single off Teedra Moses' highly anticipated sophomore album, Cognac & Conversation! For fans of the New Orleans singer/songwriter this project has been a looong time coming. Due to label issues (her first home TVT Records went bankrupt in 2008) it's been 11 years since Teedra's debut album Complex Simplicity hit shelves in '04. In the years since she's released countless free mixtapes and toured seemingly non-stop, turning out more and more members of #TeamTeedra. Cognac & Conversation is out August 7th.
Clearly Nina Revisted... A Tribute to Nina Simone (tied to Netflix's critically acclaimed documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?) was going to be awesome. Everyone talked about Lauryn Hill's multiple covers of Nina Simone's classics and Jazmine Sullivan's moving take on "Baltimore," but Australian newcomer Grace's soulful-yet-chill take on "Love Me Or Leave Me" is definitely a hidden gem!
I have to admit, it took me a minute to really listen to CeeLo's new single "Robin Williams," but once I did? Yes! The introspective song is a different side of the usually playful and confident-as-ever CeeLo. Sadly, some people need a reminder that CeeLo isn't just the "F***k You" guy or a coach on The Voice, but also a great producer and songwriter. Thankfully, "Robin Williams" is just the song to remind 'em.
Maybe I'm biased because Tokyo is one of my favorite cities on the planet, but Lianne La Havas' "Tokyo," off her just-released album Blood, is seriously everything. Lianne's soulful and rich vocals over the quiet thumping of the beat perfectly capture the anonymity of being a foreigner in the bustling Japanese metropolis. Fun fact: My first trip to Tokyo in 2006 I listened to Gwen Stefani's "Harajuku Girls" while walking in Harajuku. Definitely going to play this song the next time I'm exploring Tokyo solo.
It's not unusual for Prince to drop a song out of nowhere, but what is interesting is Prince releasing new single "Stare" on Spotify just weeks after removing all his music from the streaming service (among others). It was most likely because of his new involvement with Tidal, but then why debut a new song not on the service? As with many things Prince-related, we may never know, but I'm still gonna have this funky-ass song on repeat all weekend.