There will never be enough hours in one day (or even in one lifetime) to give undivided attention to the all of the latest music. Art takes on a new meaning in the social climate we have been thrown into, and musicians are taking on this new responsibility wholeheartedly by producing the most impressive work pop culture has seen in years.
This list barely even begins to describe the best of the best of new music.
“You” – Vaarwell
If you like the dreamy, ambient work of Wet or the Japanese House, you’ll love this Lisbon-based trio. Vaarwell dropped its debut album, Homebound 456, earlier this year and received an immensely positive response from the industry’s harshest critics. The band excels in constructing cohesive layers of sounds and using quiet moments to its advantage. “You” is a minimalist’s fantasy, complete with frantic background samples and mystical lead vocals. Easily the most emotional track on the album, “You” is brutally honest in the most beautiful way.
“Come to Me Now” – Kevin Morby
The lead single of Kevin Morby’s upcoming album, City Music, is nothing if not consistent with the dreary folk singer’s established style. With his effortless and almost sluggish vocals, Morby evokes the hazy dreamscape of a mid-seventies Manhattan. His stripped-back performance is mesmerizing, somehow managing to be both modern and classic at the same time. “Come to Me Now” is the introduction to a new vision inspired by listless love for metropolitan life.
“I Saw You Close Your Eyes” – Local Natives
California quartet Local Natives has managed to stay somewhat under the radar since releasing its impressive third album, Sunlit Youth, last year. Its latest triumph, “I Saw You Close Your Eyes,” was first only available on a specially designed website. Listeners were only able to hear the song if sitting with their eyes closed in front of their computer’s webcam. The curation of a particularly unique experience demonstrates the band’s creativity and passion, two qualities that also take the lead on this addictive single.
“Don’t Take the Money” – Bleachers
Since the premiere of Strange Desire in 2014, Jack Antonoff has divided his time between touring and churning out all your favorite pop stars’ greatest hits. Finally, the mastermind behind Bleachers has returned with an unapologetically eighties-style single. “Don’t Take the Money” features all the best parts of a Bleachers song, from huge percussive refrains to heartfelt declarations of devotion. Antonoff holds nothing back when writing, willing to explore his most personal experiences and turn them into energetic works of art.
“Clouds” – Milky Chance
Best known for the hit single “Stolen Dance,” German duo Milky Chance shows a distinct progression on their sophomore album. The fundamentals of its folk-inspired dance melodies remain the same, but the band is much more ambitious in its execution. “Clouds” is a fiery, energetic track that showcases the band’s eclectic deconstruction of genre. With infectious, jangly tunes like this one, Milky Chance is going to be the perfect addition to any summer festival lineup.