Summer might be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the hits stop coming. In fact, they’re only hitting harder and harder. So if you’re looking for new music or just aren’t sure what to listen to as the weather starts cooling down, here are some must-listens to soothe your ears for September.
a l l i e – Tabula Rasa
There’s one word that best describes a l l i e’s sophomore album Tabula Rasa: ethereal. The album’s 11 tracks are all different but equally wonderful. Opening with the singer’s crystal bowls in the song “Soundbath,” the LP effortlessly moves from calm to sultry by the time “COOP” comes around. When you’ve reached the end of Tabula Rasa, “Alchemy” makes one thing clear: a l l i e’s brand of R&B with this album is more than just unique. Its introspective, smooth, and simply mesmerizing.
Johnny Drille – “Loving Is Harder”
“Loving Is Harder” comes from Nigerian afro-folk artist Johnny Drille, and it’s the epitome of “wearing your heart on your sleeve.” Detailing a dysfunctional relationship, something we can all relate to at one point or another, Drille creates something really vulnerable. His impassioned vocals and some beautiful piano playing beautifully come together and will have you rushing to listen to his recently released debut album Before We Fall Asleep.
Dan Onkar – “Irene”
Dan Onkar is capitalizing on his success with “A Night Like This” with its follow-up, “Irene,” an EP that effortlessly fuses ‘80s pop era and South African sounds. Though now based in London, the Nigerian singer-songwriter and producer isn’t afraid to tap into his African roots, evident in songs like “Hold Me Down” and “Hands Up.” Thematically, “Irene” leans on topics like love and affirmation, the perfect pairing with the EP’s warm sounds and catchy melodies.
Jennifer Juliette – “Columns”
Jennifer Juliette is on her way to being a star. The Welsh singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, now based in Berlin, has all of the talent and musical know-how to make it far in this industry, and her latest single, “Columns,” is the proof. The track is about a topic we all know too well – a breakup – but it’s more than just that. With a stormy piano accompaniment, an uplifting bass, and some high-belt vocals thrown in, “Columns” is an anthem for the isolated and lost.
Floyd Miles – “Don’t Play”
Do you live life as your authentic self always or do you find yourself wearing a mask? Floyd Miles’ “Don’t Play” is about a woman who never hides who she really is, and a huge part of that is the love she unabashedly gives. “Don’t Play” shows a truly divine partnership, one in which love and passion is fully reciprocated, regardless of what others think. Paired with a vibrant beat, “Don’t Play” provides a fresh perspective on love and relationships.
Abhi the Nomad – Abhi vs the Universe
After making listeners wait two years for a new album, Abhi the Nomad is finally giving fans what they want. Abhi vs the Universe has 13 tracks that really get at the heart of this artist. While the Indian-born rapper and singer previously was always in constant motion, his new album shows his journey of slowing down, falling in love, settling down, and finding a certain freedom in that. Fans of Abhi can expect some hip-hop, funk, R&B, and indie rock, along with a new self-assured sound.
Elli Ingram – “Strange How Good Things Change”
Jazz piano and a touch of gospel backing vocals might sound like an odd combination at first, but when you hear “Strange How Good Things Change,” the latest single from Elli Ingram, you’ll wonder why everyone isn’t doing this. This is the singer’s first release of 2021, marking a new chapter in her musical career, which is fitting as the song’s main focus is change. “Strange How Good Things Change” is as personal as it is encouraging, and couldn’t we all go for something uplifting right about now?
Miles Wesley – Here Goes Nothing Demos!
Uninterested in artists that stick to one genre? Miles Wesley’s latest mixtape, Here Goes Nothing Demos! is a must-listen. Wesley blends rap, pop, and acoustic stylings in a way that’s bound to draw listeners in and captivate them. It’s unpredictable – and almost unbelievable – that he is able to combine a variety of genres. More importantly, it’s inspiring to see an artist refuse to be defined and adamantly stay true to themselves.
Mark Ambor – The Long Way
You might recognize Mark Ambor’s “The Long Way” from TikTok: a snippet of the song went viral, accumulating 676k views. With over 200k followers on both Instagram and TikTok, “The Long Way” is Ambor’s first single since going viral, and he’s already providing what is sure to be a hit. The music is catchy, but it’s the vocals (and the song’s message) that really shine. From his polished voice, Ambor reminds us all to be patient for good things. This is easier said than done because it will be hard to be patient when it comes to waiting for the singer’s next release.
Bouff – “Summer Nights Interlude”
Bouff has come a long way since his viral freestyle over the “Tony Montana” instrumental. Following the release of his debut single “Closer,” the artist has cemented himself as an innovator of modern Afrobeats. With his debut EP “Summer Nights Interlude,” he’s ready to bring his unique sound to the masses. From the celebratory “Elevator” to the questioning “Risk It,” Bouff provides listeners with something unique and refreshing.
Key – “Hate that…”
Key might be best known as a member of Shinee, or the Princes of K-Pop, but he’s proving himself to be more than just a boy band member, and the proof is in his latest single “Hate that…” For his first solo release in over two years, Key has teamed up with fellow K-Pop royalty, Taeyeon of Girls’ Generation. Together, the duo are in perfect harmony, both literally and figuratively in what is soon to be an R&B classic. Detailing the complicated feelings surrounding a breakup, “Hate that…” is just a taste of what we can expect from his upcoming album.
Capella Grey – “Gyalis”
Straight from the Bronx, Capella Grey has released what many have called the song of the summer. “Gyalis,” which is a term to describe a player/playboy, not only has dominated the radio and racked up a large number of YouTube views, but the song has also been the source of a variety of remixes from artists like Kranium, A Boogie, French Montana, Tory Lanez, Fivio Foreign, and more. Pop superstar Chris Brown has even raved about it, calling it “the hardest shit out right now.”
Jade Leanne – “Will You Wait”
Up-and-coming R&B talent Jade Leanne has teamed up with X-Factor’s former boyband member and Thriller Live star, Kieran Alleyne, to bring a unique perspective to the music world with “Will You Wait.” While there are plenty of songs out there by artists bragging about their bedroom skills, Jade is looking at things a little differently, creating a song that is all about waiting for sex. It’s an honest and almost entirely new approach to an R&B song, but the pair pull it off. Between the honest and raw songwriting to the captivating vocals, “Will You Wait” is a welcome edition to the UK music scene.