Over the past two weeks, several high profile artists have released major collaborations, and newer artists from all over the world have added fresh sounds to both the airwaves and top playlists. Check out the best songs from the past two weeks, and take a listen to all of these tunes in the Spotify playlist at the end of this post.
1.) The Surefire Hits
After chopping off his blond locks, canceling all meet-and-greets on his tour, and fizzling with his latest single, the lukewarm “Company,” Justin Bieber has seen his fair share of controversy this year. To make up for lost ground, the Biebs has enlisted A-list producer Diplo for some help—along with his superstar collaborators: Ed Sheeran, Benny Blanco, and MØ. “Cold Water” combines the vibes of all of these artists quite well; a submerged guitar loop, breezy chorus, and a Sia-like MØ assist make for a compelling tune that captures summer 2016 quite well—even if it doesn’t match every aim of its constituent parts. Expect this tune to debut in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 later today, when the official charts are related.
Following a string of hits including “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Roses,” The Chainsmokers are back with “Closer,” a nostalgia-soaked slow tune perfect for the end of the summer. The Chainsmokers follow-up strips down the duo’s production duties to feature the vocals of member Drew Taggart (for the very first time) alongside indie songbird, Halsey. “Closer” evokes the reunion of two exes with bittersweet lyrics punctuated by synthetic strings (a la Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe”) and a synth line that nails the chorus melody a few dozen times before the first verse completes. With “Closer,” The Chainsmokers solidify their newly-crowned status as EDM-based popstars.
2.) The Newcomer’s Debut
Jarryd James second EP, “Higher,” finds the Australian singer songwriter expanding on his brand of soft pop with the spice of producer Joel Little’s beats. On Broods duet “1000x,” James croons over warm, ethereal beats, asserting that if given the chance he’d “do it all again a thousand times.” The production underneath the tune sketches out an unobtrusive bassline much like the tracks on Little’s revolutionary 2013 project, Lorde’s Pure Heroine.
3.) The One-of-a-kind Tracks
D.R.A.M. follows crossover hit “Broccoli” with “Cute,” a summery mix of retro R&B and 8-bit style hip hop production. “Cute” veers closely towards being a little too sweet (it features the lyric “I choose you like a Pokemon”), but stays afloat thanks to D.R.A.M.’s church-trained vocals and unique falsetto. The Virginia-native is quickly making his unique brand of soul and genre fusion mainstream.
Oscar and the Wolf – “The Game”
“The Game” by electropop outfit Oscar and the Wolf is a strangely endearing mix of bizarre sounds and lyrics that sound futuristic from the very first second. Already a number 1 hit in the band’s native Belgium, “The Game” may not be an international hit by any means, but is sure to capture the ears of producers and artists alike for its intriguing use of sound.