Music in 2019 has seen plenty of new and familiar faces challenging the norms that genre conventions can bring. Here's a list of some of those trailblazing artists and the new material they have released.
“I” by Lil Skies
Kimetrius Foose, more popularly known as Lil Skies released his debut album, and first project of 2019, late last month. Shelby, named after his mother, opens up with “I” as Skies delivers a reminiscent punch, drawing on the pain and struggle that his last relationship left him with. The track is produced by CuBeatz, Otx Hello and Danny Wolf and the visual was dreamt up by music video master, Cole Bennett of Lyrical Lemonade.
“What You Heard” by Sonder
Released on Feb. 22, the R&B trio consisting of vocalist Brent Faiyaz, and producers Atu and Dpat, created another mystical, mellow masterpiece. The beat switch almost three minutes into “What You Heard” illustrates the mosaic of the groups talents, highlighting Faiyaz’ smooth vocals. Faiyaz' solo work is good, but Sonder's sound is souped up.
“I’m Yours” by Tommy Genesis
Canadian queen and Awful Records signee, Tommy Genesis, dropped “I’m Yours” fittingly last month on Valentine’s Day. In an interview with i-D, Tommy mentions her inspiration for the song saying "My dad is my biggest supporter, but he said 'If you want your little sister to listen to your music then make a song she can listen to.'" This being one of Tommy's more poppy songs, catalyzes an itch to dance as soon as you hear the opening line, "I know that I want you but is this enough?"
“Part III” by Crumb
Crumb is back with a smooth new single “Part III," released last month through Bandcamp. The band is in the midst of their U.S. tour and is fresh off a SXSW set. This is the band’s first release since 2017’s Locket. “Part III's" lyrics are brooding, dealing with repressed feelings and mood swings, and are set against a backdrop of hazy, smooth instrumentals and production. Unlike some of Crumb’s tracks off their previous album, where vocals are crisp and clear, “Part III” allows lead singer and guitarist, Lila Ramani’s vocals to create a dreamy soundscape that lets the moody lyrics fade into the background of this warm, atmospheric song. This track is perfect for the warmer nights that are hopefully around the corner.
“Alameda” by Solange
Solange released When I Get Home last month, following 2017’s critically acclaimed A Seat at The Table. The album features several collaborations, and “Alameda” features Playboi Carti and The Dream as co-writers, with producing credits going to Pharrell. When I Get Home is an overtly political celebration of Solange’s hometown, Houston, Texas, which is reflected in everything from the lyrical references to the list of collaborators. "Alameda," and the album as a whole, celebrates Solange’s Blackness
“Miss Me” by Toro y Moi feat. ABRA
Chaz Bundick released his newest album under Toro Y Moi, Outer Peace, in January through Carpark Records. One of the standout tracks prominently features ABRA. Like Bundick, ABRA is known for her chillwave-influenced sound and heavy use of synthesizers. On “Miss Me,” both artists are at their best as Bundick delivers production that allows ABRA’s haunting vocals and songwriting to shine. A song ABRA had written some time ago, her vocals are pure and distilled, and the lyrics deal with a lost love. Bundicks production allows ABRA’s skills to shine with minimal but distinctive sounds that transport the listener into ABRA’s world.
“Fix Me” by Cuco and Dillion Francis
“Fix Me” was a single released by Cuco and Dillon Francis last month. A synthesis of Cuco’s signature indie-pop longing and Dillon Francis’ upbeat electronic production, the song is a dreamy bop that features Cuco pleading to a love interest. The best part of the song however, is Cuco’s signature sing-song raps delivered in Spanglish, and this time he’s singing about the woes of digital communication in a way that’s sure to be stuck in your head upon first listen. “Fix Me” is Cuco’s first and only release of 2019, but we are hoping to see more collaborations between him and more big names in the future.
Note: The print version of this story mistakenly left out Sophia Sambrano's name.
Shayla Cunico is the culture and music editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @ShaylaCunico.
Sophia Sambrano is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.