Sometimes the best new R&B can be hard to find, but there are plenty of great rhythm-and-blues tunes to get into if you have the time to sift through the hundreds of newly released songs every week. So that R&B heads can focus on listening to what they really love in its true form, we’ll be offering a digest of the best new R&B songs that fans of the genre should hear every Friday.
This week is led by Ella Mai who makes her long-awaited return with her sophomore album Heart On My Sleeve. It’s a 15-track project complete with features from Latto, Roddy Ricch, Mary J. Blige, and Lucky Daye. Elsewhere, we have a pair of long-awaited singles, one from SiR who returns with “Satisfaction” and the other from Roy Woods who arrives with “Insecure.”
Ella Mai — Heart On My Sleeve
It’s been a while since we received a full body of work from Ella Mai, with that being her 2018 self-titled debut. Years removed from her “Boo’d Up” viral moment, Mai is back with her sophomore album and it presents a strong collection of heartfelt and lovelorn records. Additionally, through the album’s 15 songs, we hear appearances from Roddy Ricch, Latto, and Lucky Daye.
SiR — “Satisfaction”
SiR is another artist who’s been away from the music world for quite some time. The Inglewood singer’s latest single came in 2020 with “Rapper Weed” alongside Westside Boogie, which arrived after his flawless 2019 album Chasing Summer. With his fourth album hopefully on the way, SiR arrives with the sultry and passionate “Satisfaction” for fans to indulge in.
Roy Woods — “Insecure”
This week’s column is led by artists who have been absent for a while, and to round out that list within a list, we have Roy Woods. The OVO singer last gave us a project in 2020 with Dem Times. Since then, he’s sprinkled some singles here and there, but the hope is that his latest single, “Insecure,” is a sign of a more permanent return.
Col3trane — Lush Life
Almost three years after his last solo project, Lush Life, singer Col3trane is back to work with his latest project Lush Life. It strikes as his fourth full-length body of work as it delivered 12 songs and contributions from Lucky Daye, Flatbush Zombies, and Erik The Architect.
Kenyon Dixon — Closer
Kenyon Dixon wanted no time getting to work with new music in 2022 and he kicked off the year with “Love On Replay” and “Get High, Get By.” Now those two releases have a new home as he returns with his new project Closer. This soulful and rich body of work arrives 12 songs and contributions from Tiffany Gouche, D Smoke, Susan Carlo, and Gwen Bunn.
Yuna — Y2
In March, Yuna kicked off the rollout towards her fifth album Y5 by announcing that she’d release the project in five parts. Y1 arrived in March with four songs and now she’s back with Y2. It brings three more songs into the mix for a grand total of seven offerings from Y5
Brandon Banks — “Wonderland”
One of Inglewood’s finest singers Brandon Banks is back with his third single of the year. After a quiet 2021 that followed a 2020 year highlighted by his excellent Static project, Banks dishes out “Wonderland” to join the previously released “Get On” and Tryin’” that have carried his 2022 campaign.
Alex Vaughn — Voice Notes
One of LVRN’s newest signees Alex Vaughn returns with a quickstrike project. Voice Notes is compiled of three songs that are just that — voice notes of rough and raw songs that Vaughn has plated for the world to enjoy in a moment of vulnerability. It’s also a unique follow up to the stellar “Mirage.”
Ogi — Monolouges
Chicago-born Nigerian singer Ogi is taking her first big step into the spotlight with Monolouges. The 6-track project is a completely solo effort and it is one that Ogi says is her “outlet to say what I really felt about something but didn’t say because my feelings didn’t fit the script.” Altogether, Monolouges is a truly rich project that reminds me of Nicole Bus’ Kairos.
Sabrina Claudio — Based On A Feeling
Following 2019’s Truth Is, Sabrina Claudio bares a bit more skin on her third album Based On A Feeling. Unlike her prior two full-length projects, Based On A Feeling arrives without a guest feature across its 11 songs, but it’s still carried by Claudio’s soft and gentle vocals.
Naomi Wild — “Whose Love” Feat. Tempest
Younger singers Naomi Wild and Tempest brought their talents together to create a drift ode to heartbreak on their new single “Whose Love.” It’s one that may have gone under the radar for you, but it’s absolutely worth your attention. As Naomi describes it, “Whose Love” is about the “cycles of something not working out,” through the stages of denial, heartbreak, and the glorious realization of one’s true worth.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.