Despite the quarantine, pop musicians to continue to spread uplifting music through bright anthems. Charli XCX released the second song off her “DIY” quarantine album, Kali Uchis released a surprise EP, and James Blake ushers in a new era with a shimmering single.
Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new releases. Listen up.
Charli XCX — “Claws”
Charli XCX continues creating her quarantine album, How I’m Feeling Now. Following the release of the lead single “Forever,” Charli is back with the metallic number “Claws.” Bright, wonky synths offer a pixelated background to Charli’s upbeat lyrics. “I like everything about you,” Charli sings over heavily-layered production.
Kali Uchis — “Angel”
Charli XCX isn’t the artist who has been working on new music from quarantine. Kali Uchis unveiled an EP filled with self-recorded tracks Friday and “Angel” arrives as the second number. The singer’s signature velvety cadence melts over a shimmering backbeat. “Can’t give you my album yet, but i recorded some demos in my room for u,” Uchis wrote on Twitter.
James Blake — “You’re Too Precious”
Following a series of spirited and earnest livestreams from quarantine, James Blake unveiled his first single of 2020. “You’re Too Precious” opens with Blake’s watered-down vocal track which ultimately morphs into a catchy, unassuming beat. Showcasing the full range of his voice, Blake praises his lover with intentionally choppy production.
PVRIS — “Gimme A Minute”
“Gimme A Minute” is the latest taste of PVRIS‘ upcoming third studio album Use Me. A moniker of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Lynn Gunn, PVRIS furthers her knack for blissed-out alt-pop numbers with the single. In a statement, Gunn said the song is a sonic interpretation of dealing with mental health issues: “The pacing and dynamic of the song feels similar to when your mind starts to spiral on something, the quiet start slowly stirring and building eventually landing into chaos.”
Alina Baraz — “Off The Grid” Feat. Khalid
After teasing it with several singles, Alina Baraz released her vibe-heavy album It Was Divine this week. With its arrival came the slow-burning number “Off The Grid” with R&B crooner Khalid. Crafting an enchanting tune with a rolling beat, Baraz’s comforting inflection blankets the single.
Jessie Ware — “Ooh La La”
Jessie Ware continues to pivot towards groovy, dance-ready music with her latest track “Ooh La La.” Opening with a heavy, euphoric bass guitar, the single features resonating synths and crashing percussion. Over the hip-shaking instrumentals, Wares lilts a story about carefree young love.
Chloe Lilac — “Moderation”
Chloe Lilac continues to preview her forthcoming sophomore EP with the rousing single “Moderation.” A pivot from her formerly-released singles, “Moderation” features noisy guitar and revved-up production. In a statement, Lilac wrote that the song is inspired by her past struggle with mental health: “This song is about my struggle with mental health and self-hatred. I’m a really intense person and I sometimes feel like people can only handle me in moderation.”
Alaina Castillo — “Pass You By”
Alaina Castillo showcases her emotive songwriting with the heart-wrenching single “Pass You By.” Castillo’s fingers glide over a smooth acoustic guitar while her soaring vocals narrate the importance of knowing one’s self-worth in the face of an emotionally toxic relationship.
Miquela — “Machine” Feat. Teyana Taylor
With our current modes of technology, it was only a matter of time before the arrival of a robot influencer — and Miquela was the first of her kind. The perpetual 19-year-old AI singer Miquela teamed up with rapper Teyana Taylor to debut the buoyant anthem “Machine.” In a statement, Miquela praised Taylor’s music. “Working with Teyana has been on my vision board for a MINUTE,” Miquela said. “The stars aligned once I found out she was recording in the studio next to mine. She was as perfect and cool as I imagined, and she brought that same energy to ‘Machine.’”
Gus Dapperton — “First Aid”
What started out as a bedroom pop project, Gus Dapperton grew over the course of several years and has honed his sound as a musician. After recently seeing viral fame due to his verse in Benee’s “Supalonely,” Dapperton is at his most vulnerable in “First Aid.” The track arrives as the lead single from his forthcoming sophomore album, the singer wrote: “In the past, I’ve written my songs from a place of love and heartbreak. This album is about internal pain and suffering.”
Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.