Olivia Rodrigo really came into 2021 saying, "this is my year." This song climbed to the top so fast and it's like she really took over the internet. This song brings up so many nostalgic feelings for me, driving through the suburbs, young heartbreak. Her voice has so much pain and it's just this huge longing, levitating feeling. Absolutely hypnotic.
Pharaoh Sistare perfectly emulates the contagious energy of Michael Jackson with a modern twist. It's a shimmering 70's sound paired with flawless production. Vintage but never out of style, it instantly boosts your mood. I think we all need this energy right now.
The energy in "When You're Gone" feels like a pivotal scene in an indie movie, in the best way. Sarah Dooley's voice is strong and triumphant and you really believe that her strength will rub off on you. The melody just builds and builds into a huge release, it's inspiring and shimmering, the feel-good song you need to get through your worst day.
Pia's "Lust" is a chill pop song that gives me early Dua vibes. Effortless, sensual, this is the perfect song for putting on your best outfit, taking an hour on your makeup, and feeling yourself. Cool girl vibes all the way through.
We are HERE for smart pop and J. Maya's "Achilles Heel" is the epitome of pop with layers. The song is filled to the brim with mythology allusions, but with synth-heavy melodies and a voice that is just so effortlessly gorgeous. She's really redefining what pop means and even what an Achilles Heel means because everyone has one and as soon as you recognize what it is, you can start to accept your weakness. There's so much strength in that.
My favorite genre? Sad cowgirl music. That's what "Arizona" is to me. Sarah Gross has a voice that makes me want to take a long drive thinking about the one that got away. Pair this with like a porch in a desert house and a glass of whiskey. The twangy guitars, the softness, her angelic voice, it just checks all my boxes.
What is so hypnotic about this song? I could listen to this on loop all day and never get tired of it, something about the cyclical nature of the melody, it gets totally embedded in your brian. Hila's soft voice has a gentle power that perfectly compliments the darker undertones in this song.
The Spanish guitars that accent this song give it this perfect hint of mystery. Exmiranda doesn't come to play, her flow is immaculate. This song radiates badassery, I'm convinced Exmiranda is going to be a very very big deal. You can feel her confidence in her voice, she repeats "I'm just letting off some steam," and you can feel that intensity.
Like a Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran love child. This song and it's sweet simplicity is hauntingly beautiful. The layered vocals are chilling and his songwriting prowess is incredible. These lyrics make me sad in the best way.