1.) “In A Spiral” – Phantogram
Phantogram is a multi-instrumentalist duo consisting of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, with a focus on electronic based production, psychedelic pop vocals, and trip hop beats. Their latest single, “In A Spiral,” exhibits all three of those characteristics, with ethereal psychedelic vocals belted over a rock-influenced electronica melody and hard-hitting drums. “In A Spiral” is the third single released by the duo in anticipation of their forthcoming album.
2.) “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM” – Travis Scott
Even when he isn’t selling out arenas or limited-edition sneakers, Travis Scott still manages to have such immense power over an entire generation of listeners that he can release a single and have it do nearly half a billion streams in opening numbers. An impressive feat, but not one new to the consistently chart-topping artist, whose unique blend of Houston-influenced rap styles and autotuned singing have created an identity for himself wholly unique in rap today. “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM” is no different, exhibiting both Scott’s sing-song abilities as well as his keen well-placed rhymes.
3.) “All Comes Down” – Armin Van Buuren featuring Cimo Fränkel
For several years of his career as a DJ and producer, Armin Van Buuren has been viewed as one of the best DJs on the planet. Not only is the artist seriously talented behind the decks, but the music is largely original, and his unique ethereal trance sound has come to define an entire subgenre of electronic dance music. “All Comes Down” is another perfect example of this, with a heavy piano riff layered behind airy vocals that crescendos into a massive bass-filled drop that’s guaranteed to shake any room it’s blasted in. Van Buuren’s style of production is inherently designed to elate its listeners and take them to a place that is almost akin to an out of body experience, and the mind-bending synths and bass on this track are no different.
4.) “Lights Up” – Harry Styles
The former leading man of One Direction has had quite the solo career following the band’s separation, and his highly anticipated single “Lights Up” fits all the expectations of the crooner’s longtime fans. Interjecting his signature piano-backed sound with flanged vocals and a steady beat and bassline that carry the track, Styles has created another anthem for his legions of fans to enjoy through the fall.
5.) “Goodbyes” – Sublime with Rome
Originally written and recorded by Post Malone and featured on his recent album “Hollywood’s Bleeding”, this version of “Goodbyes” comes completely out of left field as famed group Sublime with Rome put their unique surf rock-like vibe on the new anthem. The song’s airy synth pads are replaced by upbeat guitars and a live drum kit, as well as supporting vocals not present on the original. It is not often that a cover could be put on par with the original version of a song, but in this case Sublime with Rome did Malone’s song nothing but justice.
6.) “Intro” – DaBaby
DaBaby has had a breakout year that stands out among any other for an artist. His energetic raps are often described as “starting before the beat even does,” but it’s that exact high energy that has instilled him as such a notable character in hip-hop today. On “Intro,” DaBaby doesn’t sacrifice that high energy flow he normally exhibits; rather, he chooses to use it to discuss issues in his life, such as his father’s passing, his mother’s cancer diagnosis, and his friends turning to foes as fame and fortune became a part of his life.
7.) “Just How It Is” – Young Thug
The most recent entry into Young Thug’s impressive discography came in the form of late summer’s “So Much Fun”, a star-studded project from the Atlanta rapper that served to provide him with the strongest numbers he has ever seen on an album release, as well as some of the highest charting songs he has ever had on Billboard. The album’s lead track, “Just How It Is,” serves as an entry point into this new chapter of Thug’s career. Having established himself as a respected and storied member of the modern hip-hop conversation now, his raps are more concise and truthful than ever.
8.) “10,000 Hours” – Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber
Arguably the hottest duo in country/pop music of the summer, Dan + Shay have joined forces with one of the biggest names in 21st century pop music, for a song wholly about love. At the heels of his marriage to Hailey Baldwin, Justin Bieber speaks on undying affection, trading words with the duo over a country-influenced finger picked guitar melody. Surely to be the go-to slow dance song for months to come, the three know exactly what it takes to make a hit.
9.) “Playing Games” – Summer Walker & Bryson Tiller
Summer Walker is another artist who has had a remarkable breakout year. With cosigns spanning from Jhené Aiko to Drake, the singer knows how to draw her audience in. With a powerful and beautiful voice, Summer Walker discusses elements of love, independence, and dealing with fame. The tactically placed Bryson Tiller feature on this song only compliments her style, creating a new age R&B anthem.
10.) “Bandit” – Juice WRLD & YoungBoy Never Broke Again
A power duo in the new school of rappers, Juice WRLD and YoungBoy Never Broke Again trade bars on this hard-hitting beat with electronic harp-like samples dancing behind them. Juice WRLD’s unique emo-rap stylings compliment YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s distinctly southern cadence in his raps, creating an interesting track that is sure to have heads bopping whenever it is played.