Like I Would – ZAYN
If you look past the horrific, MSN-esque song titles, we can all admit that Zayn Malik’s debut album is actually really, really good. He’s produced an album remarkably quickly after his exit from the biggest boy band in the world and it’s surprisingly mature and sophisticated for a debut album. His voice is incredible and he mixes synth tracks with piano accompaniments to really show off his range. I never thought I’d be praising a member of One Direction for their musicality but it is actually quite impressive. My favourite track from the album is ‘Like I Would’ and here is a live version that shows off his vocals. Now he just needs to work on not looking dead behind the eyes when he performs.
Terrified – Isaac Gracie
Isaac Gracie is a singer-songwriter from London who is causing the whole music industry to slightly freak out right now. The head of Universal music flew from LA to London just to meet him personally and go to his show and he is already signed with Virgin EMI. Gracie seems a little in shock after this amount of attention but it is well deserved. You could view him as just another angsty, long-haired songwriter but there is something very unique about his style and voice that will undoubtedly lead to lots of success. Here’s my favourite song of his, ‘Terrified’, performed at his recent SXSW set.
Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande
The debut single from Ariana Grande is a sure way of showing that this album is her final departure from her Nickelodeon days. Pairing the release of this single with an appearance on SNL (which she killed, by the way), she clearly wants to show the world that she has grown up. ‘Dangerous Woman’ is powerful and moves away from her easy pop tunes to a fuller, more mature sound. And she continually amazes me with her vocals for such a tiny person. The video is coming out as a series of ‘visuals’ and here’s the first one which was released this week.
Can We Work It Out – Gordi
This song is SO GOOD. Coming from 22 year old Australian Gordi, it’s her first release in the US/UK and it’s so wonderful. With Imogen Heap-ish harmonies and really cool layers of synths and drums, ‘Can We Work It Out’ is beautiful and interesting to listen to. Her songs are personal and introspective and were mostly written in her university dorm, taking inspiration from the people around her and her own experiences with relationships. Gordi is definitely one to keep an eye on and I can’t wait for her first album which will come out as she continues her medicine degree in Australia.
Wicked Game – James Vincent McMorrow
This cover is two of my favourite things combined: the vocals of James Vincent McMorrow and this incredible song. So many artists have covered this song but this one is by far my favourite, showing off the delicacy of the song and the stunning falsetto of McMorrow. The ease with which he sings it and the way he performs the song is just amazing and it’s a great tribute to the original Chris Isaak track.