FRESH OUT THE BOX: Little Mix, Janet, Halsey, The Weeknd



September is here! That means a break in the temperatures (aka tights weather!), Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and the run up to Q4. Since we last chatted new music, there was some familiar good ones (The Weeknd! Little Mix!) and some surprise nuggets (Duran Duran and Kiesza? Halsey? Wut). Here's some new goodness you should be turning up loud.

Chances are you've probably already heard of her and her breakthrough smash "Here". I'd put her right up there with Tori Kelly in terms of songwriters that teens can both look up to and relate to. Her EP, Four Pink Walls, is a must listen from beginning to end.

While their first push single with Janelle Monae did little to move me, get Ms. Kiesza involved and I'm sure to be impressed. 

I've had Halsey on the back of my mind for awhile now but in no way at all was I expecting to so thoroughly enjoy her debut set BADLANDS. It's literally good cover to cover, not a bad one in the bunch. It was hard to pick a favorite but for now it'll be anthematic "New Americana" if only for the Notorioius B.I.G. and Nirvana references. She's clearly the new It Girl to watch, and BADLANDS might very well be 2015's Queen of the Clouds surprise stunner.

If it was up to me, this 90's dance trend will. never. stop. Lovely Ella Henderson sees some great play here as well -- if you loved her big voice on her single "Ghost", you'll be all about this.

Jess's debut album, I Cry When I Laugh, hits the US finally this Friday but I'm impatient and want it right freakin' now. I literally wore out "Don't Be So Hard On Yourself" (what can I say, it lyrically resonates for me most days) but "Why Me" comes in a close second.

Sob Sob Sob. The Queen could sing the phone book and I'd be here for it. Probably crying while she did it, too.

This is not a sound I was necessarily expecting from Little Mix but certainly they can pull it off. A part of me desperately wishes this a Zayn diss track but either way, it's a fun hair swinging romp and ridiculous for that silly line in the chorus ("He was just a (ZING!) and he knew it!").

Look, I get it. The Weeknd (or as my co-worker calls him "The Week-und") is supremely talented and is helping hold down the R&B fort in the mainstream. The Beauty Behind the Madness album is a deep listen with lots of gems but I feel like his super blunt lyrical style just isn't for me. Call me a romantic, I don't care. That being said, "In The Night" immediately stood out for its 80's Michael Jackson feel. Ace.

This whistle-stomp style really soars with ZZ's husky, bluesy voice. Can we get her on a joint tour with Ms. Elle King, please?

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