Disney Channel star Dove Cameron has made a few music overtures over the course of her career, but “LazyBaby” marks the first indisputable win of her recording career: a disco-pop gem that gains momentum and conviction as it progresses, “LazyBaby” quickly morphs the Descendants star into a summer-song siren.
MNDR & Empress Of, “Love In Reverse”
Amanda Warner’s long-running MNDR project joins forces with Lorely Rodriguez’s Empress Of moniker for a synth-pop cut about the type of passion that overpowers all reason. Not surprisingly, the pair of songwriting pros make sure every corner of this one glistens with production polish and full-throated emotion.
Chloe Moriondo, “I Eat Boys”
The title is literal: on Chloe Moriondo’s “I Eat Boys,” the singer-songwriter uses Jennifer’s Body as an inspiration to combat street harassment with a cannibalistic fantasy, complete with blood on her chin in the music video. The visual’s splatter is worth replaying, and so is the deceptively nonchalant pop-rock track behind it.
CHAI, “Nobody Knows We Are Fun”
Fans of CHAI’s 2019 album Punk — a raucous, catchy-as-hell blast of guitar-pop — will be startled to find the Japanese quartet chilled out on “Nobody Knows We Are Fun,” but the dreamier, more rhythmic approach still makes room for delicious vocal melodies (some of which you can still shout along with in the song’s second half).
Litany & Oscar Scheller, “Playlist”
“I got your playlist on / Thinking about you with no clothes on,” British singer-songwriter Beth Cornell, better known as Litany, sings on the hook of “Playlist,” which emphasizes the intimacy of the modern mixtape and brings in Oscar Scheller’s deep croon for a proper duet.
Bree Runway, “HOT HOT”
Tapping the beat from Busta Rhymes’ “Touch It,” British singer-rapper Bree Runway drops this braggadocious banger that puts things in perspective: You may think you’re hot-hot, but in comparison to Bree, you are not-not. If you need a confidence booster as you return to the world post-lockdown, “Hot Hot” belongs on your playlist.
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Morgxn is giving us Imagine Dragons vibes on “Porcelain,” an anthemic stomper about “wanting to feel again” that builds from yearning verses to a shout-it-to-the-rafters chorus.
Anthony Ramos, “Say Less”
Hamilton star Anthony Ramos shows off his seductive, effervescent croon on “Say Less,” an atmospheric R&B late-night jam in the vein of the Weeknd. Bonus fun: The sensual music video features Ramos’ In the Heights co-star Melissa Barrera.
Sarah and the Sundays, “I’m So Bored”
Austin-based indie rockers Sarah and the Sundays bring an irresistible brightness to “I’m So Bored,” deploying an airy riff and propulsive beat as they bemoan “a year doing laps in the house.” They might be bored, but they’re certainly not low on energy or out of ideas.
Nasty Cherry, “Lucky”
Nasty Cherry’s The Movie EP is the soundtrack to a film that only exists in the band’s collective imagination, but it’s not hard to envision the insistent, romantic synth-pop of “Lucky” soundtracking a final scene where the on-again, off-again couple decides to give it another go. And the line, “You’re annoying in love, but I can’t give you up” is an early contender for Best Love Lyric of the Year.