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15 songs EW's music staff is loving this winter: Stream them all here

EW‘s music staff dug into the best of what’s new and next this January, from crisp electro jams to pop stompers and rising indie-blog anthems.

Stream them all via our Spotify playlist below (minus a few currently only available online; we’ve provided separate links for those).

Miguel — “Coffee”

On this slinky number from his new EP, the R&B virtuoso manages a nearly impossible feat—murmuring “I just wanna watch you sleep” without making us want to file a restraining order.

Listen on Soundcloud.

Tove Lo — “Talking Body”

Upholding her rep as radio’s raunchy new darling, the Swedish nymphet trills about the bedroom activities on her docket. Hint: Neither HBO Go nor napping is involved.

Purity Ring — “Begin Again”

Glitchy and gorgeous, the latest off the Canadian synth duo’s second LP is like a dying star: a mixture of gloom and shimmering sweetness.

Nicki Minaj — “Four Door Aventador”

Rappers can be demanding, but on her woozy trip-hop track, Nicki merely asks that you double-tap her Instagram pics… while she cruises the Sunset Strip with Shia LaBeouf and Donna Karan.

Petite Noir — “Chess”

The much-buzzed Cape Town, South Africa resident’s otherworldly voice swoops from fluttering falsetto to creamy baritone on this thrumming slow-burn ballad. Checkmate, new friend. Checkmate.

Waxahatchee — “Air”

“I left you out like a carton of milk,” the Alabama-bred songwriter born Katie Crutchfield coos on this cinematic beauty. With a song so hauntingly pretty, how mad can you get that she’s careless with dairy?

Johnny Flynn — “In April”

Song partners and real-life paramours Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice penned this yearning, folksy ramble for the Anne Hathaway indie drama Song One.

Tink feat. Charlamagne Tha God — “Around the Clock”

Quoting Wu-Tang lines older than she is over a swaying Timbaland beat, the 19-year-old Chi-town native stakes out her territory with raspy try-and-step-to-me defiance.

Heems — “Sometimes”

The newly solo MC, formerly of rap hucksters Das Racist, spits light-speed low-self-esteem boasts (“Sometimes I hate compliments/They make me blush!”) over a fidgety electro-hop backdrop.

Listen on YouTube.

Hanni El Khatib — “The Teeth”

While the Black Keys are busier these days tumbling down psychedelic rabbit holes, fans of oil-stained garage blues can hop aboard this chugging scuzz-rock express.

Rae Sremmurd — “My X”

The purest yawp in youth culture currently belongs to the barely legal Sremmurd boys. Producer Young Chop’s doomsday drums perfectly match their primal bellows.

Charli XCX — “Gold Coins”

The bratty Brit doesn’t mean to brag, but she’s got “offshore bank accounts,” Bentleys, and one hell of a knack for pop hooks.

Mark Ronson feat. Mystikal — “Feel Right”

Growling with delight over strutting horns, Mystikal sounds like rap’s answer to the Muppets’ Animal on this funk-filled call-and-response banger.

Jazmine Sullivan — “Mascara”

Her melting ballad about superficiality may seem satirical, but with lines like “My tits give me trips to places I can’t pronounce,” we really want to hack her Orbitz account.

Modest Mouse — “Lampshades on Fire”

The long-absent indie titans unfurl their first official single since 2007, a bouncing tale about humanity destroying then abandoning the Earth. (Way more fun than it sounds.)

Stream rapper Azad Right's soul-drenched slow jam 'When You Know' -- exclusive

L.A. rapper Azad Right is still in the process of making a name for himself, but he’s already started collecting some big-name co-signs. Last spring on MTV’s RapFix Akon compared his single “Love of the Game” to early Nas. A better comparison might be to Kanye West at the beginning of his career: Right has the same love for soulful string arrangements, the same interest in high-end fashion, and the same combination of cocky charm and disarming vulnerability, all of which come through loud in clear on his latest track, the unexpectedly romantic “When You Know,” produced by Soulection’s IAMNOBODI.

You can download the track here, and check out last fall’s Right’s For the Hopeful mixtape here.


In Tall Buildings shares the delicately funky new single 'Unmistakable' -- exclusive

Driver, the second album by Chicago’s In Tall Buildings, sustains such a steady mood—a hushed intimacy touched with the subtlest edge of melancholy—that it can be easy overlook the ambitious stylistic hopscotch happening behind it. Erik Hall, a home recording enthusiast and the project’s sole member, is best known for playing with Afrofunk revivalists NOMO and the dream-pop outfit Wild Belle, and you can hear the influence of both in his own work alongside psych-folk, contemporary synthesizer music, Peter Gabriel’s ’80s electronic pop experiments, and more.

The second single from the album, “Unmistakable,” manages to incorporate all of the above, producing a delicately funky amalgam that sounds a little like Elliott Smith’s Either/Or filtered through Gabriel’s So. Driver will be released Feb. 17 on Western Vinyl.


Kitty releases a virtual reality-inspired video for 'Second Life' -- exclusive

The string of impressive tracks that she’s released online over the past two years have established Kitty as an adept if controversial rapper (at least among people who can’t stand it when women make rap songs). But with her new EP Frostbite, she’s moved into more of a dance-pop space that sounds sort of like Britney Spears getting stoned and falling down a Tumblr rabbit hole. Her latest single, “Second Life,” is basically a chill-out techno song by an apparently brony-affiliated producer named PinkiePieSwear given a drum ‘n’ bass remix by Anamanaguchi’s Ary Warnaar, topped by Kitty’s now-trademark hypnotic vocals.

For the video, the filmmaking team Many Hearts recruited J-pop-inspired DJ/producer Maxo to play a video game addict immersed in a Kitty-themed virtual reality.


Catch up on the year in dance moves with the 'Single Ladies' video director

For music fans, both amateur and professional, the final quarter of the year is pretty much devoted to talking over–or arguing about–the music that we listened to, but there’s never much discussion about how we moved to it. Maybe it’s because dance styles often evolve independently of music trends, or because a lot of people who love talking about music are terrified of talking about dance (or dancing, for that matter). READ FULL STORY

Here are the Cam'ron emoticons you never knew you needed

Who amongst us hasn’t found ourselves mid-text with a friend, swiping through a limited library of woefully inadequate emoticons and thought, “Damn, I could really use a Cam’ron emoticon right now!” No? Not you? READ FULL STORY

R&B duo Thrillers conjure sexy '80s vibes in their 'Can't Get Enough' video

Back during the summer, the duo Thrillers—made up of brothers Jeremy and Gregory Pearson—released a single, “Can’t Get Enough,” that brought the sound of ’80s teen-pop R&B into the here and now, with a slightly ravey, slightly sexy makeover along the way. Now comes the song’s video, which keeps up the retro theme with references to John Hughes’s Weird Science and a sprinkling of emulated VHS glitches.

“Can’t Get Enough” will appear on the Thrillers’ debut Cotton Candy Kisses EP, due out in the spring.


Rap wunderkind Tunji Ige takes a late night walk in his 'The Love Project (Ooh Ooh)' video


There’s no shortage of Next Big Things in rap right now, but 19-year-old Tunji Ige is starting to rapidly pull away from the rest of the pack. After putting himself on the map with a well-timed collaboration with rising hip-hop eccentrics iLoveMakonnen and Michael Christmas, last week Ige released The Love Project, a full-length full of dark and moody post-Drake vibes whose luxurious build quality belie the fact that they were recorded in his dorm room.

The album’s latest single is “The Love Project (Ooh Ooh).” Its brand-new video turns up the song’s alienated and insomniac feel by sending Ige out to wander the deserted streets and empty bodegas of late-night Brooklyn.


The Ting Tings' 'Wrong Club' gets an ironically club-worthy remix by Boix


For their upcoming third LP Super Critical, British dance-pop duo The Ting Tings kept up their tradition of recording each of their albums in a different country and decamped to the island of Ibiza, the world’s unofficial capital of raving. “We were quite fascinated with how DJ’s construct their songs,” jet-lagged front woman Katie White explains by phone from her hotel room in Tokyo. “It’s quite different from how you’d write a typical pop song.”

“So we set off to Ibiza thinking we’d probably gonna be inspired by DJ culture and EDM and all of that,” she explains, “and we actually ended up making an album that sounded nothing like Ibiza. We’d go to the clubs, and they were really good, but we’d walk away and go, ‘Oh, could you imagine what it would be like to be in New York at CBGB and Studio 54 in the ’70s?’ We’d fantasize about all of these clubs that don’t exist. So we started to really look into it, and at the music that was played at those clubs.”


Hear Odesza's brand-new remix of Grammy nominee Sia's 'Big Girls Cry'


Singer, songwriter, and (as of Friday morning) three-time Grammy nominee Sia has two primary musical modes she tends to stick to: cathartic dance pop like her breakout single “Chandelier” and brooding power ballads like “Pretty Hurts” (which she wrote with Beyoncé). The album version of “Big Girls Cry,” from her 1000 Forms of Fear, is firmly of the second sort, but for a new official remix the rising EDM production duo ODESZA strips away the song’s angst and replaces it with the low-key but rave-able energy that they’ve made their trademark.

EW has an exclusive first listen.


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