Sit back and let these dreamy pop, indie and R&B albums take you away.
MNEK’s debut Language and Chris, the second album by Christine & The Queens, both drop this month, and we can’t wait. But until then, these are the records we have playing on repeat…
Sweetener by Ariana Grande
How do you top Dangerous Woman? By shifting gear completely. Sweetener doesn’t have any reality-shaking bangers like Into You or Bad Decisions (although No Tears Left To Cry and God Is A Woman come close), but that’s not what this record is about. Sweetener is an album that’s chilling out with a glass of red wine and talking about its feelings.
Essential Tracks: God Is A Woman, with its instantly iconic music video, is a standout. And if Breathin isn’t the next single I will riot.
Bloom by Troye Sivan
It feels like forever since lead single My My My! but Bloom is finally here. Much has been already said about the title track and its playful double entendres, but there is a whole lot more to love on this album. The opener Seventeen is pure Sivan, melancholy but still catchy as hell, and perfectly lays out what a listener can expect from this record; explorations of young love and longing which build on the vibe he first captured in Blue Neighbourhood, interspersed with tracks like Bloom and Animal which exude a more explicitly and joyfully queer sensibility that is rarely found in chart music.
Essential Tracks: With just ten tracks, Bloom is a pocket rocket of bangers; listen to the whole thing without skipping and lose yourself in the lushness of it all.
Be The Cowboy by Mitski
Want to feel every feeling there is in just over half an hour? Then this fifth studio album by Japanese-American singer-songwriter Mitski is for you. The aptly-named Geyser builds and builds to an epic climax, while Lonesome Love and Remember My Name conjure a familiar but enjoyable early 00s, girl-with-guitar sound. Perfect for fans of Lykke Li and Lorde.
Essential Tracks: Geyser, Nobody, Washing Machine Heart.
Negro Swan by Blood Orange
I have been obsessed with Blood Orange, aka Devonté Hynes, ever since I heard the smooth and sultry Bad Girls back in 2011. Hynes brings the same seductive vocals to Negro Swan as he did previous albums Cupid Deluxe and Freetown Sound, but as always, he sounds haunted by something. Spoken word extracts from guests such as trans activist Janet Mock illustrate what Hynes was trying to do with this record, shining a light on different corners of black existence and examining how blackness and queerness intersect. Not that this album is preachy or stuffy; it’s full of soul and verve from the very first moment, and definitely rewards repeated listens.
Essential Tracks: Orlando, Hope (featuring Puff Daddy & Tei Shi) and Jewelry.