Sing A New Tune
Shake up your summer-to-fall playlist with fresh stuff you're gonna love, because it'll remind you of stuff you already do love.
If you like Jennifer Hudson, you'll love Merry Clayton
You know her voice: Merry Clayton sang the blistering backing vocal on the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" and dozens more. Soon after the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom won an Oscar for shining the spotlight on talents like her in 2013, she lost both legs in a car accident. Beautiful Scars, made with the help of admirers like Coldplay's Chris Martin, represents both her recovery and her upbringing in the church—gospel that, no matter your faith, you'll believe.
If you like Erykah Badu, you'll love Saleka
Imagine the guts it takes to tell your immigrant parents, including your famous Hollywood-director father, that you're forgoing the classical piano you've practiced for three-plus hours a day for years to sing pop. Saleka, the daughter of M. Night Shyamalan, did just that, and her steely self-possession shines through every track of Séance. Her thoroughly modern R&B is plenty sexy, but heady themes are woven through, from cultural identity and toxic relationships to Greek myths.
If you like Selena Gomez, you'll love Sofía Valdés
Sofía Valdés's "Handful of Water" is the aural equivalent of watching a summer sunset sink below the horizon. It's a dreamy bop, as the Panamanian singer-songwriter trills over wavery guitar in English and Spanish, and the hook beguiles you into forgetting a time when you didn't know and love her music.
If you like Aimee Mann, you'll love dodie
Those insecure inner monologues and self-effacing thoughts you confess only to a friend after a glass of wine or three—dodie writes toe-tapping songs about hers. Her Build A Problem is quiet, fitting for someone who got her start doing ukulele covers on YouTube. But rhythms percolate and strings swell on tunes like "Hate Myself," when her whispered confession blossoms into lustrous beauty.
If you like Bonnie Raitt, you'll love Maggie Rose
There's truth in the PR fact sheet calling Nashville's Maggie Rose's latest "American rock & soul." Recorded at the legendary Fame studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the album is like a geologist's core sample of American music. The sound is classic, but her sassy takes on making out, making up, and making do are very 2021. "Are We There Yet" is more soul than rock and beautifully captures love that's hitting an inflection point.
This article originally appeared in our Fall 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.