New Music for Summer 2020

Looking for a fresh jam? Add these six musical acts—from French dream-pop outfits to psychedelic hip-hop storytellers—to your next playlist and get listening.
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musical group puss n boots hugging

The band Puss N Boots, made up of singer-songwriters Sasha Dobson, Cat Popper, and Norah Jones.

If you like Kacey Musgraves, you’ll love Brandy Clark 

She’s been the songwriter behind Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert and was nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy in 2015, so why is Clark’s time now? Because hers is the voice we need in 2020. Your Life Is a Record is steeped in country but not beholden to any Nashville sound, each song a sharply observed narrative of a woman making her own choices in today’s America. 

If you like Bruce Springsteen, you’ll love Brian Fallon 

Since his days leading the rootsy New Jersey punk band Gaslight Anthem, Brian Fallon has gone from fervently strumming his guitar to tugging on heartstrings. His latest LP, Local Honey, is filled with mostly acoustic tales of fatherhood and love grown richer or gone sour, all sung with the slight lilt of a Celtic troubadour. 

If you like SZA, you’ll love TOKiMONSTA 

She’s an L.A.-based DJ and producer with an arm’s length of collaborations and remixes to her name. For Oasis Nocturno, she assembled an international array of guest singers and rappers for a sexy collection of clubby hip-shakers, slinky hip-hop, and down-tempo make-out grooves. 

If you like Norah Jones, you’ll love Puss N Boots 

Puss N Boots is not “Norah Jones’s band,” even if she is the most famous member; it’s three musicians vibing off each other to create something new. The lonesome twang of Jones’s guitar anchors Sister in country and Americana, but it’s the harmonies with fellow lead vocalists Sasha Dobson and Cat Popper that electrify songs like “It’s Not Easy.”

If you like Lana Del Rey, you’ll love SoKo 

French singer-songwriter SoKo makes bedroom pop for whatever you desire—nookie or a nice nap. Feel Feelings is dreamy, sometimes lusty (especially on “Let Me Adore You”), and unlike anything you’ve heard. Melodies float like fireflies on a summer evening, as tinkling keyboards and spare drumbeats echo around vocals hushed like an intimate whisper. 

If you like John Legend, you’ll love Gregory Porter 

All of sonorous jazz vocalist Gregory Porter’s songs are love songs, from the late-night cabaret ballads and groovy R&B to the stirring handclap gospel of “Revival.” That’s what makes his All Rise soar no matter your faith or relationship status—the power of that essential human emotion, sung with skill and throaty conviction. 

Summer Soundtrack

Here are 10 great tunes that Rach and her hubby, John, are currently loving for their go-to summer party playlist—some rocking, some chill, all pitch-perfect for a summertime hang.

1. “Close to Me” The Cure 

2. “Roam” The B-52’s 

3. “Stripped” Depeche Mode 

4. “Black Country Rock” David Bowie 

5. “Rocket Man” Elton John

6. “Street Fighting Man” The Rolling Stones 

7. “Do Ya” Electric Light Orchestra 

8. “Satellite of Love” Lou Reed 

9. “Hash Pipe” Weezer 

10. “All the Young Dudes” Mott the Hoople 

This article originally appeared in our Summer 2020 issue. Get the magazine here