As if Fridays weren’t your favourite day already, Refinery29 will also be gathering the best new music out each week, and breaking down why each track deserves a spot on your weekend playlist.
Last year was a rough one from start to finish, but even as 2020 gave us hell, it also gave us great music. And just days into the new year, music's best and brightest seem determined to follow that same path.
The first few days of 2021 have already seen a lot of stellar new releases, especially where pop and R&B girls are concerned. In this week's edition of New Music Fridays, we're highlighting new drops that sent shivers down our spine, marked by killer vocals layered on top of soulful tracks. As usual, women in music are doing the work, and these new releases are the proof.
Ahead, the new music you need to know.
Jazmine Sullivan ft. Ari Lennox, "On It"
After six years out of the game, Jazmine Sullivan makes her triumphant return to R&B with Heaux Tales, a brilliant exploration of sexuality and relationships. "On It," Sullivan's collaboration with fellow sanger Ari Lennox sees the pair explicitly state their terms of their desire. It is a delectably horny experience from start to finish.
Asiahn, "Messed Up"
Speaking of horny music, Asiahn has something new for you to get down to. Sexy new single "Messed Up" (from the singer-songwriter's Motown debut with The Interlude) celebrates the perks of single life, with the singer describing what's on her to-do list for the night.
Fresh off the heels of "be cool," Toronto singer-songwriter LOONY takes another stab at vulnerability with "raw." Tinged with the recognisable elements of old school R&B (think Maxwell and early 2000s Alicia Keys), the new single sees LOONY stripping down bare and requiring the same of her lover.
NAO ft. Adekunle Gold, “Antidote”
Dreamy and otherworldly, NAO and Adekunle Gold's "Antidote" does feel like a cure of sorts. The track fuses the artists' respective "wonky funk" and Afrobeats styles to create this beautiful sonic balm, melting away the woes of the world for at least three minutes and 33 seconds.
Romy Dya ft. James Francis "Romcom"
Hopeless romantic Romy Dya has a very specific idea about what true love looks like: a "Romcom." If it doesn't feel like what Harry & Sally had, she doesn't want it.
"Sing a serenade in the rain," croons the Dutch singer. "Make me feel like I can fly high. Kiss me on the fire escape with a message in the sky."
Dolapo ft. Ms. Banks and Oxlade, "Interest"
British R&NB newbie Dolapo eagerly dips her toes into the Afrobeats game with "Interest," teaming up with fellow Nigerian artists Ms. Banks and Oxlade for the sexy fusion tune.
Avenue Beat, "Woman"
What's better than being a woman? If you ask Avenue Beat, loving a woman is also pretty high on the list. The trio makes their return after the success of "f2020," lending their sweet harmonies to this self-love hit that also doubles as a meaningful queer anthem.