As if Fridays weren’t your favorite 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.
Musicians have been waxing poetic about the beauty (and pain) of true love since the very first song was created, and romance has remained one of the primary concerns of music across genres centuries later. This week's new music drops also broach the subject of love from various perspectives, some with sighs of nostalgia ("Old School") and others with shivers of trepidation ("Safety First"). We've got self-love ("Woman"), Black love ("Better Than I Expected") and everything in between — this one's for the lovers.
Left at London ft. Vera Much, “Safety First”
In this beautiful but devastating single, indie-pop artist Left at London reflects on the emotional fallout of a love lost. She lets us into her chaotic stream of consciousness (her inner dialogue uniquely twisted by synthesizers), pondering how exactly she's supposed to move on from her heartbreak.
Jazmine Sullivan, "Lost One"
I really don't know the earth kept spinning for five years without new music from Jazmine Sullivan, but "Lost One" more than makes up for her extended hiatus. A simple guitar chord progression underscores the depth of Sullivan's heartbreak as she pleads for her ex not to move on too quickly.
Robert Glasper ft. H.E.R. and Meshell Ndegeocello, “Better Than I Imagined”
Black love is a beautiful thing, and in a reality where Black people are perpetually fighting for our very lives in an anti-Black world, it might be the only thing that keeps us from falling apart at the seams. H.E.R. lends her buttery vocals to this moving neo-soul track about a love powerful enough to heal even the deepest wounds inflicted upon us by society.
NAO ft. Lianne La Havas, “Woman”
Romantic love is cool and all, but have you ever fallen in love with the person in the mirror? Soulful collaborators NAO and Lianne La Havas preach the infinite benefits of self-love in "Woman," reminding us that we've got all the love that we need.
“If God is a woman on Sunday, I'ma worship us,” the duo croons. “Take my mirror out the bag and fill it with confidence.”
Princess Nokia, “I Like Him”
Princess Nokia is not a one-man kind of woman; per "I Like Him," the rapper prefers dabbling in whoever tickles her fancy at the time to being tied down to just one person. This bop is a big mood for those of us who like to keep our hearts — and our DMs — open to any and all options. Monogamy? Never heard of her.
Get all our recommendations. Listen to the full New Music To Know in 2020 playlist on Spotify:
India Shawn ft. Anderson .Paak, “Movin' On”
R&B singer-songwriter India Shawn teams up with Anderson .Paak for a song that will pull you right out of your breakup funk. "Movin' On" is the ultimate "get your ass up and go get it!" anthem for the people who need an extra dose of encouragement to take that next big step, whatever it may be.
GRACEY ft. Alexander 23, “Like That”
British singer GRACEY perfectly captures the exact feeling of butterflies in your stomach in new "Like That," a funky jaunt about what it feels like to fall head-over-heels again after recovering from your last heartbreak.
Drew Ryn, "Old School"
Is it just me, or does modern dating feel less...romantic these days? It could be the fact that the last time I even laid eyes on a man was pre-pandemic (sigh), but it just feels like romance is a lost art. Drew Ryn fully agrees with me, longing for the days of yore where candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach were the norm over quarantings and Zoom dates in catchy new song "Old School."
Lana Condor, "For Real"
Lana Condor knows a thing or two about falling in love (on camera and in real life), and in her debut solo single "For Real," she mulls over the ways she knows she founds the one. Condor's sweet melodies paired with heartwarmingly earnest lyrics about the virtues of true love will inspire hope in even the most hopeless romantic.