OKAYPLAYER
OKAYPLAYER

Sam Smith: ‘In the Lonely Hour’

Though Sam Smith has been on the music scene for approximately two years in England, he was relatively unknown in the United States until his appearance on “Saturday Night Live” on March 29. His style blends diverse pure soul and alternative influences. He won the British “Sound of 2014” award, which honors the upcoming talent of the year, and his talented songwriting talents make him a force to be contended with in the future.   Featuring tracks that blend soulful vocals with more electronically produced music, the album, set for release May 25, perfectly navigates the line between motivational and relaxed sounds.

 

RECORDSTORE
RECORDSTORE

Nick Mulvey: ‘First Mind’

There are some musicians who successfully teleport you to another time and location every time they perform. Nick Mulvey is one of these musicians. Another relatively unknown English singer-songwriter, Mulvey began his solo career in 2011, has released several EPs and his first studio album was released May 12.  His style influences come from the folk of Mumford and Sons and Ben Howard, combining haunting vocals with folk instrumentals.  While “First Mind” will not receive much attention, if one is interested in a new folk artist, this album is definitely a good choice.

 

GOLDENPLEC
GOLDENPLEC

Lykke Li: ‘I Never Learn’

The Swedish singer Lykke Li made her way onto many summer playlists in 2011 with her catchy single “I Follow Rivers,” and this year her new album, “I Never Learn,” should definitely be on your radar. Mixing folky vocals with more retro-electronic sound production, the tracks vary between the more alternative and dark singles, such as “Gunshot” and “Heart of Steel,” and the more dreamy, cinematic  ones, such as “No Rest for the Wicked.” With a voice that is impossible to resist, these otherworldly songs are perfect for some alternative summer listening.

 

TRENDLAND
TRENDLAND

Michael Jackson: ‘Xscape’

The King of Pop needs neither an introduction nor a selling point. Being released May 13 this posthumous album features never–before–released tracks from the King. Though one may portray this work as another ploy by the Jackson family to gain money, the released single “Love Never Felt So Good” featuring Justin Timberlake is an excellent feel-good soul track. The album will doubtlessly get much attention, and a number of tracks on the album deserve it. If you are looking to listen to some new music with timeless funk and soul influences, “Xscape” is the route to take.

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