ThisIsRnB is rolling out a brand new column titled ” Fresh Finds Fridays!” Spearheaded by Flisadam Pointer, it’s filled with the hottest R&B music.
This week in Fresh Finds Friday’s R&B releases were all about musical comebacks, pop crossers, and more with singers Miguel, ‘The Little Mermaid’ star Halle Bailey, Madison McFerrin, and Durnad Bernarr leading the pack.
These hot new R&B releases were filled with musical returns, creativity gambles that paid off, the refreshing of previously released tracks or bodies of works, and formal reintroductions. Check out the full list of our hot picks of R&B releases of the week below.
Miguel – “Give It To Me”
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and Miguel’s hiatus from the music is no exception. The singer’s nearly two years break left fans yearning for the day when he would make his grandiose return. After teasing that he was brewing something special, just yesterday, the songwriter officially dropped ‘Give It To Me,’ his new eclectic genre-fluid single. Produced by Scoop DeVille, Miguel pours all the artistic elements that fans have come to love him for into the sensual track, including vocal layering, buttery runs, and steamy songwriting. The TikTok generation may be falling in love with Miguel due to the resurgence of his 2010 song “Sure Thing,” but they are certainly in for a long ride when it comes to what else the musician has to offer.
Halle Bailey – “Part Of Your World”
It has been reported that Halle Bailey moved the casting directors of The Little Mermaid live-action adaptation to tears during her auditions. With the release of the film’s signature song, “Part Of Your World,” now featuring the singer, officially available across streaming platforms, the public now knows why the Disney executives felt such raw emotion. Bailey’s past releases as part of the sibling duo Chloe x Halle, the vocalist’s angelic range was always such a hypnotic experience. Bailey’s rendition of the classic track, originally sung by Jodi Benson, proves that she was the perfect actress for Disney’s whimsy under-the-sea princess.
Durand Bernarr – “Leveled”
If Durand Bernarr wasn’t your favorite cousin on your daddy’s side before his superb NPR Tiny Desk Concert, he surely is now. Performing a melody of songs from his sophomore album, ‘Wanderlust’, there is one song in the setlist that stood out from the pack. Although it was originally released in 2022, after the warm reception it received, the musician has officially dropped “Leveled” as his newest single. Sang in Durand’s admirably high octave “Leveled” is a sheer display of his revered vocal control as he built out an intense full-body harmony around himself. Written, performed, and produced by himself, Durand is a creative force not to be ignored.
In a statement when asked about the creative process behind the song, Durand said, “The whole concept of [the song] is being honest with yourself and still being brought in. Having a moment where you have redemption. A moment of catharsis.” This sense of release is something fans immediately took hold of as the musician groove out with his band during his NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
Labrinth – Ends & Begins
Riding the euphoric high of his stellar sets both weekends of Coachella, Labrinth doesn’t leave fans waiting for new music. The music’s new album, ‘Ends & Begins’, is a culmination of the musician’s years of deep exploration of songs. There’s no one genre Labrinth as an artist or this 10-track project could neatly fall into, but as he’s gone on record to describe Ends & Beings as a“sci-fi love songs for my beloved,” why not classify it as R&B if only for a moment. Featuring credits from Zendaya on “The Feels” as well as “Everything” and Billie Eilish on “Never Felt So Alone,” Ends & Begins is sonically jumbled but in the best way possible. There are no dull moments on this project. Ends & Begins requires fans’ full attention, as nothing should be overlooked in the grand symphony that is this album.
DRAM – What Happened Was …Deluxe
‘What Happened Was’ …an album so nice, DRAM or Shelly (whichever you prefer), the musician had to double back twice. Originally released in late 2022 to critical acclaim, DRAM still had more to pour into the already robust body of work. Adding an additional five tracks and one dance mix, the deluxe version of ‘What Happened Was’ simply adds a cherry on top of a delicious musical sundae. With special guest appearances from Snoop Dogg, Daniel Hex, Ellis Quinn, and more, DRAM sprinkles in finger-licking features to bring the project to new heights.
Madison McFerrin – “Utah”
Madison McFerrin’s songwriting ability is masterful. Whether you were pulled in after her song “Guilty” went viral or you’ve been a longtime supporter of the singer, Madison’s penmanship is something worth marveling over. Her self-produced single “Utah” is yet another example of her skillset put on full display. Birthed out an argument she had with her fiancée while traveling across the beehive state, “Utah” is undeniably pop but her soulful vocals create a balance between sombering heartbreak and a danceable groove. The track is just a taste of what’s to come from McFerrin’s full album, ‘I Hope You Can Forgive Me’ slated to drop on 5/12.
Arlo Parks – “Blades”
Arlo Parks’ highly anticipated sophomore album ‘My Soft Machine’ is just weeks away but to hold fans over the singer shared another single from the project. Inspired by Missy Elliott, Kaytranda, and ESG, “Blades” is an infectious dance track. A slight deviation from Parks’ beloved alternative R&B approach but phenomenal nonetheless. Produced by Paul Epworth and co-written by Parks and Anais Marinho, is the most ambitious release from the project so far and that creative gamble is paying off big with fans. The song is featured on her forthcoming album, My Soft Machine scheduled to drop on 5/23 via Transgressive Records.
Amaria – All For You
In nearly three years, Amaria has become one of the most promising R&B acts. On her sophomore EP “All For You”, Amaria vocally demonstrates why. After one year of sonic cultivation, the singer weaves together elements of jazz, bedroom pop, and alternative R&B for a refreshing body of work. With a total run time of just under 23 minutes across seven tracks, Amaria lets fans know exactly what her ethos is. Her dreamy background harmony work, sensual song lyrics, and breathy vocal delivery create an overall steamy product that listeners immediately melt into. Not only does Ameria shine bright across the project, but so does her producer’s ear. Bringing in featured guests like Dustin Conrad, Amber Navran, and Phabo, Amarian ensures the genre is safe if left in her hands.
*Cover art photo Credits: Arlo Parks Credit Jakub Koziel, Durand Bernarr Credit LaQuann Dawson, Dram Credit Asato Iida, Miguel Credit Timothy Saccenti, and Halle Bailey Credit Mr. D. Adams