2024 is a year of new musical opportunities. Most artists are keeping their plans under wraps as things pick back up following the holiday season. But, the R&B lover in all of us is happy to see the sea of new releases getting back into motion. 

So, what new music dropped? This Fresh Finds Fridays column features releases from Jhené Aiko, Eric Bellinger, Vedo, Kyle Dion, Solomon Headen, Ama Louise, and Zeina. Check out this week’s roundup below. Don’t forget to let us know who you’re listening to in the comment section below.

Jhené Aiko – “Sun/Son”

In November 2022, Jhené Aiko and Big Sean welcomed their son Noah Hasani. Since then, the pair have been enjoying those precious parenting moments with their baby boy in the privacy of their home, only slipping back into the public’s eye for minor engagements. Always one to creatively pull from her life, Jhené Aiko funneled her maternal love into her new single, “Sun/Son,” dedication to the family’s latest edition. 

The track, co-produced by August Grant and Derex Williams, continues in Jhené’s downtempo tradition of musically loving on her children. Jhené has plenty of songs pouring into her older daughter Namiko Love, so it’s only adorably right for Noah to have his time in the spotlight.

“There’s no more cloudy days / Even when there’s no light out / I feel your warm embrace / You love me with passion / When I’m at a raise, you’re like the anchor / And I am so glad you came / Just right when I needed savin’ / Waited awhile, don’t know where you was / I prayed out loud and then there you were / Made for the veil, you’re the way, the one / No doubt about it, you charge me up, you chargе me up / Sun son, sun son,” sings Jhené.

Jhené took to her official Instagram page to tease the record, penning a moving note to her song. “[On November 8], we celebrated our baby boy’s FIRST birthday. What a beautiful and fulfilling year it’s been. What an honor to watch him grow. This is for my favorite boy, my sweet and silly Noah Woahwah, mama’s baby. My Sun/Son,” wrote the singer.

“Sun/Son” is Jhené Aiko’s first single since “Alive & Well,” which dropped back in May 2023.

Zeina – Hooked

Zeina snatched the public’s attention by releasing her 2023 track, “Take Me Down.” The Brooklyn-born and Montreal-raised singer’s fluid approach to music has made her an act to watch. While fans count down the days until her sophomore album, Eastend Confessions, hits streaming services, she’s keeping them fed.

Yesterday (January 4), Zeina shared her EP Hooked with the world. As the songwriter declared it, the four-track project is quintessential lover-girl music. Amongst the songs featured on the multilingual project, previous singles “Take Me Down” and “Hooked” both made the cut. Zeina’s growth since the release of her 2017 album Odd One Out is astounding. On Hooked, Zeina tapped producers Loshendrix, Dante Jones, Diego Ave, MD$, Danitello, and FrancisGotHeat, to name a few. The EP features a notable writing credit from Pablo Stipicic.

During an interview with Apple Music Up Next Canada’s George Stroumboulopoulos, Zeina discussed the importance of incorporating her cultural ties. “I’m an Arab woman. It’s a special culture to put forward because I feel that it is underdeveloped in the Western side of the world. I think that I’m playing around with showing it, and people are responding. It’s needed. There are so many people like me who feel that they don’t fully belong to that area because they grew up [in Canada] or they don’t fully belong here. So, I’m trying to bridge that gap and be the voice for the people that have had the same upbringing as me,” said Zeina. 

Overall, Hooked demonstrates that Zeina is ready for her next major showing.

Eric Bellinger – “La Perla”

For most, at the start of New Year’s Day, folk are looking for a fresh beginning as they shed the last 365 days. For Eric Bellinger, he has no desire to shake anything but rather strengthen what he’s already had. On the singer’s new single, “La Perla,” he celebrates the 9th anniversary of his marriage with La’Myia Good.

“Committed to Commitment. Thank you for the best nine years of my life. You made it easy to fall for you! #MuseMusic,” wrote Eric on Instagram after sharing the risque promotional art co-staring the actress. 

If you were confused about how the San Juan neighborhood in Puerto Rico is tied into the pair’s love story, you’re sniffing in the wrong direction. The luxury lingerie company inspires the single’s name. As you hear Eric sing, “La Perla’s comin’ off tonight / Can’t wait to see you under the lights / In your La Perla / Girl, you know the drill / You know how I feel / I can hear your body callin’ / Tellin’ me how bad you want it / It’s the way you tease / Got me beggin’ please / Can’t wait to have your body right here,” it all makes sense.

Based on the track’s cover art, “La Perla” is one of the latest offerings from Eric Bellinger’s upcoming album, The Rebirth 3, due out on February 9th.

“La Perla” is Eric Bellinger’s follow-up to his holiday album, Eazy Christmas.

Vedo – “Pull Over”

Sometimes, the rushing feelings of physical yearning can’t wait when you’re madly in love. Singer Vedo’s latest single, “Pull Over,” is all about the flooding sensation. 

The track, co-produced by Bridge and John Scherer, isn’t your run-of-the-mill contemporary R&B production. From the underlying trap bassline, rock-influenced electric guitar solo, and steady pacing, “Pull Over” has all the components to keep you drawn in, and the lyrics paint the lustful story for listeners. 

“Can you wear that perfume that I like? / Can you wear that satin dress, then let down your hair? / Can I have just the way I like, right there? / Can I lay you on the bed? Run my fingers through your hair? / Your legs, right there / My hands, right here / My lips, your hips,” sings Vedo.

Thanks to “Pull Over,” It appears as if Vedo is getting an early start on Valentine’s Day.

“Pull Over” is Vedo’s follow-up to his single “No Worries” with Rotimi.

Kyle Dion – “Hang Me Out To Dry”

In the words of the late Amy Winehouse, sometimes love is a losing game. Well, Kyle Dion is willing to take his chances because when it does work out, the payout is worth all of the heartbreak you’ve endured. Unfortunately, on his latest single, “Hang Me Out To Dry,” he hasn’t successfully made it to the other side.

On the record, written and produced by Kyle, Michael “Miko” Simard, and Soran Dussainge, he details how he’s been tucked away and forgotten by his lover. “Perfect timing maybe / Time away can save me / Cause I’ve been so bad to you / I need to reset again / I’m so tired / Being in this cycle gets so tired / But I wanna / I wanna be higher / Please don’t take me down / And take me higher / You hang me out to dry,” sings Kyle.

As Kyle Dion smooths out the wrinkles in his love story, fans will be right here cheering him on in the hope that the next one to come along doesn’t leave him pressed like a fresh button-up shirt.

“Hang Me Out To Dry” is the latest release of Kyle Dion’s forthcoming EP, If My Jeans Could Talk.

Solomon Headen – “Crime”

In 2023, Atlanta singer Solomon Headen burst onto the scene with the release of his EP Love FM. The 6-track project quickly amassed the songwriter over 25,000+ monthly listeners on Spotify only. Shortly after, Solomon doubled back with the complimentary extended compilation, Love FM Deaux.

With R&B lover’s interest in the palm of his hand, Solomon has returned with his first single of the year,  “Crime.” The track, which samples Sade’s 1985 song “Is It A Crime,” outlines the constant battle between lust and love.

When Solomon sings, “So I heard you got a n**** / That’s cool I guess but you know he ain’t nothing like me / He can’t f*ck you he can’t love you like me / And you heard about other woman / It’s true I guess but you know they ain’t nothing like you / We’re just f*cking I don’t love them like you  / But baby when you come around you never see them / I can’t seem to turn them down it’s like I need them,” he acknowledges just how convoluted his rationale is. 

At its essence, “Crime” is about needs versus wants, shining a light on Solomon’s layered storytelling abilities. Although Solomon Headen dropped two projects last year, I’m guessing from this single, another project could be on the way.

Ama Louise – “Send Your Loving”

Based on Ama Louise’s latest single, “Send Your Loving,” it appears that the era of not-needing-a-lover has ended. On the track, which was mixed and mastered by Stevie Bbeatz, the London singer is emotionally caught up and doesn’t mind letting the world know. 

“When you hold me / I feel my troubles fade away / With you, l’ve found / The type of love that keeps me safe / ‘Cause you’re always so gentle with your touch / It never feels like I’m asking you for too much / You do it all ’cause you want to / And I’m so grateful I found you / So send your loving to me tonight,” sings Ama. 

“Send Your Loving” is Ama Louise’s follow-up to past single, “Girls Trip,” which was shared in September. However, it looks as if fans won’t have to wait as long in between releases going into 2024. 

In a post uploaded to her official Instagram page, when Ama wrote, “So much has gone into this release, and I’m so happy it’s finally yours. I hope you love it as I do, and thank you for all the support so far,” supporters gathered in the comment section to theorize that a project from the singer could hit streaming services this year. Although Ama Louise hasn’t confirmed the rumor, supporters certainly hope that there is some truth to it.

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