This week was all about counting down the days until Beyoncé’s country album, Cowboy Carter, hit streaming. Even rideshare company Uber got in on the excitement offering users a special promo code (‘16CARRIAGES’) in order to travel to experience the project live with friends. 

Outside of that, the last few days have been filled with tour announcement news. Xscape and SWV have worked through their differences, as seen on their reality television show, to present their co-headlining run, Queens Of R&B Tour. The tour features special guests Mýa, Total, and 702.

Next, fawned-over crooner Maxwell will hit the road this fall as part of his The Serenade Tour. The cherry on top is his supporting acts – Jazmine Sullivan and October London.

Last but not least, after canceling her previous live obligations, Jhené Aiko fans are in luck. The singer announced The Magic Hour Tour with special guests Coi Leray, Tink, UMI, and Kiana Ledé.

But what new music dropped this week? This Fresh Finds Fridays column features releases from Loony, Reggie Becton, Charlotte Day Wilson, Sinéad Harnett, Byron Juane, Amaria, Keithian, Debbie, and Nemchel. Check out this week’s roundup below. Don’t forget to let us know who you’re listening to in the comment section below.

Loony – Loony

 Loony is experiencing growing pains. Well, considering how quickly she was thrust into the spotlight thanks to Elton John’s co-sign, it’s quite reasonable. But those bouts of discomfort started long before fame, or so her self-titled album outlines. 

Throughout the twelve-track project, the Scarborough, Ontario native is on a quest for solace in her romantic life, familiar matters, and more. Sadly, that emotional relief never comes instead, Loony learns the importance of rebirth.

Sonically, Loony jumps from pocket to pocket. To some, it may seem dizzying, but that’s exactly the point. As she creatively exists, her worth is a whirlwind, and as a self-titled body of work, it should mirror her reality.  There’s nothing out of bounds on the topic front or vocally unattainable for the singer. 

On Instagram, Loony penned a note in honor of the project’s release. “I’ve been so nervous to share this part of myself with you,” she wrote. “This project has shed its skin again and again until it felt just right. All of the stories in this album are mine.”

Overall, Loony is a refreshingly realistic depiction of the transitional period—professionally, personally, and romantically. So, if this is Loony’s formal starting point, then the sky isn’t her limit it is merely her next checkpoint.

Loony’s standout tracks include “Mama Don’t Be Sad,” “Tiger Eye,” “Light Of My Life, You Cast A Shadow On The Wall,” “A Good Night,” “Too Attached” and “Old Friends.”

Reggie Becton – Sadboy, Vol. 2

There are certified lover boys, and then there are chronically sad boys. Reggie Becton leads the pack of the latter. 

The Prince George County, Maryland native’s new album, Sadboy, Vol. 2, is the depressive sonic follow-up to his 2023 body of works fans have been patiently waiting for. Across the project’s seven tracks, Becton is an emotional wreck, but his supporters are all the better for it. 

Sadboy, Vol. 2 is a jumbled assortment of Becton’s deeply conflicting feelings when in love. As he leans into his signature “forever sad boy” aesthetic, things are dialed up with dimensional storytelling. The listener already knows he’s mourning a love lost. So, Becton reaches beyond to stress the lingering impact of heartbreak.

Even though his mind tells him it’s time to move on past the hurt, as Becton attempts to re-enter the dating market, he finds himself to be the f*ck boy folks warn you about. The mellowed harmonies, titillating production, and pensive lyrical content make Sadboy, Vol. 2 a sonic delight with countless playback appeal. 

Sadboy, Vol. 2’s standout tracks include “Bad M’fker,” “Just Friends” featuring Mayila, and “Now I’m In Love.”

Charlotte Day Wilson – “Canopy”

Ironic enough, heartbreak can lead to healing in other areas you might’ve neglected. Charlotte Day Wilson echoes this theory in her new single, “Canopy.” The record, co-produced with Jack Rochon, is aimed at finding the silver line in any situation, including a toxic relationship. 

The Toronto native’s juxtaposition between the song’s definite lyrics and fluid production elements, including funk, soul, and R&B, fosters an enjoyable banter on wax to help the topic penetrate that much deeper.  

In a statement, Charlotte spoke about the meaning behind the record. “[‘Canopy’ is] meant to remind us that losing love & leaving can be just as inspiring as finding it,” she said. This shows up in the lyrics co-written with Amy Allen. 

“I know you’re so confused / Don’t know which way to move / You pick a fight, I keep it light / No one stays friends with you / No wonder I might, too / Leave and just cut the loss / I’m done, my towel tossed / And I can’t be tapered off / It’s like a canopy, all that hate / And I’m above it, can’t live that way,” sings Charlotte.

“Canopy” is Charlotte Day Wilson’s latest release from her upcoming album, Cyan Blue, due out on May 3. To pre-order, click here.

Sinéad Harnett – “Burn”

Five years removed from her first viral COLORS appearance, Sinéad Harnett returned with a vengeance. During this visit, the singer premiered her latest single, “Burn.” Just as the title implied, it’s hot to the touch, or more like it shears the listener’s brain.

In this era of the London native’s music journey, she’s making repentance to herself. On this Tyler Reese-produced track, Harnett confesses how she pushed away potentially good lovers due to her unhealed emotional wounds.

“Don’t get too close to me / You should set yourself free / You think it’s so easy / But baby you’ll learn / Don’t get too close to me / I can’t control the heat / I’m like the third degree / And baby you’ll burn / Baby you’ll burn,” sings Harnett.

Given the dramatic nature of this revelation, Reese’s job is to sonically match that rollercoaster energy. With the robust orchestra-like peaks and the sombering valleys, Reese does just that. Harnett may not be perfect, but “Burn” sure is.

“Burn” is the latest release from Sinéad Harnett’s forthcoming album, Boundaries due out on April 26. To pre-save, click here.

Byron Juane & Kenyon Dixon – “Timeless”

If you thought the era of “singing to it” or begging for it died off in the 90s, you’re wrong. At least not if Byron Juane and Kenyon Dixon have anything to do with it. In their solo works, the singers refused to abandon R&B’s romantic roots. So, when the pair came together for the joint song “Timeless,” fans of the genre knew they were in for a treat. 

Co-produced by Space Jace, Lpgambino, Tone, and JERMJUICE, “Timeless” is the quintessential “baby-making music” to which many of us owe our existence to you. With Dixon opening the track, he sets the mood by singing, “I know what your body’s been craving / I swear I do / Soon as I get you alone let’s get what you need, baby / The way you be taking it up, I’m so proud of you / And how you just let me go crazy when I’m in it deep, baby.” 

During the track’s second verse, Bryon picks things right back up where Dixon left them. “Deep in you is where I go / Love your face when you can’t take it babe /  Ain’t getting out, this is Death Row / Took it to the head every round now she outta breathe / She on demon time but she make it feel heaven sent,” sings Bryon. 

This record is for the love makers, soul-shakers, and certified silk sheet wreckers. 

“Timeless” marks Byron Juane and Kenyon Dixon’s first-ever collaboration.

Amaria – “Beggin” 

Savor the moment. Typically, this advice is applied to enjoying smaller areas of life. But Amaria believes that intentionality should be enforced in other areas. On her new single, “Beggin,” she stretched this philosophy on intentionality to the bedroom.

The sensual record, co-produced by Amaria and Mirelle Cabangbang, shows that the singer’s hometown of Tampa, Florida, isn’t the only place where things get hot for her. As the track opened with the rattling of a snake’s tail, you’ve been forewarned about the record’s content matter.

“Baby, why you movin’ fast? We need to go a little slower / Gave you all I had to give, but now I want a little more / It’s all in the way you flow, that feels so good to me / Or is it the way you glow that makes it hard to see / I keep beggin’ for you / Lovin’ beggin’ for you,” sings Amaria.

The weaving of jazz, soul, and R&B paired with Amaria’s lustful vocals makes “Beggin” this the perfect addition to your red light special playlist.

“Beggin” is Amaria’s first release since her 2023 album, All For You.

Keithian – “Stranger” 

In life, there’s such a thing as having a healthy distance. However, when you find yourself madly in love with someone, any distance-shifting energy is immediately picked up on and should be addressed. 

That’s the inspiration behind Keithian’s new single, “Stranger.” The New Orleans, Louisiana native calls out his lover’s changed behavior to see what can be done to mend their connection. 

“Why you acting like a stranger / You were down last night / How you acting like a gamer / Wanna play all night / Do you want me to hit you later? / Got your phone on quiet / Why you holding back your feelings? / Wanna be in touch,” sings Keithian.

This isn’t your typical somber heartbreak track production. With producers Authentik and OLivR responsible for crafting, they ensure that even through emotional trials, you still have a bop to vibe out to.

In a statement shared with ThisIsRnB, the singer shared the inspiration behind the track. “[“Stranger”] resonates with anyone who has felt the ache of love slipping away,” he said. “I’m reflecting on my dating experiences and recognizing a pattern – I gravitated toward the ‘unavailable’ types.”

“Stranger” is Keithian’s first original release of 2024.

Debbie – “It’s Been A Week”

Anger, resentment, and bitterness all stem from the same guttural point of constant disappointment. Just when you think your circumstances can’t get any worse, the universe shows you that they can. For Debbie, her latest single, “It’s Been A Week,” was the catalyst for exasperating defeat. 

Teaming with producers Jay Reynolds and Jordan Riley, the London singer expels those heavy emotions into the booth as the lyrics (co-written with Riley) lay out her tipping point.

Prior to its release, Debbie took to Instagram to share a note detailing the inspiration behind the song. “I was so fed up sometime last year,” she wrote. “I always found myself unlucky in love, and I think this session was my breaking point, lol, ‘It’s Been A Week’ was born in the crossfire and will be out there and yours.”

“Hand me that Robitussin / Think I need something for the pain / Hurt myself out here loving / Should have padded up to be safe / I could think of reasons why / Believe me, I’ve tried / Spent my lonely nights dreaming / Of how the hell you’d dare to think,” sings Debbie.

“It’s Been A Week” is Debbie’s follow-up to “Rain.”

Nemchel – “Better Without”

Knowing when to walk away is one of the most underappreciated discernment tools. This skill set comes in handy when navigating the dating field. Nemchel is learning this lesson all too well. In her latest single, “Better Without,” discovers what her limit is. 

The Vero Beach, Florida native is known for being multifaceted, but this record shows that she certainly should share her vocal talents a lot more. The production brought forth by JStacks is light and airy but stern, similar to the track’s subject matter. The sonics remind you of a ticking clock, stressing the urgency in Nemchel’s message.

“You got me tripping / Got me looking in the mirror different / Got me thinking that its something missing / Got me questioning my intuition / And that ain’t right / I thought that I would see the signs / I thought that I could write my wrongs,” sings Nemchel.

Co-written with Brndn, “Better Without” is filled with heartbreaking realizations anyone who has had to misfortune of heartache and emotional disappointment has felt at one point or another. “Better Without” is Nemchel’s follow-up to “Gonna B Ok.”


*Cover photo credit: Kristina Dittmar


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