Sometimes – H.E.R. – speaking of sometimes, sometimes a performer is simply on fire, think Taylor Swift between Red and 1989, and consider Gabriella in that place right now: that “Slide” remix featuring A Boogie Wit A Hoodie earlier in January was so good and if anything “Sometimes” is better. A piano ballad that is a towering emotional rush without being inflated, neo-r&b, yes, maybe too mainstream for a Solange like chillness, but H.E.R. songs are so strong, here as well.
I Think You’re Great – Alex the Astronaut – The Australian singer songwriter has written the lick of the year here, a tasty acoustic underpinning which is among the best pep talks since Marina’s “I Am Not A Robot”. She is a terrific songwriter and her disposition completely pleasant.
la – Kelsea Ballerini – As a non-believer, I might be wrong. This is the best song of its sort since “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” (not the remix, the original), and Le;sea takes it exactly right with a gorgeous bridge.
Normalization Blues – AJJ – The best song about the Trump times since “Fuck DT” if not “The Mess We Made,” it is nearly exactly accurate and with a chugging acoustic guitar and a blues meld, it is a huge song. The golden age of dicketery, indeed.