Fall is a popular season to release music for recording artists, as it is after the brutal competition to dominate the summer charts and before Christmas music begins to dominate playlists, but countless releases can fail to chart or receive proper recognition during this time. Because of this, The Milestone has composed a list of the top 10 must-hear new music releases, all released since the start of September 2016.
Released Oct. 28, this gnash track, featuring johnny yukon, showcases his unique heartfelt pop rap like a majority of his songs do. While his style is fairly unique, it limits him, making this song a good one, but not quite a great one. If gnash truly wants to imprint music history, he should branch out and experiment with different genres and styles. Until then, songs like “home” will continue to earn him a good standing on the charts.
On Oct. 7, Green Day dropped their long-awaited twelfth studio album Revolution Radio, but it hasn’t earned much acclaim. While the album does have a handful of noteworthy tracks, it is only slightly above average overall, providing only a basic punk rock feel. The album isn’t necessarily bad, but it isn’t breaking down any walls either. It simply functions as a reminder that Green Day is active and still has the potential to rock the music industry, even though Revolution Radio doesn’t do so itself. However, the overwhelming hype for this album’s release, although it may have been overdone, proves that Green Day is still influential in music.
Daya’s debut album Sit Still, Look Pretty is an example of classic modern pop with an electronic flare, and it establishes Daya as a talented vocalist. The album, released Oct. 7, includes the entirety of Daya’s debut EP, which unfortunately limits what the album is capable of, but it also lets the EP songs receive the full showcasing they are deserving of. Overall, the album is very standard and is not quite enough to reach the top of this list, but it isn’t lackluster either, as it shows Daya’s potential, talent, and easy future in music.
Sia’s latest single, “The Greatest,” has earned its place on multiple worldwide charts upon its debut, despite not yet charting on the US Top 40. The Kendrick Lamar assisted tune is built on solid beats, and its classic Sia-style vocals provide an uplifting message on major airwaves. “The Greatest,” with the help of Sia’s previous single “Cheap Thrills,” remixed by Sean Paul, prompted the deluxe re-release of her seventh studio album This is Acting, featuring seven new tracks. The deluxe version of the album was released on Oct. 21, adding another stellar album to Sia’s portfolio.
Disney star turned pop starlet Bridget Mendler released “Atlantis” on Sept. 27. The darker, electronic tune, which features Kaiydo, shows the depth and multiple sides to Mendler, as it contrasts with the sometimes over-simplicity of her sweet bubblegum pop debut album Hello My Name Is… (2012). While “Atlantis” won’t rocket Mendler to superstardom, it certainly begins paving the way for her in the music industry.
“Stranger,” Peking Duk’s collaboration with their close friend Elliphant, was released Oct. 20, and is the electronic duo’s long-time-coming first single of 2016. The soon-to-be smash hit is a major head-banger and an undeniably monumental release for the two recording artists. The track has the sound of a pop EDM anthem with other worldly lyrics, and it will soon propel the artists back up the charts.
Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye,” released Oct. 21, features the vocal stylings of hip-hop artist Sean Paul and singer-songwriter Anne-Marie. The song has a primarily pop style with strong EDM elements working together to make this track one that will stick in your head all day. It’s lyrics also portray a serious message about a single mother working to raise a child and how it changes her life, but does so in a real, uplifting way, making this important track a major success.
“Not Easy,” the multi-artist song released Oct. 21, provides for an interesting mix of multiple genres, all blending together to form an excellent, heart-touching track. It has a main pop-country genre, but is accented by Khalifa’s rap verse and an alternative-style beat. Its lyrics also provide a bittersweet message about the difficulty of a beautiful relationship consciously destined to fail from the start. The intricate styling and purpose creates an especially unique feeling, establishing a solid triumph for the heavy-hitting artists featured on the track.
Lady Gaga’s newest studio album, Joanne, dropped on Oct. 21 as the follow-up to her third studio album ARTPOP (2013). Between the two studio albums, Gaga released a jazz album with Tony Bennett, but Joanne marked her return to the Top 40 chart. The album is unlike any of her previous music, as its primary pop sound is accented by some soft country undertones and Western-styled details throughout many of the songs. Every track on Joanne also originates from a personal place for Gaga, and this sincerity can be felt throughout the entire album, giving it a very real, heartfelt feeling. With this album, Gaga has become the first woman to gain four No. 1 albums on chart in the 2010s, marking a major win for the music titan.
Alicia Keys’s first full-length album in four years, HERE, dropped on Nov. 4, blending a primarily R&B Soul and hip-hop style with contemporary pop and rap. The album is earth-shaking and music altering, and listeners will fall in love with it within five minutes. It is a powerful album from a powerhouse artist. It is raw, real, natural, and defining for Keys, showing that music still comes first in her heart. Some tracks on the album even push aside her classic piano, which Keys is known for, while others continue to highlight her as a master pianist, showing Keys as someone trying to push the boundaries of herself and her music. The experimental album shows a yearning and determination for Keys to grow as a person and in her music, which translates to listeners through every track.
All releases available on Spotify.