Post-holiday blues got you down? Jump-start your 2016 playlist with EW’s favorite new tunes.
1. Prince, “XTRALOVEABLE”
His Purpleness dropped another surprise album, HITNRUN Phase Two, on Tidal in December.The highlight of his latest funk grenade? This übersexy, hornpowered number, on which pop’s most notorious lothario politely pleads, “If ever, honey, you need someone to take a shower with, girl, call me up, please.”
2. Cam, “Runaway Train”
The Grammy-nominated Nashville newcomer takes a page from Miranda Lambert’s revenge-fantasy playbook with this barn burner. “When there’s nothing but wreckage and flames and your misery is all that remains,” she howls, “I’ll feel human again.” That’s cold, girl, but we like it.
3. Hinds, “Warts”
Like slacker-rock romantics Pavement, the Madrid-based female act sound as if they come up with their best tracks during booze-fueled recording sessions. This standout is loaded with fuzzed-out guitar riffs and schoolyard na-na-nas—proving Hinds are one of 2016’s most badass newcomers.
4. Banners, “Start a Riot”
With a croon as acrobatic as Jeff Buckley’s, U.K. artist Mike Nelson delivers an uplifting anthem about the lengths he’d go to for his lady.
5. Chance the Rapper, “Somewhere in Paradise”
Chicago’s cultural ambassador offers a soulful taste of his in-the-works third mixtape: It’s powered by swelling horns, a gospel choir, and guest spots from Jeremih and R. Kelly. “They screaming Chano for mayor, I’m thinking maybe I should,” he proclaims. Judging by this, that’s not sucha ridiculous idea.”
6. DIIV, “Under the Sun”
On the indie-rock group’s upcoming album, Is the Is Are, frontman Zachary Cole Smith bares his soul on songs that address his addiction and relapse, but there’s a glimmer of hope on this propulsive rocker, which he penned for his girlfriend, indie singer-songwriter Sky Ferreira.
7. Wet, “It’s All in Vain”
Another remarkable R&B gem from this buzzy trio, featuring singer Kelly Zutrau’s gorgeous and vulnerable alto.
8. Panic! at the Disco, “LA Devotee”
The founding members have long split, but singer Brendon Urie is keeping the emo flame alive with this glammed-up rocker. It’s as hot as Panic! faves like “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.”
9. St. Lucia, “Physical”
“I get carried away into the sequence,” sings Jean Phillip-Grobler. And you will too with this rousing banger from the party-starting Brooklyn group.
10. Savages, “T.I.W.Y.G.”
A seething anthem of lust and danger from the best female British punk crew going.
11. School of Seven Bells, “Open Your Eyes”
Benjamin Curtis, who formed School of Seven Bells in 2007 with Alejandra Deheza, died tragically in 2013 from lymphoma, but his spirit lives on with SVIIB, the group’s final album, which features this heavenly piece of electro-pop.
12. Chairlift, “Romeo”
No wonder Beyoncé loves this New York synth-pop duo: The second single from their forthcoming album, Moth, mixes singer Caroline Polachek’s girl-power lyrics with the quirkiest, twitchiest groove of the new year.