Music Lists

The Sexiest Songs of 2020 (So Far...)

While most of us are isolated at home, here are some bedroom jams to keep in mind for when the time is finally right

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It's safe to say we're not living in the sexiest of times right now.

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Music Lists

Calming Voices to Help Ease Our Stress

Everything is so heightened right now, let these artists soothe you

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Everything's especially chaotic right now.

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Norman Perry - Unavailable


Norman Perry has learned a lot of hard lessons this year.

Last week, the ethereal R&B Connecticut crooner released his latest project, Way Darker This Time, an ode to a J. Cole verse as well as the fact that, well, his sound is much denser than before. His path to stardom started when he was 16 and has been riddled with trials and tribulations. Born in New Haven, or what Perry calls "the city of greed," the artist grew up in a single-family apartment on Orchard St. in a working-class neighborhood near Yale's main campus. "A lot of people think it's super nice here cause of Yale," says Perry. "Not to long ago, we had one of the highest murder rates in the US." His childhood was filled with "good and bad moments," but his father pulled him towards music. He had been in a jazz band called "Tre Soul," and Perry remembers drawing on piano keys so he could better learn the notes. Then at 16, he ventured out on his own, performing mostly at a local concert venue called Toad's Place.

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Johnnyswim Shines Bright on New Album "Moonlight"

The duo perfects and reinvents their signature sound on their third studio album

The husband-and-wife duo, Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudaro, better known as their collective moniker, Johnnyswim, just released their third studio album Moonlight, and it is spellbinding.

The 12-song album is a result of writing and recording sessions that spanned much of 2018. Alongside Grammy Award-winning producer-songwriter, Malay (renowned for his work with Sam Smith and Frank Ocean), Johnnyswim provides a smooth and timeless blend of pop, indie, and folk, with subtle hints of R&B on this project. Moonlight marks the group's first release under Britannia Row Recordings/BMG, and longtime fans of the duo will hear just enough of the Johnnyswim they are familiar with while also discovering exciting new dimensions to their evolving sound.

In some ways, Moonlight sounds like the album that Johnnyswim has been aiming for since their 2014 full-length debut, Diamonds. A seamless blend of pulsating, upbeat pop-rock fun and dreamy, heart-on-sleeve ballads are exactly what fans have come to love and expect from the band. Moonlight revels in this characteristically cohesive juxtaposition of sounds but it also takes this sound a few steps further, branching out into some more sonically daring and complex territories than ever before. Part of this is almost certainly due to Malay's production and influence, which is audible on many of the songs. But another factor is that Ramirez and Sudaro have clearly matured as songwriters, providing a more nuanced, layered, and eclectically-influenced musicality to Moonlight that sets it apart from the rest of their discography.

If you've never heard Johnnyswim before, Moonlight will be the perfect introduction to the band. This album proves that careful, brave, and honest songwriting (along with some pristine production) is a surefire recipe for musical achievement.


Dustin DiPaulo is a writer and musician from Rochester, New York. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University and can most likely be found at a local concert, dive bar, or comedy club (if he's not getting lost somewhere in the woods).

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Music Reviews

Jay Sean Returns To The Spotlight

The British R&B crooner teams up with Gucci Mane and Asian Doll for his latest release, "With You."

Jay Sean

Jay Sean is back with his first release since 2018's "Need To Know" and "Now Or Later," the effortlessly smooth "With You."

Featuring verses from Gucci Mane and Asian Doll, the track flows smoothly enough, with a mournful looped guitar and sharp drums complementing Jay Sean's voice perfectly. But on top of its laid-back production, "With You" tells a story fraught with R&B drama. Sean's vocals are tragically pleading, trying to end a volatile relationship while still caught up in its intoxicating mess. Gucci Mane and Asian Doll, for their part, sound like they're enjoying themselves here: Gucci delights in a ride-or-die lover who asks nearly nothing from him, while Asian Doll remains brashly undistracted from her come-up while entertaining the company of some poor guy "fiending for my love."

"With You" is an almost-too-carefully-constructed party track, but it's also a showcase for three artists refusing to compromise on their success or their independence. It's interesting how differently the same sentiment sounds coming from all three of these artists: Asian Doll, focused on herself above all; Gucci, Trap Godfather who's not going anywhere anytime soon; and Jay Sean, an R&B songbird again feeling a relationship slip out of his hands. It's not a perfect track, but it is a reminder that no matter how much time passes, Jay Sean remains one of the best in the game.

With You

Matthew Apadula is a writer and music critic from New York. His work has previously appeared on GIGsoup Music and in Drunk in a Midnight Choir.

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