Getty Image/Paul Rosales
Sometimes the best new R&B can be hard to find, but there are plenty of great rhythm and blues tunes to get into if you have the time to sift through the hundreds of newly released songs every week. So that R&B heads can focus on listening to what they really love in its true form, we’ll be offering a digest of the best new R&B songs that fans of the genre should hear every Friday.
This week is highlighted by Jazmine Sullivan’s latest single, “Tragic,” the singer’s first release since she dropped her Heaux Tales EP at the beginning of the year. Justine Skye also arrives with her third album, Space And Time, which features heavy production from Timbaland and Snoh Aalegra continues to promote her upcoming album, Temporary Highs In The Violet Skies, with her latest track, “Lost You.”
Jazmine Sullivan — “Tragic”
Less than two weeks into 2021, Jazmine Sullivan made her return to the R&B world with her Heaux Tales EP. To this day, the project stands as one of the best releases of the year and it’s an effort she’s backed up and promoted with elegant performances. Now, she’s back with a brand new song, titled “Tragic,” that fits right in the pocket of Heaux Tales. Could this mean there’s a deluxe reissue on the way?
Justine Skye — Space And Time
Just a year after releasing Bare With Me (The Album), Justine Skye returns with her third full-length effort, Space And Time. It’s a 12-track project heavily produced by Timbaland with guest appearances from Justin Timberlake and Rema. The project itself was born through the space and time that the 2020 pandemic gave both Skye and Timbaland and it absolutely benefitted the former. “I found a different level of confidence in myself and in my sound,” she said in an interview with Apple Music.
Snoh Aalegra — “Lost You”
This August will mark two years since Snoh Aalegra dropped her sophomore album, Ugh, Those Feels Again. It was heralded as one of the best R&B releases from that year and now, the Swedish singer is gearing up for her third effort. With Temporary Highs In The Violet Skies out next month, Aalegra shares “Lost You,” a gloomy ballad that finds her struggling between staying or walking away from a faulty relationship.
Duckwrth — “Make U Go”
Duckwrth’s 2020 album, SuperGood, was dressed in the funkiest sounds thanks to standout efforts like “Kiss U Right Now” and “Super Bounce.” After letting the protect marinate with listeners, he returns to action with “Make U Go.” The easy-going track brags about the moves he’ll put on a special woman when they join each other in bed and it’s a song that continues Duckwrth’s streak of impressive releases.
Nao — “Messy Love”
Today’s generation of R&B listeners enjoy songs about toxic love as much as they do efforts about newfound love and the fairytale moments that come with it. However, in Nao’s eyes, she has no desire to deal with any of this toxicity. That’s what her new song, “Messy Love,” focuses on as she states repeatedly the breezy track. Standing as her second single of the year, it looks like the singer’s third album could be right around the corner.
Njomza — Limbo
Almost three years after giving us her last project, 2018’s Vacation, Njomza makes her long-awaited return with Limbo. It’s an effort that captures the singer’s feelings that emerged during last year’s pandemic, and how she steered through it. Limbo also sees contributions from Ari Lennox, Russ, WurID, and Metro Mars.
Cautious Clay — Deadpan Love
Years after releasing strong EPs with well-crafted songs that shined a light on his growing talents, Cleveland native Cautious Clay finally arrives with his debut album. Deadpan Love arrives with 14 songs and a lone guest feature from fellow Midwesterner Saba. “Deadpan Love is something that I have inside me; the way I cope with the worst of what the world has to offer,” the singer said in a press release about the album and its title.
Young Rog — Boy Next Door
While LVRN’s talented roster boasts favorites like Summer Walker, 6lack, and Westside Boogie, it also holds a cast of newcomers that are worth paying attention to. This includes Virginia native Young Rog who signed on to LVRN in 2018. After years of working on his craft, he emerges with a new project, Boy Next Door which delivers ten tracks with help from 6lack, Summer Walker, and Freddie Gibbs.
Loony — Soft Thing
If you’re looking for a relaxing body of work to enjoy this weekend, Toronto’s Loony has just that for you with her latest project, Soft Thing. Its eight songs paint a picture of Loony’s mind as she traversed through the 2020 pandemic. Soft Thing also details love in its many forms and how Loony experienced it all.
Symphani Soto — Under The Sun
South Florida native Symphani Soto is a new name you should definitely pay attention to. She just dropped her new project, Under Sun, and it’s a breezy and relaxing effort perfect for an afternoon drive or a warm evening at the beach. Holding eleven tracks in total, Under Sun is a mostly solo effort aside from a guest appearance from Eric Bellinger.
Inayah — Side A
Back in 2019, Inayah would finally see her moment in the R&B spotlight thanks to her breakout single, “Best Friend.” The Houston native is now looking to reach a higher level with her new EP Side A. Led by two singles, “What Are We” and “Fallin,” Inayah taps into a ’90s/’00s sound to deliver a nostalgic reminder of the good times.
Sakura — Don’t Overthink It
Atlanta’s Sakura steps forth with a new EP, Don’t Overthink It. It follows a string of singles she released throughout 2020 and altogether, the project emphasizes trusting your gut and not second-guessing life’s purest moments.