Every Tuesday, Spotify posts a slew of new music available to stream. But with so many singles out there, how can you know what's worthwhile? Each week, The Wire will break down which songs you need to hear, which are delectable hate-listens, and which should find a home on your personal playlists. Click the song title to open it on Spotify – or jam out immediately by pressing play on the accompanying YouTube and Soundcloud players.
Some Track We Used to Know: "Carolina," Kimbra
Kimbra is perhaps best known for her sultry verse on Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," but what you may not know is that her solo work is good. Very, very good. This track from her new album, The Golden Echo, is a sonic delight. The New Zealand-born songstress is in fine form on "Carolina," and the production is stellar. If this is a hint of what's to come on the album, we may have a truly great work on our hands.
We Want This to Stay: "Smile," Mikky Ekko
And speaking of Artists You Only Know From Features: Mikky Ekko's claim to fame is his work on Rihanna's "Stay." Yet he brings the same lovely tone to his song "Smile" – which is a good bit poppier than you might expect. It's got the same strings-based pop appeal of something by Mumford & Sons or Phillip Phillips, but with a stronger vocal. He's definitely one to watch.
Reminding Us of Puppies in a Basket: "Make This Leap," The Hunts
Listen, we'll talk about the music in a second. First, just look at this band. They are actually a basket of puppies. The Hunts are a family band of seven – all in their late-teens to early-20s – originally from Virginia. This is one of the tracks from their new EP, out today, and it is so cute. Again, we've got lots of Mumford-ish vibes here, but the vocals really gel. Imagine One Direction, but for the folk set. That's The Hunts, and that's "Make This Leap."
The Quietly Gorgeous Track: "All the Pretty Girls," Kaleo
Unlike all the Mumford this week, Kaleo more directly references Bon Iver with a pretty falsetto and some talented guitar work. It's the kind of end-of-summer song that you need for that one last road trip through the country. The band is actually Icelandic, which makes their ability to channel some real feelings of Americana in their sound all the more impressive.
Oh, Right, a Big Artist Released a Song: "Neon Light," Blake Shelton
You've heard a Blake Shelton song before, right? Okay, he's not exactly reinventing the wheel here, but it's surprisingly not a big week for big artists releasing music (at least on Spotify, cough cough), so his track stands out. And lots of people like Blake Shelton, right? He's got a nice twang, and it's certainly catchy. You're either going to love this or hate it and still hear it at every country-themed bar and party you attend no matter how hard you try.