meta-script5 Takeaways From PinkPantheress' Debut Album, 'Heaven Knows' | GRAMMY.com
PinkPantheress performing in 2023
PinkPantheress performs at the 2023 Governors Ball Music Festival.

Photo: Taylor Hill/WireImage

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5 Takeaways From PinkPantheress' Debut Album, 'Heaven Knows'

From a colorful kaleidoscope of fictional tales to collaborations with promising peers, PinkPantheress solidifies an artistic lane of her own with her debut studio album, 'Heaven knows.'

GRAMMYs/Nov 13, 2023 - 11:23 pm

With her 2021 debut mixtape, PinkPantheress confidently declared To Hell with It. But on Nov. 10, she ascended from the underworld to paradise in her highly anticipated studio album, Heaven knows.

PinkPantheress has also traded in her original grungy, emo look for classic Y2K aesthetics (more on that later), but she hasn't completely departed from her gothic roots. 

"The theme is about love, loss and life. I wanted it to feel like, at any point, the listener could start having memories of a loved one or someone that they've lost," she said in an interview with The Guardian. "Overall, I wanted to make everyone feel a bit depleted and sad." 

It's an approach that is present in her earlier works — take To Hell with It's "Passion," for example, which narrates the growing nihilism felt by a child whose parents divorce. But on Heaven knows, she takes this and amplifies it with stories that are even more visceral and gut-wrenching, from the dejected emotions of "Feelings" to the deceivingly upbeat story of neglect in "The aisle."

The LP hosts 13 new tracks, including the viral hit that propelled the England native into the mainstream, "Boy's a liar Pt. 2," with rap's latest breakout star, Ice Spice. While her other Heaven knows collaborators tap into her Kenyan-British heritage — fellow Brit Central Cee, budding Nigerian musician Rema and Ethiopian-American singer Kelela are all featured — the album remains faithful to her signature blend of bedroom pop and UK garage. Yet, she continues to nurture her creative development with experimental songwriting. 

On Heaven knows, PinkPatheress leans even further into her artistic individuality. Below, discover everything we learned about the rising star in this newest offering.

She Further Proves Her Knack For Music Old And New

If you travel to the beginning of PinkPantheress' discography, you'll find a medley of niche and mainstream samples. One of her first singles, "Just a Waste," interpolates Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall." "Break It Off," from To Hell with It, modernizes "Circles" by Adam F.; another mixtape track, "I Must Apologize," pays homage to Crystal Waters' dance chart-buster, "Gypsy Woman."

Heaven knows expands PinkPantheress' treasure chest. On the opening number, "Another life," she pulls stems from "Ice Cream" by f(x), who she's called "one of her favorite K-pop groups." "Nice to meet you" reimagines Spandau Ballet's "Gold," as she revealed in an ad with her producer, Cash Cobain.

She Also Proves Songs Don't Need To Be Long To Be Great

PinkPantheress' music has always been notoriously short. Her first mixtape is less than 20 minutes in length despite having 10 tracks — and the song with the longest runtime is "Nineteen," ringing in at two-and-a-half minutes. In the aforementioned ad with Cash Cobain, she even joked, "We only stick to one verse. I don't do second verses. That's ridiculous!"

She clearly kept the same mindset for Heaven knows because, with 13 songs, the album has a duration of 34 minutes. But if anything, PinkPantheress proves that bodies of work don't have to be more than three minutes to be impactful. In a little over 120 seconds, she can portray the harrowing trauma of mental illness ("No, I can't take a pill, and yet I can't stay still," she sings on "Feelings") and trauma responses ("I wish that it would when it stopped being fun/ 'He's not feeling well,' that's what I tell everyone/ Yesterday, I took a sip of your rum," from "Feel Complete").

She Hasn't Forgotten About Her TikTok Origins — But She's Cautious About It

PinkPantheress rose to fame on TikTok, previewing her music with faceless clips; though most have been deleted, some of the few that remain are her teasers for "Just a Waste" and "Pain." She told The Guardian that she would lie to her friends about her account because promoting songs on TikTok "wasn't much of a thing" at the time. But she has no regrets about her TikTok days: "I always knew that I was more than just the app. From the jump, I wasn't going to be a novelty artist," she explained.

Her only hesitation, however, is her future partners using her because of her social media clout. "I am not your internet baby," she confidently declares in the album's interlude. "Nice to meet you" further explores the woes of internet fame in Central Cee's verse, where he exposes his now ex for turning to "storytime videos" to leak the drama surrounding their breakup.

She's Channeling New (But Still Nostalgic) Vibes

PinkPantheress made quite the statement with her debut music video, 2021's "Just for Me." She stood in an all-black ensemble and bleached ginger eyebrows, performing in front of a sea of other characteristically punk teens, some sporting Slipknot graphic tees and others wearing bulky silver chains and arm warmers.

It's a complete 180 from her recent music video for "Mosquito," the lead single from Heaven knows. Like a modern-day Carrie Bradshaw, PinkPantheress wanders through a luxurious shopping area with her equally fashionable friends, played by actresses Charitha Chandran, India Amarteifio, and Yara Shahidi. On a TikTok highlighting the track, she called it the "emo to young auntie pipeline."

However, her current style isn't definitive. "I think I dress weird," she admitted to The Guardian. Her more mature, 2000s-inspired fashion might not define her five years from now, but it still signals personal growth in understanding her most authentic identity since To Hell with
It
. Like every parent of an emo teenager suggests, "Maybe it is just a phase.

'Heaven Knows' Is A Playground For Her Imagination

In a 2022 interview with the BBC, PinkPantheress professed her love for "telling stories in a visual or sonic way," highlighting Eminem's "Stan" as a perfect example of that. Storytelling comes naturally to her, thanks to her film studies at the University of Arts London. And though she admires the raw anecdotes from bands like My Chemical Romance, she opts for something that blurs the lines between fiction and nonfiction with realism.

On Heaven knows, PinkPantheress' world-building becomes more vivid. Rather than chronicling typical adolescent heartbreak and anxiety, she stretches her creativity with more intense vignettes, like the tale of an anguished woman whose relationship is crumbling due to alcoholism on "Feel Complete." Meanwhile, in "Ophelia," she plays with the idea of being murdered.

Whatever narratives she aims to take on next, Heaven knows promises that PinkPantheress will always be an ever-evolving star — one who will make you feel every word, whether it's from her story or her imagination.

Kali Uchis Essentials: 9 Songs That Flaunt Her Soulful Magnetism

Lismar, S.Pri Noir, Ivorian Doll, Odumodublvc in collage
(From left) Lismar, S.Pri Noir, Ivorian Doll, Odumodublvck

Photos: Taylor Hill/Getty Images; Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images; Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Standard London; Paras Griffin/Getty Images

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10 Artists Changing The Face Of Drill: Ivorian Doll, Bobby Tootact & More

While Cash Cobain and Ice Spice bring drill music even further into the mainstream, a new generation of artists are evolving the sound of the genre. From S.Pri Noir and 163Margs, to Lismar and Jay Hound, these 10 acts should be added to your playlist.

GRAMMYs/Jul 12, 2024 - 02:12 pm

Originating in the early 2010s on the southside of Chicago, the hip-hop subgenre drill has transcended borders to become a global phenomenon. 

Characterized by a menacing and dark energy, drill music sets itself apart from traditional rap and hip-hop through its violent, aggressive lyrics and undertones. Drill music incorporates slower, heavier beats that often blend distorted 808 basslines, dark synths, and trap-style hi-hats. 

The gritty, lawless sound, pioneered by artists like King Louie, Chief Keef, G Herbo and GRAMMY-award winner Lil Durk, remains at the core of the drill. Their influence is spreading to more mainstream acts like Cash Cobain — whose melodic, sultry "Attitude" exemplifies sample drill and landed him at No. 25 on Billboard's Hot Rap Songs — and Ice Spice, whose bold and perky lyrics contrast drill beats. As a whole, these artists are proving that drill is more than just graphic and horrid lyrical stories; it can be fun and even make you feel like a baddie.  

Variations on drill music can be heard in regions such as South America, Africa, and Europe.  The controversial but incredibly popular UK drill, which was born in the south London neighborhood of Brixton, draws many aesthetic influences from Chicago drill while maintaining its own stylistic differences. Where Chicago drill is heavily influenced by trap music, UK drill can be seen as a type of British gangsta rap, or "road rap." Young UK artists like Digga D and Central Cee have taken over the genre, both scoring entries on the Billboard chart, and with Central landing features with Drake and Lil Baby.    

A new generation of drill rappers are continuing to evolve the sound of the genre by combining drill beats and lyrics with a wide range of influences. Read on to learn about 10 budding drill artists whose innovative sounds and diverse perspectives are evolving the global drill landscape. 

Explore More: Drill Music Is On The Rise Around The World. Can Latin Drill Take Over Next?

Kenzo B

When it comes to vocal adaptability, attention to detail, and charisma — Kenzo B has got it. The Bronx-born rapper has quickly risen in prominence in New York's drill music scene following  2022 singles "Bump It" and "The Realest," both of which showcased her raw energy and talent. 

The self-proclaimed "Queen of Bronx drill" continues to refine her rapid-fire rhymes while maintaining a fierce competitiveness, setting her apart in the male-dominated drill space. In April, Kenzo B teamed up with Harlem rapper Bianca Bonnie to drop their ultra-femme anthem "What You Talkin Bout?"

Wolfacejoeyy

Known for his sexy drill singalongs, Wolfacejoeyy is one of the most exciting rising rappers from NYC’s "forgotten borough," Staten Island. The 21-year-old seamlessly weaves hooky, charismatic rhymes into signature Staten-style instrumentals. On songs like the viral "cake" and "wya," Joeyy taps into an alter ego that teeters between hopeless romantic and relentless f—boy, backed with dynamic hats and a heavy bass.

His highly-anticipated 13-track debut album Valentino, dropped last month and includes a feature from R&B singer Reuben Aziz and production from "Power" actor Michael Rainey Jr., who raps as WhereIs22.

S.Pri Noir

Born to a Senegalese mother and father from Guinea-Bissau, S.Pri Noir is based in France. Despite rapping in French, hip-hop artist S.Pri Noir's music is slowly transcending borders — grabbing the attention of audiences worldwide. 

S.Pri Noir’s 2018 debut album Masque Blanc reached No. 18 on the Top Albums chart in France. Earlier this month, he delivered a thrilling freestyle on "On The Radar Radio," channeling his inner Cash Cobain. After a recent Instagram post, fans are speculating a potential collaboration between the two artists will drop soon.

S.Pri Noir represents the next big market in drill: Africa. Many budding artists in the genre, especially from Europe, are second or third-generation African immigrants.   

Ivorian Doll

German British rapper Ivorian Doll is making a name for herself in the UK drill scene. Boldly claiming the title "Queen of Drill," she's carving out a unique niche with explosive lyrics, drill-infused tension, and undeniable pop appeal. Each of her anthems is a potent cocktail of drama and attitude, highlighting her razor-sharp signature style that's firmly anchored in unfiltered, hard-hitting lyricism.

The 26-year-old rapper debuted in 2018 as part of a duo, dropping the infectious drill track "The Situation." Since embarking on her solo journey, she's continued to captivate audiences with standout releases like "Queen of Drill," "Daily Duppy" and the buzz-worthy song "Rumour." Her ascent in the drill scene exemplifies a fresh voice bringing new energy to the genre, blending cultural influences with raw talent and unapologetic star quality.

Bobby Tootact

Harlem rapper Bobby Tootact is known for remixing popular Afro-Caribbean songs  — from Afrobeats bangers such as Wizkid’s "Joro" to dancehall like Teejay’s "Drift" — into drill tracks with overtly rough lyrics. On 2023's "Real Facts" (produced by go-to mixer Lowkeymali‬), Bobby raps about gun violence while sampling Wizkid’s popular Afrobeats dance track "Ojuelegba."

As the child of Senegalese immigrants, Bobby's music reflects a fusion of his cultural heritage and his upbringing in Harlem. This combination allows him to create a distinctive musical identity that resonates with fans of multiple genres while merging two completely different musical worlds. 

163Margs

Blending gritty lyrics with infectious beats, Nottingham's very own 163Margs has struck a chord with listeners craving traditional UK drill music from a young artist. Margs, who debuted in 2023, has already collaborated with UK heavyweights like Digga D, Bandokay, and Blanco. His debut single "Hide and Seek" propelled him into the spotlight, showcasing his raw talent and captivating flow. 

At first listen, his 2024 single, "Barbies" can be confused as an ode to beautiful women, with lyrics like: "All of them Barbie pretty." Listeners later realize the song is actually about guns and street life. "The opps are wet and there's no disagreement / Ayy / fill up the wap / put teeth in."

Odumodublvck

Nigerian rapper and singer Odumodublvck is crafting a lane for himself with an alluring Afro-grime and Afro-drill sound. As a member of the hip-hop collective Anti World Gangstars, Odumodublvck creates high-energy music which features catchy, repetitive lyrics in Pidgin English and his Native Nigerian language (Igbo). 

His latest project, EZIOKWU, dropped in October 2023 and includes collaborations with acclaimed artists like Fireboy DML, Wale, and Amaarae — further cementing his position as a rising star in the evolving Nigerian music landscape.

Jay Hound

Jay Hound is an upcoming drill artist hailing from a section of Manhattan's Upper West Side neighborhood and catapulted into the spotlight via his 2023 single "UKRAINE." 

A collaboration with his Sweepers labelmate Jay5ive, the track features deep and vibrating bass, and garnered over seven million views on YouTube and nearly 30 million streams on Spotify. He even released an Afro-drill version of the song, which deconstructs the grittiness of the original drill track for a more light and playful dance sound. 

Lismar

Dominican singer/songwriter Lismar is dominating the Dominican urban music scene with her contemporary hip-hop and drill rap. Gaining recognition on the Puerto Rican platform Freestyle Mania, Lismar's creativity and distinctive sound of which infuses both Latin and hip-hop music has earned her a growing fan base and a deal with Roc Nation.

In her new released tracks "Delincuente Con Traje" and "BZRP Music Session #60," she captivates listeners with her powerful flow and impactful lyrics that translate to "I look calm / but I was raised on the corner" and "If they close the door / I knock down the window." The rapper dropped her latest single "Mi Primer Concierto," a softer record that seamlessly integrates her Dominican heritage with rap.

Dee Billz

New York-based rapper, Dee Billz, combines bold and unapologetic lyrics while also toying with a Jersey club sound in his 2023 breakout hit "Thootie." The single took the internet by storm and racked up more than a million views across TikTok and YouTube.  

Last year, the drill artist collaborated with fellow New Yorker rapper’s Kyle Richh, Jenn Carter, and Tata to release "Stomp Stomp," a single that reimagines Soulja Boy's "Crank That" in a drill style. 

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Shy One

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Meet The Artists Bringing Back UK Jungle: Nia Archives, SHERELLE & More

First developed in the 1990s, a new generation of UK musicians — particularly queer individuals and women of color — are reviving jungle music. From Tim Reaper to PinkPantheress, envelop yourself in the experimental sounds of the genre.

GRAMMYs/Jul 8, 2024 - 03:19 pm

In the early 1990s, a bombastic new type of music was emerging in the underground Black British scene of London. Jungle was a frantic mixture of breakbeats and reggae featuring fast beats that splintered into myriad directions, interspersed with vocal samples.

Thanks to pirate radio stations, jungle saturated the streets of London’s predominantly Black, working-class neighborhoods. Jungle was a sound of escapism, celebration, community, crafted by the children of immigrants of post-war Britain.

Junglist historian Julia Toppin notes in her essay "Tech, Language and Riddim: From Jungle to UK Drill" that jungle "snatched bites from young Black Britain’s sonic palette of genres: reggae, hip-hop, pop, house, soul, RnB, groove, punk, jazz, folk, and classical," with artists like Goldie, Shy FX, A Guy Called Gerald, General Levy leading the scene. By the latter part of the decade, jungle offshoots like drum and bass gained prominence, causing the jungle scene to gradually fade into the background.

Today, a new generation of UK musicians are waking up the scene — a revival spearheaded by queer individuals and women of color. As contemporary junglist Nia Archives told GRAMMY.com, jungle is "anything over a breakbeat" — it simply refuses to conform: "The breaks have so much room to go in whatever direction you want. You can go really heavy, or you can go really light and atmospheric," she said.

It’s a flexibility that she takes full advantage of across her releases. Nia Archives layers  beats with everything from pensive, thoughtful lyrics and RnB melodies ("Cards on the Table", "So Tell Me"), to rave abandon ("Baianá", "Forbidden Feelingz", "Unfinished Business")

Nia Archives is taking her debut album, Silence is Loud on the road, stopping at summer festivals including Chicago’s Lollapalooza before touring the U.S. in the fall. She is one of many contemporary jungle artists boldly experimenting with unrestrained beats, earth-shaking basslines and intricate percussive patterns to breathe new life into the pulsating rave scene.

Here are seven other artists who are bringing jungle back.

SHERELLE

Former Mixmag photographer SHERELLE gained widespread attention after a 2019 Boiler Room viral set, followed by the release of "JUNGLE TEKNAH" in 2021, which layers piano house chords onto jungle beats. Her latest single, "Henry’s Revenge," features ethereal synths over dramatic bass drops.

Fresh from a completely sold-out international tour, SHERELLE will play a New York Boiler Room set on July 14, alongside Afrobeats star Amaarae and UK rapper Giggs. 

Sully

One of the slickest in the game, Sully is a pioneer of today’s revival and has been on the scene since 2005. His beats are methodical, with tight percussion flawlessly mixed into hours of ecstatic jungle harmony. On 2024 single "Nights", he teams up with jazz singer Sâlo to create a dreamy and contemplative dancefloor meditation.

He continues to inject energy into the club, with massive sets featuring the likes of grime MC Flowdan and B2B’s with fellow junglist Tim Reaper, and is playing several UK festival slots over summer.   

GROVE

GROVE harnesses jungle’s unmatched energy to voice political despair. "The stinking rich families, you know how they anger me," they spat on last year’s single "Stinkin Rich," where trippy beats erupt into a heavily distorted chorus.

Their 2022 breakout hit, "Feed My Desire," is sensual, with hushed whispers and soft verses underscored by blaring basslines, demonstrating GROVE's mastery of mood — ranging from rage to seduction.

PinkPantheress

PinkPantheress didn’t come up through a club or rave scene, by anonymously uploading songs to TikTok, which she made in her bedroom during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her sped-up vocals and luscious hooks nodded to the heyday of 2000s UK Garage (UKG) (a jungle offshoot), quickly drumming up a viral following online.

Last year, the 23-year-old broke into the U.S. thanks to the massive UKG track "Boys A Liar pt 2" featuring Ice Spice, which now has over 200 million views on YouTube. A lover of throwback genres and a fan of jungle veterans like Shy FX, PinkPanthress combines breakbeats with pop melodies and emo guitar riffs, a delicious mix that’s made her one of Gen-Z’s fastest-rising pop stars.

Tim Reaper

Tim Reaper is a London native who has pushed the jungle revival for over a decade. His music includes reggae-influenced ragga samples (one of jungle's key influences), chill synths, and can go both hard and soft.  

In 2020, Tim Reaper launched club night Future Retro to showcase London’s budding scene. However, the pandemic lockdown led the event to morph into a new-skool jungle record label that highlights some of the genre's hottest artists, including Sully, Mantra, and Decibella.

Shy One

London-based DJ Shy One has been making music since she was a teenager, coming up through the ranks as a selector on legendary Hackney-based online radio NTS Radio.  

Her music is shaped by grime, soul, house and jungle, and she’s taking her versatile sets to a handful of European festivals this summer. Her latest single, "Gyallis Spiral," combines rubbery bass lines and scattered synths, giving it a uniquely hyper-futuristic, spacey feel.

LCY

LCY is an artist and owner of the experimental label S7NS7N whose music is, by design,  indescribable. Their tracks are leftfield and surreal; the mere act of listening is an out-of-body experience.

Their 2023 EP He Hymns is a celestial exploration of club music hinged on breakbeats, heavy bass, disorientating drops and haunting vocals. You’re not sure what’s going on, but jungle is one of the many genres that form a kaleidoscope of their mind-bending sounds.

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Cults, Ice Spice, John Summitt, HARDY, Clairo, Ashton Irwin, Megan Maroney
(Clockwise from left) Cults, Ice Spice, John Summitt, HARDY, Clairo, Ashton Irwin, Megan Moroney

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15 Must-Hear Albums In July 2024: Ice Spice, Sturgill Simpson, HARDY, BLK ODYSSY, John Summit & More

The second half of 2024 starts strong with July album releases from Girl Ultra, CULTS, Megan Moroney, Ashton Irwin, and others across a wide range of genres.

GRAMMYs/Jul 1, 2024 - 03:43 pm

With the arrival of July, half of 2024 is already behind us. It's been a remarkable, prolific year in music, with notables like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and even Paul McCartney's band, Wings, making brand new comebacks. The artists releasing albums in the coming months will have to strive to keep up the pace — but judging by July's upcoming blossoms, this won't be an issue.

The month will start strong with Megan Moroney's sophomore LP, Am I Okay?, Sturgill Simpson (now Johnny Blue Skies)'s Passage du Desir, OneRepublic's Artificial Paradise, and John Summit's debut, Comfort in Chaos. Later on, 5SOS's drummer Ashton Irwin will bring forth the second part of his sophomore solo, Blood on the Drums, alt-R&B star BLK ODYSSY will unveil the concept album 1-800-FANTASY, and rock legends Deep Purple will come forward with their twenty-third LP, =1. Alt-pop duo Cults will return with their fifth album, To The Ghosts, and 2023's revelation Ice Spice will also drop her long-awaited debut, Y2K!.

Below, GRAMMY.com crafted an exciting list with 15 unmissable albums coming out July 2024. 

HARDY — 'Quit!!' (July 12)

Almost a decade ago, country rockstar HARDY found a napkin with the word "quit" in his tip jar. In 2024, the napkin became history as the Philadelphia singer named his upcoming record after it. "Thank you for inspiring me to be great. I guess sometimes holding a grudge is a good thing," wrote HARDY on social media.

Quit!! is HARDY's first LP fully embracing rock music, and follows 2023's the mockingbird & THE CROW. Comprising 13 tracks, the album features Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith, Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, and rising star Knox. HARDY also shared a slew of singles ahead, including "Six Feet Under (Caleigh's Song)" and "Psycho." 

The genre-bending artist has just headlined CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee, and is currently touring the U.S. throughout the summer. 

Cassadee Pope — 'Hereditary' (July 12)

More than 10 years after winning "The Voice Season 3," Cassadee Pope has journeyed plenty of roads — from pop punk to country, and now back again. Her upcoming studio album, Hereditary, is due July 12 and marks her first release after deciding to leave country music.

Pope said in a statement that Hereditary "offers a soundtrack to navigate the complexities of life with authenticity and courage." Her first full-length work since 2021's Thrive, the album is also "an emotional rollercoaster ride through the ups and downs of life, love, and self-discovery," where each track is imbued with history. The title Hereditary, according to the statement, "captures the essence of our roots, the echoes of our past, and the quest to carve our own path."

In preparation for the release, Pope shared singles "Eye Contact," "Three of Us," and "I Died" with Daisha McBride. The Hey Monday alum will also launch a North American tour with The Foxies and Natalia Taylar, starting July 11 in Anaheim, California. 

Megan Moroney — 'Am I Okay?' (July 12)

Following the breakout success of her 2023 debut record, Lucky, professional emo cowgirl Megan Moroney will be back in just a few weeks with her sophomore effort, Am I Okay? According to a statement, the album provides "an up-close look at the life-changing pain of heartbreak and the glory of moving on." 

Moroney is said to "light up" each of the LP's 14 tracks with her "signature balance of raw emotional honesty and warmhearted sensitivity." "I think after every song, [a] fair question would be, ‘Is she OK?' Whether it's good or bad," Moroney told ABC audio about the title of the project. "At the beginning, you're like, 'Am I OK?' And then, by the end, it's like, ‘Oh, I don't think she is.'" 

The "Tennessee Orange" singer already shared four tracks from the album, including "No Caller ID," "Man on the Moon," "Indifferent," and "28th of June." Currently, Moroney is opening for Kenny Chesney's Sun Goes Down tour. 

Sturgill Simpson (Johnny Blue Skies) — 'Passage du Desir' (July 12)

Sturgill Simpson will mark the beginning of a new era under the moniker Johnny Blue Skies, after fulfilling his promise to release only five studio albums under his own name with 2020's projects Cuttin' Grass Vol. 2. His first oeuvre is the LP Passage Du Desir, set to come out on July 12.

The album includes eight songs, all produced by Johnny Blue Skies and David Ferguson, and was recorded at both Clement House Recording Studio in Nashville and the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London. Passage Du Desir also marks his first project since 2021's The Ballad of Dood and Juanita.

Fans will be able to meet Johnny Blue Skies for the first time on a lengthy tour titled Why Not? this fall. Some of the stops include Nashville, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, two nights in Toronto, and Boston. 

OneRepublic — 'Artificial Paradise' (July 12) 

OneRepublic's upcoming album, Artificial Paradise, was inspired by the digital paradigm that we live in now. "So many of these songs were written in the last couple years while we navigated a world full of artificial stories and constructs and paradise," shared frontman Ryan Tedder on Instagram. "All around the world and people's digitally broadcasted lives and the lives that we create for ourselves and the stories that we tell ourselves and others." 

According to Tedder, the album comprises 15 tracks written over the last eight years "that didn't quite make sense together." Hence, previously released singles like "I Don't Wanna Wait" with David Guetta, "Nobody" off the anime series Kaiju No. 8, and "West Coast" are already well known by fans.

Artificial Paradise is the GRAMMY-nominated group's first release since 2021's Human, and precedes a three-day weekend of shows in Colorado Springs, CO, and a string of festival appearances including Summer Sonic Tokyo in Japan, Lollapalooza Berlin in Germany, and Rock in Rio in Brazil. "Amidst all of that artificiality, we are trying to find real connection and real love, and a real story," concludes Tedder. 

John Summit — 'Comfort in Chaos' (July 12)

To put forward his debut album, Comfort in Chaos, dance music phenomenon John Summit had to dive deep into himself. "John Summit is the performing act, but when I write music I get more vulnerable," he shared in a statement. "While writing this album, I had to go from being in the mindset of John Summit to being John Schuster, my real name." 

Comfort in Chaos arrives after a run of hit singles included in the tracklist, namely "Eat the Bass," "Go Back" with Sub Focus and Julia Church, and the Hayla-featuring duets "Where You Are" and "Shiver." Described as his "most introspective" and "emotional" work to date, Summit took the LP's 12 nifty tracks to expand his Chicago house foundations into genres like garage and drum & bass.

After stellar headline shows at Coachella and sold-out performances at Los Angeles' BMO Stadium and New York City's Madison Square Garden, 2024 is already a pivotal year for the Illinois-born sensation, and Comfort in Chaos arrives to consolidate his impact. As for summer and fall, Summit is booked for 26 shows and festival appearances scheduled around the world, with more to be announced. 

Girl Ultra — 'blush' (July 12)

If you're in need of some early 2000s nostalgia, Mexican singer Girl Ultra — real name Mariana de Miguel — is coming out with her fourth EP, blush, on July 12. Inspired by R&B, club music, and trip hop sounds of the new millennium, the album comprises seven tracks that follow de Miguel's "need for experimentation" and lush artistry.

"I wanted short energetic tracks, and in lyrical terms, I was trying to find very precise messages about sadness, femininity and lust that inhabit these current times," she explained further in a statement. Singles "blu," "blush," and "rimel" exemplify that atmosphere, tackling beauty rituals with a touch of melancholy and yearning. Overall, blush is described as a plunge "into the complex dynamics of self-image and sexuality with a poignant touch of bitterness." 

After opening for Julieta Venegas in her hometown of Mexico City and performing at Coachella this year, Girl Ultra is set to support Chromeo and The Midnight on a U.S. tour this fall. 

Clairo — 'Charm' (July 12)

As the popular saying goes, "third time is the charm" — and so singer/songwriter Clairo (a.k.a Claire Cottrill) decided the title of her third studio album. Charm will arrive on July 12, and was produced by Clairo and Leon Michels of El Michels Affair.

With the announcement, Clairo shared the delicate single "Sexy to Someone," as well as a tracklist with 11 songs. Like her previous LP, 2021's Sling, Charm was recorded in New York's Diamond Mine Recording and Allaire Studios, but this time she tracked it live-to-tape.

In September, Clairo will kickstart separate five-day residencies in both Los Angeles and New York. Further concert dates are expected. 

Orquesta Akokán — 'Caracoles' (July 12)

Since 2018, Orquesta Akokán have brought mambo to the spotlight, honoring its roots and infusing it with fresh twists. "Akokán" is a Cuban Yoruba word meaning "from the heart," and such is the thread underlining all of their work. Following their 2018's eponymous debut and 2021's 16 Rayos, the Cuban music enthusiasts are now ready to put forward Caracoles, out July 12.

For their third LP, producer Jacob Plasse and composer Michael Eckroth combined talents with renowned Cuban singer/songwriter Kiko Ruiz. The result is a danceable, uplifting record that fuses classic and modern traditions. According to a press release, "yes, it's mambo, with its prototypical instrumentation and structures, but these songs belong one hundred percent to 2024." As Ruiz said, Caracoles can "...vibrate your soul, which is precisely what the world needs right now."

Ashton Irwin — 'Blood On The Drums (The Roses)' (July 17)

"I love to make full length albums, but also the idea of the listener digesting it in two parts initially, forming their own interpretation," said Ashton Irwin, drummer of pop-rock band 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS), in a press release about his sophomore solo album. "It's important to me, as a fan of music, to have a comprehensive body of work to fully dig into the artist's perspective."

Following 2020's Superbloom, Blood On The Drums is divided in two installments: Side 1, dubbed The Thorns, came out on June 12, and Side 2, The Roses, is set for release on July 17. Totaling 16 tracks, the LP blends 80s-inspired melodies with classic rock, experimental pop, and more, as it traverses Irwin's highs and lows. "I was thinking about the people I left behind, the people I miss, the family that I had to leave when I was young," the Australian musician shared. "Thinking about the addictions I've been through. The way I evolved as a young man who never had a father."

The title of the album is intended to be "a metaphor for how much I've given my music," said Irwin. To celebrate the release, he will play a single show at Los Angeles' The Belasco on July 18. 

Highly Suspect — 'As Above, So Below' (July 19)

The Massachusetts rockers of Highly Suspect are gearing up to release their fifth full-length album, As Above, So Below. Following 2022's The Midnight Demon Club, the band opted to tone down the electronic elements and embrace a more psychedelic, stoner rock sound, as can be heard on pre-release track "Summertime Voodoo."

"If my life is a book, then this album is the first chapter that truly addresses the central conflict," frontman Johnny Stevens said in a press statement. "The recognition of an ego, the problems it's caused — and the birth of its death. ‘As Above, So Below.' If I'm being real, I hit rock bottom again. After another close call with death, I feel wide awake. I don't know how the book ends yet, but I'm very engaged in the plot now. I'd rather it not end at all."

To celebrate, Highly Suspect will play the new album in its entirety in an intimate, seven-city U.S. Tour, kicking off on July 24 in Memphis, Tennessee and wrapping up on August 2 in Brooklyn. 

Deep Purple — '=1' (July 19)

Few bands get to release 23 albums, and for that fact alone, Deep Purple deserve praise. It does help that they are rock legends in their own right, therefore, =1 comes as a sweet, inspiring surprise.

Paired with acclaimed producer Bob Ezrin once again, =1 sees the British band evoke their classic sound "without relying on nostalgia," according to a statement. They promise to bring "rip-roaring rock n' roll" in 13 energetic tracks, and a taste of what's to come can be seen in singles "Portable Door" and "Pictures of You." It is also the band's first album with guitarist Simon McBride, who joined the band after member Steve Morse left due to personal circumstances in 2022.

The title =1 symbolizes the idea that, in a complex world, everything eventually equals one. In that communal spirit, Deep Purple is set for an extensive tour, starting with European dates in July, North and South American shows in September, and back with more European dates throughout November. 

BLK ODYSSY — '1-800-FANTASY' (July 19)

"The album is a concept album where we get into the world of Afro-surrealism with a high school kid who's madly in love with a popular girl, but she really has no idea he exists," explained BLK ODYSSY about his upcoming album, 1-800-FANTASY, in an interview with BET. "He understands that she's out of his league but he is dedicated to proving to her that he's worthy of her attention and her love."

1-800-FANTASY follows that story while dipping into themes of mental health and self-control. "He creates these characters in his head to justify his crazy actions that he goes through to get her attention," BLK said, adding that that's where the album's "angsty sound" comes from. So far, a preview of that atmosphere can be seen in singles "XXX" with Wiz Khalifa, and a live performance of "Phase" at A Colors Show.

Born Juwan Elcock in New Jersey, he cites Kendrick Lamar, D'Angelo, and Outkast as influences to his own brand of alt-R&B and hip hop. "Whether it's me as an artist, or me as a producer, it is a very cinematic sound," he shared. "And it's a very theatrical sound, I like to take elements from what the human perceives as real life and put it in my music."

BLK will promote the album in his The Fantasy House tour this summer, starting off in North America and following up with European dates. 

Ice Spice — 'Y2K!' (July 26)

One of last year's biggest revelations, GRAMMY-nominated rapper Ice Spice will finally release her debut LP, Y2K!. Titled as a nod to her birthdate (1st January 2000), the long-awaited effort comes after 2023's acclaimed EP Like..?, and was co-produced by longtime collaborator RIOTUSA.

Ice Spice has been keeping the 10-song tracklist a mystery, though, and so far shared only three singles: "Think U The Shit (Fart)," "Gimmie A Light" (which samples Sean Paul's similarly titled "Gimme the Light"), and "Phat Butt." In an interview with "The Today Show", she also revealed to have locked in a "crazy collaboration," and to have experimented with "a lot of different sounding beats that I haven't really been heard on much."

Starting July, the Bronx native will be busy with a handful of performances at European Festivals, followed up by a 17-date North American tour in August.

CULTS — 'To The Ghosts' (July 26)

Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion have been making soft alt-pop music as the duo Cults for over a decade now. July brings forth yet another of their magical offerings: fifth studio album To The Ghosts, out via IMPERIAL on July 26.

The first ideas for the album sprung up during the COVID-19 pandemic, "when they wrote music on weekdays from 10am-5pm with no deadlines or distractions," says a press release. To The Ghosts was recorded at Oblivion's apartment, and co-produced by trusted collaborator Shane Stoneback. The New York duo shared singles "Crybaby" and "Left My Keys" in advance. Of the latter, Oblivion stated that "With this being To the Ghosts, ‘Left My Keys' is dedicated to the ghost of your high school memories with an element of fondness."

Cults will kick off a headline North American tour in August, followed by a month-long stint as the opening act for Vampire Weekend's Only God Was Above Us tour.

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The War and Treaty at GRAMMY House's 2024 GRAMMYs Best New Artist Spotlight
Tanya Trotter and Michael Trotter Jr. of The War And Treaty speak during the Best New Artist Spotlight

Photo: Jerod Harris/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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Inside GRAMMY House's 2024 GRAMMYs Best New Artist Spotlight: Victoria Monét, Ice Spice, Jelly Roll & More Share Tales About Their Road To The GRAMMYs

Nominees for Best New Artist descended upon GRAMMY House on Feb. 3 for a panel discussion. From Noah Kahan almost deleting his hit song to Gracie Abrams' initial fear of performing, learn how the 2024 GRAMMY nominees arrived at Music's Biggest Night.

GRAMMYs/Feb 8, 2024 - 11:53 pm

In an era when nobody wants to be pigeonholed, diversity is an important facet when it comes to the musical cultural zeitgeist. Case in point: the 2024 GRAMMY Nominees for Best New Artist. 

At the 66th GRAMMY Awards, the General Field Category was a zig-zagging array of budding superstars who are the epitome of their respective genres. From the bopping club tracks of  Ice Spice, the smooth R&B of  Victoria Monét — who ultimately won the golden gramophone on Feb. 4 — or the unflinching discography of Jelly Roll, this year’s Best New Artist class represents every taste. 

As part of the Recording Academy’s GRAMMY House, presented by presented by Mastercard, that variety was on full display as seven of this year’s nominees descended onto the stage with moderator and Rolling Stone writer Brittany Spanos to muse about creativity, their respective journeys, and what the honor means to them. 

Read on for some of the most exciting insights from the Best New Artist Spotlight at GRAMMY House.

Noah Kahan Almost Deleted His Star-Making Song

For the singer/songwriter known for his ripped-from-the-heart "Stick Season," Noah Kahan said he was blown away when he found out about his Best New Artist nomination. "It’s the realization of a childhood dream," he said. "I’ve practiced my GRAMMY speech as a kid, and didn’t believe it was going to happen until the day it happened. It’s so special and beautiful, because no matter what I’ll be able to tell my grandkids I was nominated for a GRAMMY." 

However, Kahan’s dream nearly didn’t come to fruition due to an initial fear of rejection. "I put a verse on TikTok and thought I was going to delete it that nobody liked it," Kahan of "Stick Season." Planning to delete it, Kahan said he ate an edible and forgot; the song subsequently went viral. 

"I wrote the first verse and chorus in 20 minutes, while the second verse took me three months," he told the audience at GRAMMY House. "There were a lot of rewrites, stepping away from TikTok. But one night at a show in Syracuse, everybody was suddenly singing and I knew it was going to be special." 

Gracie Abrams Was Initially "Horrified At The Idea Of Performing"

While she may have had a stint opening for Taylor Swift’s blockbuster Era’s tour, it wasn’t too long ago that singer/songwriter Gracie Abrams found the idea of playing shows a terrifying prospect. 

"I was horrified at the idea of performing," Abrams said. "Up until a few years ago, I had never sung in a room that wasn’t my bedroom. I originally turned to music to be alone, and not to experience community."

Abrams' successes have changed her. "Everyone needs that kind of space, and it’s been really magical to connect in a room full of people that way. Now I have such gratitude for live music in a way that I didn’t before," she told GRAMMY House attendees. 

Of course she’s taken pointers from her aforementioned Eras headliner along the way. "When I see Taylor fill the stadiums she does with such force, power and joy, there’s something about it that feels lighter in the studio, I’ve been really lucky to learn from the best in the past year."

Coco Jones Rebuilt Her Career From The Ground Up

A showbusiness veteran who got her start as a young Disney star, first-time nominee Coco Jones noted that despite her initial acting success, she made a conscious effort to become a more authentic artist. 

"I went through years of uncertainty," she admitted to Spanos. "When you’re a child star, it was fine but I had no dignity. You can’t really control much. I had to find out who I was: have fun, meet people, fall in love, fall out of love, and that’s what gave me the stories to share [in my music]."

As a result, Jones snagged five GRAMMY nominations, and took home the golden gramophone for Best R&B Performance for "ICU." 

Every new level of success inspires me to dream bigger," she said. "At one point, my dreams got so tiny and believable. But I want to dream things that are unbelievable."

The War And Treaty Learned To Be Vulnerable 

For many years, the country-folk outfit The War and Treaty (composed of couple Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter) drove around in a van playing tiny gigs. "Just eight years ago we’d be performing for three people in a coffee shop,"  said Tanya. "So when we started, we always were very closed in our writing process."

However, as they became more successful, they began to become a bit more vulnerable when it comes to their artistry. "When we decided to open ourselves up to working with other songwriters," she continued. 

"It’s scary, because I’m sensitive about my art," said Michael.  "I had one song I was banking on, it’s the greatest song ever and I’m giving them the best that I got. And I go to the bathroom, come back, and they changed my entire song." However, he soon realized that was part of the process. "You have to realize it’s for the better."

Victoria Monét's Creative Evolution Took Patience

When the R&B star Monét was growing up, she was initially inspired by the music her parents listened to. "I’d listen to artists like Earth, Wind and Fire (with their) arrangements, live musicianship, lyrics and feeling," she told the Best New Artist Spotlight audience. "And then I became really obsessed with Destiny’s Child, Aaliyah, TLC, Janet Jackson and Sade." 

It’s those artists who lit a musical fire and led Monét to seven GRAMMY nominations and a range of hit singles, including "Hollywood" and "How Does It Make You Feel."  

"I want to make sure I’m living life to have experiences to write about," she said. "Life is a writing session, one long writing session, and you get to record it when you get in the studio."

Ice Spice Took Taylor Swift’s Advice To Heart

Perhaps the biggest cheers of the panel went to breakout artist Ice Spice who, along with her Best New Artist nod, snagged a total of four GRAMMY nominations including Best Rap Song with Nicki Minaj for "Barbie World."  

"As an artist overall, I’m always working on my craft," she said. "I’ve been surprising myself a little bit, especially working on my new album. I have some interesting sounds I haven’t really done before."

But it was a bit of inspiration from Taylor Swift that helped her look at her career in a new way. "One of the best pieces of advice Taylor gave me was to keep making music. She said, ‘As long as you keep making music, everything’s going to work out.’"

Jelly Roll Uses Genre-Defying Music As Therapy 

When it comes to splicing together disparate genres into a cohesive sound, there’s no better example than Jelly Roll, the dynamic country artist currently riding high with his powerful and unflinching anthem, "Need a Favor." 

"I learned every trick I had from hip-hop," he said. "It taught me so much when it comes to storytelling and not being afraid to tell your truth."

Jelly Roll also noted he uses the marketing savvy of hip-hop artists when it comes to his own career. "When it comes to volume, I want to release music as a rapper, I want to write music like a country writer, and I want to tour like a rock and roll star."

2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Full Winners & Nominees List