This Week At The Record Store: Dawn Richard, Alessia Cara and Billie Black

“Here” by Alessia Cara

The treasured teen novel The Perks of Being A Wallflower was released in 1999. Finally made into a movie in 2012, an actual audio embodiment of what it feels like to witness debauchery or the popular life as a tourist wouldn’t arrive until Alessia Cara‘s forthright “Here.”

From inside the scene of a party, Cara laments that she is surrounded by drinking, gossip and burgeoning hook-ups. In an Isaac Hayes sample, she sings away her annoyance with candid lyrics like “But really I would rather be at home all by myself. Not in this room with people who don’t even care about my well-being.” And later: “So you can, go back, please enjoy your party. I’ll be here.”

It’s so good! And her voice? At eighteen-years-old, Cara’s voice is impressively bluesy and evocative of years of observation and perception of the mannerisms of her peers. Peer pressure just got a nice kick in the ass with this track.

“Titans x James Dean” by Dawn

Dawn Richard (you know here from Danity Kane) has dropped another video that displays her either intricate or furious dance movies that challenges her fellow R&B divas to step their twerking up. But Dawn (now stylized as “DΔWN”) has always been on her own playing field and her mixture of “Titans” and “James Dean” is a futuristic, sexuality doused in a grunge aesthetic clip that amps up the ’90s Gap commercial.

The latter half of “James Dean” is also a can’t-look-away one woman show of on-beat moves and a come and get it demeanor.

Y’all sleeping on Dawn, for real!

“Teach Me” by Billie Black

Another R&B wunderkind from the U.K., Billie Black has been compared to Jessie Ware.

Her first EP 000100 was released in 2014 and was a seamless stream of thoughtful whys and why nots, backed by wandering R&B. Black was either earnestly waiting for she wants to come around or contemplating taking a mutual attraction to the next level of spending time together. Can I just say how repeat-worthy “Do You Really” is?

This year, she followed up with Teach Me, a six track EP. You’re sure to find one track or more from Black that you’ll deeply adore.

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