It's that time of year again! Every fall, we welcome albums and tracks from artists old and new. This year, it seems, belongs to the ladies.
"We’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams." — "Royals"
Hailing from New Zealand, this 16-year-old singer-songwriter will be releasing her debut album, Pure Heroine, at the end of the month. Lorde has been climbing indie-pop charts everywhere, and the single "Royals" went double platinum in New Zealand on June 5. Her Australian shows sold out, and she's currently touring the United States. Lorde possesses a rare maturity, as can be seen from her social commentary regarding the state of teenagers everywhere. Speaking about "Royals" on Facebook, she said, "A lot of people think teenagers live in this world like 'skins' every weekend or whatever, but truth is, half the time we aren’t doing anything cooler than playing with lighters." Wise beyond her years, Lorde is playing the game slow and cool, making fans wait for new music, and not oversaturating her social media accounts.
2. Kat Dahlia
"I do it all myself. I ain’t getting help from no one, no one." — "Gangsta"
This 23-year-old is about to drop My Garden, her debut album. Beyond being fiercely beautiful, Kat Dahlia is tough, fearless, and ready to take a male-dominated industry by storm. Dahlia’s music infuses a hard hip-hop flow with subtle Cuban influences and personal insights into Miami life. The unapologetic lyricism and unique flow of the single "Gangsta" won over MTV critics and cemented Dahlia’s place as a BET Music Matters artist. Dahlia self-financed her first EP and music video, before signing to Vested In Culture/Epic Records to produce My Garden.
3. Iggy Azalea
"I been up all night, tryna get that rich. I been work work work work workin’ on my shit." — "Work"
Azalea is a stunning Wilhelmina model sporting a southern-style flow that garnered the attention of T.I. and his label, Grand Hustle Records. Originally from a small town in rural Australia, Azalea courageously left home at 16 to pursue her rap aspirations in Miami, and never turned back. As her U.S. hit single "Work" describes, she lived out of duffel bags and scrubbed floors while "workin’ on her shit" and planning her rap come up. Her album, The New Classic, is out this fall. Each single has been met with more success than the last, earning Azalea a nomination for Artist to Watch at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. She caries herself with extreme poise in her Vevo Lift diaries, betraying the calculation, intelligence, and drive behind her controversial artistic choices. Her latest single, "Change Your Life," just dropped in the United States.
4. Jessie J
“You’re stuck in the playground and I’m a grown woman now.” — It’s My Party
Jessie J proved that she can “Do It Like a Dude” (or better) with her 2011 album, Who You Are. Fans are eagerly anticipating her new album, Alive, which drops September 23. Singles "It’s My Party" and "Wild" have already been released to rave reviews. The artist has powerfully soulful vocals through in her up-tempo tracks, but showcases a softer side in the ballad "Square One," which was originally premiered in a live stream with fans (it was later released as a promotional single via iTunes). Alive is full of exciting features and collaborations, some of which we’ve been teased with through Instagram photos.
“It took me 22 years to trust myself. Too many people told me to be somebody else.” — "Back to the Beginning Again"
Remember JoJo? If you’ve kept up with her perpetual label drama, then you know she’s come a long way since “Leave! Get out right now!” Blackground Records has shot down multiple attempts at a new JoJo album, a fact which she laments in her recently released mixtape, Agape. She lays industry politics bare with lyrics like, “You should pull your titties out, then I’ll put your record out.” Agape was released for free streaming via SoundCloud, and generated huge buzz around the comeback artist. Singles "Andre" and "Can’t Handle the Truth" show that JoJo still has pop potential, while songs like "Thinking Out Loud" and "Take the Canyon" show off an edgy maturity. The whole tape is underscored by her trademark acrobatic vocals and sweet tonality. She’s been posting recent photo shoots to Instagram, releasing music videos, and inspiring a #freejojo movement on Twitter. Fall is certain to hold further liberation for our favorite ex-child star.