If the week in new music had been as underwhelming as Super Bowl XLVIII, we might not have even bothered putting this list together. Alas, new ones from Beck, Rick Ross, Miguel, Kelela, and others quickly lifted our spirits, if not quite to the point of Richard Sherman-style barking. One week into February, the novelty of the New Year has worn off and anticipation for spring is high.
10. Curtis Harding – “Keep On Shining”
Balancing retro sounds with modern production values is a tricky compromise; that is, if you care about modern production values. Atlanta’s Curtis Harding does not. His debut single, “Keep On Shining”, hits that deep-soul groove — pure vintage — harkening back to Al Green and the smooth love songs of the ’70s. Harding is an understated crooner, choosing his notes wisely to maintain an air of restraint. The single is out now as a 7-inch on Burger Records, and Harding’s full-length debut, Soul Power, drops April 22nd. –Jon Hadusek