Lately we’ve been pondering the topic of musical discovery and how it’s morphed and developed over time. Twenty years ago, a weekly feature like this one was something you’d have to read in a music magazine, hear on the radio, or gather via word of mouth. But times change and the music industry adapts, and now delivery is instantaneous and even spontaneous, with straight-to-the-net releases being the current flavor for both indie and mainstream artists. One such artist was producer Boots, who found instant fame when the surprise Beyoncé album dropped and thousands heard his beats. He makes an appearance on this week’s countdown with some of his own work and is joined by nine other artists who took to the web to share their new songs. No matter if you’re a veteran metal band like Crowbar or an upstart emcee like Lil Herb, the streamable track is the status quo, the ticket to exposure, the modern means of delivery. The overabundance might be daunting and there are flaws in the system, but now everyone — from the famous to the unknown — has a chance to be heard. And even in a diluted wave of mp3s and SoundCloud streams, the great songs will always stand out.
10. SevnthWonder - “Hear U Callin”
Some considered Timbaland a well-known leader of “future R&B,” as evidenced by the new millennium chic of Aaliyah and how he helped Justin Timberlake bring “Sexyback”. SevnthWonder, a tiger-masked DJ from Boston, challenges his title via “Hear U Callin”. His adrenaline-infused remix of the R. Kelly jam “Hear Your Body Callin’” drips with good feelings and should get blasted over club speakers endlessly. Even though Kels’ deep croon is twisted to sound more feminine, the passionate desire for love is driven into the dance floor. –Sam Willett