Sam Smith, ”Money On My Mind”
The Londoner’s swinging track — already a U.K. smash — pairs his aching voice with a groove fit for an energy-drink-stocked cocktail lounge. (It also helped nab him a slot on SNL.)
Chlöe Howl, ”No Strings”
Just 19 and already as poised as Lorde, this English baby-diva slams hookup culture over squelching, not-at-all unsexy dance-pop.
How To Dress Well, ”Words I Don’t Remember”
Cooing, keening, and digitally dicing his vocals over a barely there beat and cottony synths, indie rock’s stalwart R&B fan stretches a musical swoon over six-plus minutes.
When the chanteuse warns a poser, “Boy, don’t hurt your brain,” she does it with such blissful serenity that the jab is twice as devastating.
The entrancing, androgynous-voiced singer-producer unfurls a dizzyingly baroque beat stippled with his artfully processed vocals.
Jamie XX, ”Sleep Sound”
The much-anticipated, third-ever solo song from the xx drummer and Grammy-winning producer works like Magic Fingers on the brain, applying esoteric tones to your pressure points.
Katy B Feat. Sampha, ”Play”
The British dubstep star pulls in the underground crooner for an ode to “melodies” and “harmonies” that faithfully provides helpings of both.
Mr. Little Jeans, ”Good Mistake”
This singer — a Norwegian so sultry she had to move to L.A. — naughtily repeats “Your secret’s safe with me,” until the steady buildup finally kills your inhibitions.