Sounds Like: One of the most satisfying R&B releases of the year and a welcome debut from a talent with the courage to write powerful songs about same-sex love.
Free Association: He took the promise of Nostalgia, ULTRA and knocked it outta the park.
For Fans Of: Michael Jackson, Earl Sweatshirt/Andre 3000.
Sounds Like: The sophomore LP from this George Lewis Jr. and Prince lookalike is a synth-heavy and ’80s-worshipping set of shiny, bright songs on love, lust and yearning.
Free Association: He even wears cut-off leather gloves, vests and quirky top hats!
For Fans Of: Peter Gabriel x M83, Neon Indian + the Cure/the Smiths, chillwave.
Sounds Like: The hard-hitting return of the Long Island, N.Y.-born emcee after five years of silence, a divorce and a label fight. He’s back—and sicker than ever.
Free Association: A heady mix of sick beats, wicked flow and dense lyricism.
PW's Music Issue 2014