Category Archives: Album Reviews

NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of June 30, 2017

What the Funk is going on?

Wav hello to all of this week’s new releases, giving you some fresh finds for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. Celebrate the red, white and tunes all weekend long with music like this:

CALVIN HARRIS – Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 (iTunes)
One of next week’s top debuts will be from Scottish DJ/producer Harris and his fifth album, a star-studded set that features two big hits so far: “Slide”, featuring Frank Ocean and Migos, and “Feels”, featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry and Big Sean. A top five debut is likely for the album, due to potentially sizable streaming-equivalent units, which is the same region where his prior studio album (released in 2014) debuted.

JAY-Z – 4:44 (iTunes)
This album is sure to generate a lot of buzz over the weekend, given that it’s the rapper’s first set in four years, but being a Tidal and Sprint exclusive for its first week could hurt its chances of having a massive week. (It’ll still be pretty solid, regardless.) Could a 14th #1 album be in the cards? We’ll see soon.

More albums out this week: Baio‘s Man Of The World (iTunes), Kacy Hill‘s Like A Woman (iTunes), Klyne‘s Klyne (iTunes), LANY‘s LANY (iTunes), Sir Sly‘s Don’t You Worry, Honey (iTunes), Stone Sour‘s Hydrograd (iTunes), TLC‘s TLC (iTunes), ZZ Ward‘s The Storm (iTunes)

More EPs out this week: Astrid S‘s Party’s Over (iTunes), Ruelle‘s Rival (iTunes), Superfruit‘s Future Friends – Part One (iTunes), The Japanese House‘s Saw You In A Dream (iTunes), Transviolet‘s Kaleidoscopes (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:
“’93”, Youngr (iTunes)
“Be My Girl”, WΛVE & ROME (iTunes)
“Bloodshot”, Albin Lee Meldau (iTunes)
“Brother (Acoustic)”, Kodaline (iTunes)
“Chinatown”, Liam Gallagher (iTunes)
“Don’t Give Up On Me”, Johnny Good featuring Jay Sean (iTunes)
“Don’t Matter Now (Acoustic)”, George Ezra (iTunes)
“Everything I Need”, Picture This (iTunes)
“Flame (Steve James Remix)”, Tinashe (iTunes)
“Glory Of War”, Rick Ross featuring Anthony Hamilton (iTunes)
“Hallelujah”, Noah Kahan (iTunes)
“Here With You”, Lost Frequencies & Netsky (iTunes)
“Higher Places”, Myzica (iTunes)
“I Like Me Better (Ryan Riback Remix)”, Lauv (iTunes)
“If You’re Hearing This”, Hook N Sling x Parson James x Betty Who (iTunes)
“Just Call”, Prince Fox featuring Bella Thorne (iTunes)
“Loyal Like Sid & Nancy”, Foster The People (iTunes)
“Malibu (Alan Walker Remix)”, Miley Cyrus (iTunes)
“Mama (Acoustic)”, Jonas Blue featuring William Singe (iTunes)
“New York”, St. Vincent (iTunes)
“Paradise”, MNEK (iTunes)
“Rescue”, Hunter Hayes (iTunes)
“Second Hand Car”, Kim Churchill (iTunes)
“Signs Of Life”, Arcade Fire (iTunes)
“Staring”, Tipling Rock (iTunes)
“Sun Comes Up”, Rudimental featuring James Arthur (iTunes)
“The Future”, San Holo featuring James Vincent McMorrow (iTunes)
“The Middle”, Kina Grannis (iTunes)
“The Way I Love Her”, Stanaj (iTunes)
“Too Young”, Ayokay featuring Baker Grace (iTunes)
“Truth To Power”, OneRepublic (iTunes)
“Two Fux”, Adam Lambert (iTunes)
“Unpredictable (Acoustic)”, Olly Murs & Louisa Johnson (iTunes)
“Vacation”, Dirty Heads (iTunes)
“Watch”, Billie Eilish (iTunes)
“We Stayed Up All Night”, Tourist featuring Ardyn (iTunes)
“We Were So Young”, Wanderer (iTunes)
“Wheels”, SomeKindaWonderful featuring Casey Veggies (iTunes)
“Wild Animals”, FJORA (iTunes)
“Won’t Bother Me”, Mitch James (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new albums from Haim and more. Listen to the PGTC Friday Faves list on Spotify!

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RECORD REWIND: PGTC Picks, 6/18 – 6/24/17

Sunday afternoon means it’s time for the Record Rewind, highlighting the top new tracks that you might’ve missed during the work week, all from my favorite independent acts out there. If it’s on the site, it’s something that you need to check out!

Across the PGTC SoundCloud page and my playlists on Spotify, these stuck out as my favorite independent songs of the week…

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COURTSHIP. – “Perfect People” (iTunes) (Spotify)
The Los Angeles duo of Eli Hirsch and Micah Gordon continues to craft excellent cuts for the blog world, with “Love For Everyone” and “Sunroof” among my favorites from them. “Perfect” has a lovely nostalgic feel, sounding like a nod to late 70’s California rock.

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KAPTAN – “Better” (iTunes) (Spotify)
I’ve been a big supporter of Andrew de Torres’s current project on the blog for a couple of years now, though he hasn’t appeared in a Rewind post since “Numbers” in July 2016. Well, you can re-examine those numbers now, as his alternative pop jam gets started.

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For more great new music, these tunes are worth a listen…
Bel Heir – “California High” (SoundCloud)
RKCB – “Vice” (SoundCloud)
Sam Tinnesz featuring Super Duper – “Babel” (SoundCloud)
Super Duper featuring Daniella Mason – “Nothing Scares Us” (SoundCloud)
VÉRITÉ – “Control” (SoundCloud)

Want to be featured on this weekly wrap-up? Submit your music to adamfsoybel@gmail.com and I’ll check our your tunes. Thanks!

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NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of June 23, 2017

Oh, baby, it’s a hit.

If you feel like screaming about the weekly New Music Friday update, here’s anotha one to get your vocal cords going. From a hot DJ and producer’s all-star urban collection, to four rockers on a mythical musical adventure, we’ve got ’em all right here, this week’s top releases:

DJ KHALED – Grateful (iTunes)
WE THE BEST RELEASE DATE! (ahem) Sorry, I don’t know what came over me. One could say that DJ and producer Khaled Khaled is capable of yelling any portion of the phone book, and people would probably throw their money at it. Well, you’ll have to wait on a spoken word set from him, but a number of singles from this release have charted across multiple radio formats, including “Shining” (featuring Beyoncé and Jay Z), “I’m The One” (featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper and Lil Wayne) and its most recent airplay cut, “Wild Thoughts” (featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller). Streaming-equivalent units on this one could be giant, so stayed to see how high it goes!

IMAGINE DRAGONS – Evolve (iTunes)
If there’s any act releasing this week that has a whole lot of believers, it’s this Las Vegas quartet, who found that their song “Believer” was destined to become a huge Alternative crossover hit. Though some online reaction to other songs has been mixed (I’m looking at you, “Thunder”) thus far, the album should have a healthy sales week, debuting at the top or runner-up position.

More albums out this week: 311‘s Mosaic (iTunes), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony‘s New Waves (iTunes), James Fortune & FIYA‘s Dear Future Me (iTunes), Jaymes Young‘s Feel Something (iTunes), Joe Bonamassa‘s Live At Carnegie Hall – An Acoustic Evening (iTunes), Prince & The Revolution‘s Purple Rain (Deluxe Reissue) (iTunes),
Quavo‘s ATL (iTunes), Stokley‘s Introducing Stokley (iTunes), VÉRITÉ‘s Somewhere In Between (iTunes), Vince Staples‘s Big Fish Theory (iTunes), Baby Driver (Soundtrack) (iTunes), Despicable Me 3 (Soundtrack) (iTunes)

More EPs out this week: TBA

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:
“All I Think About Is You”, Ansel Elgort (iTunes)
“Babel”, Sam Tinnesz featuring Super Duper (iTunes)
“Bad 4 Us”, Superfruit (iTunes)
“Baby Love”, Samantha J. featuring R. City (iTunes)
“Better”, KAPTAN (iTunes)
“Boyfriend”, Lissie (iTunes)
“Break A Little (Madison Mars Remix)”, Kirstin (iTunes)
“Bridge Over Troubled Water”, Artists For Grenfell (iTunes)
“Brother”, Kodaline (iTunes)
“Champion”, Fall Out Boy (iTunes)
“Change”, Sir Sly (iTunes)
“Come Over”, Dylan Rockoff (iTunes)
“Edge Of The Night”, Sheppard (iTunes)
“Electric Touch (Grant Remix)”, A R I Z O N A (iTunes)
“Fool”, Fitz & The Tantrums (iTunes)
“Giants”, Lights (iTunes)
“Gimme Heartbreak”, David Cook (iTunes)
“Ghost”, Secret Weapons (iTunes)
“Golden Dandelions (Acoustic)”, Barns Courtney (iTunes)
“How You Gon’ Do That”, Flosstradamus featuring Cara Salimando (iTunes)
“Intrigued”, Nico & Vinz (iTunes)
“Keep Me Sane”, Kacy Hill (iTunes)
“Listen To What The Man Said” and “Waving Through A Window”, Owl City (iTunes)
“Little Of Your Love”, HAIM (iTunes)
“Malibu (Tiësto Remix)”, Miley Cyrus (iTunes)
“Moonlight”, Grace VanderWaal (iTunes)
“Naughty Ride”, WizKid featuring Major Lazer (iTunes)
“Nothing Scares Us”, Super Duper featuring Daniella Mason (iTunes)
“Somebody New”, Cedric Gervais featuring Liza Owen (iTunes)
“Someone To You (Acoustic)”, BANNERS (iTunes)
“Slow Hands (Basic Tape Remix)”, Niall Horan (iTunes)
“Waterfalls”, Luke Christopher (iTunes)
“Wearing Nothing (Acoustic)”, Dagny (iTunes)
“What If (Acoustic)”, Adam Friedman (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new albums from Calvin Harris, Jay-Z and more. Listen to the PGTC Friday Faves list on Spotify!

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RECORD REWIND: PGTC Picks, 6/11 – 6/17/17

Sunday afternoon means it’s time for the Record Rewind, highlighting the top new tracks that you might’ve missed during the work week, all from my favorite independent acts out there. If it’s on the site, it’s something that you need to check out!

Across the PGTC SoundCloud page and my playlists on Spotify, these stuck out as my favorite independent songs of the week…

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MARTIN LUKE BROWN – “Into Yellow” (iTunes) (Spotify)
Brown’s been a favorite on both the blog and my chart for nearly three years, with songs like “Nostalgia” and “Take Out Of Me” still getting a fair amount of listening on my media player of choice. The ethereal pop track proves to be a very special musical moment.

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WHISSELL – “Been Here Before” (iTunes) (Spotify)
Here’s the Nashville performer who, much like her song title, has been here before on several occasions. In fact, the excellent “Legs Crossed” was featured on the Rewind last month. In the evolution of this lovely artist, this and “Legs” deliver some radio potential.

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WYLDER – “Save A Way” (iTunes) (Spotify)
This Washington, D.C.-based quartet looks a little different from when they were last featured on our feed, but their first new song in over a year is a good companion to their summer indie pop anthem “Sunstroke”, released in 2015. This guitar-driven track rules!

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For more great new music, these tunes are worth a listen…
Johnny Stimson – “Honeymoon” (SoundCloud)
Nicholas Roberts – “Before You Go” (SoundCloud)

Want to be featured on this weekly wrap-up? Submit your music to adamfsoybel@gmail.com and I’ll check our your tunes. Thanks!

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NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of June 16, 2017

Praise the Lorde.

Take a drive down the musical highway, hit the “Green Light” and speed off into a schedule full of great releases for this Friday. Here are the notable albums and singles you can check out now:

LORDE – Melodrama (iTunes)
My top pick for this week is the sophomore album by this New Zealand singer and songwriter, who is coming off a number of notable television and festival performances so far this year. The album’s first single, “Green Light”, climbed as high as #8 on the Alternative chart, as well as #19 at Top 40, while “Perfect Places” is just beginning its run at the former format. Though the era’s had its share of missteps, the album should have a good debut in the top five (or higher) next week.

2 CHAINZ – Pretty Girls Like Trap Music (iTunes)
This Georgia rapper has reached the top five on the Billboard 200 with 3 Albumz, but only his 2012 debut went all the way to the top of both that and the R&B survey. The set features former top ten Urban radio hit “Good Drank”, with Gucci Mane and Quavo, and current single “It’s A Vibe”, which features Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz and Jhené Aiko. It is a contender for the highest debut of the week, so stay tuned to see where it lands.

PORTUGAL. THE MAN – Woodstock (iTunes)
The new release from this Alaska band may not be as legendary as the 1969 musical festival, but it does have a lot of super music that you can experience. Of course, this album is led by “Feel It Still”, which is very close to reaching the #1 spot at the Alternative format. (It’s also beginning a cross to Hot AC.) You may recognize it from the new ad for Apple’s iPad Pro. It should have a nice debut.

ROYAL BLOOD – How Did We Get So Dark? (iTunes)
The English duo of Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher made quite an impression on the rock world three years ago with a self-titled album. Now, they return with a highly-anticipated set, featuring the Active Rock hit “Lights Out”. Watch for Dark to see the light somewhere in the top ten.

More albums out this week: Beth Ditto‘s Fake Sugar (iTunes), Big Boi‘s BOOMIVERSE (iTunes), Cheap Trick‘s We’re All Alright! (iTunes), CKY‘s The Phoenix (iTunes), Crystal Bowersox‘s Alive (iTunes), Eli Young Band‘s Fingertips (iTunes), Fleet Foxes‘s Crack-Up (iTunes), Hey Violet‘s From The Outside (iTunes), Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit‘s The Nashville Sound (iTunes), Nickelback‘s Feed The Machine (iTunes)

More EPs out this week: Bassnectar‘s Reflective, Pt. 1 (iTunes), Shawn Hook‘s My Side Of Your Story (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:
“All Night”, Kirstin (iTunes)
“All Stars”, Martin Solveig featuring ALMA (iTunes)
“Baby It’s You”, Haley Reinhart (iTunes)
“Been Here Before”, Whissell (iTunes)
“Better Off”, Handsome Ghost (iTunes)
“Can’t Do”, Everything Everything (iTunes)
“Congratulations (Remix)”, Post Malone featuring Quavo and Future (iTunes)
“Creature Comfort”, Arcade Fire (iTunes)
“Despacito/I’m The One (Mashup)”, Alex Aiono (iTunes)
“Don’t Let Me Get Me”, James Gillespie (iTunes)
“Don’t Matter Now”, George Ezra (iTunes)
“Feelin’ You”, Daniel Skye featuring R. City (iTunes)
“Feels”, Calvin Harris featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry and Big Sean (iTunes)
“Fine”, Tayler Buono (iTunes)
“Fuck With You”, Cardiknox (iTunes)
“Girls Girls”, Icona Pop (iTunes)
“Glorious”, Macklemore featuring Skylar Grey (iTunes)
“Glue”, Fickle Friends (iTunes)
“Harder”, Tiësto & KSHMR featuring Talay Riley (iTunes)
“Heartland”, Tom Walker (iTunes)
“Higher”, Eliza And The Bear (iTunes)
“Hometowns”, Jacob Jeffries (iTunes)
“Honeymoon”, Johnny Stimson (iTunes)
“Hope”, Elias (iTunes)
“I Know A Place (Miike Snow Remix)”, MUNA (iTunes)
“Instruction”, Jax Jones featuring Demi Lovato & Stefflon Don (iTunes)
“Into Yellow”, Martin Luke Brown (iTunes)
“Just For One Night”, Blonde featuring Astrid S (iTunes)
“Let Me Breathe”, Action Bronson (iTunes)
“Life’s About To Get Good”, Shania Twain (iTunes)
“Love Again”, Hedley (iTunes)
“Moan”, VALNTN featuring Trevor Dering (iTunes)
“Night Call”, Steve Aoki featuring Lil Yachty and Migos (iTunes)
“No Fear”, DeJ Loaf (iTunes)
“Nobody Else But You”, LCAW (iTunes)
“Oh Devil”, Electric Guest featuring Devin Di Dakta (iTunes)
“One I Want”, Majid Jordan featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR (iTunes)
“Reverse”, Sage The Gemini (iTunes)
“Save A Way”, Wylder (iTunes)
“Snooze”, Johnny Yukon (iTunes)
“Stay The Same”, Fancy Cars featuring Neil Ormandy (iTunes)
“Strip That Down (Acoustic)”, Liam Payne (iTunes)
“Summer Days”, Milow featuring Sebastian Yatra (iTunes)
“Sunny Days”, Armin Van Buuren featuring Josh Cumbee (iTunes)
“The Man”, The Killers (iTunes)
“The Way You Used To Do”, Queens Of The Stone Age (iTunes)
“There’s Something Special”, Pharrell Williams (iTunes)
“Turf”, Aminé (iTunes)
“Walking The Wire”, Imagine Dragons (iTunes)
“Wild Thoughts”, DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller (iTunes)
“Your Song (Acoustic)”, Rita Ora (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new albums from DJ Khaled, Imagine Dragons and more. Listen to the PGTC Friday Faves list on Spotify!

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RECORD REWIND: PGTC Picks, 6/4 – 6/10/17

Sunday afternoon means it’s time for the Record Rewind, highlighting the top new tracks that you might’ve missed during the work week, all from my favorite independent acts out there. If it’s on the site, it’s something that you need to check out!

Across the PGTC SoundCloud page and my playlists on Spotify, these stuck out as my favorite independent songs of the week…

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ANDREW BELLE – “Down” (iTunes) (Spotify)
Seems like we’ve had a lot of radio singles with the word “down” in their titles recently, so I guess it’s only right to spotlight a digital song that gets “down” with what’s headed up. Of Belle’s set of stand-alone singles during the last year, this is my favorite one so far.

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KYLE REYNOLDS – “Friday Saturday Sunday” (iTunes) (Spotify)
So far this year, Nashville singer/songwriter Reynolds has appeared as the featured artist on two solid songs, but it’s his first main-credited single for 2017 that serves future pop perfection for the weekend (as if the title wasn’t a dead giveaway.) It’s pretty catchy!

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SMALLPOOLS – “Million Bucks” (iTunes) (Spotify)
After parting ways with RCA, this Los Angeles trio is back to rock the charts with their forthcoming independent EP, The Science Of Letting Go. Though this doesn’t approach “Over & Over” or “Karaoke” for me yet, it fits nicely with their usual aesthetic and sound.

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For more great new music, these tunes are worth a listen…
BROADHURST – “Status Quo” (SoundCloud)
Mikey Wax – “Never Letting You Go” (SoundCloud)
Rooney – “Second Chances” (SoundCloud)
Wanderer – “Call Me Crazy (Acoustic)” (SoundCloud)

Want to be featured on this weekly wrap-up? Submit your music to adamfsoybel@gmail.com and I’ll check our your tunes. Thanks!

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NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of June 9, 2017

Witnessing another release week…

A Perry interesting week is ahead of us, as a number of large releases hit stores. Witness all the action below! (See what I did there?) Here are the notable albums and singles for this Friday:

KATY PERRY – Witness (iTunes)
What happens when your core radio format decides to start ignoring your records, causing your new album era to become a mess? A likely under-performance is in the works for Perry’s release, even if it does hit #1 next week. Of course, even though this contains the forgettable “Bon Appétit” (featuring Migos) and “Swish Swish” (featuring Nicki Minaj), it does include a recent #1 on my personal chart: “Chained To The Rhythm”, which features Skip Marley. No tea, no shade, kids, I’m just doing my job!

LADY ANTEBELLUM – Heart Break (iTunes)
As “You Look Good” struggles just below the top ten at Country radio, the trio’s first album in just under three years makes its debut today. With five top five albums to date, and an additional top ten entry with a seasonal album, they should have a solid result in the top tier of the chart once again, albeit with a smaller sales frame.

RISE AGAINST – Wolves (iTunes)
The Chicago rockers have reached the top three on the Billboard 200 with each of their last three studio albums. Their new set is led by “The Violence”, a recent top ten entry on the Active Rock chart that also appears in the top 20 on Alternative radio. It should have a nice debut in the top five.

More albums out this week: Christina Grimmie‘s All Is Vanity (iTunes), Chuck Berry‘s Berry (iTunes), Glen Campbell‘s Adiós (iTunes), Hillsong UNITED‘s Wonder (iTunes), Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie‘s Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie (iTunes), London Grammer‘s Truth Is A Beautiful Thing (iTunes), Phoenix‘s Ti Amo (iTunes), Rancid‘s Trouble Maker (iTunes), SZA‘s CTRL (iTunes), NOW That’s What I Call Country, Vol. 10 (iTunes)

More EPs out this week: Chris Janson‘s Fix A Drink (iTunes), Jessie James Decker‘s Blackbird Sessions (iTunes), Sam Bruno‘s I Am Sam, Pt. 1 (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:
“2U”, David Guetta featuring Justin Bieber (iTunes)
“African Bad Gyal”, WizKid featuring Chris Brown (iTunes)
“Came Here For Love”, Sigala featuring Ella Eyre (iTunes)
“Chicago Song”, Stu Larsen (iTunes)
“Don’t Give Up”, Ryan Star (iTunes)
“Feel It Still (Ofenbach Remix)”, Portugal. The Man (iTunes)
“Free Me”, Sia (iTunes)
“Friday Saturday Sunday”, Kyle Reynolds (iTunes)
“Give Love”, Andy Grammer featuring LunchMoney Lewis (iTunes)
“Goodbye Belongs To You”, Matt Hartke (iTunes)
“High On Humans”, Oh Wonder (iTunes)
“High Without Your Love (Nakid Remix)”, Loote (iTunes)
“I Only Lie When I Love You”, Royal Blood (iTunes)
“In The South”, Big Boi featuring Gucci Mane and Pimp C (iTunes)
“Lift Me Up (Michael Brun Remix)”, OneRepublic (iTunes)
“Look At Us Now”, Lost Kings featuring Ally Brooke and A$AP Ferg (iTunes)
“Make It Move”, Jonny Lang (iTunes)
“Million Bucks”, Smallpools (iTunes)
“Never Letting You Go”, Mikey Wax (iTunes)
“Nights With You (Cheat Codes Remix)”, (iTunes)
“Not Enough”, Lido featuring THEY. (iTunes)
“Rain Come Down”, Vince Staples (iTunes)
“Rude Love (Live Acoustic)”, Becky Hill (iTunes)
“Safe Haven”, The Alternate Routes (iTunes)
“Sirens”, Kat Dahlia (iTunes)
“Sleep Is A Rose”, RHODES (iTunes)
“Sober”, Lorde (iTunes)
“Someone To You”, BANNERS (iTunes)
“Status Quo”, BROADHURST (iTunes)
“Stay (Acoustic)”, Zedd featuring Alessia Cara (iTunes)
“The Devil You Know”, X Ambassadors (iTunes)
“To The Max”, DJ Khaled featuring Drake (iTunes)
“Touch”, The Aces (iTunes)
“Touch Me”, Starley (iTunes)
“Unforgettable (Major Lazer Remix)”, French Montana featuring Swae Lee (iTunes)
“Unstable”, Janine (iTunes)
“Walls”, Wingtip featuring Delacey (iTunes)
“Welcome To My Life”, Chris Brown featuring Cal Scruby (iTunes)
“Yellow Light”, Pharrell Williams (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new albums from 2 ChainzLorde, Royal Blood and more. Listen to the PGTC Friday Faves list on Spotify!

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