Normani, NxWorries, Lalah Hathaway, And More New R&B For Moments Under Moonlight

R&B is showing out for Black Music Month.

It seemed like everybody and their mama dropped some new music, and as always, we combed through the influx of offerings to decide which ones you need to check out first.

It should come as no surprise that NxWorries, Normani, and Lalah Hathaway are leading the pack this week with their new albums. Rising stars such as Ebony Riley, Landon Thomas, Shaé Universe, Fana Hues, and Forest Claudette are all discussing love in some form, whether it’s an ode to self-love or a yearning for romance. Meanwhile, PJ Morton is sharing his love for the Africa diaspora with his new album as Jack Freeman taps a legendary ’90s group for the remix to one of his hit records.

Khalid is teasing his next album as Leigh-Anne makes her formal solo debut with her latest EP. Lyfe Harris and Jahkoy join forces yet again as Infinity Song completes their metamorphosis and Jon Vinyl gets closure.

Dive into our top new R&B selects below.

NxWorries – Why Lawd?

NxWorries has made their triumphant return to the music scene after the eight-year hiatus that followed their cult classic debut album, Yes Lawd!. Their new music offering was first released in physical formats on June 7 before it hits DSPs.

While they worked on their new LP, fans were gifted an appetizer: the single, “Where I Go” in 2020. The H.E.R.-assisted remix came in 2022 before they came back in 2023 with “Daydreaming” and kicked off 2024 with “86Sentra.” On Why Lawd?, they brought along Dave Chappelle, Thundercat, Snoop Dogg, October London, Earl Sweatshirt, and more to round out the eclectic vibrations that permeated through the sonic adventure.

Paak flexes all he’s done since NxWorries was last together while Knxwledge showcases his melodic growth. So, if you’re looking for a perfect soundtrack for just cruising the streets and being present, you’ve found it.

Normani – DOPAMINE

Normani has dropped the damn album. That’s it. DOPAMINE is the former Fifth Harmony member’s solo debut and it was worth the wait. She fully embraces divine femininity and celebrates the freedom that comes with this chapter.

Despite this being her solo masterpiece, she’s not entering this chapter alone. James Blake and Gunna are both featured on the LP as well as a pen credit from Victoria Monét and background vocals from Brandy on “Insomnia.” The latter will quickly become a fan favorite joining the likes of “Wild Side” and “Candy Paint.”

Standout records also include the sensual “All Yours,” the groovy “Take My Time,” and the confident anthem, “Still,” that serves as a nod to her Texas roots and samples Mike Jones’ “Still Tippin’.” We simply cannot get enough DOPAMINE, so stream it to get your fix.

Lalah Hathaway – VANTABLACK

Lalah Hathaway’s eighth studio album, VANTABLACK, is arguably her best work to-date.

Could it be the features? The LP includes guest appearances from WILLOW, Common, MC Lyte, Rapsody, and more. Could it be the musicality? Standout records include “So In Love,” a non-traditional love song that’s one of Hathaway “most beloved pieces to perform” or “I AM,” the anthemic groove that all about positive reassurance.

Or could it be that the album is so unapologetically Black? VANTABLACK stems from the color that’s considered to be the blackest black on the planet. However, that literal hue became a figurative turning point as she realized that’s also the Blackest she’s ever been.

“Even though I’m steeped in who I am, it doesn’t exclude the other things that make up the sum of me. Similar to how all the music around me informs the Black music that I create. So, it’s a melting pot of all of me,” she confessed. The LP is jazzy, soulful, and funky, and makes for the best Black Music Month soundtrack.

Ebony Riley – “Mirror”

Ebony Riley may have pivoted into modeling, but she’s also returning to her music roots with “Mirror.”

“Gotta be more than the sex cuz I know that I’m pressure/ I’m holding on for the better/ I need something special/ I gotta love all of me/ I gotta love all of me first,” she sings in the relatable, empowering anthem.

The introspective ballad is a intimate self-love letter as she unpacks who she is, what she wants, and what she deserves. Produced by Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox, “Mirror” feels oddly familiar, but also ignites a renewed interest in Riley since the release of her debut EP in 2023.

Shaé Universe – “OOTW”

Shaé Universe’s new record, “OOTW (Order On The Way)” is so sultry and passionate and perfectly sets the tone for the deluxe edition of her album, Love’s Letter.

Produced by hitmaker Ray Keys, “OOTW” is for the “real lovers and yearners,” Shaé confirms.

“It’s time to bring back shameless romance and submission! No ego, just passion, and freedom. The sultry groove of the beat instantly sets the tone and the lyrics amplify the sensual feel of the song. I can confidently say that this is some of my best work yet and this song serves as an introduction to my most powerful era,” she noted, and we agree. The British songbird is in her bag as she uses R&B’s nostalgia as a superpower instead of recycling overused samples. We love to see it.

PJ Morton – Cape Town To Cairo

PJ Morton went on a 30-day trek across Africa and came back to the States with Cape Town To Cairo. His new album is a testament to how he immersed himself in the native culture and all of its sounds to make something that feels like an ancestor’s wildest dream.

“I wanted to capture the emotions I felt while I was on the continent, so I made a promise that I wouldn’t write anything before I arrived in Africa, and I wouldn’t write anything after I left— I ended up recording all my vocals before I left too,” he explained in a statement. He called the album “an experiment in trusting my instincts,” adding, “Cape Town to Cairo is the diaspora in music form, done my way.”

Though the album is most sounds of the diaspora, PJ didn’t leave his traditional roots behind. Those can be heard on “I Found You,” “Home Again,” and “Simunye (We Are One).”

Jack Freeman feat. Jagged Edge – “U N D R E S S (Remix)”

Who knew that Jagged Edge could get us to fall in love all over again in the year of our Lord 2024? Apparently, Jack Freeman did as he called upon the quartet to add a little bit of razzle dazzle to the remix of “U N D R E S S.”

Written by Bryan-Michael Cox, the sensual bedroom jam is definitely for lovers and after hours. This is one of the rare times that merging ’90s R&B with something more modern doesn’t feel played out and we’re thankful.

Khalid – “Adore U”

Khalid teases his new album that’s “coming soon” with his sensual new record, “Adore U.”

Written by the crooner and produced by Digi and Justin Lucas, “Adore U” compliments his previously released single, “Please Don’t Fall In Love With Me.” For him, it’s one of his favorites as “it delivers a melancholic experience filled with ethereal melodies and soulful vocals setting the tone for my upcoming album that I can’t wait for my fans to experience.”

As he sings, “Thousand miles apart and you’re still in my heart/ Can we take it back? I’m waiting at the start,” you can’t help but want to fall in love with him. However, we’re eager nonetheless to see what the rest of the album has to offer.

Infinity Song – Metamorphosis Complete

Soft rock sibling band Infinity Song has released their album, Metamorphosis Complete. It rounds out their first release, Metamorphosis EP, that’s cemented their meteoric ascent.

The new LP includes six new songs along with their viral hits, “Hater’s Anthem” and “Slow Burn.” “More Beautiful” serves as the latter’s sister track while songs like “Comedy” is more reflective and the closer, “Sunshine” is described as the “period at the end of the sentence” to their Metamorphosis era. 

Though their evolution is ongoing, the band feels that this time they’re not trying to prove something, but are now embracing the confidence in knowing that this chapter is complete.

Landon Thomas – “Moments”/”Waiting”

Landon Thomas is back with a two-fer.

“Moments” is a sexy groove off the first listen, but for the rising crooner, it’s also a testament to how he feels about love. It’s about chasing a thrill and living for today, instead of romanticizing about moments that may never come.

Meanwhile, “Waiting” is more of a ballad that describes the relationship he desires. Both come from his next album, BAD DECISIONS, that will be “fully transparent and personal.”

Forest Claudette – “Moonlight”

Forest Claudette’s latest coming-of-age groove is an exploration into identity. As he reflects on his adolescence and being forced into silence, he is boldly and proudly finding his voice on “Moonlight.” The record was inspired by the film of the same name. In a statement, he recalled watching the Oscar-winning film and it changing his life.

“Afterward, I picked up my guitar, and this idea sort of poured out of me. I’d never felt like I had the space to hold that side of myself before, and even still, it’s taken all this time to feel comfortable, safe, and secure enough to share it with the world. One of my many favorite things about this song is that my parents agreed to play strings on it. Being able to immortalize them on something so deeply personal feels like an incredibly loud stamp or mark of their acceptance and support of who I am. It’s such a special feeling. My mom said something after watching the music video for ‘Moonlight,’ she said she felt like she could see me better, as if somehow I was revealed in a new light.”

This is just the beginning of what’s to come next from the budding international star.

Leigh-Anne – No Hard Feelings

Leigh-Anne’s debut EP, No Hard Feelings, skillfully combines her Caribbean roots with her R&B influences as she puts her heart on the table for the world. Within the project’s five tracks, she effortlessly dissects the complexities associated with love and relationships, especially on the raw tune, “Stealin’ Love” and the catchy “I’ll Still Be Here.”

The former Little Mix star shared in a statement, “I created this EP for my fans to feel closer to me and to give everyone a better understanding of the solo artist I want to be. Each track reflects a different mood, so no matter how you’re feeling, there’s something here for you. It’s honest, personal and I’m so excited that now it’s all yours.” 

Jon Vinyl – “Closure”

Jon Vinyl’s heartfelt new ballad, “Closure,” speaks to something many seek and few obtain especially as you realize when a relationship’s run its course.

Produced by Chris Yonge, Jimmy Nguyen & Sensu, this is one of Vinyl’s favorite records in recent years, noting, “We feel the record echoes the aching familiarity when one realizes that their efforts are not being reciprocated, but they also find it too difficult to move on. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.”

The award-winning crooner is making sure that his name remains on the tips of fans’ tongues as they cement who you should be looking out for in the world of contemporary R&B.

Skylar Simone – “Shut Up”

Skylar Simone got back in the studio with D’Mile to kick off her next musical chapter with “Shut Up.” Her soft vocals compliment the soulful bass as she sings of someone putting action behind all the “words that are in the way.”

For Skylar, “One of my favorite things about ‘Shut Up’ is how playful both lyrically & sonically it is. It also allows me to show my versatility as an artist. Fun fact: The chorus was originally just going to be used as a sample in the background….until we realized that part was too good to not have it play a bigger role in the song!”

This is the next single from her forthcoming EP, Shiver, slated for release on July 19.

Lyfe Harris feat. Jahkoy – “SICKO”

Lyfe Harris has linked up with Jahkoy again for the insanely mental journey that is “SICKO.” If you’ve ever called your partner someone else’s name, the song carries that same level of embarrassment except it doubles down on it and intensifies it.

As the men explain it, “‘SICKO’ is a poignant track that explores the complexity of moving on while being tied to past relationships. The song captures the essence of finding a thrill in new intimacy, yet constantly being reminded of a previous lover.”

As Harris sings, “Your fragrance is stuck on these sheets/when I f**k her I smell you, it’s creepy/ It’s toxic but I love it, I’m a sicko,” it aptly details how tangible moments are tied to fleeting memories.

Fana Hues – MOTH

Fana Hues’s third album, MOTH, is a sonic cocoon that envelopes her “newfound womanhood.”

“Moths fly through darkness constantly searching for light even at the risk of harm,” she explained. “I’m always en route on a journey to find the reason for a feeling in its purest form, even if it hurts.” 

Two years after the release of flora + fana, MOTH serves as a continuation of her musical evolution. Standout records include the playful “Sweet Like,” the escapism anthem “Rental,” and the vulnerable “Perfect Delusion.”