PartyNextDoor, FLO, Halle, And More Drop New, Slow-Burning R&B

This week in R&B, it’s all about the sultry slow-burn. Though some tracks are more mid-tempo in nature and may not have slid down a wall in agony, there’s still a level of yearning, desire, love, and a hint of lust laced through all of this greatness.

PartyNextDoor is back and teasing his upcoming album. FLO and Elijah Blake are also getting fans excited for their respective new albums. Halle is a new mother with a new attitude and is baring it all on her second solo release while Elmiene has finally teamed up with D’Mile for a new enchanting ballad. Newcomer Rhyan Douglas has issued his debut EP while fellow rising sensation Lendryx is putting a positive spin on situationships. MaKenzie has announced her new record deal with Warner Records and is making her official debut with the help of R&B phenom TA Thomas.

Whether you want a “real woman,” real love, or just some incredible music to help you get through real life, check out VIBE‘s top new R&B picks.

PARTYNEXTDOOR – “R e a l W o m a n”

PartyNextDoor has returned to the music scene with his new single, “R e a l W o m a n,” from his highly-anticipated new album, PARTYNEXTDOOR FOUR.

Produced by Prep Bijan, Eli Brown, and Noah “40” Shebib, PND’s latest record is a hypnotic seduction about how nobody got nothin’ on his lady. Of the album, he told Billboard, “This is the hardest I’ve ever worked on an album. This is the proudest I’ve felt. I’m excited to grind even more for the next [one]. I’m in love with how hard you should work for it.” He also teased that he’s focused on making “classic music” and this is just the beginning of his next chapter.

PARTYNEXTDOOR FOUR is slated for release on April 26.

FLO – “Walk Like This”

Though the sound of the footsteps took us back to Jordin Sparks’ “One Step At A Time,” that flirty bit of nostalgia is different from what FLO is bringing to the table. Produced by MNEK, their playful anthem “Walk Like This” is sexier, but still speaks to those certified lover girls who love to hype up their man and themselves.

“The song is about that energy you have when you embrace your sensuality and womanhood,” the trio detailed. “It’s okay to admit a man’s doing well from time to time! We hope it makes you feel confident, a bit naughty and adds that extra sway to your walk.” This is the group’s first release since their EP, 3 Of Us, which was intended to hold fans over until the arrival of their debut album.

Halle – “In Your Hands”

Halle has finally shared the long-awaited follow-up to her debut solo single, “Angel,” with her new offering, “In Your Hands.” Produced by DemJointz, the chilling love song is a ballad dedicated to fighting for a once-in-a-lifetime love, whether it be self-love or a romantic one.

“It’s basically a message about fighting for a love that you know is an incredibly beautiful one-of-a-kind love, but also a reminder to that special someone that your love has changed their life and is something they won’t experience in this lifetime again,” Halle explained in a statement. “It’s a love song but also an empowerment song to ourselves, and a reminder that we are a one of a kind special being and that we’re worth more than all the diamonds and gold in the world.”

“In Your Hands” is another example of why Halle is one of this generation’s best vocalists. 

Elijah Blake – “Ghostbuster”

Elijah Blake is baring his soul on his new single, “Ghostbuster.” The reflective track dives deep into the sorrow stemming from lost relationships. “Can’t get you out of my head, out of my brain/ Chasin’ after love that I know has been dead,” he sings on the somber record. “You’re just a ghost of my past/ That keeps comin’ back but never comes back.” The new song is a taste of the soul-stirring sonic journey displayed on his upcoming album, which will be released this June.

“With ‘Ghostbuster,’ I wanted to create a sonic and visual journey that transcends boundaries, allowing listeners to immerse themselves in a hauntingly beautiful experience. It’s a blend of my musical roots with a modern twist, and I’m thrilled to share this artistic expression with the world,” he explained in a statement. Blake later shared on Instagram that the record is “more than just a song to me; it’s a visual journey into my past and my musical evolution.”

Rhyan Douglas – Circles

Rhyan Douglas’ debut EP is a refreshing crossover of folk, soul, rhythm, and blues. Although his single, “Conversation,” should be placed in a film, the entire project is a compelling, honest encapsulation of the innocence of young love and the longing for a carefree, simpler life — void of the stress associated with adulting.

Circles is a tribute to my childhood and my continuous growth and evolution into the man I’m probably supposed to be,” shared Douglas in a statement. “Loss, money, religion, ladies, bowling and of course my dreams — and the subjects my attention demands of me, both bad and good. I don’t why I made it, nor do I know why it sounds as such; I let life do its course, ultimately driving me through circles the same way I was running before finding myself through sound. In a sense, I’m presenting to you a few pages of my journal.”

MaKenzie feat. Ta Thomas – “Maybe”

Rising phenom MaKenzie has announced her new deal with Warner Records and new single, “Maybe” featuring crooner TA Thomas. The two seamlessly complement each other on the fiery track that’s both nostalgic and vibrant.

Inspired by the late ’90s and early ’00s, MaKenzie explained, “We wanted to create a song that felt like one of those R&B ‘sing along in the car real loud ‘cuz you’re frustrated in your relationship or you just ended s**t and you now gotta vent’ type records. We wanted to make a track that made you feel like you were going through that even if you aren’t at least for the three minutes and some change that it takes you to listen to the song.”

Elmiene – “Crystal Tears”

Elmiene has finally linked up with acclaimed producer D’Mile for his newest single, “Crystal Tears.” Similar to his hit, “Mad At Fire,” this is another nod to the early 2000s merged with a ’70s soul ballad.

It additionally feeds fans’ craving for beggin’ R&B as Elmiene sings, “I need to know if you could feel/ Could I ever be a special person?/ Show you I can give love and devotion/ I need to know if I can feel/ Afraid to hold the glass I know I’ve broken/ Take back all the notes I know I’ve chosen…”

Elmiene is one of R&B’s most sought-after artists of this current generation. The 22-year-old British-Sudanese star has sold out his own headlining tour in London and North America and appeared on COLORS with only a handful of EPs in his discography.

Lendryx – “Halfway Open”

Lendryx is back, creating a soundtrack for hopeless romantics everywhere. With “Halfway Open,” the Bama-bred crooner sings of a relationship in which one isn’t ready for commitment but still offers just enough to make staying around worth it.

“I had so much fun creating this record, grinning the entire way through writing & recording. There’s even a little rap section that I love. ‘Situationships’ have a poor reputation, so I wanted to share a positive perspective for everyone, even if it doesn’t end the way we want it to,” said Lendryx of the record.

For those who seek reciprocity and may not receive it on their timeline, this song’s for you. Additionally, the visualizer pays nostalgic homage to couples from hit ’90s sitcoms including A Different World, Sister Sister, Martin, Moesha, and The Jamie Foxx Show.