Today, the pint-size dance-pop queen Katy B, released a four-song EP called Danger, which is meant to be a placeholder between her 2011 debut On a Mission and her upcoming sophomore album. It is excellent because she is excellent: tasteful, accessible, charming. The best track is "Aalyiah," a '90s house throwback duet with Jessie Ware, in which both contemporary R&B-invoking singers plead with a character named Aaliyah to stay away from their men. The Guardian compares it to Dolly Parton's "Jolene," and indeed it is reminiscent of with a self-conscious twist: these two singers are paying tribute to the bewitching nature of the late Aaliyah by acknowledging her as an entity in pop songs, one that they can't even compete with. (Really, by naming the song that and spelled it that way, they couldn't possibly be referring to anyone else). The homage is coming from inside the song. Sophisticated and brilliant.
The Internet breakout hit from the 27-year-old English singer-songwriter Jessie Ware, "Wildest Moments," abounds with drums that are almost identical in pattern and timbre to those of Enigma's "Return to Innocence." That 1994 smash is remembered for its aboriginal Taiwanese chant refrain, if it is remembered at all. The German cloak/sex/incantation-loving pseudo-dance act is about as relevant as the Druids it invoked. Enigma are the epitome of early '90s dance cheese. Jessie Ware, meanwhile, has released one of the buzziest debuts of the year, Devotion. Pitchfork gave it an 8.5. The BBC called her "superb." NPR has raved about her single "110%." She's been popping up on many a rock-crit/tastemaker Tumblr for months now. Jessie Ware is the cool artist of the day.