Bop Shop: Songs From Lava La Rue, Raye, Kizz Daniel, And More

“After years and fears and smiling through my tears, all I ask of you is open your ears,” Raye croons at the top of “Hard Out Here,” the first single off her upcoming debut album. Her first release since becoming independent, Raye uses this opportunity as a declaration of agency, a way to reclaim control over her own narrative, both sonically and lyrically. Deviating away from the hyperpop and EDM melodies with which she’s most often associated, Raye goes for an edgier R&B sound, giving herself enough space to tell her story. Accompanied by an art house-esque visual displaying a strong and powerful Raye in full form, “Hard Out Here” marks the start of a renaissance, an exciting and liberating new chapter for the artist now in control. —Sarina Bhutani


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