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Sound Bite: Jason Mraz, Mike Shinoda and Mason Ramsey

From break-up ballads to feel good summer jams, here are our top five releases from this week

This week in music offered a range in emotions, from optimistic (Jason Mraz and Aloe Blacc) to heartsick (Haley Vassar and Kyan Palmer). But the most touching release comes from Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, who began writing his upcoming album after the tragic loss of bandmate Chester Bennington last year. Shinoda’s grief is acutely apparent on the track “About You,” which is about his struggle to write about anything other than Bennington’s death.

On a lighter note, we’re buzzing about the first release from the “yodeling kid” a.k.a. Mason Ramsey. With his surprise appearance at Coachella and a slot on the Stagecoach lineup, we knew it was only a matter of time before Ramsey would be releasing new music—and we’re swooning all over again.

1. “About You” by Mike Shinoda feat. blackbear

This is the latest song off Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park’s forthcoming full-length album, Post Traumatic (out June 15). Shinoda says that while the album was inspired by the death of bandmate Chester Bennington, this song is about his effort to focus on life.

2. “Somebody Else” by Haley Vassar and Kyan Palmer

This heartfelt break-up bop offers an emotional storyline paired with a dreamy soundscape. The juxtaposition between the soulful sound of Palmer and the raw vocals from Vassar make for a mesmerizing track.

3. “Brooklyn in the Summer” by Aloe Blacc

Blacc gained notoriety for his soulful vocals on the late DJ Avicii’s track “Wake Me Up.” On this perfect summertime jam and the first single off his upcoming album, Blacc reminds us of how catchy a ballad can be.

4. “Famous” by Mason Ramsey

This 11-year-old singing sensation went viral after an impromptu yodeling moment in Walmart. What followed was an appearance at Coachella and on The Ellen Degeneres Show and the entire world falling for the “yodeling kid.” With this new song, the aptly named “Famous,” Ramsey is out to prove he’s more than a meme.

5. “Have It All” by Jason Mraz

Our favorite summertime crooner is back with a bright single and video. Mraz, who wrote “Have It All” after receiving a blessing from a Buddhist monk, may be best known for his mid-aughts smash “The Remedy,” but judging by the video he’s inspiring a whole new generation.

Main image credit: Justin Bettman