With 2017 coming to a close, all of us here at Substream are reflecting on the artists that have made the biggest buzz this year. In the world of rock, Imagine Dragons continue to dominate: as of late November 2017, only three rock songs had reached the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100– and Imagine Dragons had two of them (both “Believer” and “Thunder” reached Number 4). While they’re rarely lauded by critics (Evolve, released in June on Interscope / KIDinaKORNER, received solidly middle-grade reviews), they are an artist worth paying attention to, if only for their ability to stay on top in a world where rock artists rarely crossover to the mainstream.
When it comes to R&B, Khalid has been one of the year’s most exciting artists to watch. He released his debut album American Teen in March, less than a month after his 19th birthday, and it’s since been certified platinum by the RIAA. Khalid even received five Grammy Nominations for 2018: Best New Artist, Best Urban Contemporary Album for American Teen, Best R&B Song for “Location”, and Song of the Year and Best Music Video for “1-800-273-8255” (with Logic and Alessia Cara). His Marshmello collaboration “Silence” reached Number 30 on the Hot 100 (meanwhile topping the Dance charts) and “Young Dumb & Broke”, the second song to be released as a single from American Teen, hit Number 22.
With just over a week left in the year, Imagine Dragons and Khalid have teamed up for a medley of “Thunder” and “Young Dumb & Broke”. Though more recent releases have seen a heavier influence from industrial rock and EDM, Imagine Dragons’ earlier material saw influence from hip-hop and R&B. With “Silence” Khalid proved his ability to crossover to EDM, and after listening to the “Thunder / Young Dumb & Broke” medley, we’re confident in his ability to take on rock as well. Whatever genres of music you consider yourself a fan of, the medley is worth listening to, if only because the two songs fit together so well.
What do you think of the “Thunder / Young Dumb & Broke” medley? Let us know in the comments below, or share your thoughts with Substream on Twitter.