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Out from Minnesota comes 28-year-old Caroline Smith, whose new single “Trying Not to Love You” is out now. Smith cites obvious ’90s R&B/pop canon as her influences (Mariah Carey, TLC, Erykah Badu et al.), but the track melds the aquatic textures of All For You-Janet Jackson and the airiness of young Carey’s greatest hits for pure pop escapism. The concept of troubled love has long been a genre motif, but the marriage of melody and language constantly brings new twists on such a specific circumstance. On “Trying Not to Love You,” Smith shows a solid understanding of the past, and where it can go. The tropes (the false end, the repetitious chorus) are here, but so is the feeling. Listen below.

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