UPDATE: Apple Music's Head of Artist Curation Carl Chery hit us up to shed some light on this story:
"Sabrina Claudio’s a star. She’s the latest in a crop of emerging artists I championed first in hope to help turn them into stars. I can’t reveal too much of our strategy but she’s benefiting from the same playbook that helped Bryson Tiller, 6LACK, Khalid, Daniel Caesar and other artists I pushed heavily at an early stage. If you give us a song as good as "Unravel Me," we know exactly what to do to make sure the Apple Music listeners discover it. "Unravel Me" is just the beginning. I’ve had the luxury of listening to unreleased songs from Sabrina’s upcoming project and I’m already obsessed with them. She’s an amazing writer and her sound is evolving. This next project should be big for her.”
There you have it. Get aboard the Sabrina Claudio train while there's still space.
See below for original story published on 5/19/17
God bless Apple Music for its nebulous algorithms and whatever motivates the people behind it to place certain songs in specific places. God bless Katy Perry for her entertainingly bizarre album rollout. And God bless the shady tweets killing her new single with Nicki Minaj, which spurred me to go to Apple and take a listen. "Swish Swish" is bereft of the guilty pleasure charms (and Migos) of "Bon Appétit;" I never need to hear it again. But by selecting it on Apple Music's Hot Tracks playlist did inadvertently lead me to discover "Unravel Me," one of the best songs I've heard all year.
Prior to today I had no idea who Sabrina Claudio is, what she's about, or if her label strategically placed her song under Katy's to spur this kind of unexpected discovery (a handful of other music writers on my timeline shared my experience). Maybe Apple took it upon themselves because, as the the press blast I received this morning tells me, Sabrina's debut EP from March "shot to No. 3 on the iTunes R&B chart sitting only behind Khalid and The Weeknd." Whoever's behind this playlist selection, hat's off. Give yourself a Coke and a pat on the back.
"Unravel Me" is intoxicating. Claudio's mesmerizing vocals unspool across an ethereal beat that crescendos to a shimmering chorus about thirstbuckets who will never figure her out. I've been levitating since midnight. Whenever this song releases its grip on me, I'll get around to checking out the rest of her EP, Confidently Lost. If you're into vibey, lust-soaked FKA twigs-type music I suggest you do the same. Until then, watch the appropriately entrancing video for "Unravel Me" above.