Life Of The Party
Label: Island Records
Pretty folksy for a Vine phenom -- in fact, the most unexpected thing about this 16-year-old Canadian cutie's debut is how coffee-shop-friendly it feels. No synths or drum machines here: Mendes prefers the acoustic guitar, the miked drum kit, some whistles and handclaps. And the setting works well for these world-weary tales of middle school romance, where gossip and social anxieties share space with heavy petting and Instagram love notes. "You're suffocating me," Shawn coos at duet partner Astrid Smeplass, "but this time I'm coming up for air/ Air-air-air-air-air/ Air". Catchy, right?