Listen to this: New singles by Shawn Mendes and Peter Gabriel

By Nicholas Jennings

In the sultry days of summer, when heat makes movement taxing, nothing beats a cool drink and relaxing with some sublime, slower-tempo music. Who wants to get all hot and bothered on the dance floor anyway, when even air-conditioning can't beat the blazing temperatures? Two of the best new songs out this week come from a pair of artists who are nearly 50 years apart in age but completely in sync when it comes to starting off slow in order to build to a rich, emotional crescendo.

Shawn Mendes: “Ruin”
The 17-year-old Canadian pop sensation has his second full-length recording, Illuminate, coming this September. To tease fans with another taste from that album, Shawn has served up a slow but scintillating bit of heartbreak blues. “Do I ever cross your mind?” he asks an ex-girlfriend, before claiming that he’s the only for her. It’s a dreamy, hypnotic track that seems certain to win the Toronto native an even bigger following.

Shawn took to Twitter to tell followers his excitement about “Ruin,” a song he says he poured his heart and soul into.

Peter Gabriel: “I’m Amazing”
The 66-year-old British prog-rock superstar, who has not released a new composition since 2013, surprised fans by tweeting the artwork for his new single one day and streaming it the next. Now on tour with Sting, the “Sledgehammer” singer says the song is inspired by Muhammad Ali’s death. The atmospheric track climaxes with the uplifting message: “Look at me, look at me/ Look at what I can do/ I’m amazing.”

The former Genesis frontman told his 1.6 million Facebook followers the message behind the song and his reason for releasing it now.

Hello! music columnist Nicholas Jennings surveys the pop landscape each week to find the most dynamic tracks to add to your playlist.

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