New music Fridays are a thrilling, yet daunting prospect for any music lover.
It's essentially a weekly holiday where fan-favorite artists and fresh faces alike drop their latest offerings for all the world to hear, flooding streaming services and digital retailers with an onslaught of aural goodies. But who has the time to sit there and listen to everything before updating their playlists? There's just too much good stuff! (And, if we're being honest, usually a few stinkers, too.)
As it turns out, we do. Welcome to The MixtapE!
Another week down, music lovers! And while the big stories of the week are the sweet collab between Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande on the new, quarantine-inspired track "Stuck With U," the surprise announcement of an upcoming televised Taylor Swift concert, and the return of the Disney Family Singalong on ABC on Sunday night, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
As always, we've listened to (nearly) all of the new offerings on this New Music Friday and returned in hand with our picks for the best of the best.
Your playlist for the weekend of May 8-10, 2020 has arrived. Enjoy!
Hailee Steinfeld — "End This (L.O.V.E.)"
The Dickinson star puts a clever twist on the classic Nat "King" Cole "L-O-V-E" melody in this standout track from her new EP Half Written Story. From the sound of things, Niall Horan really did a number on our girl. At least she got some great music out of it?
Kehlani feat. Masego — "Hate the Club"
On It Was Good Until It Wasn't, her new second studio album, Kehlani has revealed herself to be one of the preeminent voices in modern R&B. And on this standout track, which benefits immensely from Masego's smoky saxophone flourishes, she smolders as she explores that nervous feeling we all get heading somewhere we know that certain someone will be.
Aly & AJ — "Joan of Arc on the Dance Floor"
The sister act and former Disney Channel stars continue their recent full-throated embrace of '80s synth-pop on this wild track that all but demands you join them on the dance floor.
Kim Petras — "Malibu"
There's no one in the game right now doing pure pop nearly as good as Kim, and she's here to remind that on this latest single, a sure-fire contender for Song of the Summer if we've ever heard one.
Buscabulla — "Nydia"
Chances are you've never heard of this Puertro Rican duo. That changes now. Their debut album Regresa, out now, is a stunner from start to finish, but if you're looking for an easy entry point, start with this lush standout track. Between frontwoman Raquel Berríos' sumptuous vocals and the silky production, this one washes over you like warm bathwater. It's a dream.
Yebba — "Distance"
We've been waiting for new material from Yebba ever since we heard her first (and, until now, basically only) solo single, "Evergreen," in 2017. After featuring on Mark Ronson's Late Night Feelings last year, she's finally ready to begin releasing her own material in earnest, beginning with this beautifully bittersweet lead single. There's an airy quality to the soulful track, like it just might float away without a moment's notice, that's truly special. Prepare to hear a lot about her in the coming months.
Hayley Williams — "Sugar on the Rim"
After releasing the first two thirds as separate EPs, the Paramore frontwoman's debut solo LP Petals for Armor is finally here in full. And it's a true sonic exploration of the titular concept of softness acting as strength. She heads straight to the dance floor on this track, which arrives late in the album's final third, to exalt a surprising new love. An experimental delight on an album full of 'em.
Toulouse — "Magnificent"
Just when you think you have this cinematic track from the Nigerian-born up-and-comer pinned down, it swerves into new and unexpected territory, keeping the listener truly on their toes. The one constant? Its excellence. Impossible to describe, it's best to just experience this one for yourself.
Henry Green feat. Andreya Triana — "Tide"
This collab between the Bristol-based producer and the London-based vocalist feels as therapeutic as a trip to the sea. The propulsive production, ambient flourishes and Triana's soulful vocal work to create something rather magical. Meditative, even. Get lost in this one.
VHOOR — "Embraza"
On the Brazilian producer's new LP Baile & Vibes, he offers up 11 astonishing tracks that combine future beats, bass music and Latin rhythms to create something truly special and wholly unique. While we recommend the entire thing, if you're looking for somewhere to start, let this hypnotizing track be your entry point.
Tei Shi — "Die 4 Ur Love": The Colombian-Canadian artist explores '80s synth-pop on this latest dance floor-ready single to great effect.
Danielle Bradbery — "Never Have I Ever": The country-pop princess has a slick, mature new sound on this latest single. It works.
Hablot Brown — "SAID & DONE": On this standout track from the neo-soul band's new EP OPAQUE, lead singer Linus Lester-Hodges' vocals melt like pure butter.
Jessie Ware — "Save A Kiss": This latest release from the forthcoming LP What's Your Pleasure? is absolute bliss, melding the disco influences of earlier releases with a crisp electronica. This album is going to be so major.
Arlo Parks — "Black Dog": This new single from the British indie-pop singer is achingly beautiful, inspired by the helplessness felt while watching a loved one struggle with their mental health. Heavy as that might be, the track itself has a stunning grace and air about it.
Baauer — "AETHER": The latest release from the producer's forthcoming LP Planet's Mad hits so hard it just might make your face melt off. Consider yourself warned.
Tim McGraw — "I Called Mama": Just in time for Mother's Day, the country crooner delivers a sweetly sentimental six-string strummer.
Audrey Mika — "Just Friends": The pop newcomer has a the makings of a hit on her hands with this irrepressibly catchy track.
Ben Platt — "So Will I": The Tony winner delivers an evocative ballad and potent reminder that, despite whatever you're going through, the world will always keep on turning.
Bryce Vine feat. Grady — "Problems": The R&B upstart turns in a track for the times, reflecting on the state of the world, while ultimately remaining optimistic: "All I see outside is problems/I hope they're mostly gone by June."