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!
Time may feel a bit like a flat circle right now, with each day melting into the last as we all shelter in place and live out our personal versions of the movie Groundhog Day. But we can always mark the passing of another week with the arrival of a treasure trove of new releases each New Music Friday.
As always, we've listened to (nearly) all of the week's new releases and returned in hand with our picks for the best of the best. What follows is our lovingly curated playlist for the weekend of April 24-26, 2020. Enjoy and, as always, stay safe.
Keith Urban — "Polaroid"
On the latest single from his forthcoming fall album, Mr. Nicole Kidman delivers a sweet and summery country-pop bop that we'd say would be a staple of pool parties as we head into the warmer months if, you know, we thought people would be able to have these this. Anyway, the song hits that nostalgic sweet spot perfect for helping you forget about our current situation for at least a few minutes.
JoJo — "Lonely Hearts"
Our anticipation for the songstress' forthcoming album good to know, due May 1, continues to rocket sky-high with the release of this sumptuous and self-empowered R&B song. "This song continues the journey of self-love that I've been on," JoJo said in a statement announcing the track. "Realizing that while temptation and self-doubt may arise, at the end of the day, choosing self-preservation over toxic relationships is what I'm doing in my life right now."
Kane Brown — "Cool Again"
The country crooner continues his genre exploration with this new single about longing for a lost love that finds him singing over a breezy dance beat. The wistful wishing for better days sure hits a little differently in the current climate, something Brown noted in a statement announcing the track. "At the time, it was about missing warm weather, but then it became so much more," he explained. "It made us think about all the amazing memories of summer. We were really wanting to go back to that. I think that's something people can really relate to in their own lives, especially right now." You can say that agian.
Wiz Khalifa feat. Megan Thee Stallion, Ty Dolla $ign & Mustard — "Y U Mad"
On the sleek opening track from Khalifa's latest project, The Saga of Wiz Khalifa, the rapper's gathered an impressive list of bold-faced names to call out their haters. This one would be perfect to bump out your car windows on a hot day. Hopefully that can be a reality someday soon.
Malia Civetz — "Heart Broke"
The rising pop-R&B songstress has a winner on her hands with this sparkly song that finds her looking for a love so good that it'll leave her heart broken. Between her powerhouse vocal and the rousing production, this one's impressive.
Regard & RAYE — "Secrets"
The Kosovan DJ and producer joined forces with the soulful British singer for a track about suspicious lovers and the result is an absolute banger, perfect for a dark and sweaty late-night dance session.
Maluma — "ADMV"
The Latin pop powerhouse leaves himself nowhere to hide on this latest single, a romantic ballad comprised of nothing more than the strumming of an acoustic guitar and his soulful singing. "This song is very special for me, this is something that comes from the heart, it has made me realize the reason I started my career and it makes me think about what will happen in the future - if we are going to take the time to love one another, hug one another - Today I release it so that we can dedicate it to all the people we love before they are gone," he said in a statement announcing the track entitled with an acronym standing for "Amor De Mi Vida," which translates to "Love of My Life."
Jidenna — "Feng Shui"
On the latest release from the Insecure season four soundtrack, personally curated by creator Issa Rae, the Nigerian-American singer and one-time guest star on the HBO hit delivers a track that's guaranteed to get you on your feet. Truly, its groove in undeniable. "'Feng Shui' is an Afro-funk and trap-inspired single that feels like a festival day of sound, while celebrating one's personal swank," Jidenna said in a statement. "It's one of those songs that joins a tribe of vibey sounds on Insecure's tastefully curated soundtrack."
Spencer Sutherland — "Help"
The Ohio-born one-time X Factor (UK) contestant absolutely shines on this relatable alt-pop bop that finds him struggling and making a full-throated plea for the titular assistance. One thing that needs no help? His stunning falsetto, employed to perfection here.
Victoria Monét — "Dive"
Ariana Grande's bestie takes things to the bedroom on this blissed-out and sensual track, the latest release off her forthcoming project Jaguar. Accompanied by a sooth horn section and the bouncing of mattress springs (yes, really), this one will make you sweat. "Women are an adventure. We are as powerful as oceans, as beneficial as H20, and as fun as any theme park," she said in a statement. "Anyone lucky enough to taste that thrill should go all in. 'Dive' playfully invites one to do so. It emphasizes the importance of women getting our pleasure through oral sex. It's not talked about enough from our perspective and I wanted to break the ice. They say most humans are about 60% water, but I believe women must be 69% so dive in, baby."
Black Coffee feat. Sabrina Claudio — "SNCBCLSY": The South African DJ and the American songstress link up for some seriously sensual R&B-influenced deep house music.
YUNGBLUD — "Weird!": "Come hold my hand, hold it tight/We're in a weird time of life," the English alt-pop star sings on this rousing and self-described "coming of age record." You can say that again.
New Kids on the Block feat. Boyz II Men, Big Freedia, Naughty By Nature and Jordin Sparks — "House Party": A motley crew of musical legends come together for this uplifting banger, written entirely over FaceTime and computer apps, that encourages everyone to keep the party inside. All net proceeds from the track will go to No Kid Hungry in their effort to aid the COVID-19 pandemic relief.
Alanis Morissette — "Diagnosis": The wait for the '90s icon's new album, Such Pretty Forks in the Road, will be a little longer, as she's just revealed she's pushing the release back a bit in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but until then, we have this devastating and all-too-relatable track about a general malaise with the modern world to hold us over. "I no longer give a damn about things that used to matter," she sings. Oof.
Zella Day — "People Are Strangers": With five years between her and her most recent album, the singer-songwriter returns with a spellbinding and smoky little track about human nature.
Avril Lavigne — "We Are Warriors": The net proceeds from this re-titled and re-recorded anthemic track, originally featured on the punk-pop icon's 2019 album Head Above Water, will be donated to Project HOPE's relief efforts around the world benefitting workers on the front line.
Alex Newell — "Mama Told Me": On his second single of 2020, the Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist co-star and Glee alum pays tribute to mothers of all kinds with this uplifting and upbeat track.
Masego — "Veg Out (Wasting Thyme)": The Jamaican-American artist delivers a potent message on this jazzy and jaunty ode to kicking back at home.
Jessie Ware — "Ooh La La": If this latest single, a funky '80s-inspired fantasy, from the English chanteuse's forthcoming album What's Your Pleasure? is any indication, this LP is going to be something special.
Galantis & Wrabel — "The Lake": The Swedish DJ duo switch things up with this introspective EDM track, written with Kesha's BFF "a reflection of what we're all experiencing around the world right now," the guys wrote on YouTube. "As we are all seeking peace of mind and hoping for a better tomorrow, we hope everyone out there can find a 'lake' of their own. Stay safe."