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!
We've made it through another week, music lovers. And you know what that means—it's time to dig into the goodie bag of new releases that have made their way to streaming services. As always, we've stepped in to do much of the heavy lifting for you, giving (nearly) everything a listen in the hopes of unearthing the cream of the crop.
From high-profile releases from more than a few superstars to some thrilling new discoveries, what follows are our picks for the best of the week's best.
Your playlist for the weekend of July 10-12, 2020 has arrived. Enjoy.
H.E.R. — "Do To Me"
The R&B artist born Gabriella Wilson pairs her always sumptuous vocals with a little bit of Jamaican island rhythm for a silky track perfect for summer.
Anitta feat. Arcangel & De La Ghetto — "Tócame"
The Brazilian superstar gives a taste of her forthcoming album, produced by hitmaker Ryan Tedder, with this sensual slice of reggaeton perfection. If this is indicative of the heat she's bringing on the LP, we're more than ready for it.
Katy Perry — "Smile"
On the title track of her forthcoming album, due in August, KP delivers the sort of infectious, bouncy pop that's become a hallmark of her illustrious career. "I wrote this song when I was coming through one of the darkest periods of my life," she said of the track in a press release. "When I listen to it now, it's a great reminder that I made it through. It's three minutes of energizing hopefulness."
Zara Larsson — "Love Me Land"
It's been a long road to album No. 3 for the Swedish pop sensation, but this latest taste of the anticipated LP is proof that the wait just might've be worth it after all. The pop sound on display here—slightly dark, totally sultry—is damn near perfection. And the video? She did that.
James Blake — "Are You Even Real?"
The English electro-R&B artist and producer returns with this emotional, ethereal track that reminds just why he's one of the industry's favorite craftsmen. The piano and string-laden production here is sumptuous and dream-like, swirling around as James delivers a plaintive plea for connection.
Meghan Trainor — "Make You Dance"
Released ahead of the forthcoming deluxe version of Treat Myself, Trainor has one thing on her mind. And that's making sure we're all grooving as the world continues to spin ever more out of control.
Wrabel with Kesha — "since i was young"
Our favorite pair of BFFs team back up for this stunning track that finds Wrabel taking stock of his life as Kesha steps in to provide some powerful backup vocals. Wrabel's stark disbelief that he even made it to 29, and the jubilant celebration of what he did to get there, is a beautiful and uplifting thing to witness.
Kane Brown feat. Swae Lee and Khalid — "Be Like That"
The country superstar continues to his bold genre-blending, this time joining with a pair of collaborators from the worlds of hip-hop and R&B for this perfectly summery anthem that plays on all those contradictory emotions we can feel when we're in a relationship.
Snoh Aalegra — "DYING 4 YOUR LOVE"
The Iranian artist returns with this sublimely sensual piece of R&B that's just begging for late-night listens, dripping of your speakers like honey.
Tainy & J Balvin — "Agua"
The Latinx superstars deliver the first taste of the forthcoming soundtrack for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run, executive-produced by Tainy alongside NEON16's Lex Borrero, and it more than taps into the zany and surrealistic vibe of beloved kid's show. A reggaeton track built on the foundation of the show's iconic flute theme? We have to stan.
KAYTRANADA feat. Lucky Daye — "Look Easy"
Six months after blessing us with sophomore album Bubba, the Canadian electronic producer returns with some shimmering synths and a smooth vocal performance from the rising R&B/soul singer.
KAROL G — "Ay, DiOs Mío!"
After a pair of high-profile collabs with Nicki Minaj and the Jonas Brothers, the Colombian superstar returns with a track all her own. Even better, the soft, sensual slice of reggaeton takes us inside her love story with Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA.
Foster the People — "The Things We Do"
For their third single of 2020, the "Pumped Up Kicks" quartet get seriously funky on a track whose proceeds they've committed to splitting among Black Lives Matter International, The Project, Rebuild Foundation, and The Underground Museum.
DJDS x Tory Lanez x Rema — "Simple Things"
We've been vibing on the production duo since their 2018 album Big Wave More Fire first took out breath away. The quality has not dipped on this release, which taps the Canadian rapper and rising Nigerian star for an upbeat track that hits in all the right ways.
Sarah Jeffery — "Even the Stars"
After her standout Descendants 3 track "Queen of Mean" became the first Disney Channel Original Movie song in a decade to crack the top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100 last year, the Charmed star has reteamed with production superstars Rock Mafia for her first release independent of a film project. Reminding us of early Selena Gomez in the best of ways, the inspiring pop track is a potent reminder that the light means nothing without the darkness and a promise of exciting things to come from the burgeoning songstress.
Bazzi — "I Don't Think I'm Okay": On this gutting new track, the "Mine" star takes that important first step to healing by admitting that there just might be a problem. Powerful.
Jimmie Allen feat. Mickey Guyton — "Drunk & I Miss You": One of the standout tracks off the country crooner's new EP Bettie James finds him and the "Black Like Me" songstress trading verses as they admit they're not quite over one another. Relatable.
Haich Ber Na — "By Floras": The UK-based artist delivers a glitchy delight, electro-R&B that's just the right side of avant-garde.
blackbear — "queen of broken hearts": On the latest single from forthcoming album everything means nothing, the alt-R&B star paints social media as a heartless villain. Wonder where he got that idea from.
Dinner Party feat. Phoelix — "Sleepless Nights": On the opening track from their debut self-titled album, the new supergroup comprised of Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington & 9th Wonder deliver some seriously smooth R&B. With a jazz saxophone line that floats through the air, this one is just as perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon or those titular evenings.