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 you know what that means. It's time to start sifting through all the new music that's come our way.
To help you head into the weekend with a fully updated Spotify playlist, we've listened to (nearly) everything that's dropped on this New Music Friday. From the long-awaited return of country-pop queens to a pair of releases from a rap superstar, we've given it all a spin and returned in hand with our picks for the best of the week's best.
Your playlist for the weekend of July 17-19, 2020 has arrived. Enjoy.
The Chicks — "Set Me Free"
A lot can change in 14 years. On their last album, The Chicks (formerly of Dixie) frontwoman Natalie Maines was sweetly singing the praises of her partner's support amidst the band's backlash on tracks like "Easy Silence." But on this sumptuous track, the closer off new LP Gaslighter, all she wants is to be finally be fully cut loose. It's devastating and gorgeous. What did you do to her, Adrian Pasdar?!
DJ Khaled & Drake — "Popstar"
Khaled's gifted us not one, but two tastes of his forthcoming LP, Khaled Khaled, both of which feature the 6 God. While both are typically excellent, it's this one, which finds Drizzy reflecting on his superstar status that we anticipate hearing bumping out of car windows through the rest of summer.
Ellie Goulding — "How Deep Is Too Deep"
At long last, Ellie's fourth studio album, Brightest Blue, has arrived. Taking back the writerly reins following 2015's Delirium, the LP is a reminder of the singer-songwriter skills that put the spritely diva first on the map. On this atmospheric, synth-filled standout track, we find her reteaming with frequent collaborators Joseph Kearns and Starsmith to tell off a partner she knows she's too good for anyway. Welcome back, Ellie. We've missed you.
Troye Sivan — "Easy"
On this latest taste from his forthcoming LP, In a Dream (Aug. 21), Troye's delivered a beautiful contradiction. Sonically, the song is soothing mid-tempo synth-pop. But lyrically, he's singing about a relationship teetering on the brink of extinction. It's like a gorgeous punch to the gut.
Anne-Marie feat. Doja Cat — "To Be Young"
For her latest, the "FRIENDS" superstar teams with the "Say So" diva for an anthemic ode to the trials and tribulations to being young.
SAINt JHN & J Balvin — "Roses (Imanbek Remix) [Latin Gang]"
On the latest remix of his inescapable hit, the rapper links up with the Colombian superstar to extend the shelf life of the song deeper into summer. Not that we're complaining. By going bilingual, this bop somehow got even better.
Pink Sweat$ — "Icy"
The rising star has just released The Prelude, his third EP, and, much like this standout track, it's a suitably smooth affair.
Cam — "Classic"
The Chicks aren't the only country act to partner with producer Jack Antonoff for new material this week. Five years after her debut LP, Cam is putting the finishing touches on her follow-up, The Otherside, teasing fans with this nostalgic, buoyant late-summer bop co-written and produced by the hitmaker.
LU KALA — "No Smoke"
After working with the likes of DVSN and Jennifer Hudson as a songwriter, Lu is ready to step into the spotlight herself. After this latest release, a slinky, self-assured track that truly slaps, we'd say she's more than proven that she's got what it takes.
Jim-E Stack feat. Empress Of — "Note to Self"
Following their team-up earlier this year on "U Give It Up," one of the standout tracks on Empress Of's incredible LP I'm Your Empress Of, these two have joined forces yet again for a track all about allowing yourself to feel in these remarkably tough times. A potent reminder that sometimes the best way is through.
Sen Morimoto — "Woof": The Japan-born, Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist gives the first taste of his forthcoming self-titled LP with this woozy wonder.
BENEE feat. Kenny Beats, Bakar — "Night Garden": The Kiwi indie pop sensation teams up with the American producer and UK newcomer for this somehow pleasantly paranoid new piece.
KYLE feat. Rico Nasty — "GIRLS": On this standout off new LP See You When I am Famous!!!!!!!!!!!!, KYLE teams with the rising female MC for this Beastie Boys-sampling delight.
Aluna feat. Princess Nokia & Jada Kingdom — "Get Paid": Continuing her streak of excellent solo releases, Aluna calls in a few friends for a bop all about knowing your own worth.
Gabriel Garzón-Montano — "Agüita": The French-Colombian artist flexes a new muscle on the title track of his forthcoming album, proving he's just as adept with a flow as he is singing a melody. This one hits hard and has us truly excited for what's to come.