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!
Who knew when this week started out that we'd be ending it getting lost in a new Taylor Swift album? Not us. But, these days, we'll take all the good surprises we can get. And, boy, is folklore full of them.
Of course, Swift's stealth LP isn't the only new release out there this week. No, as always, music lovers have more to wade through than is humanly possible. That's where we come in. We've listened to (nearly) everything new under the sun and returned with our picks for the best of the week's best.
Without any further ado, your playlist for the weekend of July 24-26, 2020 has arrived. Enjoy!
Taylor Swift feat Bon Iver — "exile"
Each song on T.Swift's new lo-fi LP folklore is a delight in its own right, but this duet with Justin Vernon is a devastating dream. We're not sure what crumbling relationship inspired the track, but whatever it was must've hurt because this stunner—with its swirling strings and plodding piano—hits like a punch to the gut.
Brandy — "Rather Be"
A week out from the release of B7, the R&B songstress' first album in eight years, she's dropped a gorgeously sparse mid-tempo track that lets those silken vocals of hers shine. With Victoria Monet included among the writing credits, we should've known it would be something special. Consider our interest in the new LP very piqued.
J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny & Tainy — "UN DIA (ONE DAY)"
Worlds collide on this bilingual bop as the four superstars come together for a house-inspired reggaeton track so irresistible that you'll almost forget it's all about heartbreak.
Kylie Minogue — "Say Something"
The Australian diva is back! On this first taste of her forthcoming album DISCO, she takes things back to the dance floor after a detour into country-pop with 2018's Golden. "We're a million miles apart, in a thousand ways," she sings in the synth-heavy track, written last year but somehow urgently applicable to our current global predicament. As the song erupts into its glorious chorus, she asks, "Because love is love, it never ends — can we all be as one again?" From her lips to God's ears...
Sylvan Esso — "Ferris Wheel"
The eclectic electropop duo, comprised of vocalist Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn, are back with the first taste of Free Love, their upcoming third studio album. There's no straying from the unique sound that landed them a Grammy nod for Best Dance/Electronic Album back in 2018—and that's a good thing. Uplifting and eminently danceable, it's just the sort of thing the world needs more of right now. Even if we're stuck getting down to it in our living rooms.
Little Mix — "Holiday"
The UK's reigning girl group is back with this new single full of summer vibes. Over a shimmering synth production, the ladies get a little sensual, cooing in the chorus, "Can we make it all night? We don't stop, fill up on my body. Touch me like a summer night, you feel like a holiday."
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike vs. Regard — "Say My Name"
A dance cover one of Destiny's Child's most iconic tracks? Yes, please. The '80s-inspired synth beat drop will have you feeling like you're in The Grid from Tron—only 100 times more fabulous.
Dove Cameron — "We Belong"
The Disney alum has been steadily releasing a string of solo singles, each as excellent as the last. And with this latest left-of-center delight, she hasn't skipped a beat. At this rate, her debut album is shaping up to be something major.
The Avalanches feat. Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry and CLYPSO — "Wherever You Go"
The Australian electro duo gathered a trio of unexpected collaborators for this stunning single off their forthcoming and as-yet-untitled new album. With the cosmos on its mind, the song is an ever-shifting mélange of sounds that never lets you settle in for too long. And yet, it's somehow also effortless with a groove. A real thrill.
Mahalia feat. Pink Sweat$ — "BRB"
The British soul songstress taps the rising R&B star for this rousing remix of the standout track off her May EP Isolation Tapes. Their voices sound so at home with one another, it's enough to make you forget the song exists in any other form.
Jaden — "Cabin Fever": "'Cabin Fever' is my vision of a quarantine love song," Will Smith's offspring said of his latest track in a press release. "It's made to be listened to when the sun is setting and you're feeling good." Do what he says. You won't regret it.
Charlotte Lawrence — "Slow Motion": The rising star grapples with heartbreak on this stirring mid-tempo built around a beat that totally slaps.
Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani — "Happy Anywhere": These lovebirds are back with a new duet all about how everything's just fine as long as they're together.
Ziggy Marley with Ben Harper — "Play With Sky": This first single off Marley's forthcoming album More Family Time is perfect to get the kids dancing.
Pia Mia — "HOT": Maybe this excellent banger is the one that'll finally get everyone to stop sleeping on the underrated pop princess.