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 what a week it was. Not only did we get a new Ciara music video—which proved that, even two days before giving birth, she's still an unstoppable force of nature—but we welcomed a newly single Miley Cyrus back to the music scene, as well. Of course, they weren't alone in delivering the goods.
From one very high-profile remix to the rise of a K-pop supergroup and more, there was so much good stuff. These are our picks for the best of the week's best.
Your playlist for the weekend of Aug. 14-16 has arrived. Enjoy!
Miley Cyrus — "Midnight Sky"
With her first new release of 2020, Miley tries on an '80s-inspired post-disco sound, giving us major Stevie Nicks vibes circa "Stand Back." The good news? It fits the pop star like one of her bejeweled gloves. An absolutely delicious late-summer surprise, perfect for sweaty nights dancing under the moonlight.
Dua Lipa feat. Madonna and Missy Elliott — "Levitating (The Blessed Madonna Remix)"
For this rework of a Future Nostalgia fan fave, Dua struck gold. Not only did producer The Blessed Madonna take the breezy disco track into darker, electro house territory, giving the song a welcome punchier energy, it also added features from both Missy Elliott and Madonna. The rap legend's verse, in particular, is worth the price of admission alone. If this is the energy we can expect from the rest of Dua's forthcoming remix album Club Future Nostalgia, we're in for one hell of a ride.
Ciara feat. Ester Dean — "Rooted"
On her first new single of 2020, Ciara celebrates Black excellence. "Young Rosa, young Luther keep marchin'," she sings over the song's booming beat. "Flood gates comin' open don't stop 'em." It's a powerful track. And the video, filmed just two days before Ciara welcomed son Win in late July, is even more so.
Rico Nasty — "IPHONE"
The rising rap star teamed with producer Dylan Brady of 100 gecs' fame for the lead single off Nightmare Vacation, her highly anticipated debut album, resulting in a fiery future-pop fantasia that sounds like it was sent back in time from the year 3020.
LANY — "you!"
The alt-rock band is hopelessly devoted to a special someone on this loved-up third release off their upcoming third album, Mama's Boy. By the time the children's choir kicks in, singing backup for lead vocalist Paul Jason Klein, this thing really kicks into high gear.
Sufjan Stevens — "Video Game"
On this midtempo synth-pop song, the second single off forthcoming LP The Ascension, the indie rock superstar makes it clear that he's done trying to live according to anyone else's expectations of him. "I don't want to be your personal Jesus/I don't want to live inside that flame," he sings in the track's first verse. As he explained in a press release announcing the new song, "The main takeaway of 'Video Game' for me is: your worth (invaluable) should never be based on other people's approval (ephemeral). Just be yourself. Keep it real. Keep it moving. Do all things with absolute purity, love and joy. And always do your best."
Anthony Ramos — "Stop"
The Hamilton star returns with a spring in his step as he encourages everyone to take a second to breathe and bask in the beauty of life, backed by a warmly triumphant pop production.
Rozzi — "Best Friend Song (Lemon Ice Mix)"
The indie pop sensation with a set of killer pipes is back with this delightful ode to her BFF. An adorable reminder that this woman can sing.
SuperM — "100"
The K-pop supergroup—comprised of members from Shinee, Exo, NCT 127, and WayV—have announced their debut album with this hard-hitting lead single that makes it clear these guys are not messing around. They're coming for the crown.
Tiësto & Vintage Culture — "Coffee (Give Me Something)"
The legendary Dutch DJ links up with the Brazilian up-and-comer for this progressive house track that delivers a boost of energy equivalent to an IV drip of its highly caffeinated namesake. Just try sitting still with this one.
Misery loves company. If you're feeling lovesick or brokenhearted this week, these are for you.
FLETCHER — "If I Hated You"
The Japanese House feat. Justin Vernon — "Dionne"
AWGUST feat. Sofia Reyes — "Never"
Sista Prod feat. Powfu, Alec Benjamin and Rxseboy — "Eyes Blue Like the Atlantic Part 2"
Charlie Puth & blackbear — "Hard on Yourself"