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!
Permission to dance? Granted!
BTS is giving us all a reason to get up on our feet this weekend, courtesy of the super group's new collab with Ed Sheeran. The guys dance their hearts out in the sun-soaked desert, where new music videos from almost monday and Brynn Elliott also take place.
Plus, Billie Eilish drops another bomb on the road to her next album, Happier Than Ever, and Alana Springsteen delivers a breakup song that fans of Olivia Rodrigo's "deja vu" will adore—with a country twist. "Go ahead, take a spin with your new girlfriend with the windows down / Take her out to the same spot we got stuck," croons the singer, who is "giving zero trucks."
What follows are our picks for the best of the best.
Your playlist for the weekend of July 9-11 has arrived. Enjoy!
BTS — "Permission to Dance"
We already knew the Grammy-nominated South Korean band was smooth like butter, but now we know they can cut a rug, too.
BTS added the joyous "Permission to Dance" to the CD single "Butter" on Friday, and its desert-set music video has already racked up more than 55 million views on YouTube (surprising exactly zero people). The seven members, sporting colorful hairdos and cowboy attire, tapped Ed Sheeran and music producer Steve Mac—who has also worked with One Direction and Demi Lovato—to help "Permission to Dance" come to life.
As Sheeran shared on Insta, "Wrote this song a while ago and so happy it's being heard on such a world stage and being sung by such talented people."
Billie Eilish — "NDA"
Eilish is serving up a five-course meal before letting us feast on her second studio album, Happier Than Ever. The record-setting Grammy winner shared her fifth single and, despite the title, we can talk about it and all its dark glam glory.
The music video, which the 19 year old directed, shows her singing about limousines, money, Satan and non-disclosure agreements all within the first verse.
"I kept picturing legs, and girls and shapes and darkness," Eilish told Apple Music's Zane Lowe of its earlier versions. "And I was just like, 'We have to make something to this, because this is a waste otherwise.' We literally made that whole song in two days or something... But it was a fun, satisfying-ass process."
Alana Springsteen — "Zero Trucks"
Country music's rising star gives "Zero Trucks" about her ex in her latest number, which is already being described as the "breakup song of the summer." Springsteen, who got her first guitar at age 7 before moving to Nashville as a teen, said the twangy tune "brought me so much joy" to create.
If Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" was your jam in 2005, meet your next obsession—with a more mature message about moving on.
almost monday — "til the end of time"
It may be Friday, but almost monday proves its their time to shine. The alt trio, hailing from San Diego, just dropped its second EP, til the end of time, as well as the music video for the titular track. Vocalist Dawson Daugherty stars as a pizza delivery guy who crashes a private jet, before it crashes into a wasteland. Bassist Luke Fabry and guitarist Cole Clisby help him serenade a lover with, "You and me were taking flight / It's like ooooh We live a thousand lives."
E! readers will also be interested in hearing their older ode about Hailey Bieber, not-so-subtly called "hailey beebs," in which they sing, "High socks 'til your knees / Just like Hailey Beebs / I'm just waiting on you, baby." Justin Bieber better watch out!
Brynn Elliott — "Can I Be Real?"
Real talk: "Can I Be Real?" is a real mood. Elliott's crystal clear voice and message of self-realization make her latest song a must-listen for fans of Brandi Carlile, Alanis Morissette and Grace Potter, who have all welcomed Elliott on stage as a special guest.
The Los Angeles-based artist, who previously studied philosophy at Harvard, wrote on Instagram, "I wanted to film this video in a way that felt raw and real and the desert felt like that. I also wanted to channel all of my live performance energy with my incredible band because when I am on stage I feel like I can truly be real." She added, "Like I say in the song, I am an over thinker but playing live music is the only space where I don't think. It's the one space in my life where I am free to be totally me."
Lost Kings feat. Goody Grace — "Me Myself & Adderall"
The DJs just released a ballad you can actually dance to! "Excuse me while I fall apart / Yeah I deserve this broken heart," shares Goody Grace on the track by Robert Abisi and Nick Shanholtz, who are responsible for the remixes of Halsey's "Ghost," Imagine Dragons' "I Bet My Life" and Rihanna's "Work." If it's time for you to cure those post-pandemic blues with a concert, Lost Kings will play "Me Myself & Adderall" live for the first time at Lollapalooza on July 31.
Enjoy your weekend dance party!