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!
It'll be hard to steal the spotlight away from Normani and Cardi B's jaw-dropping shower scene in their "Wild Side" music video. But there are some worthy contenders on this New Music Friday, with bops from such leading ladies as Shakira, Noa Kirel, Shenseea, Willow and Avril Lavigne.
Or, if you're all up in your feels, Clairo and John Mayer satisfy with each of their musical musings.
What follows are our picks for the best of the best.
Your playlist for the weekend of July 16-18 has arrived. Enjoy!
Shakira — "Don't Wait Up"
Shakira's first solo song in four years was worth the wait. Following her 2017 album El Dorado, she teamed with Anuel AA for "Me Gusta" and the Black Eyed Peas for "Girl Like Me" in 2020. Now, the 44-year-old Super Bowl star is back on the beach with her latest English-language EDM single and music video. As Shakira wrote on Instagram, "The #DontWaitUp video was so much fun to shoot, dancing and surfing all night long!"
Camilo and Shawn Mendes — "KESI (Remix)"
No, Mendes isn't collaborating with girlfriend Camila Cabello again, but rather with Camilo, the Latin Grammy Award winner behind "Tutu" and "Favorito." In this get up off your feet remix, Mendes joins Camilo for a spicy serenade, singing, "What if I flipped our whole world upside down, now / You know that we fit together / You're my queen / Get close to me."
Willow and Avril Lavigne feat. Travis Barker — "GROW"
Name a more iconic trio, we'll wait. Willow dropped her fourth solo studio album, Lately I Feel Everything, which includes this standout song with contributions from two '90s stars. Lavigne and Blink-182's Barker join Will Smith's daughter for the pop-punk smash "GROW," co-written by Tyler Cole.
One fan perfectly summed it up as, "This sounds like the theme song to a show about a teenage rock star." You'll love it just as much as The All-American Rejects' "Dirty Little Secret," so grab your hair brush and rock out in your bedroom like the good ol' days.
Noa Kirel — "Please Don't Suck"
The 20-year-old Israeli star just revealed her English-speaking debut single, and spoiler alert: It doesn't suck. Following a retro intro in the style of "Mr. Sandman," Kirel appears in the music video as a bow-wearing "love sick" Barbie girl with hot pink ensembles and lollipop accessories to boot. Fans of Ariana Grande need to go stream "Please Don't Suck" immediately, "Cuz boy I got an ego, my jealousy is lethal."
Diane Warren, G-Eazy and Santana — "She's Fire"
Obviously, this unexpected number deserves all the fire emojis. G-Eazy, who raps about his "loco" crush, gushed about getting to work with "the legendary" guitar player Santana and songwriter Diane Warren, who has 12 Oscar nominations under her belt.
The instrumentalist also shared, "Diane has an incredible gift, vision-awareness ability to paint a picture to transport the listener to a place of emotion and passion." Santana is proud that "She's Fire" "has an insatiable vitality and G-Eazy's vocals bring the song straight to the listener's heart."
John Mayer — "Shot in the Dark"
Mayer's "Shot in the Dark" lands as per usual. Fans of the seven-time Grammy winner will find comfort in his latest mellow love song about a former flame he just can't get over. "And I don't know what I'm gonna do / I've loved seven other women and they all were you," sings Mayer, who will embark on his Sob Rock Tour in 2022. He promises, "It's just another shot in the dark."
Clairo — "Amoeba"
The 22-year-old artist sweeps us into a dreamland with her wispy vocals and calming tune, despite the brutal lyrics: "Aren't you glad that you reside in a Hell and in disguise? / Nobody yet everything, a pool to shed your memory / Could you say you even tried? / You haven't called your family twice."
It'll come as no surprise that "august" songwriter and Bleachers front man Jack Antonoff co-wrote "Amoeba" and five more songs on Clairo's second studio album, Sling, out now.
Shenseea — "Run Run"
If you can't get enough of "Wild Side," complete your playlist with this spell-binding song from one of Cardi B's favorite dancehall artists. Shenseea, who has also earned praise from Megan Thee Stallion and Chloe Bailey, just released "Run Run" and its sultry music video, proving she fits right in with the modern greats.