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!
Give us love and new Ed Sheeran.
More than a year after his best friend Jamal Edwards suddenly passed away at 31, the "Perfect" singer released a song about navigating loss called "Eyes Closed."
"I pictured this year a little bit different when it hit February," he sings. "I step in the bar, it hit me so hard / Oh how can it be this heavy? / Every song reminds me you're gone / And I feel the lump form in my throat / ‘Coz I'm here alone."
While the song may be an emotional one for some listeners, this New Music Friday also features plenty of variety including a party anthem from Maluma and Anuel AA. Keep reading to see our picks for the weekend.
Maluma & Anuel AA—"Diablo, Qué Chimba"
What beef? These Latin music superstars put that rumored drama behind them and came together for an unexpected collaboration. This party anthem has an infectious urban beat that deserves to be played loudly all weekend long.
Ed Sheeran—"Eyes Closed"
Just days after announcing his four-part documentary Ed Sheeran—The Sum Of It All will be released May 3 on Disney+, the Grammy winner shared a powerful new song about grief. "This song is about losing someone, feeling like every time you go out and you expect to just bump into them, and everything just reminds you of them and the things you did together," Ed said. "You sorta have to take yourself out of reality sometimes to numb the pain of loss, but certain things just bring you right back into it."
Nat & Alex Wolff—"If I'm Gonna Die"
Over the course of just 11 days, the brothers created a brand-new album titled Table for Two. While fans have to wait until May 12 to hear it, Nat and Alex are giving a tease with their single from the upcoming project. "Alex and I spent lockdown living together for the first time since we were both in high school," Nat said. "It was the single best creative experience in our lives and it all comes from our hearts and we are so excited to finally share."
Lindsay Ell—"Sweet Spot"
In her first single of 2023, the country singer shares an upbeat reminder that the rollercoaster of life eventually leads everyone to exactly where they need to be. "The sweet spot is something you can only find when you've been on both sides of it and that wouldn't be possible without the constant ping-pong of life," Lindsay said. "I hope this song brings some levity—and a little dance party—to those currently making their way through these unpredictable highs and lows."
Madeline Merlo—"Same Car"
The winner of NBC's series Songland dropped her emotionally charged new song that explores the pain and angst of life post-breakup. "When you said we need to talk, it went sideways in the driveway, " she sings. "And you never even put it in drive / If I could go back, take it all back, I'd get back every midnight."
Victoria Monét feat. Lucky Daye—"Smoke"
It's only March but Victoria is on fire thanks to her new single. "'Smoke' is the beginning of a new era for me! Exhaling the old and inhaling the new," she said. "I am also really happy that this release is with collaborators I consider family! I can't wait to elevate. I want all the smoke!"
Victony—"Soweto (with Don Toliver, Rema & Tempoe)"
The Nigerian act is back with remix of his 2022 smash hit. This time, however, he's joined by a few talented collaborators. "I'm so happy this version is finally being released to fans," Victony said. "Took my time to make this a special track with two of the best artists out there and I'm excited to have it out for everyone to hear!"
Alana Springsteen feat. Mitchell Tenpenny—"goodbye looks good on you"
This bittersweet and unforgettably moving duet finds Alana trading off verses with Mitchell as they play the part of a couple splitting up, but choosing to take the high road. "I hope you meet somebody who / Loves you like I couldn't do," they sing. "‘Cause, baby, you and me were never right / But we ain't gotta be on different sides."
Opening with a phone call, the catchy single has all the rapper's quintessential elements including an undeniable hook, clever lyricism and twerk-worthy production. "What's yo' number? 1-800-Bad-Bitch," he sings in the chorus. "All my bossed up bitches raise yo' glasses."