Every Friday, artists drop anticipated albums, surprise singles, and hyped collaborations. As part of New Music Friday, EW’s music team chooses some of the essential new tunes. From Harry Styles’ anticipated solo debut to Miley Cyrus’ latest stylistic shift, here are the week’s most noteworthy releases.
Harry Styles, Harry Styles
The members of One Direction may have begun their careers as teen pop idols, but by their later albums, the boys were channeling arena-rock sounds of decades past in ways that could win over both young fans and their dads. Now, on his time-traveling solo LP, Styles gets to embrace those influences even further via fuzzy stompers like “Kiwi” and folksy numbers like “Meet Me in the Hallway.” Read EW’s full review here. —Nolan Feeney
Miley Cyrus, “Malibu”
“I never would’ve believed you if three years ago you told me I’d be here writing this song,” Miley Cyrus sings in her slightly husky alto on “Malibu.” The song’s about her recently rekindled relationship with fiancé Liam Hemsworth, but that lyric also works as an allusion to her new look and sound. Three years ago, Cyrus was in the midst of her Weird Era, one defined by glitter and pasties and the experimental psych-rock record Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, co-produced by the Flaming Lips. She’s ditched all that for approachable pop on “Malibu,” a relaxed and summery love song representing her subdued comeback. —Ariana Bacle
Paramore, After Laughter
Paramore almost didn’t last long enough to make this new album, their first since 2013’s self-titled. After bassist Jeremy Davis left in 2015, frontwoman Hayley Williams was close to calling it quits. Instead, the band put their frustrations into the music on After Laughter, a record that channels the ’80s with dancey synths and Blondie-esque bops. Don’t let the sunny sound fool you, though: Those frustrations show up in angst-filled lyrics like “Oh, please, don’t ask me how I’ve been/ Don’t make me play pretend” (“Fake Happy”) that hark back to the type of emo-pop songs that made them a Warped Tour staple after their 2005 debut. —A.B.
Calvin Harris feat. Future & Khalid, “Rollin”
The Scottish DJ’s hot streak continues with this low-key track from his just-announced fifth album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1. And true to the album’s name, the groovy beat and summery synths of “Rollin” make for perfect, if unexpected, showcases for Khalid’s smoky vocals and Future’s tongue-twisting verses. —N.F.
Bleachers, “Everybody Lost Somebody”
It’s hard to think of a purer distillation of what Jack Antonoff’s Bleachers project is all about than this deeply moving song from his second album, Gone Now, due June 2: nostalgic, dreamy new wave-inflected pop about coping and living with loss. “As you know if you’ve been listening to my music for a bit, I lost my sister when I was 18,” Antonoff wrote in a note accompanying the song’s release. “That in some way informs everything I do and everything I write. This song is a massive shift and a statement for what Gone Now is because it’s the first time I feel conversational about this loss and not just here to document it.” —N.F.
PWR BTTM, Pageant
The queercore duo’s funny, poignant, and masterful second album draws on punk and glam influences for a moving testament about gender identity, romance, and being comfortable in your own skin. —Eric Renner Brown
Zac Brown Band, Welcome Home
The fifth effort from the country rockers is aptly named: On Welcome Home, Brown & Co. eschew the EDM and grunge flavors of 2015’s Jekyll + Hyde for a roots LP that honors heroes James Taylor and Jim Croce. —E.R.B.
Machine Gun Kelly, bloom
The rapper scored his first Top 10 hit last year with the Camila Cabello-assisted “Bad Things,” and he’s stacked this third LP with similar star power: Hailee Seinfeld hops on the uplifting “At My Best,” recent Top-40 ascendant James Arthur helps out on the soulful “Go for Broke,” and Quavo of the ubiquitous rap trio Migos — seriously, these guys are everywhere — —teams up with Ty Dolla $ign on the skittering “Trap Paris.” —N.F.
Various Artists, Music from the American Epic Sessions
For the upcoming PBS docuseries American Epic, Jack White and T Bone Burnett re-created Depression-era equipment to record artists including Elton John, Beck, and Nas. —E.R.B.
Fetty Wap, “Aye”
You won’t find much of the “Trap Queen” hitmaker’s distinct wailing here — he prefers to show off his rhyming skills rather than sing on this first taste of his upcoming second album, King Zoo, due this summer. —N.F.
Danny Brown, “Kool Aid”
The Detroit rapper’s latest song — a one-off for this season’s Silicon Valley soundtrack — is another blast of his exhilarating, bizarro hip-hop. “Coming down like Santa Claus / her p—y furry like panda paws,” Brown colorfully rhymes over a characteristically disorienting beat. —E.R.B.
Ingrid Michaelson, Alter Egos
The singer-songwriter reimagines five songs from her 2016 LP It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense by re-recording them and turning them into duets with Tegan and Sara, Lucius, Sara Bareilles, AJR, and John Paul White. —N.F.
Todd Rundgren, White Knight
Mr. Bang the Drum All Day teamed up with electro-steeped artists like disco queen Robyn and Trent Reznor for his latest LP. On the surface, it’s the year’s most unlikely album, but cuts like “Fiction” are irresistible synth-pop gems. —E.R.B.
Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker, the duo who comprise indie-rock outfit Girlpool, enlisted a drummer, Miles Wintner, for their sophomore album — and the songs on Powerplant benefit greatly from the added muscle, turning the rickety twee jams of their 2015 debut into slow-burning, immersive gems. But their songwriting has leaped forward as well, from the title track’s Elliott Smith shuffle to the ramshackle grandeur of opener “123.” —E.R.B.
Prince, “Our Destiny/Roadhouse Garden”
When it rains, it pours. A deluxe reissue if Prince’s Purple Rain is set to arrive on June 23, and the never-before-released tracks keep coming. Last month, fans learned all about what “Electric Intercourse” is on a previously unheard freaky slow-jam. Now, they’re getting a double-whammy with “Our Destiny/Roadhouse Garden,” which is actually two songs in one: The first part features vocals from Lisa of the Revolution, Prince’s backing band during this era, while the second one puts the Purple One front and center. —N.F.
Haim, “Right Now”
The first glimpse of new music from the beloved sister trio came with a Paul Thomas Anderson-directed clip of them recording a new song together (and taking part in a bad-ass mini drum circle). Now, the official studio version of that track, titled “Right Now,” accompanies a pre-order of their second album, Something to Tell You, due July 7. —N.F.