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New Music Friday: 14 releases to hear now

Kesha, P!nk, and Wiz Khalifa are among the artists with fresh tunes

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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 P!nk to Kelsea Ballerini, here are the week’s most noteworthy releases. Got Spotify? Stream all of EW’s picks by following our playlist (embedded below) for this week.

Kesha, Rainbow

After five years, the pop star has returned with her magnificent third album. “Her rich, masterful third LP, is far more than a kiss-off to old demons,” reads EW’s A- review. “It’s an artistic feat, as Kesha unites stylistic forays with her sharp, weathered lyricism.” Read more about the album here. —Eric Renner Brown

P!nk, “What About Us”

If you thought P!nk would bend to the trends in her comeback jam, think again: “What About Us” — the first single from Beautiful Trauma, her first solo studio album in five years — has the heart and explosive chorus we expect from the artist. Yet it couldn’t be more timely: Co-written with Ed Sheeran hitmakers Steve Mac and Johnny McDaid, the song goes after an unidentified “man” whose broken promises have her declaring “enough is enough.” Her political tweets might offer some clues about who that man is. Welcome back, P!nk. We missed you. —Nick Maslow

Kelsea Ballerini, “Unapologetically”

Don’t tell Kelsea Ballerini that she’s fallen too fast. As she continues marching toward the release of Legends, her second full-length due out in November, the 23-year-old — who is engaged to Australian country crooner Morgan Evans — is sharing this effervescent love note. Beware, even the coldest hearts will melt here. —Madison Vain

Marshmello feat. Khalid, “Silence”

After breaking out with his American Teen LP earlier this year, Khalid is well on his way to becoming one of pop’s most in-demand vocalists — Calvin Harris and Logic already booked the 19-year-old and his gravelly croon for singles this year, and now EDM DJ-producer Marshmello has snagged him for this melancholy banger. —Nolan Feeney

Queens of the Stone Age, “The Evil Has Landed”

The desert rock maestros unleashed the second taste of their upcoming Villains LP (due out Aug. 25) and boy does it move. Guitars transition from scuzzy to bluesy to groovy to frenetic with fantastic fervor as Josh Homme channels his inner demon. —M.V. 

Phillip Phillips, “Miles”

The American Idol alum returns with his first single since 2014 and he’s used his time off wisely. “Insanity is all around,” he admits, before hatching a plan to escape “miles up/ Never gonna come down.” We sure hope he’s got room for one more. —M.V.

Liz Huett, “STFU & Hold Me”

Meet your new musical obsession: A former backup singer for Taylor Swift, Liz Huett mixes the melodies and storytelling of country music with the slick production and hooks of pop—not to mention her own bottomless charm. —N.F.

Wiz Khalifa, “Something New,” ft. Ty Dolla $ign

With no warning, Wiz Khalifa on Friday issued the follow up to his two mini-EPs, released earlier this summer. The TGOD Mafia rapper and frequent cohort Ty Dolla $ign catch feelings on their easy-listening latest. —M.V. 

The National, “Carin at the Liquor Store”

The National’s first album in four years, Sleep Well Beast, doesn’t release until September, but the band has shared a third offering from it this week. “Carin” is a moody, melancholic ballad that sees frontman Matt Berninger unspooling a torrid lament. —M.V.

Bebe Rexha, All Your Fault: Pt. 2

Rexha told EW earlier this year that the second installment of her All Your Fault project — the first part arrived in February — is a more empowering collection of songs. “That’s It” is an in-your-face trap workout with Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz; “(Not) the One” bumps along a groovy tropical house beat; and the dancehall highlight “Comfortable” finds Rexha dressing down a complacent lover with the help of rapper Kranium. “I just put on whatever I think my dopest s— is,” she said of her song selection process. —N.F.

The Districts, Popular Manipulations

The Pennsylvania alt-rockers made an effort to “broaden the sonic palette” on their third full-length, frontman Rob Grote recently told EW. The cathartic results split the difference between booming arena anthems and dingy nightclub sing-alongs. Revisit EW’s interview with Grote and premiere of Popular Manipulations track “Violet” here. —E.R.B.

Noah Gundersen, “Bad Desire”

The singer-songwriter considers the bleak realities of dating as a touring musician on his latest, the second song shared off his upcoming third LP — which he detailed this week to EW — for affecting, enjoyable results. —M.V.

Downtown Boys, Cost of Living

On their third album, the Providence, Rhode Island punk band wears their politics on their sleeves — you get one guess what opening track and lead single “A Wall” is about. But like Sub Pop labelmates Sleater-Kinney, the group’s lyrics rest on a foundation of tight, irresistible instrumentals. —E.R.B.

snny, “ARIZONA”

New Yorker by way of Los Angeles, Boston, and the Ivory Coast, snny channels Chance the Rapper’s relaxed flow as he considers “pretty girls from Arizona.” “All they do is waste my time,” he sings over breezy production, one of the first tastes of his upcoming EP, to be released via his new deal with Glassnote Records on Sept. 8. —M.V.

Listen to a playlist of the tracks from this week’s New Music Friday above.

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