New Music Friday: Childish Gambino, Rolling Stones, John Legend, and more
Every Friday, artists drop anticipated albums, surprise singles, and hyped collaborations. As part of New Music Friday, EW’s music team will choose some of the essential new tunes. With new albums from The Rolling Stones, Childish Gambino, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and more, here are the most noteworthy new releases this week.
The Hamilton Mixtape
Don’t understand the Hamilton hype? Try this collection of covers and reinterpretations of the Broadway hit’s original music numbers. Contributions by Kelly Clarkson, Sia, Regina Spektor—plus a throwback duet from Ashanti and Ja Rule—only highlights Lin-Manuel Miranda’s songwriting genius. Read EW’s full review here. — Nolan Feeney
The Rolling Stones, Blue & Lonesome
The rock gods haven’t released an album since 2005’s A Bigger Bang and Blue & Lonesome will leave fans craving new originals from Mick and Keith fresh out of luck — the Stones’ latest record consists of a dozen covers. But the charismatic rockers still have energy out the wazoo — how do you think they’ve remained one of the world’s most bankable live acts even during their studio hiatus? — and their youthful passion bleeds through the speakers on these versions of songs by their earliest blues idols, including Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Magic Sam, and Willie Dixon. — Eric Renner Brown
John Legend, Darkness and Light
The soulful singer serves up another enticing blend of R&B, funk, jazz, and pop on his fifth studio album. And the record features a typically stellar lineup of guests: Chance the Rapper, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Miguel, and saxophonist Kamasi Washington all nail their cameos. “A lot of the album still is [about relationships],” Legend tells EW. “But I wanted to show an entire person—not just the person in love but also someone who’s thinking about the world.” — E.R.B.
Childish Gambino, “Awaken, My Love!”
With his first two albums as Childish Gambino — 2011’s Camp and 2013’s Because the Internet — comedian Donald Glover embraced his punchline-rap reputation. But on “Awaken, My Love!” he’s upped his game considerably, swapping out the groan-worthy puns for silky R&B and spacey funk — lead single “Me and Your Mama” is his most musically daring statement yet. — E.R.B.
Disco odysseys, avantgarde soundscapes, futuristic techno, and more — the EDM king Joel “deadmau5” Zimmerman proves he’s miles ahead of his peers on this immersive 12-track epic. — Kevin O’Donnell
The Last Shadow Puppets, The Dream Synopsis EP
The Last Shadow Puppets, the project of Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and Miles Kane, released their second album — and first in nearly a decade — back in April. But after a summer of touring, they’re already putting out fresh music, in the form of this 6-song EP. Recorded in a day, The Dream Synopsis consists of new versions of cuts off this year’s Everything You’ve Come to Expect (“Aviation,” “The Dream Synopsis”), as well as covers of Jacques Dutronc, The Fall, Glaxo Babies, Leonard Cohen’s 1974 gem “Is This What You Wanted.” — E.R.B.
Kate Bush, Before the Dawn
Couldn’t afford a trip to London for the art-pop queen’s sold-out 2014 comeback shows? This 29-track album captures the magic from that run — her first live appearance after a 35-year hiatus. — K.O.