Plus Gucci Mane, Sia, Bleachers, and more.
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 another addictive Carly Rae Jepsen jam to a near-comprehensive Grateful Dead compilation, here are the week’s most noteworthy releases.
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Cut to the Feeling”
The Canadian pop queen continues to mine the fertile sessions that yielded her 2015 gem E•MO•TION. Last year, she released E•MO•TION: Side B and now Jepsen has officially shared “Cut to the Feeling,” another euphoric blast of ’80s synth-pop recorded at the time of her last record. The cut appeared in the 2016 French-Canadian animated film Ballerina, which is now being released in America as Leap! “That was definitely from the era of E·MO·TION. That was actually a contender for [E·MO·TION: Side B] and, originally, the first album,” Jepsen told EW in February. “It was almost too cinematic and theatrical. I was like, ‘If I had my way with it, this would be great for a musical or movie!'” —Eric Renner Brown
Grateful Dead, Long Strange Trip Soundtrack
“Comprehensive Grateful Dead compilation” is virtually an oxymoron — it’s nigh impossible to capture the beloved group’s numerous phases and sounds across a couple dozen tracks. But the soundtrack to Amir Bar-Lev’s mammoth Grateful Dead documentary, Long Strange Trip, also out now, comes close. That’s because it serves up a mix that’s chronologically diverse, features both studio and live cuts, and sports plenty of picks off the beaten path. Sure, there are classic studio recordings like 1970’s “Ripple” and 1987’s surprise hit “Touch of Grey,” as well as canonical live moments, like the epochal “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire on the Mountain” from the Dead’s May 1977 gig at Cornell, itself officially released earlier this month. But there are surprises, too, like the spooky Live/Dead deep cut “Death Don’t Have No Mercy,” which scores the film’s opening credits, and an enthusiastic late career rendition of the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” The Amazon version of the album, which features a third disc of content, is also worth tracking down, as it completes the picture further with a “Playing In the Band” from their 1972 European tour and a blissful 1974 version of “Eyes of the World.” —E.R.B.
Lil Yachty, Teenage Emotions
The 19-year-old Georgian’s latest full-length, Teenage Emotions, follows recent buzzy appearances on songs like D.R.A.M.’s “Broccoli” and Chance the Rapper’s “Mixtape.” The 21-track project includes bass-heavy single “Peek A Boo,” a vulgar nursery rhyme of sorts featuring fellow Georgia-born hip-hop stars Migos. —Ariana Bacle
Gucci Mane, Droptopwop
Since leaving prison last May, the 37-year-old trap artist has been prolific as ever, releasing multiple albums (July’s Everybody Looking, October’s Woptober, December’s The Return of East Atlanta Santa), collaborative mixtapes (1017 vs. The World with Lil Uzi Vert, Free Bricks in Zone 6 with Future), and appearing on a litany of singles including Rae Sremmurd’s No. 1 smash “Black Beatles.” But Droptopwop, shared on the anniversary of his release from prison, could be his most impressive release yet. Every track on the project is produced or co-produced by Metro Boomin, the 23-year-old beatsmith behind recent chart-toppers including Migos’ “Bad and Boujee” and Future’s “Mask Off.” The instrumentals are a perfect match for Gucci’s unrelenting drawl. —E.R.B.
Sia ft. Labrinth, “To Be Human”
Pop’s own wonder woman cut this sweeping anthem for DC’s upcoming film. The grandiose song is another showcase for Sia’s staggering pipes and it features a duet with rising vocalist Labrinth. —E.R.B.
Bleachers, “I Miss Those Days”
Bruce Springsteen meets Fun. — the band Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff played bass for before this project — on this Gone Now cut, a wistful and anthemic track about resisting change highlighted by whimsical saxophone and some joyful, “Kiss the Girl”-esque “la la las.” —A.B.
Nick Jonas, “Remember I Told You,” ft. Mike Posner, Anne-Marie
The multi-hyphenate is working on his fourth solo LP and Friday he gave fans the first taste of the set. Featuring his frequent collaborator Mike Posner and vocalist Anne-Marie, it’s a house-inflected breakup jam the sees all three of the artists watching an ex move on. —Madison Vain
Shakira, El Dorado
As eclectic as her taste in food (on the “Me Enamoré” music video, the Colombian superstar toys with everything from strawberries to spaghetti), Shakira’s first LP since 2014 serves up an array of sonic influences, pulsing with groovy, reggaeton-inspired hits (“La Bicicleta,” “Chantaje”), smooth, tropically tinged pop jams (the Cashmere Cat-assisted “When a Woman”) with a dash of the 40-year-old’s signature kookiness (“Coconut Tree”) dolloped on top. Perhaps the international icon’s most collaborative album to date, seven of El Dorado’s 13 tracks feature other artists, including Nicky Jam, Maluma, Prince Royce, MAGIC!, Carlos Vives, and Black M – each of whom croons over a refreshingly varied mix of Spanish, English, and French-language compositions. The album’s title – a reference to the gilded city of folklore – serves as an appropriate moniker, as Shakira proves that, after more than two decades in the business, her style is still global gold. —Joey Nolfi
Chuck Berry, “Lady B. Goode”
David Lynch took a quarter-century to bring back Twin Peaks? Well, Chuck Berry has delivered a sequel to “Johnny B. Goode” nearly 60 years after its release, and posthumously to boot. The rollicking cut appears on the rock pioneer’s final album, Chuck, set for release next month. —E.R.B.
“There are some subdued songs on there, but I think there are eight very different songs and eight very different moods,” Alt-J’s Gus Unger-Hamilton recently told EW of the British group’s third album, Relaxer. “It’s quite a well-balanced meal — gives you all the food groups emotionally.” The latest single from the LP, which drops next week, starts quietly before dramatically swelling and adding in the group’s idiosyncratic melodies. —E.R.B.
Washed Out, “Get Lost”
Ernest Greene, who records as Washed Out, is best known to casual listeners as the guy who soundtracked the serene Portlandia opening credits. Washed Out’s catalog has been similarly chill — until “Get Lost,” that is. The frenetic new single — his first for boundary-pushing electronic and hip-hop label Stones Throw — is urgent and anxious, but still locks into a groove like Washed Out’s best work. —E.R.B.
Pet Symmetry, Vision
Into It. Over It.‘s Evan Weiss also performs with Pet Symmetry and, from the fuzzed-out vocals on the rage-ridden “Eyesores” to the Jimmy Eat World-style pop-punk of single “LTCTLYB,” the group’s second record covers all the bases of cathartic, nostalgic emo-rock. —A.B.
Shabazz Palaces, “Since C.A.Y.A.”
The propulsive opener from Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star, one of the two spacey albums the experimental Seattle hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces will release in July, was recorded at Flying Lotus’ house and features Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner. “I call Flying Lotus’ house the Wizard’s Nest because he’s a wizard, man,” Shabazz MC Ishmael Butler told EW. “He’s just sitting up there in his crib making the illest music. We’d all just be sitting in there making songs and jamming out. Once during one of those sessions, I pulled up one of my beats and Thundercat played on it
Thunder Dreamer, Capture
Steven Hamilton, the frontman of Indiana indie-rock outfit Thunder Dreamer, cited Blonde Redhead and Magnolia Electric Co. as major influences in a recent interview with EW. The group’s potent blend of shoegaze and Americana shines on their majestic debut. —E.R.B.