New Music Friday: 23 releases to hear now
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 Charli XCX's addictive new jam — and it's instantly memorable video — to an unexpected new collaboration by Future and Nicki Minaj, 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.
Charli XCX, "Boys"
The wait for Charli's third studio album just got a little more bearable with this deceptively catchy Super-Mario-meets-Zenon electro-pop treat. The clever, star-studded video — which features more than 50 famous faces, including Joe Jonas, Diplo, Charlie Puth, Riz Ahmed, and Jack Antonoff — is also a must-watch as it flips the script on music-video objectification. —Nolan Feeney
Future feat. Nicki Minaj, "You Da Baddest"
Last month, Future employed Kanye West's Life of Pablo method when he added new tracks to the ends of both of his 2017 albums, FUTURE and HNDRXX. He extended the already-lengthy HNDRXX yet again late Thursday, but with good reason — Nicki Minaj features on the LP's new closer, "You Da Baddest." "Got them blue diamonds dancing in my party, democratic," she rhymes in a too-brief cameo. —Eric Renner Brown
The Killers, "Run for Cover"
If the band's new track feels like classic Killers, that's because it is. Brandon Flowers and co. wrote the song nine years years ago, but revamped it for their upcoming Wonderful Wonderful LP at the behest of Flowers' brother. "My brother once a year will send it to me," Flowers says. "He loves it. It's just a gentle reminder that this song exists, and he wants it to be heard." For more on the Killers' new LP, check out EW's first-look interview. —N.F.
Arcade Fire, Everything Now
The seminal indie-rock band may have taken four years off since 2013's Reflektor, but their new full-length contains some of the "most ambitious music of their career," according to EW's B+ review. The results aren't uniformly excellent but standout cuts including "Creature Comfort" and the title track make Everything Now worth the wait. —E.R.B.
Vic Mensa, The Autobiography
Executive-produced by No I.D. (who helmed JAY-Z's epic 4:44), the debut album from the buzzy Chicago MC bursts with soulful classicism and witty, heartfelt verses. Pharrell, Weezer, and others guest. —E.R.B.
Margo Price, Weakness EP
Released on Jack White's Third Man Records, Price's Midwest Farmer's Daughter — EW's second-favorite country album of 2016 — landed her a musical appearance on Saturday Night Live and slots on tour with Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton, and more. Her fresh four-song EP keeps up her hot streak, encompassing outlaw balladry ("Just Like Love") and an uptempo, steel-guitar-laden jam session ("Paper Cowboy"). —E.R.B.
Mick Jagger feat. Skepta, "England Lost"
The iconic Rolling Stones frontman has habitually teamed with unexpected talent for decades. Enter the surprise collaboration he dropped with grime king Skepta on Thursday, which is also Jagger's most political work in years. "I went to find England, but England's lost," the rocker plaintively sings on the song's chorus before Skepta delivers an excellent verse touching on the country's immigration debate and class discontents. —E.R.B.
Mick Jagger, "Gotta Get a Grip" (Kevin Parker remix)
Thursday was a busy day for Jagger, who released a second single, "Gotta Get a Grip," and multiple remixes of the track. The remix by Tame Impala's Kevin Parker is the gem of the bunch, with the rising rock talent underscoring Jagger's distressed lyrics — "Chaos crisis instability, ISIS / Lies and scandals, wars and vandals / Metadata scams and policy shams," he sings at one point — with characteristically funky swagger. —E.R.B.
Kesha, "Learn to Let Go"
The embattled pop singer's return to music has so far steered away from the grimy club sounds of her early albums, but as the latest cut from next month's Rainbow proves, Kesha doesn't have to totally shun pop to make music on her own terms. "Learn to Let Go," which, like first single "Praying," alludes to the struggles and legal battle that kept her out of the spotlight for a few years, might be her hookiest release yet from this era. —N.F.
Ringo Starr, "We're On the Road Again"
Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, and Toto's Steve Lukather back up the former Beatle on the latest taste from his 19th album, Give More Love, due in September. From lyrics about rawking out to a scintillating guitar solo, "We're On the Road Again" recalls Walsh's glory days with the Eagles — and is all the better for it. —E.R.B.
Macklemore feat. Lil Yachty, "Marmalade"
Cutesy lyrics, plinking piano, food-themed title, Lil Yachty guest spot — no, this isn't last year's chart-topping "Broccoli." On its face, Macklemore's new track bears plenty of similarities to D.R.A.M.'s smash hit, and maybe that's sort of the point: "Marmalade" charmingly rekindles that song's euphoric naiveté. —E.R.B.
Julia Michaels, Nervous System
We've got no "Issues" with this pop hitmaker-turned-artist's debut mini-album. Armed with freaky space-rock bops ("Pink") and gorgeous ballads ("Don't Wanna Think"), she shouldn't be one bit nervous about seizing the spotlight. —N.F.
Aminé, Good For You
Last year the freshman rapper hit No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 with his clattering breakout single "Caroline." His debut LP features Ty Dolla $ign, Nelly, and Offset, plus slick production from Disclosure's Guy Lawrence on one track. —E.R.B.
Action Bronson, "The Chairman's Intent"
Bronson is perhaps hip-hop's most cartoonish contemporary figure — a heavyset, foul-mouthed, gourmet-food-loving MC — so it's only natural that on his latest single from upcoming album Blue Chips 7000 he breaks the fourth wall: "Same outfit every day like a cartoon — that's me!" he raps on the colorful, crackling track. —E.R.B.
Manchester Orchestra, A Black Mile to the Surface
Scoring a film — 2016's Swiss Army Man — inspired the alt-rockers to up the drama on their latest LP. The resulting collection is a mix of sweeping guitars, booming drums, and delightful vocal harmonies. —E.R.B.
Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders, GarciaLive Vol. 9
Garcia's latest posthumous live release captures a smoking 1974 gig with legendary keyboardist Saunders. Best jam? A 19-minute cover of Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come." —E.R.B.
HUNTAR feat. Gucci Mane, "Pony"
The young and still semi-unidentified U.K. producer teamed with pop's most in-demand rapper — Gucci Mane features on both Selena Gomez' and Fifth Harmony's newest singles — for an update of Ginuwine's 1996 cut. You didn't even know how much you wanted this, we promise. —M.V.
Cage the Elephant, Unpeeled
The Bowling Green, Kentucky band showed a surprising new direction in 2015 with Tell Me I'm Pretty, their classic-rock-influenced, Dan Auerbach-produced LP. At the time, frontman Matt Shultz told EW that the shift was inspired by Cage's collaboration with Doors guitarist Robby Krieger at the prior year's Bonnaroo. Now, they've evolved once more thanks to another rocker: Neil Young. After Young invited the group to play at his 2016 Bridge School Benefit, which requires fully acoustic sets, the band decided to revisit their catalog in a new, analog way. Unpeeled features all-acoustic versions of career-spanning original material and covers. —M.V.
Alex Lahey, "Every Day's the Weekend"
The Australian singer-songwriter wowed with her B-Grade University EP — and found some famous fans in Tegan and Sara, Cyndi Lauper, and Blondie, all of whom took the 24-year-old on tour. Now she's prepping the Oct. 6 release of her debut LP, I Love You Like a Brother, with this jittery new single, decked out with an irresistible whoa-oh-oh hook. —N.F.
Belle and Sebastian, "We Were Beautiful"
As they set out on a North American tour that stretches through mid-August, the indie-rock stalwarts released their first new music since 2015. With plucky bass and punchy horns, the cut resembles the band's excellent recent output. —E.R.B.
Skrillex & Poo Bear, "Would You Ever"
There's nothing to be "Sorry" about here. The forces behind two of Justin Bieber's hits — songwriter-producer Jason "Poo Bear" Boyd ("What Do You Mean?," "Where Are Ü Now") and mega-hitmaker Skrillex ("Sorry") — team up for this glitchy club-thumper. It's a total dancefloor delight, even if you can't make out the words to Poo Bear's chopped-up vocals. —N.F.
Jessie Ware, "Midnight"
British soul queen Jessie Ware has always had a knack for making the biggest and busiest electro-R&B tracks feel like intimate heart-to-hearts and whispered conversations. The first taste of the long-awaited follow-up to 2014's Tough Love shows nothing has changed — but it comes with the added treat of exploding into some "Bennie and the Jets"-style magic in the chorus. —N.F.
FRND, In Your Dreams EP
After a year of hiding his identity in favor of an animated koala's likeness, FRND has revealed himself as hitmaker Andrew Goldstein (Demi Lovato, Britney Spears). The unveiling comes as he releases a six-song EP that's by turns poppy and dreamy, but always infectious. —M.V.
Listen to a playlist of the tracks from this week's New Music Friday above.