Kesha, The Weeknd, Mondo Cozmo, are among the artists with fresh tunes
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 a pair of Camila Cabello singles to Rae Sremmurd’s return, 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.
The ex-Fifth Harmony star is showing fans sides of her they never saw in her old group with this pair of new songs, which she’s been performing live on tour this summer with Bruno Mars. “OMG” is an in-your-face club banger co-created with an all-star roster of Migos rapper Quavo, superproducers Stargate, and songwriting phenom Charli XCX, while “Havana” is a laid-back Latin-flavored track that embraces her Cuban heritage with assists from Pharrell and Young Thug. —Nolan Feeney
Rae Sremmurd, “Perplexing Pegasus”
With 2016’s SremmLife 2, the Mississippi trap duo rocketed to the forefront of the hip-hop world, even scoring a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 with their viral smash “Black Beatles.” Though they’ve guested on numerous tracks this year, “Perplexing Pegasus” is Rae Sremmurd’s proper return — and it features another immaculate beat by collaborator and mentor Mike Will Made-It. —Eric Renner Brown
“This is a hymn for the hymnless,” Kesha sings on the fourth cut released from her her forthcoming LP Rainbow. It’s easily the most musically delicate song she’s released from the project yet, but its message of finding camaraderie in the face of alienation and hardship is tremendously resonant. —E.R.B.
The Weeknd feat. A$AP Rocky and Young Thug, “Reminder (Remix)”
Distinctly idiosyncratic but widely appealing, Rocky and Thug are two of hip-hop’s most reliable features. They both stop by on this remix of a standout from The Weeknd’s 2016 album Starboy. —E.R.B.
Mondo Cozmo, Plastic Soul
Singer-songwriter Joshua Ostrander broke out with his 2016 alt-rock radio hit “Shine” and an opening slot on Bastille’s arena tour. His debut album as Mondo Cozmo is packed to the gills with more epic, rafter-shaking alt-rock. And despite the title, Plastic Soul‘s Oasis-meets-Mumford anthems have plenty of heart. —E.R.B.
A$AP Twelvyy, 12
Outside of A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg, members of New York’s A$AP Mob collective have yet to encounter tremendous commercial success. That could change with A$AP Twelvyy, whose debut album is a snappy, 38-minute blast of polished, throwback New York rap. Dive in with album highlight “Periodic Table” and keep an eye out for solid cameos from Big Apple rhymers Joey Bada$$ and Flatbush Zombies. —E.R.B.
The deaths of Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie were separated by less than two weeks, so it’s fitting that the first taste of Under Cöver, an upcoming compilation of Motörhead’s covers of other artists, is a Bowie tune. As one would expect, the hard-rock group’s toothy rendition adds plenty of bite to Bowie’s 1977 anthem without obscuring any of its heart. —E.R.B.
Randy Newman, Dark Matter
Randy Newman’s first set of new songs since 2008 is a lushly produced, richly textured collection of typically sharp-edged songs from one of pop music’s eminent satirists. Starting things off with a bang is “The Great Debate,” an eight-minute public argument between religion and “some of the most expensive scientists in the world,” proving that Newman hasn’t lost a step. —Alex Heigl
Neil Young, “Hitchhiker”
The legendary rocker seems to drop at least an album or two a year, but this solo acoustic track is different from his normal voluminous output. “Hitchhiker” was recorded along with nine other songs in a flurried, one-day 1976 session; the 10 tracks will finally see the light of day come Sept. 8, when Young releases the session as Hitchhiker. Alternate versions of Hitchhiker songs including “Pocahontas” and “Powderfinger” appeared on subsequent albums — even an iteration of this track surfaced on 2010’s Le Noise — but Young’s upcoming release is a treasure from one of the most fertile periods of his storied career. —E.R.B.
Tyler Childers, Purgatory
Guided by Sturgill Simpson and studio vet David Ferguson (Johnny Cash, Dan Auerbach), the Americana artist’s debut is a gorgeous ode to Appalachia that tackles weighty themes like the opioid crisis and the coal industry’s decline. “Appalachia is a huge role in my sound, because my role is to be an Appalachian,” Childers told EW last month. “It isn’t an imaginary musing; it is a poetic retelling of 26 years of clocking into the daily life. I know how coal tastes, and how warm it feels when [you] zip up the Carhartt it paid for.” —E.R.B.
Car Seat Headrest, “War Is Coming (If You Want It) [March Mix]”
Car Seat Headrest’s usually-very-prolific Will Toledo hasn’t shared much new music since last year’s epic Teens of Denial, so “War Is Coming (If You Want It) [March Mix]” — packed with crunchy power chords and the rising singer-songwriters unmistakable croon — comes as a welcome surprise. And the “alternate mix” of a still-unreleased single benefits a good cause: Available for only 24 hours, proceeds from the Bandcamp exclusive song will benefit the Transgender Law Center. — E.R.B.
Brett Eldredge, Brett Eldredge
True to its eponymous title, the country chart-topper’s latest aptly sums him up as an artist: stomping barn burners, a silky croon, and heartfelt lyricism. —E.R.B.
Eagles of Death Metal, I Love You All the Time — Live at the Olympia in Paris
This kinetic live LP chronicles the hard-rock group’s return to Paris just months after terrorists murdered 89 attendees at their November 2015 concert at the Bataclan. It’s both tear-jerkingly emotional and a damn good career-spanning set. —E.R.B.
Bebe Rexha feat. Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz, “That’s It”
Rexha’s serving capital-A attitude on this boisterous trap-inspired cut from her forthcoming All Your Fault: Pt. 2 project. “Motherf—er, I’m a star, I don’t do no dishes,” she slurs between guest verses from Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz. —N.F.
The War on Drugs, “Pain”
New cuts continue to trickle out from the Philly rock group’s upcoming full-length, A Deeper Understanding, out Aug. 25. “Pain” sounds like most other War on Drugs songs — which is to say, it’s a hypnotic and excellent blast of heartland rock. —E.R.B.
Soccer Mommy, Collection
Nineteen-year-old NYU student Sophie Allison has spent recent years putting out lo-fi slacker-rock on Bandcamp and, fresh from signing to respected label Fat Possum, she’s compiled some of the highlights — and a couple new cuts — on Collection, a half-hour mini-album that’s a prelude to her forthcoming debut LP. She’s upped the production factor slightly, like on the dreamy “Try,” while proving herself a subtly accomplished lyricist: “You smell like cigarettes and how chocolate tastes,” she sings on “Death by Chocolate.” “It makes me wanna die, but I guess I can wait.” —E.R.B.
Listen to a playlist of the tracks from this week’s New Music Friday above.