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 Taylor Swift’s latest single to Future and Young Thug’s collaborative album, here are some of the week’s most noteworthy releases. Got Spotify? Stream all of EW’s picks by following our playlist (embedded below) for this week.
1. Taylor Swift, “Gorgeous”
“With its addictive beat and thoughtful lyrics, ‘Gorgeous’ isn’t just a classically Swiftian pop confection — it’s also the best taste of Reputation yet,” EW writes in a B+ review of the pop icon’s latest single. For more, read the full review and a breakdown of the song’s lyrics. —Eric Renner Brown
2. Future & Young Thug, Super Slimey
The two luminaries of Atlantan hip-hop have each dominated 2017, in their own ways. Future became the first artist to notch back-to-back No. 1 albums in successive weeks, with February’s FUTURE and HNDRXX. For his part, Thug fulfilled his dream of releasing a “singing” album when he dropped Beautiful Thugger Girls in June. With its 40-minute runtime and array of odd sounds, Super Slimey, their new collaborative project, more closely resembles Thug’s mercurial, peculiar output; at times, Future’s flow seems to have even absorbed some of Thug’s idiosyncrasies. Thug, meanwhile, cartwheels over tracks, rhyming about how wealth has allowed him to avoid neighbors (“Cruise Ship”) and become a peacock by purchasing multiple colors of diamonds (“Killed Before”). The duo keeps guest spots to a minimum — Offset provides the only outside verse — but master collaborators including Mike Will Made-It, Southside, and London on Da Track round out the project. —E.R.B.
3. Niall Horan, Flicker
Grab a car, roll down the windows, and drive down some empty roads — these are the ideal listening conditions for Niall Horan’s solo debut, a collection of easy, feel-good soft rock with hints of influences new and old. Some tracks lean groovy, like opener “On the Loose,” while others — the wonderful Maren Morris duet “Seeing Blind” and “On My Own,” a rollicking drinking song that nods to Horan’s Irish roots — tease a bright future in radio-friendly pop-country. “I wanted to make music that would come really freely to me,” Horan previously told EW about this record. And judging by the comfort he shows on this album, jumping between sentimental odes to love lost (“Too Much to Ask”) and gently rousing, Mumford & Sons-style anthems (“The Tide”) without ever straying from his folk-rock sound, it seems he’s achieved just that. —Ariana Bacle
4. Chris Stapleton, “Millionaire”
The Music City king begins the rollout of his second 2017 LP, From A Room: Vol. 2, due Dec. 1, with a sweet, stripped-back ode to finding a world of wealth in the arms of your lover. Lyrics like “‘Cause love is more precious than gold/ It can’t be bought, no, and it can’t be sold” could sound pretty trite in anyone else’s set, but Stapleton’s weathered baritone grounds it with a weight that rings true. —Madison Vain
5. Margo Price, All American Made
Price takes the vivid storytelling and rootsy twang of last year’s debut, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, to new heights on her second LP, a lush collection of tunes tackling subjects from the rural working class (“Heart of America”) to gender discrimination (“Pay Gap”). Don’t miss the stripped-down “Learning to Lose,” which channels ennui and hardship — with a world-weary assist from country hero Willie Nelson. —E.R.B.
6. Jessie Ware, Glasshouse
Written after the birth of her first child last year, the British soul queen’s third album is her most raw and vulnerable yet — just listen to songs like the devastating album closer “Sam,” dedicated to her husband and co-written with Ed Sheeran, or the heart-wrenching “Thinking About You,” which examines the occasional guilt of being a working mom. “I’m going to cry when I sing it,” Ware tells EW. “My husband cries when he listens to it because he knows it’s about our baby girl.” —Nolan Feeney
7. Tegan And Sara, Tegan And Sara Present The Con X: Covers
Canadian alt-pop duo Tegan and Sara reimagine their 2007 LP The Con by recruiting famous friends like Ryan Adams, Cyndi Lauper, Sara Bareilles, Paramore’s Hayley Williams, and Bleachers to cover each track — sometimes with surprising results. “It was nice to have these artists push into the emotional core even more,” the group’s Sara Quin told EW. For more, read EW’s deep dive into the project’s making. —N.F.
8. Maroon 5 feat. A$AP Rocky, “Whiskey”
Like previous Red Pill Blues cuts “Don’t Wanna Know” and “Cold” — which featured Kendrick Lamar and Future, respectively — Maroon 5’s latest emphasizes a collaboration with a big-name rapper. Frontman Adam Levine’s impressive voice stands out on the minimal track and Rocky manages to reference seven different types of alcohol in his brief verse. —Joshua Glicksman
9. Chris Young, Losing Sleep
Fresh off a 2015 album that earned the singer his first Grammy nod, Chris Young returns with his seventh studio LP — a collection that he said arrived organically. “There wasn’t any pressure,” he told EW this week. And for the first time, Young has a writing credit on every song on the set. “It wasn’t intentional,” he said. “I was just very excited and really wanting to continue to create.” —M.V.
10. Destroyer, Ken
Eccentric singer-songwriter Dan Bejar‘s 11th full-length as Destroyer, and first since 2015’s Poison Season, rekindles the project’s blend of synth-pop, heartland rock, and confessional lyricism. It also continues to build Bejar’s reputation as one of the indie-rock world’s most underrated talents. —E.R.B.
11. MGMT, “Little Dark Age”
The psych-pop duo have gone down some strange trails since their seismic 2007 debut Oracular Spectacular, with many fans struggling to follow 2010’s weird Congratulations and it’s even weirder follow-up, 2013’s MGMT. The title track from their forthcoming fourth LP is bizarre — they’re still MGMT, after all — but sports slinking bass that hints they’ve got melody on their minds once again. —E.R.B.
12. Various Artists, 7-inches For Planned Parenthood
The charity compilation brings together artists of all stripes, from John Legend and St. Vincent’s cover of Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You” to Sleater-Kinney’s new track “Here We Come.”
13. Bully, Losing
The alt-rock band — led by the powerhouse pipes of lead singer Alicia Bognanno — builds on their phenomenal 2015 debut Feels Like on their second album. It’s another blast of ’90s-indebted grunge that pays homage to genre greats like Hole without retreading the past. —E.R.B.
14. Ty Segall, “Meaning”
The garage-rock legend’s latest track pulses with an LCD-worthy dance pulse — at least, until a blitzkrieg of fuzz and vocals from his wife, Denée, arrive. —E.R.B.
Listen to a playlist of the tracks from this week’s New Music Friday above.