Friday Five: OIivia Rodrigo burns it all down, J. Cole swallows his pride, and more
Every Friday, EW's music team runs down the five best songs of the week. In today's edition, Olivia Rodrigo's hot streak continues, Leon Bridges goes for a ride, J. Cole locks in, Margo Price pays tribute to three titans, and Skrillex drops an intoxicating house track.
"Good 4 U" — Olivia Rodrigo
"Good 4 U" — or the third song in Olivia Rodrigo's unofficial breakup trilogy (following "Deja Vu" and "Drivers License") — sees the 18-year-old phenom taking the moral high ground through a pop-punk prism, screaming and sermonizing over bright guitars about her former "sociopath" beau, who's "doin' great out there without me." Meanwhile, Olivia "spent the night, cryin' on the floor of my bathroom"; as the accompanying video shows, she knows exactly where to channel those emotions.
"Motorbike" — Leon Bridges
Leon Bridges' "Motorbike," the first single from his forthcoming record Gold-Diggers Sound, pulls some of the wandering psychedelic soul he and Khruangbin used on their 2020 collaboration. Gliding over a lightly picked, heavily reverbed guitar, Bridges sings of an effortless love who's along for the ride: "Look back, see me behind you/when it feels good you don't have to try to."
"Pride Is the Devil" — J. Cole feat. Lil Baby
J. Cole has long been hip-hop's Steve Vai — a technically proficient artist who thinks his music sounds a lot deeper than it really is. He finally scratches past the surface on "Pride Is the Devil" — a cut off his new album The Off-Season, and a poignant self-reflection on early trauma and hubris. "Pride be the reason for the family dichotomy," he raps over a stuttering piano and syncopated beat. "Got uncles and some aunties that's too proud to give apologies/Slowly realizing what the root of all my problems be."
"Long Live the King" — Margo Price
Margo Price, one of country's preeminent songwriters, uses her pen for a triple tribute on the studio version of "Long Live the King," a song she's been performing live since 2019. Each of its three verses pays tribute to a titan: Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King Jr., and John Lennon. History frequently scrubs each of these icons of their darker side, but Price makes sure to give credence to the good and bad (Presley's drug addiction, King Jr.'s womanizing, Lennon's assholish-ness).
"Butterflies" — Skrillex feat. Starrah, Four Tet
On "Butterflies," the first of two new (and very different) singles from Skrillex, hit songwriter Starrah and electronic shape-shifter Four Tet sound less like featured guests than folks who've been living in the space for years. Hiccuping vocals, impeccably timed sound effects, and a talk box that sounds like it was borrowed from Tame Impala's The Slow Rush sessions abound, until the track tumbles off into infinity.