Niall Horan, The Weeknd & More Spotify Editors' Picks for New Music Friday
Every week, Spotify updates their "New Music Friday" playlist, featuring 50 of the freshest new tracks hitting the service that week.
On the heels of Billboard's partnership with the streaming giant, we'll be tapping Spotify's editors to sift through the soon-to-be-hits and highlight the best of the bunch.
Check out the picks and listen to the entire "New Music Friday" playlist below.
Niall Horan - "This Town"
While pop sensation One Direction is on hiatus, members of the four-piece group are coming into their own creatively, with Niall Horan the next to officially launch his solo career. His debut single, "This Town," comes paired with the announcement of signing with Capitol Records and is a strong first offering. The track, produced by Greg Kurstin, is an acoustic ballad that beautifully frames Horan's talents as a vocalist, with his dynamic voice standing tall without the familiar support of his harmonizing bandmates. As shared in an interview with Ryan Seacrest, the 23-year-old explained that the track holds a double meaning, particularly one that people from smaller towns will relate to, and is about "that one individual you end up seeing when you're going home or whatever." With the chorus featuring lines like, "Everything comes back to you," one can't help but wonder if this undeniably honest love song has Horan feeling as though things are coming full circle in his career and personal life alike.
DNCE - "Body Moves"
Fresh off the widespread success of their first official single, "Cake by the Ocean," the Joe Jonas-fronted dance-rock group DNCE is back with another new taste of what fans can expect when their debut full-length album drops Nov. 18. If the track sounds familiar to you, there's a chance you caught it this summer from a live performance or during the group's recent appearance on the Today show. With the polished studio version now available, "Body Moves" makes for a fitting dance floor tune, full of electronic guitars, subtle synths and crooning vocals. With the occasional handclap and Jonas' signature falsetto, the song is a feel-good addition to our #SpotifyNMF playlist this week.
The Weeknd - "False Alarm"
The Weeknd's Starboy album rollout game is currently on point and in full force, with this week marking the release of his second promotional single, "False Alarm." After debuting his new music video for the title track, where he literally kills off his former self, it's clear that the Abel we knew and loved is entering a new, evolved stage in his career, as exemplified by his passionate decision to bring his creative offerings to a different level, judging from what we've seen so far. "False Alarm" packs a strong synth punch, but is a bit more fiery and frantic than his previously released re-introductory track "Starboy." Both singles will appear on his forthcoming Starboy album and offer calculated, contrasting vibes, further showcasing that this 18-track project is gearing up to be The Weeknd's most experimental album to date. "False Alarm" is a punk-leaning electric shock of a song, adorned with pummeling drums, the occasional shriek and building synths, and overall is an unapologetic declaration this Weeknd is here to stay.
The Chainsmokers - "All We Know" featuring Phoebe Ryan
The Chainsmokers continue their winning streak with the release of their new single, "All We Know," offering a more subdued but equally still sweet follow-up to "Closer," which remains comfortably poised as the country's No. 1 song for the sixth week straight. The decision to recruit emerging electro-pop singer Phoebe Ryan for a duet with group member Drew Taggart works amicably well, with the two contributing gentle vocals over compatible, soft electronic-driven production. The song feels like a more mellow extension of "Closer," showing that the duo is sticking to a tried-and-true sound that very clearly is still working for them.
Bon Iver - "666 ʇ"
After five years of selectively and sparingly appearing in the spotlight following the release of 2011's Bon Iver, Bon Iver, founding member Justin Vernon finally leads his band toward a welcome return and pristine resurgence, fully loaded with an invigorating and inventive collection of 10 tracks. Bon Iver's third studio full-length album, 22, A Million is available Friday (September 30) and is full of curiously strange moments of experimenting, ranging from the existential themes nestled in Vernon's narrative lyricism, to his symbol-laden track list to the group's masterful balance of instrumentation. While the imaginative project humbly demands a full listen front to back and back again, "666 ʇ" is a great place to start. The song, produced by Vernon and April Base, features haunting melodies comprised of creeping guitar riffs, subtle glitches and guiding horns, coming together expertly to heighten Vernon's yearning vocals as he ponders aloud both reflectively and undecidedly.