Coronavirus

Ed Sheeran, Lorde, Coldplay, Khalid & Gryffin Are Spotify Editors' Picks for New Music Friday

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.

Ed Sheeran - Divide (album) - "Dive," "What Do I Know," "Hearts Don't Break Around Here Anymore"

After tiding fans over with singles such as "Castle on the Hill," "Shape of You" and "How Would You Feel (Paean)" Ed Sheeran has finally released his highly anticipated third studio album, Divide. With roughly an hour of new material to digest, the beloved English singer-songwriter shows us the several different sides that make up him and his artistry, both in the sense of his musical direction and in his storytelling lyrics alike. With tracks like "Dive" detailing his hesitancies to open up his heart to someone for the first time contrasting with tracks like “Perfect,” a tear-jerking ballad likely dedicated to his girlfriend, he soundtracks various milestones as he himself directly experiences them, adding to the 26-year-old's undeniable charm. After taking a self-imposed sabbatical away from social media and releasing music, Divide humbly proves that the personal decision to take a hiatus worked in his favor, resulting in some of his best work to date. With radio-friendly pop singles such as "Shape of You" balanced with intimate acoustic tunes such as "Hearts Don't Break Around Here," Sheeran covers a lot of ground on this project, with each song highlighting a wide variety of moods, impeccable instrumentation and smart risk-taking. With the album creating an array of powerful and impassioned moments, Ed Sheeran’s Divide is poised to be one of his most celebrated releases to date. Despite what he sings on "What Do I Know," he's much more than "just a boy with a one-man show."

Lorde - "Green Light"

At the age of 16, Ella Yelich-O'Connor, an artist more commonly known as Lorde, had her dreams start coming true to fruition at an unpredictably rapid pace when her debut single, "Royals," went on to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the youngest solo artist to climb to the top of the chart since 1987. As she garnered impressive international success and arguably became a household name five years before she can even legally drink alcohol in the United States, the New Zealand-born singer has handled her time maturing in the spotlight exceptionally well. Now that she's 20, all eyes are on her ability to come into her own through her artistry. With the release of the lead single from her forthcoming sophomore album, Melodrama, she continues to build a sound argument that she is a prolific songwriter in the making. Her debut album, Pure Heroine, helped spark a movement of dark pop, going on to influence artists such as Tove Lo, Alessia Cara and The Weeknd, and now that she's readying her follow-up studio album, she's taking her signature sound to new heights. With "Green Light," Lorde opens the track with her distinctive voice leading the way over a looming melody, with the song going on to invite all sorts of drama as it progresses. When it comes to composition, Lorde is consistently masterful in her abilities to orchestrate multidimensional and theatric art, creating a song that is as intriguing as it is complex and one that interestingly and subtly appears to evolve with each listen. Enlisting a backing chorus to help plump her vocals before the song's euphoric nature goes on to erupt into infectious chanting, "Green Light" is another solid offering for Lorde, jam packed with nuanced emotions, such as vulnerability, heartache, perseverance, confidence and wisdom. In her own words, Lorde shares that the single is "the first chapter of a story I'm gonna tell you, the story of the last 2 wild, fluorescent years of my life. This is where we begin."

Khalid - "American Teen"

Back in January, Khalid, a rising 19-year-old recording artist, declared March 3rd a day that will change his life forever, and now that this fated day has now arrived, it's clear just how point-on his manifested prediction was. Today releasing his debut album, American Teen, the soul singer has been building up to this moment for years, an impressive feat considering he's a recent high school graduate. His lyrics directly reflect his personal story, as he croons, "I've been waiting all year / To get the hell up out of here / And throw away my fears." Throughout the ambitious 15-track collection, the El Paso native details a glorious assortment of relatable themes such as rising above the life he knew in his hometown, not wanting to fall in love based solely off of social media's illusions and not letting all-too-familiar teenage angst bring him down. With eyes on his future, Khalid takes listeners along for his ride towards self-discovery. From stealing the attention of Kylie Jenner, who infamously recorded herself lip-synching along to his loose single "Location" last summer, to signing to RCA, his come-up has been an exciting journey to cheer on from the sidelines. As we get to know him better through his music, with American Teen marking his first official collection of tracks that weren't released as singles, it's clear that, much like his bright-eyed lyricism suggests, the best is yet to come.

Coldplay - "Hypnotised"

Less than one week after collaborating with the likes of the Chainsmokers, Coldplay has returned with yet another new offering, further proving that the veteran rock group still has a ton of significant music left in them to create. Pairing their new single, "Hypnotised," a whimsical anthem with an appropriately fitting title, with the confirmation regarding their forthcoming 5-track EP being released this summer, Coldplay's latest news ended up doubling as a perfect birthday celebration for frontman Chris Martin's 40th lap around the sun. Much like other singles found in Coldplay's vast, celebrated catalog, "Hypnotised" brilliantly combines that dreary, rainy day type of a feeling with curious optimism as it unfolds, a trademark quality Coldplay has been honing for years in its aesthetic, such as found within 2011's "Paradise." Expertly creating the contrast between light and dark, Coldplay finds success lyrically detailing these familiar parallels, while the melody majestically weaves in and out of those conflicting themes. With lyrics such as "Been rusting in the rubble, running to a faint/Need a brand new coat of paint," helping to add some scenery to the track's melancholy, pensive nature, Coldplay's minimalist narrative is then further strengthened by an exciting accompanying visual film by Mary Wigmore. As the track transforms from a soothing lullaby to a mysteriously uplifting anthem, the thoughtfulness and tact behind this effort is one that listeners can't help but find themselves in awe of. Well done, Coldplay, well done.

Gryffin x Daya x Illenium - "Feel Good"

After emerging in the electronic music scene as a trailblazer to absolutely keep on your radar and playlists alike, Gryffin continues to solidify himself as one of the most impactful dance music producers, remixers and DJs in recent memory. With each conscious and tactfully crafted release, Gryffin wins over new audiences and as exemplified by his latest single, "Feel Good," his talents are further enhanced whenever he collaborates. For "Feel Good," he wisely links up with fellow producer and remixer Illenium, as well as enlists the vocal talents of singer-songwriter Daya, and together the three musicians play off of each other's respective areas of expertise. With Daya fresh off of winning a Grammy for her involvement on the Chainsmoker's multi-platinum track "Don't Let Me Down," her vocals find a happy home over the production of Gryffin and Illenium, as the song balances a big-room cinematic feel with soulful, intimate details. Musically, Gryffin's background as a guitarist and classically trained pianist is exemplified in the fringes of the song's foundation, crafting a swirling, hypnotic soundscape that builds expertly alongside Daya's stunning voice. With the song traveling through peaks and valleys, Gryffin utilizes different synths from the unknown depths of his toolbox, creating a song that is able to have moments of intensity without steering too far from the over "Feel Good" vibe the title suggests.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.