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.
J. Cole – “Deja Vu” from 4 Your Eyez Only
While many publications have already published their year-end lists, recapping the highs and lows of music in 2016, one emcee has editors going back to revisit their best-of editorials. Today J. Cole releases his follow-up to 2014 Forest Hills Drive, and true-to-form, the 10-track collection has no features, displaying the lone wolf emcee’s sole perspective and talents. “Deja Vu” is one of the album’s many high points, with the Dreamville rapper waxing poetic on having his eyes on another woman, but finding solace in the fact that his dreams are bigger than thinking about what could’ve or should’ve been. The album features lush, next-level production and a more subdued Cole, full of honesty, concern and contemplation. Needless to say, with 4 Your Eyez Only, Cole is making quite a beautiful comeback, ending 2016 on a creative note, giving fans plenty of material to digest and talk about.
Ryan Adams – “Do You Still Love Me”
This week, veteran rocker Ryan Adams revealed the news his next album, Prisoner, is now slated for a February 2017 release. The announcement of his sixteenth (!) studio project was coupled with a new single, “Do You Still Love Me,” offering fans a first taste of what Adams has masterfully put together next. The singer also recently was a featured guest on Lil Bub‘s show, the internet-famous cat-turned-recording artist, and during their candid conversation, Adams shared he found a lot of inspiration for his new album in his personal life, detailing themes of vulnerability and recovery, as well as how to cope with death and divorce. His new track, “Do You Still Love Me,” can definitely be labeled as a power ballad, sprinkled with several key ingredients the celebrated musician is privy to, including theatrical organs, signature power chords, piercing vocals and a subtle, twangy guitar solo to round it all out. Prisoner arrives following his 2015 track-by-track remake of Taylor Swift‘s 1989, marking his first full-length solo album since 2014.
Fetty Wap & Nicki Minaj – “Like a Star”
Nicki MInaj and Fetty Wap refuse to be confined by one lane or genre, with their new collaboration “Like a Star” showcasing their versatility as recording artists. Over tropical-flavored production, the two vocalists create a pop-leaning song full of Minaj’s signature wit and Fetty Wap’s reputed syrupy rhyme-singing. The song is full of personality, with Minaj’s verse equal parts light-hearted and fiercely dramatic, with Fetty Wap tying the bouncy tune together into a nice bow. It is unclear whether the song is a one-off single, or if it will appear on the New Jersey-born artist’s forthcoming album, King Zoo. Regardless, the track makes for a nice warm-up getting fans ready for whatever each may be cooking up next.
Ryan Hurd – “Hold You Back”
2016 was a year of transition for rising country star, Ryan Hurd, and switching gears from being a full-time songwriter at Universal to developing his own career and point of view has been an incredible journey to witness. With his crossover appeal, Hurd has been impressively attracting a variety of listeners, solidifying himself as an emerging artist-to-watch with each single he releases. Being highlighted on #SpotifyNMF’s playlist several times this year, Hurd today makes a welcome return with his latest offering, “Hold You Back.” The track is a perfect December release, reflecting on the past year in the form of a love story. In a way, “Hold You Back” balances duality, allowing Hurd to tie up loose ends before looking towards what his old bright future holds, while also being considerate of his partner’s individual hopes and dreams. The song displays Hurd’s honesty and authenticity as a musician, much like his previous releases do, with “Hold You Back” further setting him free.
Matoma & Gia – “Heart Won’t Forget”
Matoma, a Norwegian DJ and tropical house producer, has joined forces with LA-based singer Gia for their latest collaboration, “Heart Won’t Forget.” Opening up the track with a happy-go-lucky whistle, the song takes a mellow turn production-wise, creating a tropical-tinged foundation perfect for Gia’s story-telling lyrics. “Heart Won’t Forget” paints a picture that somehow is pensive and promising at the same time, detailing a fleeting romance in retrospect with both gratitude and grace. The song is an optimistic reminder that everyone you meet has the potential to be a blessing or a lesson – or both, as is the case with “Heart Won’t Forget.”