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.
Linkin Park, “Heavy” feat. Kiiara
If you told the members of Linkin Park back in 1996 when they first joined forces that they would be trading in their traditionally heavier rock sound for light-hearted pop later on in their decorated careers, they may not have believed you. However, with over two decades creating music together, the group has long weathered the storm, playing with a variety of styles over the years and adopting new trends within music while also adding their own signature twist. Such is the case with their latest single, “Heavy,” a radio-friendly ditty that enlists the vocals of rising singer, Kiiara. The song dramatically feels strikingly different from what one would come to expect from the rock veterans, but that also works in the group’s favor, proving that throughout their impressive 21 years in the game, they’ve consistently refused to be placed into one particular box. “Heavy” features a little tried-and-true angst, glittered with synths and creeping, brooding percussion. With Linkin Park and Kiiara trading vocals, the at-times minimalist beat drops out just to be built back up again, showing that pop music doesn’t necessarily always have to be smooth around the edges and that in this instance, the infectious vocals are leading the way. With Kiiara citing Linkin Park as one of her earliest influences, the song acts as a reminder that sometimes things truly do come full circle, with “Heavy” marking their first collaboration. The track is also the first single off of the California natives’ forthcoming seventh studio album, One More Light, due out early this summer (May 19), with member Mike Shinoda sharing with Billboard that, “Heavy” represents “the core sound of the album,” allowing listeners to “get a sense of the direction of this body of work.” With the song’s therapeutic-feel inspiring those going through it to know they aren’t the only ones overwhelmed, it looks like Linkin Park’s new chapter is just as exciting as the road that led them here in the first place.
Future, “Future” (album)
Future‘s self-titled album is a perfect segue into getting back to what the rapper himself refers to as the version of himself that fans were finally ready for again. After a lengthy hiatus from social media, Future is back in the spotlight to reclaim what is rightfully his again, while also providing fans with what arguably is the first album from the Atlanta heavyweight in years that will have his diehard supporters uncertain of what to expect. While traditionally Future has created a buzz leading up to releasing his music, this time around, he kept things very simple and straightforward, announcing the project merely days before its release Friday (Feb. 17). He also deleted every post on his Instagram, similar to how The Weeknd did just months before, in order to metaphorically and digitally wipe the slate clean, while also sharing his intention behind his moves with his fans, writing, “With all due respect, I’m asking you to be loving, patient, and kind enough to understand my creativity is to heal wounds, not make new ones. However, the greater the risk, the greater the reward. Especially when you have great intentions for every individual that has played a major role in your life experiences.” With Future’s self-titled offering, he’s looking to become a better person than he was yesterday, which naturally, features a collection of trials and tribulations that translate beautifully into his music. His recent collaboration with Maroon 5 stands as a strong reminder that he’s got plenty of surprises left up his sleeve, a sentiment he further proves to be true throughout his fifth studio album’s 17 tracks. Future’s “hiatus” has proved to work in his favor, with the album chock full of bursts of refreshed energy and revived creativity, as if he’s woken up after a long journey’s rest eager to jump back on the road again — except, interestingly enough, Future hasn’t really stopped moving nor slowed his momentum this whole time. Perhaps Future’s victory lap of a 2016 has left him recharged in ways that have even surprised him.
Trey Songz, “Nobody Else But You”
Trey Songz is kicking off the new year by embarking on a journey of rediscovery, one that wisely begins by returning to his roots. In addition to announcing the details of his seventh studio album, a project he’s titled after his government name Tremaine, the R&B singer has also released the first offering, “Nobody Else But You.” With the full 15-track project dropping on March 24, the lead single is proof that Trey Songz is only getting better with age, with the heartthrob singer as captivating as ever. On top of the news regarding his forthcoming album, Trey has also debuted a fresh visual to accompany his new single, kicked off his VH1 reality web show Tremaine the Playboy and announced a tour, proving that he’s destined to continue being one of the most hard-working entertainers in the business, getting down to business all while bearing his charming signature smile. On “Nobody Else But You,” Trey Songz reassures others (and maybe himself) that the lady who has caught his eye is the only one for him, despite his usual behavior possibly suggesting otherwise. It’s easy to get wrapped up in both Trey Songz mesmerizing vocals and the picture he’s painting on this one, but after all, this is one of R&B’s biggest dreamboats we’re talking about and it’s no surprise he’s gotten us in our feelings once again.
Selena Gomez x Kygo, “It Ain’t Me”
This year is starting to prove that the more unlikely the collaboration, the more favorable the outcome. Such is the case with Kygo and Selena Gomez, two artists from opposite ends of the world and the genre spectrum alike, who have today come together on a new anthem, “It Ain’t Me.” The song acts as one of Gomez’s most mature offerings yet — with lyrics detailing a relationship being torn apart due to alcoholism — and is arguably one of the Norwegian producer’s biggest collaborations to date. “It Ain’t Me” is also Gomez’s first release in about a year, as well as her first since publicly dating The Weeknd, with many taking to Twitter to digest whether or not the song was inspired by her ex, Justin Bieber, who was arrested back in 2014 for a DUI and resisting arrest. Regardless of where the original inspiration may lie, the song is one that a generous handful of listeners can relate to, with the theme of a relationship tarnished by alcohol abuse taking center stage. Evened out by Kygo’s upbeat tropical-tinged production, the song is more uplifting and empowering than it is somber, despite lyrics that may suggest otherwise. All in all, the track marks an exciting new chapter for both artists alike, highlighting the very best of each of their respective talents.
Maggie Rogers, Now That The Light Is Fading EP
Maggie Rogers once again returns to our New Music Friday playlist, this time with yet another taste from her highly anticipated debut EP, a project that is finally available now in full. While the 22-year-old has been working her way into our hearts ever since making her first introduction this summer with her curiously magical breakout single “Alaska,” a viral track that went on to propel her career to new heights and currently has over 27 million streams, the release of Now That The Light Is Fading further proves that the singer-songwriter isn’t about to leave the spotlight anytime soon. With the five-track collection, Rogers invites us to explore the inner-workings of her brilliant creativity, with her signature sound proving to be as limitless as it concrete, dancing sonically somewhere between folk, electronic, indie pop, soul and then back again. In addition to the release of her first official project, Rogers has a lot to celebrate, from making her television debut this week on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to preparing for her first headlining tour, she’s setting up 2017 to be just as sweet, and if not sweeter, than her 2016 ended up being. As she previously wrote in a journal entry she shared online, she’s been waiting for this moment all her life, and as exemplified by her stunning new release and overall infectious joie de vivre, she’s enjoying every deserved and delicious second making up this exciting phase of her budding career. If you somehow haven’t yet heard of the humble genius that is Maggie Rogers, there’s no better time than the present to get acquainted.