New Music Friday always promises a plethora of that good-good new-new from some of your favorite artists, maybe some long-awaited, maybe some tired, through, and delayed, and maybe some songs by a treasure trove of #whos you've never heard of before. We know. It's overwhelming! Thank the heavens PAPER is here help sift through the goodness, the garbage, and the noise, and bring you the best every Friday. We gotchu, sis. Let's bop to it!
LP returns with her fifth album Heart to Mouth today, and it's a grab bag of styles and sounds covering subjects ranging from heartbreak to euphoria. "When I'm Over You," one of many album standouts, is a drum-filled stadium rocker that finds our lovelorn heroine singing about moving past the tumult and trauma of a past relationship. By the time the chorus hits, her heartbreak is palpable, but by song's end, it appears she's reached a point of catharsis. We promise you'll not soon get over LP's new music, and who knows: you may find yourself reaching your own emotional breakthrough simply by listening.
Related | LP Tells It Like It Is
One collaboration out today sure to set tongues wagging is that of superproducer Benny Blanco's team-up with hip-hop upstart Juice WRLD, and Panic! At the Disco's Brendon Urie. "Roses," from Blanco's new album Friends Keep Secrets, then, is as wonderfully weird as you might anticipate. It's a hip-hop anthem complete with lovestruck nursery rhymes: "Roses are red/Violets are blue/ My heart is dead/ I'm such a fool," adding an element of quirky theatrics to a song full of drama, delivered like rose petals at your feet.
Related | Brendon Urie Lays It All Out
Iconic electronic outfit The Faint is set to drop their new full-length, Egowerk, in March 2019. But until then, they've left us with an addictive double-single from the records. "Child Asleep" and "Chameleon Nights" dropped simultaneously, but the former is our favorite. It's nothing short of epic, with labyrinthine, busy-bee synths and quirky melodies made for maximum sweatwerk. And though the song will put you in a trance, one can't help but feel wide awake when "Child Asleep" is on. Knowing The Faint's knack for creating sledgehammering beats, this is probably the entire point.
UK Capitol Records signee Mae Muller drops her second EP this year, today. One highlight from Frankly is "Busy Tone," an emotionally forthright, reggae-pop tune fusing Muller's lilting vocal with sassy lyricism. "I'm so over you and boy it makes me mad /Nothing will ever come between me in the bag." We heard that, sis! It's the new "text on read, balls on blue." When you're done, you're done, but we're only just beginning to love Mae Muller.
Montreal-based singer Zeina first caught our attention with last year's Odd One Out EP. She drops a new single today, "Tear Drops," merging the best parts of R&B vocals, modern hip-hop production and flows, and earworm-y pop melodies and ad-libs. "Don't panic," she sings. "My feelings are frozen." Of course we can't possibly know who fucked Zeina over, but "Tear Drops" makes a compelling case for why hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and the results are wickedly enjoyable. Does that make us sociopaths?
Swedish pop starlet Astrid S drops new single "Closer" this week, and it continues her style of fusing smartly-written, emotive lyrics with innovative production. This song finds Astrid S playing the role of the other woman, no shame, and all passion. "Kiss of my perfume is still on your sweater," she sings. "What can I do, when every part of me is reaching for you?" Don't know how she'll find her way out of that predicament, but meantime, make yourself intimately acquainted with Astrid S's seductive new single.
In hip-hop music, there are countless bops extolling the wonders of shiny objects and glossy materialism, but do they sound like this? Newcomers KYLE and Lil Yachty apply their diverse talents to "Hey Julie!," a song that feels almost like a romance ode to diamonds, with fizzy beats and children's voices, like kids running toward the neighborhood ice cream, but make it 24 carats. Listen, contrary to what Marilyn Monroe sings, "Hey Julie!" makes the case that diamonds aren't just a girl's best friend.
Related | Youth: Lil Yachty
New duo closegood release their debut single "Omen" today, and it's a smooth and lovely merging of creative minds and identities. Adopting an approach to hip-hop and pop that feels rooted in spoken word, producer Nyfe and vocalist Amada, who both identify as transgender, channel their experiences in "Omen," whether light or dark, into transcendent poetry.
You know what sounds like crystal water? Tessa Dixson's sweeping voice, which is giving us so much soothing Lana Del Rey fantasia we can barely take it. "Crystal Waters" is a soothing epic of sorts — complete with strings and dramatically incorporated trip-hop beats — where Dixson's heartbreak is deeply felt, and her voice becomes a body we can swim in.
SHY Martin's Overthinking EP is so addictive, inventive, and interesting, that we might overthink writing about it. It (and SHY, who just might be poised for pop stardom), has all you love about pop's tendency to push boundaries: a distinctive female voice; occasionally explicit lyrics that honestly chronicle the self and the relationships that make them ("Lose You Too" is particularly devastating); beats that will surprise you; and production and melodies that you'll gag over ("Forget to Forget" builds two soaring choruses into a monster one, before suddenly ending — a concept!). So no more thinking, just listen, and enjoy this as much as we do.
What's your favorite track this week? See you next week, lovers!
Photography: Darren Craig