Music

Bops Only: 10 Songs You Need to Start Your Weekend Right

New Release Friday always promises to be a treasure trove of the now and next in music, so leave it to PAPER to comb through obscure and mainstream corners of the internet and bring you the best. I curate this list each week and have specific, yet impossible-to-define taste in music, so who knows what'll pop up here? Kindly adopt the 10 songs, below, as your new favorite children and watch them grow up as you indulge my spiraling over whatever the hell I want every week! Is that too much to ask? Maybe, but thank you in advance.

On "Stay All Night," ALMA cozies up to a new love interest, sounding right at home while singing breezy, tropical melodies. With that in mind, ALMA's latest, from new EP, Have You Seen Her Part 2? out now, is sure to comfort listeners during these undeniably stressful times.

COBRAH's "Debut," which builds like a runway-ready rave on a storm of ominous synths and vocals, is anything but amateur.

Queer rapper BabiBoi's bass-driven club cut pays homage to legendary nightlife figure, Amanda Lepore. But "Lepore," frontloaded with sexual inneundo ("Pump it like I'm Lepore"), also doubles as high praise to all goddesses of plastic surgery.

Given her long career in the public eye, it's safe to assume that JoJo knows herself inside-out, which is why when she communicates what she needs, it comes from a place of abundance rather than lack. On JoJo's summer-y new single, "Man," even when she sings, "Damn, I'm gonna need a fuckin' man," to satisfy her desires, it's not the sound of someone settling. Rather, she's shrewdly narrowing her pool of prospects, as if to say, bring your A-game or bring nothing at all.

Gia Woods' "Ego" examines what it's like to love a narcissist, complete with a fantastical, minor-key melody and a dark, rock-tinged sound. But Woods understands that even the most toxic relationships take two: when you point a finger at someone else, you've got three pointing back at you.

Diana Gordon is the dangerous match to Yves Tumor's flame in "Kerosene!," incorporating bombastic stadium rock riffs to boot. The track is the fresh taste from Tumor's forthcoming album, Heaven to a Tortured Mind.

Guapdad 4000's "Greedy" is a self-produced, admittedly angry new offering from the self-proclaimed Scam Rapper. Built on a distorted orchestral sample, Guapdad is taking what he wants solely for himself: "Young nigga, no food, no moves, I'm finna start dealin'/ Fuck that I got cousins on crack, I'm finna start stealin'/ Workin' hard, hard work didn't bear fruit." It's a bracing snapshot of what it can feel like to be young and Black in 2020's increasingly dystopic America.

Country singer Margo Price's "Twinkle Twinkle," inspired by a conversation she had about the harshness of life on the road, simmers with tension as it explores the lines between reality and fantasy. Over a bevy of fuzzy guitars, she sings with the wisdom of a hard-living superstar: "If it don't break you/ It might just make you rich/ You might not get there/ And on the way it's a bitch."

Sweden's Vera Hotsauce's voice is gleefully distorted within an inch of its life in "Dad's Bugatti," but it all serves to enliven the song's much-needed fantasy narrative. Why panic about the state of the world when you could party in style?

Yaeji's latest single, a blend of buoyant synths and calming vocals, comes from the musician's upcoming What We Drew mixtape. What's extra-satisfying is the way Yaeji's track hits the downbeat every time she says the word down, then, track dips back up into a state of chilled-out euphoria. We don't stay down for long.

What's your favorite track this week? Enjoy chaos and taste in equal measure, and stream our Bops Only playlist every week, below.

Photography: Lusha Alic

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