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.
Of all the best moments on SAWAYAMA, Rina Sawayama's incredible debut album, which meditates on family and identity, "Snakeskin" is one of my personal favorites. The whole album showcases the artist's flair for maximalist pop loaded with personal meaning, and "Snakeskin" is no different. It's a dynamic, loopy, multilayered song about shaking off labels and creating oneself anew each time. The fact that something so grand and twisty closes the album leaves Sawayama's future wide open and without boundaries.
Lauren Jauregui's "50ft" is a joyful, breezy ode to self-love. "Naturally inclined to love/ But when the love ain't flowing back/ I pull away and reassess," she sings. "Gotta protect me."
On an album of masterpieces by a legendary once-a-decade musician, it's not easy to pick favorites. But "Heavy Balloon" sounds like no other reflection of depression I've ever heard, and definitely not from Fiona Apple, who spits lines like "I spread like strawberries" as if she's in the hottest rap cypher of her life and she cannot lose. And she won't.
Kelly Rowland's "Coffee" is short, sweet, to-the-point — like the burst of bliss that comes from morning sex (the song's main focus). Let this track be a new caffeine high.
Marqui Jordan and Jormie hit paydirt on this slinky, bass-driven R&B bop about falling too fast, too soon. It's a cautionary tale about what happens when the body says let's go but the heart says no... but make it queer and 2020.
BabiBoi's "Miss Bitch" is bound to be a ballroom classic, whether over Zoom or IRL. This one is tailor-made to make you feel your fullest fantasy.
Hello, it's me. On my sparkly new single "6 Jaguars," I sing a timeless tale about how excessive wealth can wall the rich off from humanity. But as dark as that is, you must admit that hearing "Jaguar" pronounced like "Jag-you-arrr" is its own kind of luxurious treat.
Los Angeles pop artist Guard is dreamy and full of longing on "Martyr." But for what? An unavailable lover, friend or circumstance? There's enough ache in his voice suggesting he could be singing about all three. Life is weird, stream Guard.
Rodney Chrome's "PULPIT," a statement of ambition, puts its foot on the pedal right at its opening, complete with ominous bass drones and Chrome's rap-sung delivery. But then it mutates into... spacey '90s R&B heaven? It really works. Check out Chrome's dystopian video here.
CHINCHILLA's fiery vocals rule the roost on this timely song about the power of feminine agency and autonomy. No simply and only means no, and I can't believe we still need to say this, but let's just commit that to memory.
What's your favorite track this week? Enjoy chaos and taste in equal measure, and stream our Bops Only playlist every week, below.