Happy Monday! Kickstart your week ahead by checking out all of the new music that has just been released in this roundup of new songs, new albums, and new artists that you need to be listening to.
From new albums by Sam Smith and Maroon 5, to new songs from Sia and Taylor Swift, to new collaborations from N.E.R.D. & Rihanna and David Guetta, Afrojack, Charli XCX & French Montana, to our expert picks, take a look at this week's New Music Report.
Sam Smith - The Thrill of It All
Sam Smith makes the next big step in his career with the release of his sophomore album, The Thrill of it All, and it hears the British crooner back to his winning formula of impressive vocals and plenty of emotional complexities. Even though there are a bunch of cuts addressing his past relationship, there are some surprises on the LP, particularly on the track called “Him.” On the cut, the UK crooner takes a stab at his sexuality by addressing a Holy Father. You could even refer to it as a civil rights anthem. See: “Burning” and “Him"
Taylor Swift - "Call It What You Want"
With just a week to go before us Swifties can FINALLY get our hands on Reputation, Taylor Swift has released another new track from the album called "Call It What You Want." The dreamy pop track is slower than her previously released Reputation songs, and while "old Taylor" can't come to the phone right now, "Call It Want You Want" is very old Taylor in sound. In fact, many fans are basically calling this song the new "Love Story." She sings, "I recall late November/Holding my breath, slowly I said 'You don't need to save me/But would you run away with me?'/'Yes.'"
Taylor worked with Jack Antonoff on "Call It What You Want," and on Twitter, he talked about making the song with T-Swift. He tweeted, "Honored to have call it what you want out in the world. That song means a great deal to me," adding, "Made with an MPC, live kick, dx7 strings and samples of Taylor's voice as the intro and throughout. Love making her voice into an instrument"
N.E.R.D. & Rihanna - "Lemon"
We very well may wrap up 2017 without a new album from Rihanna, but the pop titan has delivered a lil something something to hold us over with her new collaboration with N.E.R.D. — the group composed of Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo, and Shay Hayley — called "Lemon.” Early word of the team-up arrived early last week when Pharrell took to Twitter to give followers a heads up. On the following afternoon, "Lemon" hit YouTube via the track's music video, which was directed by Todd Tourso + Scott Cudmore and features Rih shaving a girl's head, before she takes off to dance away in an empty store. As for the actual song, "Lemon" is a genre-hopping slice of the dance floor realm that bounces, pops and, most importantly, hears the pop star spit bars.
Maroon 5 - Red Pill Blues
The next wave of Maroon 5 has officially arrived in the form of their new LP Red Pill Blues. The new record is Maroon 5's sixth studio album, and follows the pop band's 2014 album, V. Red Pill Blues includes ten new songs in total, including previously released tracks like "What Lovers Do" (featuring SZA), "Whiskey" (featuring A$AP Rocky), "Help Me Out" (with Julia Michaels & production from Diplo), and "Wait." There is also a collaboration with LunchMoney Lewis on the album called "Who I Am."
Blake Shelton - Texoma Shore
Blake Shelton's 11th full-length studio album Texoma Shore has finally arrived. The new album features 11 new songs in total, including his single "I'll Name The Dogs," in addition to four other new songs he shared this week like "At The House," "I Lived It," "Turnin' Me On" and "Money." And as Blake tells iHeartRadio, Texoma Shore is "an album that could've been made years ago." He says of the record, "I'm not saying it's a vintage throwback sounding album, but it definitely sounds like a '90s sounding album. And I love that about this thing because that's one of my favorite decades in country music, and I miss it. So, I'm just proud that we were able to capture that sound with this record."
Christ Stapleton - "Scarecrow In The Garden"
Chris Stapleton's From A Room: Volume 2 is less than a month away from being released, but the country star dropped a new song from the From A Room: Volume 1 follow-up called "Scarecrow In The Garden." The track, written by Stapleton, Brice Long, and Matt Fleener and co-produced by Chris and David Cobb, that tells the story of a farm passed down through generations, but the fields are not what they once were. Stapleton sings, "The fields ain't what they once were/The rains just seem to flood."
Luke Bryan - "Most People Are Good"
While we count down the days until December 8th, the day Luke Bryan drops his new album What Makes You Country, fans can enjoy a new song from the record called "Most People Are Good." The song is a message of hope, saying despite all that is going on in the world today, the majority of people are innately good. Luke sings at the end of the second verse, "I believe if you just go by the nightly news/Your faith in all mankind would be the first thing you lose."
Lil Uzi Vert featuring Nicki Minaj - "The Way Life Goes (Remix)"
The wait is finally over! Back in October, Nicki Minaj went on social media and admitted that she recorded a verse for the remix of Lil Uzi Vert’s “The Way Life Goes.” Unfortunately, the Queens rapper blamed some outside forces of holding off on its release, but hankfully, those forces decided to let the world finally hear the track. Since first hearing the original song, Minaj was the one who praised it and asked Uzi if she could remix it, and of course, he obliged. Why wouldn’t he, though? It’s Nicki Minaj.
Chris Brown - Heartbreak on a Full Moon
Chris Brown released his latest album, Heartbreak On A Full Moon, on Halloween and to say that it made headlines would be an understatement. The project has 45 songs! Nevertheless, we managed to listen to the entire album and it’s really good. There isn’t one bad song on the entire LP. The main theme of the album, obviously, is heartbreak. But, Brown managed to speak about other topics, as well, such as finding love and feeling lust. The entertainer definitely didn’t disappoint with this one. It’s an incredible project. Listen to it when you can!
Big Sean & Metro Boomin featuring 21 Savage - "Pull Up N Wreck"
Just a few days after Metro Boomin, Offset and 21 Savage released their surprise Without Warning project, Big Sean dropped his latest track called “Pull Up N Wreck,” which features Savage, and was produced by Mr. Boomin, himself. “Pull up with the spark, hit you in the dark (Woah)/ Tear your ass apart when you swim with sharks,” Sean raps. “I'm in the car like Tony Starks cause I'm that smart (Skrrt)/ Doing 106, then Park like I'm in my yard (Sideways).”
Sia - "Santa's Coming for Us"
"Santa's Coming For Us" ... and no one knows this better than Sia, because she wrote a whole song about it! "Santa's Coming for Us" is the first taste of Sia's upcoming new Christmas album Everyday Is Christmas, which is set to be released in full on November 17th. Complete with jingle bells and jazzy elements, this is one original holiday pop song you will be dancing around the Christmas tree to this year. So grab some hot chocolate and send your letters to Santa, because as Sia sings, "Sing your heart out with all of your love/Santa's coming for us."
Noah Cyrus - "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas"
We may not have celebrated Thanksgiving just yet, but the surplus of holiday music is coming in hard and the latest serving comes from Noah Cyrus and her cover of the classic, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” For her acoustic performance, the budding pop star puts her own spin on the traditional number. Unfortunately, it drops before the release of her solo debut album, NC-17, which was set for release earlier in the year.
David Guetta & Afrojack featuring Charli XCX & French Montana - "Dirty Sexy Money"
David Guetta and Afrojack have recruited a star-studded ensemble of stars for their new single, "Dirty Sexy Money," and it features Charli XCX and French Montana, serving as the perfect addition to the midnight club hour playlist. Premiered on Thursday, "Dirty Sexy Money" first started out in Charli's hands when she was in Los Angeles and working on a string of Guetta cuts. "The track just immediately spoke to me. David came down to the studio and we rewrote loads of it together," she recalled during a new interview. "I think we just connected on this song so hard. It made me wanna party straight away." Fun fact: the almost-three minute cut also features contributions from Skrillex. As described by Charli's testimonial, the track is nothing but high energy, especially when the pop star leads the head-bobbing chorus. "If you wanna put-put-put-put it on me/ You not gonna get-get-get-get-get it for free/ Come on spend that dirty sexy money on me, on me, on me," she chants during the hook. French appears later on when he spits bars about the lavish lifestyle he can provide for his lover, but the all-star cut really belongs to Charli and her party girl persona.
Kygo - Kids In Love
After what seemed like an extremely speedy rollout process, Kygo's new full-length album Kids In Love has arrived. The Norwegian producer/DJ shared the record's title track just two weeks ago, since then, releasing basically every song on the album, all leading to the official release. Kids In Love follows his recently released EP Stargazing, and his 2016 album Cloud Nine, and includes collaborations with artists like OneRepublic, Wrabel, John Newman, Bonnie McKee, and more.
Of his new album, Kygo said, "To me, being a kid in love is that concept of being super passionate about someone or something. And I've been super passionate about playing the piano since I was six years old, and whenever I make a song or melody that I really like, I feel like a kid in love. So that's why I wanted to call my album Kids In Love."
Kelsea Ballerini - Unapologetically
After much anticipation, at long last, Kelsea Ballerini's new album Unapologetically is here! Following her 2015 debut LP The First Time, Unapologetically features 12 new songs, including lead single "Legends," and other previously released tracks like the nostalgic "High School," title track "Unapologetically," and empowering "Miss Me More."
Kelsea recently told EW.com of writing for Unapologetically, "For a long time I tried to go back to 'Okay, how did I make the first one? Where did I write it? Where did I record it?' And eventually I was like, 'Stop trying to be your 19-year-old self!' It took me a minute to figure that out."
21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin - Without Warning
Just a little while after teasing the project, 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin dropped a surprise joint mixtape called Without Warning. The new body of work had a total of 10 tracks, and there are only two guest features; one of Offset’s fellow Migos members Quavo, and Travis Scott. Listen to the mixtape as soon as you can. It goes harder than you can believe.
Miguel - "Told You So"
Miguel continues his journey of reinvention with his new single, “Told You So.” After quieting dropping his Travis Scott-assisted "Sky Walker,” the R&B crooner takes on a more electronic route with the new release, which hears him offering his lover plenty of space to grow on her own. It’s part of his upcoming album, War & Leisure, which is scheduled to drop December 1 under RCA/ByStorm Entertainment. "This album is intentionally about the ethos right now, that we are right in the middle of all this,” he told Billboard of the LP. "We’re trying to flourish in the middle of all this. We all wake up, and it’s time to be creative and amazing and positive and all the things that we’re supposed to be when you look on Instagram, but then we’re dealing with these same problems, this injustice, wars between politicians with egos. Like, 140 characters are going to get us into a war right now?”
U2 - "The Blackout" & "Get Out Of Your Own Way" (featuring Kendrick Lamar)
Rejoice, U2 fans! Ahead of the release of their forthcoming album, Songs of Experience, and the news of their two month long US tour, the band has dropped two — not one, but two — new songs from the new LP and the lively “Get Out Of Your Own Way” features a spoken-word outro by none other than Kendrick Lamar. Meanwhile, the other track, “The Blackout,” feels familiar as the band released a live music video for the track back in late August. If you’re really digging the former, make sure you get your hands on a copy of the limited-edition single on November 23 during Record Store Day’s Black Friday event.
Kid Rock - Sweet Southern Sugar
Kid Rock's 11th studio album is here. Sweet Southern Sugar follows Rock's 2015 album First Kiss, and is the first album the Michigan-born musician recorded in Tennessee. Sweet Southern Sugar features 10 new songs including previously released songs "Po-Dunk" and "Greatest Show On Earth," as well as, "Sugar Pie Honey Punch," his take on The Four Tops' Motown classic "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Punch)." Also on the album is a song called "Grandpa's Jam," a Kid Rock rap/rock anthem from the 46-year-old grandfather himself.
Vance Joy - "Like Gold"
Vance Joy's sophomore album will officially arrive in early 2018. The Australian singer/songwriter revealed that his second full-length LP is called Nation of Two, and is expected to be released in February. And among the new songs on the new record is a new track Vance has shared called "Like Gold," which follows his previous single "Lay It On Me." "Like Gold" is about a past relationship as he sings in the very first verse, "Time to let it go/It won't let go of me."
In a statement about his new album, he describes its meaning saying, "Nation Of Two describes a perfectly self-contained couple, their world beginning and ending at the bed they share, the car they ride in, or any other place where they’re together…the idea that their love for each other gives them their bearings; a point of reference that makes sense of life."
Grace VanderWaal - Just The Beginning
If you ask some folks, they might tell you that Grace VanderWaal is a bit like a mini-Taylor Swift in training. She’s part Swift. She’s part Regina Spektor. And yet, she’s still herself on her 12-track debut album, Just the Beginning. After releasing “Moonlight” and “Sick of Being Told,” the 13-year-old budding star shifts into high gear with the release of the LP using her own teenage experiences. "I've never been in love, I’ve never, you know, sneaked out and did crazy, rebellious things,” she told People of the album. "I take experiences that I’ve had and make up a story to them that translates the exact same emotion. I did that all throughout the album.” See: “Burned” and “Florets"
Bryan Adams - Ultimate
If you're a Bryan Adams fan, you can now have the Ultimate Bryan Adams listening experience with his new compilation album. Ultimate condenses the best of Bryan's music from his 13 studio albums, 5 live albums, 5 compilation albums and over 75 singles into a 21-track set, which also includes two new songs "Ultimate Love" and "Please Stay." Fans can also hear hits like "Summer of '69," "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You," and more.
Lee Brice - Lee Brice
Lee Brice's fourth studio album may just be his most personal and definitely more soulful sounding record yet. The country star's new record follows his three Gold certified albums Love Like Crazy (2010), Hard2Love (2012), and I Don't Dance (2014), and features 15 new songs including his latest single "Boy." Brice calls his new self-titled album very "introspective" and really "personifies who [he is]."
Lee Brice explains to iHeartRadio in an interview that he's spent a lot of time finding himself, who he is lyrically as well as musically, and that with this self-titled album he put a lot of effort into "making [the songs] really connect." To help accomplish this, Lee "strayed away from tricks and computers." He says, "I wanted it to be guys playing guitars, and bass, and drums, and me singing, and sticking to that through the process." He adds, "It made it more difficult to be able to make a record that's raw, but still stand up sonically to all the stuff that's out there. But it was fun. And I think we did it."
Fabolous & Jadakiss featuring Future - "Stand Up"
Fabolous and Jadakiss linked up with Future for their new song “Stand Up,” which is featured on the two New York rappers upcoming Freddy vs. Jason project. The guys have been teasing Freddy vs. Jason since May 2016, but it has still yet to be released. Hopefully, the release of “Stand Up” means that it’s coming very soon. On the track, Fab spits: "Big boys, no youngins (no)/Run it up, no Runyon (no)/Big rings, no Funyuns (no)/Lamb chops with no onions/And a bad b**ch that knows money/She so cold, have your nose runnin."
CyHi The Prynce & Kanye West - "Dat Side"
It’s been a minute since we heard any new music from CyHi The Prynce or Kanye West. But, their new joint single “Dat Side” has just been released. CyHi has been teasing this track since the beginning of the year and fans had been waiting for it ever since. Now that it’s finally here, people can’t get enough of it. It’s also great to hear Ye’s voice on something new, as he’s been ghost from the music scene over the last year.
Owl City - "All My Friends"
Owl City is back with their first single from their upcoming album, Cinematic, and it’s a pretty nostalgic track. As part of an 18-song set, “All My Friends” remains feel-good and slightly cheesy but that’s part of it’s appeal. Plus, it’s a component to a much bigger autobiographical narrative for the act. "I started writing these autobiographical songs and it felt like I was watching my own movie,” Adam Young said of the project. "The last 30 years of my life sort of appeared to me and with every song I wrote it was like watching a scene or a highlight of my life."
Andy Grammer - "Smoke Clears"
Andy Grammer hops into electronic territory with his new single, “Smoke Clears,” which hears the singer comforting a lover about going though their highs and lows. If you put Andy into a blender with OneRepublic and The Chainsmokers, you’d pour yourself a tall glass of “Smoke Clears.” The track will appear on his forthcoming album, The Good Parts, which will feature the previously-released singles “Give Love” featuring LunchMoney Lewis, and “Fresh Eyes.” The Good Part drops on December 1.
Borgore featuring Bella Thorne - "Salad Dressing"
Expectations go out of the window when you listen to a song called “Salad Dressing,” but surprisingly, Borgore and his Bella Thorne-assisted collab is a strangely entertaining listen. Keyword in the statement is “entertaining.” On the three-and-a-half-minute cut, listeners are treated to a mindless track about salad dressing sauce. Do you want the sauce in the salad or the sauce on the side? Keep that question in mind for your next visit to Applebee's Grill + Bar.
Bad Bunny, Prince Royce, J Balvin Mambo Kingz & DJ Luian - "Sensualidad"
What's better than just one Latin hearttrob? Well, how about five of them? On “Sensualidad,” a force of heavyweights, including Bad Bunny, Prince Royce, J Balvin, Mambo Kingz and DJ Luian, come together for a serenading dancehall cut. Royce, who has been trying to break into the America pop scene, returns to his roots for the all-star collab and it sounds like he couldn't happier for aligning the stars. "It's a good fusion of three artists that bring in something different,” Royce said. “Sensualidad” serves as the follow-up to Bad Bunny and Balvin's chart topping "Si Tu Novio Te Deja Sola."
MILCK - "Quiet"
MILCK’s “Quiet” became an anthem for the Women's March on Washington in January and now the new studio recording is being circulated to higher degrees, courtesy of Atlantic Records chairman and COO Julie Greenwald, who shared an e-mail about the track. "Quiet" arrives along with the news of the feminist's forthcoming label debut EP, This Is Not The End, which is scheduled to drop January 19, 2018. “In light of the Harvey Weinstein scandals sparking a massive movement of women and survivors speaking out against sexual assault, I find myself in awe and moved to my core,” she said in a statement. “I have teamed up with Atlantic Records to create a hopeful, new version that incorporates survivors singing with me. I’ve seen this song help survivors speak out after the Women’s March, and I believe that the new version has the power to encourage and empower all those thinking of coming forward at this time. It’s my gesture of support and encouragement to all the survivors rising. It’s my musical #METOO.”
Olivia O'Brien - "No Love"
Olivia O’Brien is set to drop her debut EP, It’s Not That Deep, and the collection features some of her previously released cuts like “Empty” and “Rip” along with new tracks. Fans received another taste of the set in the form of a song called “No Love,” which was produced by Jahaan Sweet. You’ll be able to hear those tracks when the EP drops November 17 or when Olivia hits the road for a 20-city trek during her opening stint for Jack & Jack.
BANNERS - Empires On Fire EP
BANNERS released his self-titled debut EP back in January 2016, and has finally given fans a followup. Empires On Fire is BANNERS' second EP and features five new songs, including his single "Someone To You," which he recently released the music video for. He said on Instagram that he has been working on this EP for "a while," and that he's excited for fans to hear it.
Petit Biscuit - "Beam"
Just one week ahead of the release of his debut album, Presence, as well as his 18th birthday, Petit Biscuit drops a video for his new single, "Beam.” Following the release of his debut single, “Waterfall,” featuring Panama, the track is another dreamy effort that finds a fitting place on this atmospheric collection. "This video is a metaphor of the genesis of my debut album Presence: a long journey from one unreal situation to the next,” Petit Biscuit said in a statement. "It’s only now that I’ve begun to realize everything that’s happened in the last few months: the disproportionate achievements we’ve forged with hard work, with the kind of stubbornness that enables us to realize our dreams. The colossus that you see on my album cover and in the video is my music, or rather is the album. Today is November 3, I’m almost 18 and I’m proud to introduce you to it.”
EMERGING ARTIST OF THE WEEK: MAX
It's a new era for MAX, full name Max Schneider. After the success of his gorgeous, romantic masterpiece "Lights Down Low," the 25-year-old has returned with a brand new single called "Meteor."
The sensual atmospheric new track, which showcases his falsetto abilities, hears MAX singing about how his special lady ... she's his meteor. "This perfect star I do adore/I am forever yours/My meteor/You're my, you're my."
MAX released his last full-length album, Hell's Kitchen Angel, back in April 2016, and has been hard at work on his next project. Over the last year, he's been featured on a number of different collaborations with artists like 3LAU, Audien, Illenium, and more, but has been hitting the studio hard for a new LP, which he calls the process "beautiful and "stressful." He told iHeartRadio in an interview:
"Working on the new record is beautiful and stressful in the best way. Because it's like, you just want to give the listeners the best you can, and not every song is the best. I like to do, like, 100 songs for a record, and so only ten of those make it. The other 90, I'm like, 'Aww, this isn't good enough.' So, I beat myself up a lot about it, but I'm excited to get there. I'll know when I get there, and that's what's been cool to work with so many wonderful, different writers, and on collaborations."
Listen to Max's new song "Meteor" below.
Kygo featuring OneRepublic - "Stranger Things"
Kygo's new album Kids In Love is finally out, and I am in love with many songs off the LP, including the OneRepublic-assisted "Stranger Things" -- which he coincidentally released to fans the same weekend the second season of Stranger Things debuted. And though the song and show are not related, you can definitely draw some parallels between the plot of the series and some of the track's lyrics like "We used to run around this ghost town," and "We left a life/That's ordinary from the start/We looked for stranger things," and "Snow white mountains in a foreign state" -- cue the eerie floating white matter from The Upside Down.
Madison Beer - "Say It To My Face"
Madison Beer has no time for your nonsense, and I love it. She said it with her previous single "Dead," and she's continuing the sentiment with her latest single "Say It To My Face." The edgy pop song as produced by Fred Ball (Rihanna, Little Mix), and is from Madison's upcoming debut EP. In a statement, she said of the song's meaning, "This song, to me, is about power and confidence. Don’t ever let anyone steal your power. Stand up for yourself and demand to be treated with respect."
Follow Nicole on Twitter: @NicoleMastr0
Aly & AJ - "I Know"
Aly & AJ's return to the scene has been nothing short of thoughtful perfection and their comeback continues with a new slice of dream pop called "I Know," which dropped on Friday. Serving as the follow-up to September's comeback track, "Take Me," the three-and-a-half-minute track takes listeners into a dreamy landscape, full of '80s-influenced synth and crooning vocals. It's part of the duo's forthcoming EP, Ten Years, which drops November 17 and marks the singing sisters' first new offering in a decade sans their side venture under 78violet. "This song was written a few days after we found out an acquaintance from our past had lost his battle with cancer," Aly & AJ said in a statement. "After seeing such an outcry of love & support from his close friends and family we decided to write something dedicated to friendship and the commitment we are all capable of giving when someone needs us most."
&around - "Dreaming All Night"
Tropical dance trends, delicate vocals and light synth were some of the very ingredients that budding producer &around used to create “Dreaming all Night.” At almost-four minutes, the track does a stellar job at not burning its genre-crossing focal points and instead creates an almost soothing fusion of sounds. If you like what you hear from &around, make sure you be on the look out for even more new music from the South Londoner before 2017 wraps up.
Follow James on Twitter: @newyorkinstinct
DJ Premier featuring A$AP Ferg - "Our Streets"
DJ Premier called on A$AP Ferg to hop on his soulful collaboration called “Our Streets.” Ferg raps on the beat, “Preemo put the soul in it, I make the track hot/ This thing, forever, got the game in a padlock / I just want something real, I’m tired of the ass shots / Don’t wanna go to the club, I’m tired of them trap spots.”
In the track’s SoundCloud description, Ferg states: It's a dream to be able to work with the legendary DJ Premier on this record. Preemo has worked with all the NYC hip hop icons and greats - Nas, Biggie, Guru, Hov, KRS-one, and The Lox. Just knowing I was working with him pushed me as an MC.”
Chris Brown – "Rock Your Body"
Chris Brown’s Heartbreak On A Full Moon is definitely a great album to listen to…when you have the time, that is. It consists of 45 songs and each of them goes hard. And out of the MANY dope songs that are on the project, some stood out because they really blew us away. One of the songs that did this was “Rock Your Body.” This track is only a little bit over two minutes long. But, from the sexy lyrics to the hot production, hearing “Rock Your Body” will make you want to do just that.
Follow Isha on Twitter: @IshaThorpe