And so now it’s May! Summer is officially on its way to fully defrosting, and Spotify got hit by an absolute storm of new releases this week. From sonically intriguing tracks from Amaarae and Pussy Riot, the release of The Smashing Pumpkins’ long awaited three-part rock album, and a punching single from GAYLE, your ears are certainly gonna be busy this weekend.
See below for V’s best picks for New Music Friday
Experimental musician Amaarae has released her newest track, “Co-Star.” The single is a bouncing journey through the stars as Amaarae speaks to obsessions with astrology. Amaarae effortlessly blends futuristic sonics with inspiration from her West African heritage, which results in an absolutely tantalizing track. “‘Co-Star’ is a fun song about star signs,” shares Amaarae. “I wanted to give people something cute and flirty for the summer! Astrology is such a huge part of our youth culture, it felt like a missed opportunity to not lean into that and give the girls an anthem that reads and celebrates them all at once!”
Destroy Loney, If Looks Could Kill
Following his critically acclaimed mixtape from last year, NO STYLIST, rising musician destroy Lonely has released his debut studio album, If Looks Could Kill. The title track, released in early March, was hot on the scene, garnering over 22 million streams while priming the canvas for his album drop. Released under Playboi Carti’s Opium label and Interscope Records, the 26-track album is inspired by thriller movies, with Destroy lonely playing the role of the serial killer himself.
aespa, “Welcome to MY World”
Setting the stage for their upcoming mini album MY WORLD, releasing May 8, k-pop group aespa has released single “Welcome to MY World” as they open the door into their next era. The track is anthemic in how it introduces aespa’s forthcoming mini-album, featuring a stadium ready sound as a prelude to MY WORLD, which is set to be an amalgamation of dance music, R&B ballads, and an edge of alternative pop.
JELEEL!, REAL RAW!
On his debut album, REAL RAW!, the Nigerian Rhode Island born musician JELEEL chronicles his journey from homelessness on the streets of LA to his current position as a rising artist. On the album, JELEEL! Uses a sense of humor in his lyricism in tandem with a great melting pot of genres, with invigorating and experimental production. The debut album has been a long time coming for the artist, finally getting to a point that he knew he was destined for. “If I keep doing something again and again and again, I’ll get better at it,” shares the musician. “You just got to push through.”
Benson Boone, PULSE
Up and coming pop musician Benson Boone is growing into his sound on his newest EP, PULSE. Shedding the skin of his earlier works, Boone is using PULSE as a means to play with what sounds good for him, traveling back and forth between upbeat pop tracks and more stripped-down ballads that show off his angelic voice. “These songs are definitely more me,” said Boone on the project. “I’m testing new waters and loving it. This is where I am now.”
Jenna Raine, Big Dumb Heart, Chapter 1
Jenna Raine is a rising popstar who is using her music as grounds to speak to her own heartbreak. On Big Dumb Heart, Chapter 1, Raine walks through the helpless feeling of lovesickness with catchy pop production and straight to the point yet passionate, such as “And right now I could use the old us,” on opening track, “Crickets.” After opening for Joshua Bassett on tour this spring and racking up 76 million streams on her song “see you later (10 years),” Raine is definitely a pop girl that should be on your radar.
BETWEEN FRIENDS featuring Teezo Touchdown, “Redlight”
Indie-pop duo BETWEEN FRIENDS is back with a woozy pop track on “Redlight.” The brother and sister duo, Savannah and Brandon Hudson, are joined by Teezo Touchdown for the single, which explores the tumultuous rollercoaster of modern day love. With a perfect blend between pop and indie, the upbeat single is sure to console anyone who’s a tad fed up with their crush.
The Smashing Pumpkins, ATUM
The highly anticipated third chapter of The Smashing Pumpkins’ ATUM has been released today, finalizing the trilogy of albums which have been dropped in acts over the past several months. The 33-track album, which acts as a sequel to the band’s 1995 album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, took four years for Billy Corgan to write and produce. The band recently announced their The World Is A Vampire Tour, with Corgan sharing, “I grew up in a world where I needed to know bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure existed, it meant there was a place for people like me to hang out and belong. That’s what The World Is A Vampire is about. Bringing back that sense of community. If you don’t fit in, you belong here. It’s about having a shared experience and respecting others, but ultimately having fun. A true alternative festival, where all the self-proclaimed weirdos and outsiders of the world can get together and have a party.”
Pussy Riot & Boys Noize featuring Alice Glass, “Chastity”
“Chastity” is a new techno release from Russia’s Pussy Riot, Berlin’s Boys Noize, and Canada’s Alice Glass, with a booming electronic beat that is sure to take the club by storm. The acid-dipped track is a culmination of all three artists’ sounds, which has led them to a single that is as sonically adventurous as it is irresistible to stop replaying.
Take That featuring Calum Scott, “Greatest Day”
Take That has released a reworked version of their chart-topping 2008 track, “Greatest Day.” The new version features English singer and songwriter Calum Scott, and has been reworked by Grammy-winning DJ and producer Robin Schulz. The song has been given a new life ahead of the film adaptation of Greatest Days, the band’s hit stage musical. “It was an honor to get in the studio with Take That and work with them on a reworked version of ‘Greatest Day,’” shares Scott. “Quite surreal to be honest as this is a band I’ve listened to growing up and to now be sharing in their song is a real privilege! This will also be the first time my voice features in a movie soundtrack so I’m absolutely buzzing!”
Gucci Mane featuring Roddy Ricch and Nardo Wick, “Pissy”
For his third single to come out of 2023, the legendary rapper Gucci Mane has tapped Roddy Ricch and Nardo Wick for new track, “Pissy.” The heater shows off Mane at his best, spitting out casually, “All started from a mini-phone, I ran it up and my money long / Had to take a chance for two hundred bands ’cause my country boy had a trailer home.”
Son Tung M-TP, “MAKING MY WAY”
Vietnamese pop star Son Tung M-TP has released his first ever song in English with “MAKING MY WAY.” Showing off influences from hip-hop, R&B, and electronic music, the influences that Son Tung M-TP employs have resulted in an uber-catchy track. “This is a song that means a lot to me because it makes me forget about everything that’s wrong in my life,” he shares upon the release. “And reminds me that I should do whatever my heart tells me to do and go wherever my music tells me to go.”
GAYLE, “don’t call me pretty”
Grammy-nominated rising star GAYLE has released her angsty newest single, “don’t call me pretty.” This year has already been a hot one for GAYLE, opening for Taylor Swift on The Eras Tour and releasing ballad “me” earlier this year. On her newest release, GAYLE rejects affection from a toxic love interest with her soulful voice over a thumping bass and rock influenced production. “’don’t call me pretty’ is an attempt to capture the moments of frustration when i’ve felt objectified in my friendships, over the internet, and generally in life,” shares GAYLE on the single.
Kali featuring Lil Kayla, “Area Codes (415 Remix)”
Atlanta based rapper Kali has tapped Lil Kayla for a remix of her ultra-viral track, “Area Codes.” The “415 Remix,” named after Lil Kayla’s home base of the Bay Area, acts as a follow up to last week’s “718 Remix,” which featured New Yorker Kenzo B. “It’s a perfect fit for some young boss b*tches having it their way right now,” said Lil Kayla on the remix. “This song matches the energy I’m on.”