New music Fridays are a thrilling, yet daunting prospect for any music lover.
It’s essentially a weekly holiday where fan-favorite artists and fresh faces alike drop their latest offerings for all the world to hear, flooding streaming services and digital retailers with an onslaught of aural goodies. But who has the time to sit there and listen to everything before updating their playlists? There’s just too much good stuff! (And, if we’re being honest, usually a few stinkers, too.)
As it turns out, we do. Welcome to The MixtapE!
Whether your holiday weekend plans include fireworks or barbecuing, you’re gonna need an explosive playlist. Fortunately, some of our favorite artists have been experimenting with new sounds and collaborators, and they’re ready for the world to hear.
After Taylor Swift enlisted Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon for her last two folksy albums, she returns the favor this week with a feature on “Renegade,” an emotional single from their band Big Red Machine.
J Balvin teamed up with Skrillex and a TikTok star for one hot party anthem, while Luke Hemmings is spending this summer showing a new side of himself—outside of 5 Seconds of Summer—by releasing his introspective debut solo single and album. Blink-182‘s Travis Barker is expanding his portfolio as well, producing a new track by jxdn and Machine Gun Kelly that sounds straight out of the early 2000s.
They all turned out to be worthwhile endeavors, as their biggest fans are eating up the new music. Top off your Fourth of July playlist with a little romance, thanks to bops from Jordan McGraw, 2PM and Andy Grammer.
What follows are our picks for the best of the best.