New Music Friday: January 15

It’s New Music Friday once more on this Friday, January the 15th, 2021! This week’s song picks include the latest from pop boy band Why Don’t We, country superstars Tim McGraw & Tyler Hubbard, pop star/actress Selena Gomez, country pop singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes & last but not least recording artist, Greyson Chance. Scroll down to read all about them! 😃

“Grey” by Why Don’t We

Pop band, Why Don’t We’s most ambitious effort yet, The Good Times and The Bad Ones is finally out for the fans to hear! The piano ballad, “Grey” is for those who feel a sense of regret for breaking up with one’s boyfriend/girlfriend/relationship.

It’s truly a tragic moment if one experiences this in their life and now all they can do is beg for forgiveness. The guys’ vocals have really matured in this era and I love the accompanying strings seen in the background for the performance video seen above.

You can really feel their emotions pouring out through these well-crafted verses especially in the chorus when all five members croon:

Tears and slamming doors
I’m falling, down on the floor
Begging, begging, please
You don’t want me no more
I never hurt like this before
I’m begging, begging, please
Now every day it rains
And I’m the one to blame
Baby, I walked away
When you came to stay
Oh, now everything’s grey

The many months of planning, writing and recording, plus editing must’ve been a tiring yet rewarding experience for the group. I really appreciate their dedication to writing this whole album by themselves this time around and now they can look forward to performing the tracks when they go on tour after the pandemic — hopefully later this year!

What’s your favorite song on the new album? Share your responses in the comments box below!

Lastly, be sure to check out their GMA interview & performance of “Slow Down” here. Fun Fact: They got to sample the Smashing Pumpkins’ hit song, “1979.” 😎

“Undivided” by Tim McGraw & Tyler Hubbard

Tyler Hubbard of Grammy-nominated country duo Florida Georgia Line teamed up with country legend and 3x Grammy-winner, Tim McGraw for a feel-good duet song that calls for unity over division.

In this very divisive time in America as we speak, we could all use this moment to reflect and hope for a better future. This song is a welcome distraction from all the negative news headlines we’ve witnessed on our TV’s and phones.

In a CBS This Morning interview, Hubbard revealed in regards to this song, “I didn’t think we could need it any more than we needed it last year, but apparently we still do.” Little would they know the tragic events of the Capitol coup last week because this song was conceived and recorded last year during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and the marches against racial injustices.

“The song — it speaks to more of the social contract that we have with each other. It’s not about politics. It’s about how we’re supposed to treat each other,” McGraw shared.

He also tweeted, “My wish is that y’all can hear the hope in this one!!”

I myself believe that this song could not have come out at a more relevant time. So please give this song a listen this week and also feel free to check out the two country stars sing together in the black-and-white styled video attached above.

It won’t change things drastically but at least it will help warm your heart and soul. It will also serve everyone a reminder that kindness counts!

“De Una Vez” by Selena Gomez

Pop singer-songwriter Selena Gomez returns to the spotlight with an all Spanish single called “De Una Vez” or “At Once” in English. It’s just the second all Spanish track since her 2010 release, “Un Año Sin Lluvia.”

This song follows the release of “Ice Cream,” her collaboration with K-pop girl group BLACKPINK last summer. “De Una Vez” is the first song slated to appear on her upcoming untitled fourth studio album.

This was something Gomez wanted to do as she revealed in an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music. “I’m so proud of my heritage.” With all the division going on in the world, she called it “perfect timing” in releasing this project out now. “There’s something about Latin music that, globally, just makes people feel things.”

Lyrically speaking, the 28-year-old songstress talks about overcoming heartbreak and being strong and resilient moving forward being single. This love song is beautifully composed and I’m glad she sung this in Spanish rather than English because the verses flow better en español and she’s showcasing her diverse talents and heritage in true authentic fashion.

If you’re still interested in seeing the English translations, feel free to click here. For more about the visuals in the music video and the creative process behind it, check out this Vogue article.

Meantime, Gomez is a busy woman in 2021. While busy recording new music, she’s also set to release season 2 of her cooking show, Selena + Chef on HBO MAX on January 21st. She will also be returning to her acting roots in a new Hulu comedy series, Only Murders in the Building starring alongside actors Martin Short and Steve Martin.

“The One That Got Away” by Hunter Hayes

29-year-old country-pop artist Hunter Hayes is back with an all-new upbeat single titled, “The One That Got Away.” It’s the first track released from his upcoming album, Red Sky which is set to drop later this summer.

This is a song for those who broke free from a bad relationship and can see themselves on the path of freedom. Instead of being down in the dumps about this heartbreak, Hayes is seen dancing alone looking relieved and happily cruising solo in a cool car free from the troubles of the past. Watch the video for picturesque countryside footage, some sunny desert footage and some amazing aerial drone shots.

He debuted the song on national TV earlier this week on ABC’s Good Morning America. Check out his performance, right here. He also gave a little preview at what his next album’s theme will be about, citing it’s about “moving on and self-discovery and growth and change.”

On Instagram, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter shared his appreciation for the important and integral people who helped brought this project to life:

Putting the song out for the world to hear really means a lot to him and he shared he cannot wait to perform this for the fans soon.

Are you looking forward to more Hunter Hayes music this year? Let me know in the comments below.

“Holy Feeling” by Greyson Chance

Greyson Chance dropped his first single for 2021 and it’s quite an impressive track! From my interpretation, it’s about loving somebody but they’re not necessarily on the same page or level as you…yet. You want them to commit more to you so you can both feel like you’re floating on cloud 9 a.k.a. that godly, holy feeling. That eternal love that only true loving relationships can feel and know.

2020 was a challenging year for the musician and he shared on Twitter all about the struggle to put pen and paper to make music and how releasing “Holy Feeling” in 2021 is a fresh start with renewed hope and vision for him moving forward:

He said the new song brought color back into his life, sparking that “joy of singing for you, of sharing my story with you.”

I’m enjoying the direction of his sound based on this new single and I highly anticipate more music to be dropped this year in the form a full album that will channel deeper into his poetic mind.

Check out his exclusive YouTube acoustic performance of the song, right here:

That does it for this week’s post! Thank you all for reading another edition of New Music Friday. If you liked what you read, kindly click on the follow button down below. Also if you like, please support my work by donating to my Paypal. I truly appreciate it!

Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings about any of these picks in the comments box down below! Cast your vote on the songs featured this week by giving them a thumbs up or a thumbs down. As always, stay safe and happy listening!

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New Music Friday: November 27

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone! Hope you’re staying home safe with your family or close friend(s) or roommate(s) this year and enjoying each other’s company. Keep the social distancing if you’re going out for Black Friday shopping and get cozy with these latest music picks! We have all new music from pop stars Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift (feat. Bon Iver), singer-songwriter Austin Mahone (feat. Früt), Australian recording artist Sam Fischer & last but not least British DJ/producer Nathan Dawe w/ pop sensation girl group Little Mix. All that and more in this week’s edition of New Music Friday here at Philip’s Music Corner…

“Angels Like You” by Miley Cyrus

Kicking off this week’s picks with a song from Miley Cyrus’ new album, Plastic Hearts. “Angels Like You” is a nice ballad about one of her past relationships, perhaps the one with actor Liam Hemsworth. Some fans have also speculated that it’s about her relationship with fellow pop singer Cody Simpson or maybe the one with influencer/podcast producer Kaitlynn Carter.

The relationship couldn’t continue for many reasons but it’s not their fault for the downfall. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles as Cyrus emotionally sings “angels like you can’t fly down here with me.”

I love the melody of the song and Cyrus for giving it that rocker’s edge when belting out this tune. I think this should be the next single for radio, how about you?

The 28-year-old singer-songwriter crafted another solid song and I highly recommend you check out the rest of her new album too. Many of the new tracks were notably co-written by other fellow singers/producers like OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, and watt and co-produced with artists like Mark Ronson, whom worked with other others singers like Bruno Mars, Adele, and Lady Gaga in the past. Ronson himself is an established recording artist as well, in case you didn’t knew.

Listen to previous 2020 releases like the 80’s influenced dance track, “Midnight Sky,” and most recent single, “Prisoner feat. Dua Lipa (which came out last week) on the physical and digital versions of the album plus “Edge Of Midnight” feat. Stevie Nicks and her cover songs for “Heart of Glass,” and “Zombie” from the iHeart Festival and NIVA Save Our Stage Festival respectively exclusively on the digital version of the album.

“exile” feat. bon iver (folklore: the long pond studio sessions) by Taylor Swift

I really dig this version of “exile” by Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver. The Long Pond Studio Sessions as it’s called is a concert special made for the streaming service, Disney+. A very intimate version of this collaborated song if I do say so myself. Love the harmonies and the delivery of each line of the song.

I admire and love Ms. Swift’s innovative mindset when putting this together for all her fans around the world. Since she can’t go on tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the next best thing we could’ve asked for in terms of promoting her new album, folklore.

Even though we’re not physically at her recording session, it’s almost like we’re at the studio with the video seen above. It’s cool to see all the equipment and instruments needed to put on this socially-distanced production on and I really believe folklore deserves to win big at next year’s telecast of the Grammy Awards.

“You Got Me” by Austin Mahone feat. Früt

24-year-old recording artist, Austin Mahone released his latest single/collaboration with Früt called “You Got Me.” Co-produced with rapper LunchMoney Lewis (see his hit song, “Bills”), Mahone tackles the idea of a confused relationship.

This is a song about dating someone that you’re genuinely in love with, however they don’t love you back the same way that you do. You’re left in this confused state. Are they committed to you? Are they on the same level of love?

Mahone professes in the pre-chorus part of the song, “All that chasing/Time gets wasted/You should already be my lover/And this situation/Is so heartbreaking/You’ve got me right where you wanna.”

You can sense the frustration illustrated in the music video as Mahone chases after this girl through this pretty elaborate labyrinth. Watch the ending for an interesting plot twist! Overall, I thought the visuals justified the lyrics. Share your thoughts about this single in the comments box below.

“For Now” by Sam Fischer

Australian singer-songwriter Sam Fischer has a new song out now that’s really soothing to the ears. This acoustic ditty titled “For Now,” is about a broken relationship one might experience.

Hearing the chorus will hit you deep as he sings, “I need to be lonely without you/I know that you only mean well/But I’m not used to being without you/Have to learn to be lonely myself.”

You need the time to breathe by splitting up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, perhaps on a temporary basis. A slight pause from seeing each other is what you need to get some sense of clarity in life, mentally and or emotionally speaking. But this situation can also apply on a more long-term basis. Sometime separating entirely is what’s best for both parties in life. You got to do what’s best for your own well-being!

So if you need a song to cry to post-breakup or to sway your hands to while listening with family or friends, then this song needs to go on your playlists this week! I highly recommend it!

“No More Tears” by Nathan Dawe & Little Mix

English DJ/producer Nathan Dawe teamed up with pop group, Little Mix for an epic and cool collaboration! This song will get you pumped up and ready to tackle whatever goals and challenges you have for the day and beyond! Take this song to the gym or play it at your next socially distanced mini-hangout with your friends. Save it for the clubs and big parties next year (I hope) for when you want to bust our your dance moves.

The song talks about moving on from a breakup in a rather quick fashion. You’ve cried your tears out but won’t let yourself be down forever. You’re ready to tackle whatever life hands down to you next, whether that be a new relationship or a new creative endeavor, what have you. The ladies of Little Mix have a strong vocal performance in this song and all of their voices blend quite excellently with Dawe’s uptempo beats.

Definitely go check this song out today if you’re an EDM fan, house music fan, dance pop lover, or a fan of Dawe’s and or Little Mix’s. It will make you happy after listening to it. 🙂

That does it for this week’s post! Thank you all for reading another edition of New Music Friday here at Philip’s Music Corner. If you liked what you read, kindly click on the follow button down below. Also if you like, please support my work by donating to my Paypal. I truly appreciate it!

Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings about any of these picks in the comments box down below! You can also give the songs featured this week a thumbs up or a thumbs down using the buttons under each pick. As always, stay safe and happy listening!

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New Music Friday: October 16

Happy Friday!! We’ve made it through another week! I’ve selected five new candidates for your playlists this weekend! Hope you enjoy them. We’ve got the latest from Grammy-nominated artist, Demi Lovato fresh off her world premiere performance at the BBMAs earlier this week, pop singers-songwriters Lauv & Conan Gray with a catchy new anthem, EDM group Louis The Child and their collaboration with alternative rock group COIN, & last but not least DJ/singer/entrepreneur Paris Hilton with her amazing new collab with DJ Lodato.

“Commander In Chief” by Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato follows her strong and emotional post breakup single, “Still Have Me” two weeks ago with another equally strong and emotional song called “Commander In Chief.” She co-wrote this track with none other than FINNEAS, brother to Grammy-winning artist, Billie Eilish and fellow pop singer herself, Julia Michaels.

This time she’s taking a stand against the current administration and POTUS himself. She enlisted several individuals of varying ages, races, and ethnicities to lip sync her evocative message to the President so the whole world can hear. We see everyone from a young Black girl to an older white male with a hat that reads “Make America United Again” to an adult female in a wheelchair mouthing the words: “Commander in Chief, honestly/If I did the things you do/I couldn’t sleep, seriously/Do you even know the truth?/We’re in a state of crisis, people are dyin’/While you line your pockets deep/Commander in Chief, how does it feel to still/Be able to breathe?” Powerful imagery to watch!

The strong chorus references the racial injustices seen earlier this summer and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has tragically killed over 210,000 Americans to this date. Lovato asks how can the President behave like this, so ignorant and heartless, hiding from the protesters, lining his pockets from these tragic events and she wonders, does he really know the truth?!?

She hopes this song will elicit a response from this administration while also enabling a public discussion. With less than three weeks left until Election Day, she’s using this song as a platform to stress the importance of voting.

ICYMI: Demi performed this song for the first time at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards two nights ago. Check it out here:

“Fake” by Lauv & Conan Gray

Singer-songwriter Lauv follows his five-track EP, Without You with a new collaborative effort with fellow pop singer Conan Gray. Gray, in case you didn’t know, is best known for his hit song “Heather” which currently has over 22 million views on YouTube and “Maniac” which has been certified Gold by the RIAA. This is the first time the two artists have worked together on a song.

The two twenty-somethings explore the world of fakeness in this fun new song. Know someone who acts one way to others but totally different towards you? If you have a fake friend or relationship either currently or in the past, then you should definitely check their single out!

They sing in the rather catchy and anthemic chorus, “Man, you’re so f—ing fake (ahh ah)/You don’t mean a single thing you say (ahh ah)/If we’ve got a problem, say it to my face (ahh ah)/And you’re just like all the people that you hate/You’re so fake/When the real you’s back, I’ll pick up my phone.” Through a series of different mini sets they travel from one to another with set production extras providing the props and necessary components for some cool effects alongside including a confetti blaster! It’s such a COVID style music video yet it’s simplicities make for quite an enjoyable video to watch unfold. So kudos to everyone on their respective teams who worked on this production safely during this ongoing pandemic.

“SCAR” by Ashton Irwin

5SOS member, Ashton Irwin is back with another tasting/preview off his upcoming solo album, Superbloom. In “Scar,” Irwin wears his emotions on his sleeves as he sings about mental health in this song. He’s advocating to us that life is filled with so much joy, so many possibilities and just because life hands you lemons, you simply mustn’t give up. The scars we get in life provide lessons for the future not a helpless pit of doom and gloom.

I love the arrangement of this rock song. Love the inclusion of the harps which made the song so unique. The guitar chords have a soothing tone and the drums provided the punch for that maximum effect. The chorus and post-chorus leaves an indelible mark! The bridge leading to the outro was out of this world good! Please turn it up! It’s truly an aural experience.

In a recent tweet the 26-year-old singer-songwriter calls it his “favorite song” off the record. He also describes it as “powerful and raw” adding that it’s “a message to my family, a message for anyone that listens, about perseverance though periods of intense struggle.” His emotional openness is truly commendable!

Like I said the last time I mentioned Ashton Irwin for my picks, I’m excited to hear the rest of his album and him sharing his story/journey for listeners all around the world!

“Self Care” by Louis The Child & COIN

EDM group Louis The Child has teamed up with alternative rock group COIN for the first time. In this upbeat dance track, the two groups are preaching the importance of self care.

“I do it for myself/I’m dancin’ for no one else/I do it for myself, baby/Ah-ah, ah-ah-ah, ah, ah.” The chorus really strikes a chord because if you’re feeling like you’re energies have been exhausted as of late or been absorbed by others and not yourself, then you need to listen to these lines and the song as a whole. It will definitely give you a wake up call to say, ‘hey, listen, I’m important too. I deserve the rest. I deserve a break. I deserve to be happy too. I deserve to be appreciated for the things I do in life!’ The list goes on!!

See the accompanying music video above for some feel good vibes as the two groups and some interpretive dancers just let loose and have fun in a desert!

“I Blame You” by Paris Hilton

Credit: @ParisHilton

Call it a comeback single, but really, has Paris Hilton really left? Hilton dropped this surprise new dance track and it’s all about love despite the song title, “I Blame You.”

“I feel good, I feel good. I blame you, I blame you.” Those simple lines get repeated in such a way that you can’t help but say, ‘wow, this really makes me feel happy and positive in life.’

So if you’re feeling like you met your better half or just have a really close friend and or family member, then this song is for you! They bring the joy and sunshine to your life and you can credit them for changing your perspective on life especially if you’ve had a troubled past, or a rough patch in a previous relationship, or even something as trivial as receiving a bad grade in school. It doesn’t define you forever.

DJ Lodato really sets the mood for this track and I want to say he mixed it excellently with the entertainer/entrepreneur’s dreamy vocals.

Paris shared in a recent Instagram post that proceeds from this song will go to Breaking Code Silence, a “movement organized by a network of survivors and advocates to raise awareness of the abuses in the troubled teen industry.”

Hilton recently released her eye-opening YouTube documentary which dives deeper into her life story from her childhood to present day. In this doc, she details for the first time publicly, the verbal, psychological and physical abuse she endured when she was sent to Provo Canyon School when she was a teenager. Watch her YouTube Original documentary, This Is Paris, here. You can’t help after watching this, to support Paris Hilton. Virtual hugs all around!

Now she’s standing up and raising awareness for the survivors in support of closing down that institution. Feel free to sign her petition.

That wraps up this week’s post! Thank you all for reading another edition of New Music Friday here at Philip’s Music Corner. If you liked what you read, kindly click on the follow button down below. Also if you like, please support my work by donating to my Paypal. Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings about any of these picks in the comments box down below! You can also give the songs featured this week a thumbs up or a thumbs down using the buttons under each pick. As always, stay safe and happy listening!

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New Music Friday: October 2

Happy October everyone! We’ve made it through 3/4 of the year! Let’s make the best of the final 1/4 of 2020 and embrace that fall feeling! In this week’s selections, we have all new music from Grammy-nominated pop singer Demi Lovato, chart topping K-Pop girl group BLACKPINK, pop band Why Don’t We, 5SOS drummer Ashton Irwin & alternative pop singer-songwriter Bishop Briggs.

“Still Have Me” by Demi Lovato

Singer-songwriter Demi Lovato recently called off her engagement to actor Max Ehrich last week and the Lovatics have been expressing their support for the 28-year-old artist through this very tough time. With great sadness comes impeccable art. Lovato has put out another heartfelt piano ballad in “Still Have Me,” which addresses the split and also focuses on being grateful for the things she still has, namely, her life and her faith.

Lovato repeatedly belts out in the chorus, “I don’t have much but at least I still have me (I still have me)/And that’s all I need.” Hearing this song will give you chills, you can really feel her emotions throughout this entire song. The background singers enhanced her sentiments too.

Even though she’s no longer planning a wedding and is now single, hopefully she takes the time to reflect on this moment and continues to show her confidence both personally and professionally in her next album moving forward. Sending virtual hugs to her and her family.

Be sure to tune in to the 2020 Billboard Music Awards to see Demi perform all new music (presumably this track) live! It airs October 14th at 8pm EST on NBC.

“Lovesick Girls” by BLACKPINK

Successful K-pop girl group, BLACKPINK finally dropped their first Korean album aptly titled, The Album today! One of those new songs is “Lovesick Girls.” It will serve as their third official single from the new record.

The quartet have choreographed another top-notch dance routine for what will presumably be their next big commercial hit! Props to their stylists too as each member wore a unique look.

Ok, let’s face it. Love is really complicated for the girls and the mixed emotions felt towards the idea of being in love is evident in this song.

They sing: “We are the lovesick girls/But we were born to be alone/Yeah, we were born to be alone/Yeah, we were born to be alone/But why we still looking for love?”

The theme of being lovesick is something many will probably agree they have experienced in life. We crave love and happiness but sometimes it just doesn’t come all together. We then embrace our own independence but of course, you still wonder if your one true love is out there. A very delicate balance for sure.

Musically speaking, it’s a catchy track to listen to if I do say so myself. If you loved any of their previous hits like “Ice Cream” with Selena Gomez or “How You Like That,” you’ll likely add this one too to the top of your playlists this week!

The Album contains 8 tracks in total, including an all English collaboration with rapper Cardi B in “Bet You Wanna” which was co-written by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder among others. Let me know which is your favorite track. Drop your response down below.

“Fallin'” by Why Don’t We

L.A. based boy band group, Why Don’t We ended their months long hiatus this week (which coincidentally enough was their four-year anniversary) with a brand new song called “Fallin’.”

The guys have changed their image this time around. They’ve matured in sound, picked up the instruments (e.g. see Daniel Seavey drumming), showcasing more production skills and taking control of the writing process.

This pop song is about the lead up to telling someone you love them. The adrenaline and rush you get just thinking about them will lead you to falling deeper in love with that someone once you’ve expressed your feelings. You will feel nervous but optimistic at the same time. Teens and 20-somethings will resonate the most with the lyrics and that feeling of young love for sure.

Cool Observation: I love how they made a nod to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” when they posed just like the legendary rockers. See that moment at 2:41 in the above video.

Another interesting nugget, the guys got to sample Kanye West’s drumline from his 2013 song, “Black Skinhead.”

Overall, I enjoyed this song from the quintet and I will definitely check out more of their upcoming music down the line. I’m sure all of you WDW fans will be eagerly awaiting at what’s to come as they evolve their sound in their upcoming second studio album. The future looks bright for this group. Share your thoughts in the comments below. Do you like their new look and vibe?

“Have U Found What Ur Looking For?” by Ashton Irwin

5 Seconds of Summer drummer Ashton Irwin released his second teaser song from his upcoming solo album, Superbloom. It’s called “Have U Found What Ur Looking For?” and I got to say, I really dig this alternative rock sound he’s channeling. It’s a big departure from the 5SOS sound.

Irwin shared on his recent Instagram post that “this song is about overcoming mental resistance and facing every fear you’ve ever had.”

I applaud Irwin for delving into his psyche and sharing how he feels in life with his fans. Hopefully this song can inspire listeners to take more chances in life and chase their wildest dreams. Nothing is impossible unless you make it impossible as the saying goes!

I look forward to hearing the rest of his solo album, which drops October 23rd!

“HIGHER” by Bishop Briggs

British-American singer-songwriter Bishop Briggs released a track for all those listeners out there who just went through a tough breakup but are now feeling grateful for it’s life lessons which ultimately helps you move on.

I love how Briggs turned something that’s a low point in one’s life into a renewed positive high. “HIGHER” will boost your mood and confidence, so definitely go check that out if you’re feeling down about losing your ex.

Briggs is an exceptional artist and her deep, solid and mature vocals are top-notch to listen to. You can absorb the message of the song as she sings the chorus. “Higher, your love has set me free/Now nothing’s out of reach/Higher, higher, ooh/Higher, your love has set me free (Has set me free)/Now nothing’s out of reach/Higher, higher/Higher, I’m stronger now I’m free/I’m who I wanna be/Higher, higher, ooh.” Those “ooh’s” are simply infectious!

Thanks for reading another edition of New Music Friday here at Philip’s Music Corner. If you liked what you read, kindly click on the follow button down below. Also if you like, please support my work by donating to my Paypal. As always, stay safe and happy listening! 🎵

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New Music Friday: June 19

It’s Friday once again and that means another edition of New Music Friday is here! This week we have the latest tunes from award winning artists John Legend, H.E.R., Alicia Keys, The Killers & Ashe featuring Niall Horan.

“Never Break” by John Legend

EGOT winner John Legend dropped his seventh studio album, Bigger Love today on this important date, Juneteenth, a day in which African Americans commemorate the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in Texas in 1865.

I would like to highlight the closing track, “Never Break” off said album because of it’s relevance and resonance to today’s society.

While you may interpret this song to be about a solid relationship that will never break no matter what life throws at them, you can also say this is a song about being resilient during tough times like the pandemic we still find ourselves living in.

What’s striking about the song is how impactful the lyrics are (a snippet of the chorus seen below) to today considering Legend wrote this song before the COVID-19 crisis began and before the protests against police brutality started. It really makes you motivated that the world will get better. This song will spark the confidence we all need to make positive changes in life overall and to maintain our courage with whatever life throws at us.

We will never break
Built on a foundation
Strong enough to stay
We will never break
As the water rises
And the mountains shake
Our love will remain

Legend’s winning artistry is proven once again on this record with love and unity as the central theme throughout.

Fun Fact: Artist Charly Palmer designed and painted the album art.

In a recent Instagram post (seen below), Legend revealed who inspired him to make this album. He credits his wife, his family, and the rich tradition of Black music that has made him who he is as an artist.

I predict he will earn more Grammy noms for this song and album. He collaborated with a wide variety of artists including Grammy-winning Gary Clark Jr. and Grammy-nominated Jhené Aiko just to name a few. So go check out the new album, Bigger Love today!

“I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R.

This is a powerful new song from the 2x Grammy-winner. H.E.R. has excellently crafted and enveloped all the frustration the world is seeing right now into this beautiful song. The third verse is by far the most potent part of the song in my opinion. Names like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Trayvon Martin and more are shown in the music video who were killed by police brutality over the past years. It’s so surreal that so many innocent lives were taken away at the hands of the police.

The video which was shot in black and white displays some captivating images/footage of the peaceful protests that took place recently around the world like in New York City, Belgium, Syria and Los Angeles.

Props to Shane Adams for editing this music video. The whole world needs to share and see this. Please download/stream H.E.R.’s latest single, “I Can’t Breathe,” right here.

“Perfect Way To Die” by Alicia Keys

15x Grammy-winning artist, Alicia Keys has dropped another masterpiece of a song! Like H.E.R.’s new song, this too is another single you should all be listening to right now. It’s a beautiful, heartfelt piano ballad that Keys has made. She said it’s right for this time and per her video tweet for Spotify: “I really hope you can feel it and it gives you what you need right now.”

Keys described in her latest Instagram post, “the song title is so powerful and heartbreaking because WE are heartbroken by so many who have died unjustly.⁣⁣” She goes on to say:

Of course, there is NO perfect way to die. That phrase doesn’t even make sense. ⁣⁣

⁣⁣Just like it doesn’t make sense that there are so many innocent lives that should not have been taken from us due to the destructive culture of police violence. ⁣⁣
Sometimes I don’t have the words and music is the only thing that can speak.⁣⁣
I hope this speaks to you.⁣⁣
I hope one day this song won’t be so relevant.⁣⁣
Let’s NEVER stop fighting for justice.

Well said! You can get Alicia Keys’ new song, “Perfect Way To Die,” right here.

“My Own Soul’s Warning” by The Killers

This is The Killers’ third new track released from the upcoming sixth studio album, Imploding The Mirage which will be out sometime later this year. It follows “Fire In Bone” and “Caution” which recently hit #1 on the US Billboard Alternative Songs chart.

Fun Facts: Artist Thomas Blackshear’s “Crow Tribe of Indians” painting is the single artwork. He granted the band permission to use his art for this song. He also designed the album art too! That painting is called “Dance of the Wind and Storm.”

This is another banger from the 5x Grammy nominated rock band! The multilayered opening track features lead singer Brandon Flowers’ usual signature flair and it doesn’t disappoint. From my interpretation, the song talks about attempting to go against one’s gut instincts but in the end it’s not right, so they have to go back to whatever it is or was that felt comforting.

This could apply well to most life situations like when somebody makes a mistake but realizes quickly and would do whatever it takes to go back and make up for lost time or to return to a status quo, etc.

According to a interview, Flowers said this leading track sets the tone for the rest of the album. “Spiritually and sonically, it embodies what the rest of the songs are.”

Looking forward to hearing the album later this year. I hope this quarantine provides the band extra time for them to polish another solid record.

“My Own Soul’s Warning” by The Killers is available now to stream and download. Pre-order Imploding The Mirage here. Also check out their recent iHeartRadio Living Room Concert Series set here.

“Moral Of The Story” by Ashe feat. Niall Horan

Rising singer-songwriter Ashe joins pop artist Niall Horan for a revamped version of her hit song, “Moral Of The Story.” It’s truly special when artists collaborate together and this is no exception.

Horan tweeted in regards to the original version of the song that “from the minute Ashe got in touch” with him, he loved it so much. The “chord choices to the natural storytelling melodies she possess, it was a no-brainer that I was going to be a part of it.”

Several Facetime sessions later and the rest is history! They’re now calling each other friends for life after working on the song together from quarantine.

From Ashe’s perspective, she recently tweeted that Horan was just one out of a handful of people she would trust in handling her material. “There’s only a few humans I trust with my music and I feel lucky Niall’s become one of those people.” Even though their friendship is still young, she can’t wait to learn more about his craft as an artist. “He’s not in it for fame or praise,” she added.

The song talks about the mistakes people make in life most notably in a relationship where things aren’t always clear 24/7. It’s okay because you’ll live and learn and move on from the past.

Overall, I really enjoy how both of their vocals come together cohesively in this remixed version. The chorus and the “oh-oh..oh-ooh-oh’s” are the most infectious parts about the song. Definitely will be playing this on repeat!

Get the new version of “Moral of the Story” today! Visit Ashe’s official website for updates, videos, and more!

That wraps up another edition of New Music Friday! Check back in one week’s time where I list the next five songs you need to hear! Stay safe, continue to help the world out anyway you can, educate yourselves on the importance of Juneteenth and have a great weekend!

New Music Friday: June 12

This week’s edition of New Music Friday highlights the latest tunes from rising pop artists Sunday Best and Chloe x Halle, country-pop artist Maren Morris, R&B soul singer Kiana Ledé & DJ Dzeko whom collaborated with award-winning country artist Keith Urban.

“Learn To Fly” by Surfaces (w/ Elton John)

Rising Texas based duo, Surfaces have followed up their first ever RIAA certified hit single, “Sunday Best” with a pretty cool and interesting collaboration. They’ve teamed up with none other than 5x Grammy winner, Sir Elton John! They’re continuing those feel good, no-stress needed vibes of “Sunday Best” in this lofty positive tune designed for listeners who consider themselves broken, lost, or lonely.

According to their recent tweet, this song was supposed to be dropped sooner but they felt now more than ever in times of uncertainty and unrest, this song needed to be released today. The group’s intention was to share their optimism for those who needed it. They “hope this song will be a source of encouragement” and “if you are broken, hurting, lost, or just going through it…this one’s for you.”

Check out the guys vibing with Elton John in this clip:

Looks like their collab session was a blast! Download/stream “Learn To Fly” today!

“Forgive Me” by Chloe x Halle

Rising R&B duo Chloe x Halle have dropped their second studio album, Ungodly Hour and that comes with a more mature sound. They’ve co-wrote, co-produced and co-engineered this new project that even has the approval of Beyoncé herself who told the sibling duo that they didn’t need any major edits after she heard through their new record.

The accompanying music video exhibits their confidence, and determination to move on in a relationship. The harmonies on this song are very pleasing to the ears. They have what it takes to be the next Beyoncé tier artist in my opinion.

Go check out Ungodly Hour by Chloe x Halle now!

“Just For Now” by Maren Morris

Country pop singer-songwriter, Maren Morris used her quarantine downtime to work on and finally release two new “old” songs from her 2019 album, GIRL. In “Just For Now,” she’s content for being in a relationship that’s temporary without fear of any stress. Just go with the flow and see where it takes one day at a time.

Morris also released “Takes Two,” a track that gives in to love. She belts out the lyrics “it takes two to love like this” in a passionate delivery. If you love any of her previous works, you’ll love these two unreleased songs. Overall I feel these tracks are a nice gift to hear from the Grammy-winning artist considering her tour has been postponed til next year due to the ongoing pandemic! It gives her fans something to look forward to for sure.

Hear the bonus tracks off her latest album, GIRL today!

“Dear Mr. President” by Kiana Ledé

Singer-songwriter Kiana Ledé covers P!nk’s “Dear Mr. President” from her 2006 album, I’m Not Dead. In P!nk’s version, she criticized the Bush administration on issues like the Iraq War and the No Child Left Behind Act. Now with Ledé’s version which criticizes the current administration, most of the lyrics were kept but the issues surrounding police brutality and immigration are now in the forefront of the song.

It’s a chilling ballad to listen to and I encourage you to hear it for yourselves. Proceeds of the song will be going to the NAACP Empowerment Programs which will fight against various issues like police brutality, wrongful convictions, voter suppression and racial biased education.

Download/stream “Dear Mr. President” now!

“Both Still Young” by Dzeko & Keith Urban

Closing out this week’s selection of picks is this EDM love song by Canadian DJ/producer Dzeko who teamed up with 4x Grammy winner, Keith Urban!

The upbeat lyrics to this song sung by Urban portrays eternal love as most evident by the post-chorus lines, “I will love you like we’re both still young.”

Even when somebody gets old, the person will always love their significant other as if they were still in their youth. This song will make you happy and will have you getting up on your feet and dance.

Check out Urban’s Instagram clip performing a snippet of the song on piano:

You can hear and get their collaborative track, right here.

Thanks for reading another edition of New Music Friday! I know we’re living in unprecedented times, so I hope these recommended songs will bring you a welcome distraction from the headlines.

But when you’re done listening, please continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement and let your voice be heard. Whether you attend a peaceful protest or sign important petitions fighting for justice, equality and reform in your community, state, and overall our country as a whole, know that we’re just one step in the right direction for a better future.

Visit here for an updated list of comprehensive resources and ways to help out!

New Music Friday: March 27

This week we have two tracks that pertain to the coronavirus pandemic from chart toppers OneRepublic and indie pop band Foster The People, as well as new music from Dua Lipa, 5 Seconds of Summer, Kane Brown & John Legend!

Read on to get the latest scoop…

Better Days” by OneRepublic

Ryan Tedder, Brent Kutzle and their friend/producer Tyler Spry were in contact with someone who had tested positive with the coronavirus two weeks ago, so they had to quarantine themselves in their California studio. Fortunately, they haven’t experience any symptoms thus far.

While in the midst of their downtime, they were able to produce this timely new single that the whole world can relate to. During one of their recent Instagram Live sessions they revealed that they had the chorus made months prior to the pandemic and only now living and experiencing this time of uncertainty that the remaining verses came together for the song.

With this song, they want us all to remain hopeful and that this pandemic is just temporary and finite. Better days are indeed ahead of us and when we do see the light at the end of this scary unknown tunnel, we can all once again rejoice and return to our normal day-to-day lives.

You can download and stream “Better Days,” right here. Portions of the proceeds from the new song will go towards Musicares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund. Also check out the new merch they released along with the pre-order for their next album, all right here.

“It’s Ok To Be Human” by Foster The People

Mark Foster, lead singer of Foster The People released a song earlier this week in response to the global pandemic we’re currently experiencing. It’s a chilling yet beautiful song that reassures us that we’re all in this together and that there’s no one to place blame on because this virus affects us all.

In an accompanying blog post, Foster reflects on today’s world and past events in global history like the 9/11 attacks, when WWII ended as well as the terrorist attacks at the famous Bataclan venue in Paris five years ago. He said that those moments in time had their own feeling of unity and hope for a better future.

In today’s world, this feels different to him too.

“The fear is different. The uncertainty is different. The unity is also different. As I woke up this morning to texts from friends and family with updates, warnings, and the desire to connect with other people, I found myself thinking about the beauty of this pause. The entire world has pressed pause. It’s as if mother earth said, “O.K. you degenerates give me the wheel. I’m gonna steer us back in the right direction.” 

Mark Foster

I love when artists use a time of uncertainty to create art. It gives us all a sense of hope. What are your thoughts on the new song?

Listen to the song on their official website now.

“Break My Heart” by Dua Lipa

Pivoting to something totally unrelated to the pandemic is Dua Lipa’s third official single from her freshly released second studio album, Future Nostalgia. In this song, she’s questioning her relationship choices.

Another solid dance pop track for enjoyment for those who love her previous singles and first album, but it’s also another song for you to ponder over. Are you better off being single or being tied to someone you know in the long run will not benefit your emotional psyche? Navigating one’s love life is definitely like walking on a tightrope. The steps you take during a consensual relationship can make or break your future.

The accompanying music video seen above has some pretty nifty dance sequences like on a plane which leads to some cool transitional moments like when Dua falls from that plane via a parachute which then leads to being under bed sheets in a bedroom as she leaves the room. That room she left is like leaving a relationship as the rotating beds move along in a conveyor belt fashion with all the figurative sleeping boyfriends she had a relationship with.

You can stream Dua’s sophomore album, Future Nostalgia which features “Break My Heart” right now!

“Wildflower” by 5SOS

Here’s a song from the guys of 5 Seconds of Summer that will put a smile on your face. You don’t have to think deeply about this one as the positive and loving vibes just oozes out in this track. You can definitely use this song to dedicate your significant other for like a wedding anniversary or the one you’re dating currently to show how much you really love them.

The lyric video above contains 10 hours worth of hand made stop-motion animation on top of 8 more hours of editing! 529 flowers were used in this mesmerizing video. Simply astounding how the artists and creatives came together to put that together for the band.

Fun Fact: The band partnered up with the meditation app, Calm to promote four exclusive remixes. Check it out here:

As they mature as a band, they’ve become more mindful of their surroundings in life and they hope this app collaboration will be beneficial for us all to listen. Keep calm and listen on (to CALM.)

Get their new album, CALM which contains “Wildflower” today!

“Last Time I Say Sorry” by Kane Brown & John Legend

This is an interesting collaboration effort from country pop phenom Kane Brown and R&B hit maker John Legend. It’s a collab that I didn’t knew would work if you said these two artists’ name out loud. Anyways, this song is about a person who’s owning up to his or her’s past mistakes and is doing his or her’s hardest to win back the love he or she once had. This person doesn’t want to go back to arguing, but rather they want to start a clean slate, a new chapter if you will, a hope for a rekindled romance as indicated by the lyrics, “So I swallow my pride, see it from your side
I promise I’ll do the best I can do
” and later on in the song, the verse, “If I could build a perfect world I’d only make you smile
I’d hang the stars, the sun and moon outside this room, but I’ll
I’ll never be perfect, though I’m gonna try
Oh, I’m gonna do better, I swear –“

Overall, its a cathartic ballad that both of their respective fan bases will love. Hear the song, right here!

With all of the chaos going around the world right now, I hope these five tracks can be a welcome distraction to your life right now. Feel free to comment and share below which song(s) you’re vibing with, whether it be any of these five tracks or some other new track this week not mentioned here that you would love to share too.

Remember to keep practicing safe social distancing and wash your hands often. Our new norm is just temporary, remember that! Happy listening and enjoy the weekend!

New Music Friday: March 13

With the coronavirus pandemic on everyone’s mind and in the media right now, it’s important to also consider your emotional well being in this unprecedented time. Good thing music is an option to escape. That’s one thing I don’t want to see get cancelled. With concerts and festivals like Coachella being postponed this year, the next best choice is to just chill at home by listening to your favorite musicians on your choice of streaming platform.

This week’s edition of NMF we have new songs from bands like OneRepublic and The Killers. We also have the latest from artists like Niall Horan, Rita Ora & Lennon Stella.

“Didn’t I” by OneRepublic

Ryan Tedder is getting closer and closer to releasing a new OneRepublic album! I know I’ve been eagerly anticipating this new era for years now. This is the fourth confirmed track from said new album and it’s another hit in the making in my opinion.

Tedder hit it out of the park with the band’s previous radio friendly hits like “Rescue Me,” and “Counting Stars,” to the impactful ballads such as the acclaimed “Apologize,” and Waking Up‘s deep cut, “All This Time.” This new song being a ballad, is a heartfelt track that exudes a lot of emotion all throughout.

The song delves into a relationship that went south. You may still love and care for him/her but it’s not reciprocal in return. Whoever listens to this will really have a deep thinking session about their recent heartbreak. But for those who don’t really connect to it on that level, it’s still an amazing song to listen to from a musical arrangement standpoint.

You can pre-order the band’s upcoming album, Human now. It’s slated to drop May 8th!

Tickets to their European tour later this fall is available on their official site. Please note that it’s subject to change due to the coronavirus pandemic but at the same time do remain optimistic and not panic.

“Caution” by The Killers

Lead vocalist Brandon Flowers and the rest of his bandmates of The Killers are back with another uplifting rocking arena anthem!

They teamed up with Lindsey Buckingham, former member of Fleetwood Mac, for this new single. Flowers recently said that this song was inspired by his move from his hometown in Las Vegas to Utah where his family currently resides.

If you loved any of their previous radio hits and or their deep cuts, you’ll enjoy this new track.

You can download and stream the new song here.

The band’s upcoming sixth studio album, Imploding The Mirage is set to be released May 29th with an upcoming summer tour pending the coronavirus.

“Black and White” by Niall Horan

Keeping up with the positive vibes, Niall Horan is here with a track suited for those who want to dedicate this song to the person they love whether it be for their birthday or for future Valentine’s Day. I can predict this will also be used in upcoming weddings, bridal showers and anniversary videos all around the world.

This song has that Ed Sheeran flavor to it in my opinion. See Sheeran’s 2017 hit song, “Castle On The Hill” for a comparison.

Fun Fact: Singer-songwriter Teddy Geiger co-wrote this song with Horan.

Hopefully 2020 will be happier for Horan’s personal life. Meantime check out his new album, Heartbreak Weather out now! For more info and tour dates/updates, visit his official website.

“How To Be Lonely” by Rita Ora

I feel Rita Ora doesn’t receive enough credit for the work she does in the music industry. This is another catchy song from her’s and it deserves to be played on radio (of course in a clean version.)

This is the lead single off her upcoming third album and was co-written by Grammy-nominated rising pop artist, Lewis Capaldi who didn’t take this song for himself because it didn’t feel right with his vocals according to and his recent IG Story. For those who don’t know, Capaldi is best known for his mainstream 2019 hit, “Someone You Loved.”

This song is for those who want to appreciate themselves more while being single. Learn to love yourself now before committing to a long-term relationship that has true meaning and love rather than being stuck in a shallow relationship.

You can listen to the song by downloading or streaming it, right here.

“Jealous” by Lennon Stella

This track has singer-songwriter, Lennon Stella calling out her ex whom is still jealous and not ready to move on just because she’s moved on with a new relationship.

Stella has grown up and has matured over the years after releasing songs for ABC’s Nashville and HBO’s Game of Thrones, to collaborating with EDM hitmakers, The Chainsmokers on their song “Takeaway” last year as well as working with Meghan Trainor and Liam Payne on their respective records.

Now she’s embarking on her first studio album era called Three. Two. One. releasing April 24th and I look forward to hearing what she has to offer in terms of her sound and style. She has the potential to be the next biggest pop star everyone wants to listen to on their playlists.

Download and stream the new song today! Tour dates and updates can be found on Lennon Stella’s official site.

That does it for this week’s NMF. Stay safe, wash your hands often, be kind to one another and happy listening!