New Music Friday: June 26

Grammy-winning artist, Usher, multi-platinum recording artist Charlie Puth, fan-favorite rising indie-pop artist Lauv, teen sensation Kenzie, and politically outspoken country band The Chicks are bringing their latest releases respectively for this edition of New Music Friday, June 26, 2020!

“I Cry” by Usher

8x Grammy-winner, Usher released a heartfelt new tune called “I Cry” this week that’s sadly relevant to our current times. With the unjust killings of Black Americans via unethical and aggressive tactics by the police force across the country, the R&B hitmaker wanted to contribute a piece of art for the world to hear.

With melancholic lyrics like, “I can’t keep it together. I usually don’t show my emotions. But it ain’t getting better. ‘Cause you can’t be blind with eyes wide open” in the first verse and the pre-chorus and chorus respectively with “And I see struggle, I see pain. I see only the mess we made. I see things that I can’t change. And it hurts my heart to say–”

“I cry — for the sons without fathers. And the pain that their mothers hold deep inside. And I’ll fight for the future we’re making. We can change if we face it. ‘Cause these tears won’t dry. So I cry,” you can’t help but feel the raw emotions he as an artist has felt and witnessed just like we all did over the past month especially after the unjust murder of George Floyd in Minnesota. An integral person of their family, gone too soon. The unfathomable pain and sorrow that they had to go through is just too much. These lyrics really make you think and empathize with the family members of the victims as well as inspire action for change.

Usher really made a beautiful song that doesn’t need a lot of embellishments, or fancy bells and whistles. It’s a clear cut, cathartic song that’s topical to moments of instability such as the one we’re living in right now. Remember, it’s okay to feel the feels after hearing the song especially if you’re a guy. No one will blame you if you cry after hearing his song. In fact, Usher wanted his own sons to be okay with showing their emotions.

Check out his latest tweet which sums up what he has felt during this pandemic on top of the effects of police brutality which was the catalyst in making and completing this single:

Proceeds of the song will be going to which supports the Global Goal “Unite For Our Future” campaign. Click here to donate to this cause. Download/stream the song, right here.

“Girlfriend” by Charlie Puth

Charlie Puth, the 4x Grammy-nominated artist with smash hits like “See You Again,” “One Call Away,” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” is back with his first single of 2020 in “Girlfriend.” This track is all about Puth professing his desires to take the next step in securing a girlfriend and being a loving and open-eared gentleman in the relationship.

This song is easy on the ears and if you loved any of his previous catchy singles, you’ll love this new song too! Add this to the list of potential song of the summer candidates for 2020!

In a recent tweet, Puth stated this song was made while out on tour whether it be on the plane or on the bus. He used an SM7 microphone for those who want to learn some technical behind-the-scenes details and co-wrote it with Kash a.k.a. Jacob Kasher who is responsible for writing “Attention” and “How Long” just to name a few.

Hopefully, this is the real beginning of his third album cycle since he previously scrapped a CP3 effort earlier this spring.

Hear the new song, right here. As a bonus, check out Charlie in the new Subway ads which promote the return of the $5 footlong!

“Love Somebody” by Lauv

25-year-old singer-songwriter Lauv has followed his debut album, ~how i’m feeling~ released earlier this year with a brand new EP containing four new tracks, one of which is this song, “Love Somebody.”

This song is about the regrets Lauv has made in his choices in life most notably in past relationships. “Started off as a good thing, a sure thing. What the hell did I do?” he questions in the first verse. In the chorus, he passionately sings:

Every time I think I love somebody
Always find a way to throw it all away
I don’t ever wanna hurt nobody
I don’t wanna be the one to say
That we gotta have a conversation
I don’t wanna watch the tears roll down your face
No, I hurt you and I, I’m sorry
All I wanted was to love somebody.

After hearing this song in its entirety, it really makes you feel for him. This track overall will be resonant to many listeners out there who are fighting their inner thoughts and feelings constantly when navigating a relationship.

Download/stream Lauv’s new EP, Without You now! These songs were made during this quarantine and it includes a demo version of “Miss Me” which originally was released on his SoundCloud page back in April.

“EXHALE” by kenzie feat. Sia

16-year-old Kenzie Ziegler has teamed up with Sia once again for her new single, “EXHALE.” This uptempo song is all about not giving up. When times are tough, sometimes you just need to literally take a deep breath and exhale because stress and anxiety is not good for our mental health and well being. Keep the positive spirits up and maintain confidence in whatever you pursue in life is the message of the song as Sia sings, “Don’t stop, keep it goin’. Lights on, lights off, I’m still glowin’. Confidence I’m overflowin’. Voices tell me, “Keep your focus.” 😎

The music video, while not to professional standards a.k.a. being shot on a set, is still a well crafted and edited piece. It was filmed on an iPhone by her big sister Maddie Ziegler, who worked with Sia earlier this year in “Together.” It has a lot of fun improvised choreography that will cater to the TikTok crowd for sure. It also features some of Kenzie’s best friends: Dove Cameron, Johnny Orlando, Emily Skinner, Sage Rosen, Abbi Dicenso, Dylan Conrique, Tati McQuay, Cameron Field, Charlize Glass, Gio Pilla, Hayden Summerall and Lucas Stadvec. They too submitted their dances for this feel-good video.

If you want a good chill song to add to your playlists this week then look no further and download “EXHALE” today! Get exclusive “EXHALE” merch, right here.

“March March” by The Chicks

The Chicks formerly known as award-winning country trio The Dixie Chicks have released another track from their upcoming eighth studio album, Gaslighter. Yesterday they announced they are now going to be known as The Chicks because ‘dixie’ is a word that connotes slavery and the Confederate South. Given the current times we’re living in, they didn’t want to shed light on that dark moment in history anymore.

The music video starts off with a powerful quote, “If your voice held no power, they wouldn’t try to silence you.” It also shows some of the peaceful protests and marches both past and present fighting for various issues like racial justice, equality, gun reform, and climate change just to name a few. The names of the fellow Black men and women who died at the hands of the police like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are solemnly displayed as well.

It’s very surreal and sad how history tends to repeat itself. But one thing that hasn’t folded is the power of speaking out. Included in the description of the above video are website links to various movements and organizations like Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, Headcount, and the Innocence Project just to name a few. Check those out after you watch the video to learn more.

You can get the latest single from The Chicks, right here.

Thanks for reading another edition of New Music Friday! With the Black Lives Matter movement still in full force, I wanted to direct your attention to helping the family of Elijah McClain fight for justice. McClain was yet another innocent Black soul who lost his life at the hands of police brutality while walking home. He was only 23-years-old. Click on the tweet below to learn more.

Demand justice for McClain by signing this petition, right here. Support his mom’s GoFundMe Page right here. And if you would like to directly voice your opinions to the Colorado mayor, governor, etc. via phone, here’s a page with their appropriate phone numbers and a sample speech format you can use in your call.

With that being said, thanks again, stay safe, happy listening and have a great weekend! 💓