Jump into the weekend with Justin Bieber and David Guetta, whose new collaboration “2U” promises a summery, slow-rolling EDM hit. Or consider Lorde’s “Sober,” where the Melodrama singer muses on the nature of weekend partying. British R&B singer Jorja Smith offers a sultry, jazzy listening experience, while California band Rooney brings us back to a simpler era of summery alt-rock. Finally, don’t sleep on rapper Vic Mensa’s politically charged “OMG,” featuring Pusha T.
"2U," David Guetta feat. Justin Bieber
“2U” feels like the spiritual successor to Bieber’s summer 2015 hit “Where R Ü Now,” a nearly melancholic — yet still party-ready — dance track. In a way, this is Bieber’s sweet spot: EDM-backed pop that’s just slower than a banger, but gets juiced up by the contributions of his DJ of choice. (This time, of course, it’s David Guetta, whose style veers towards a more classic European vibe than the tropical house of previous collaborators Jack Ü and Major Lazer.)
"Teenage Fantasy," Jorja Smith
If you’ve been feeling an Amy-Winehouse-sized hole in your listening experience lately, take some time to check out Jorja Smith. The British R&B singer-songwriter has the effortlessly powerful vocals and innate rhythmic punch that helped bring Winehouse to the fore. On “Teenage Fantasy,” Smith plays deftly with her sultry side and a smooth piano riff over an R&B beat, turning the tune into a smoldering slow jam. She was a featured female vocalist on Drake’s More Life playlist, and based on solo work that strikes a balance between soulful jazz and forward-thinking R&B, we’re about to hear much more of her velvety tones.
Another week, another drop from Lorde off her upcoming album Melodrama. This time, pop’s most openly emotional poet considers intoxication and lust. While it starts off in typically spare form, Lorde amps up the production to include haunting vocal echoes, bold horns, and slinky synths. “Ain’t a pill that could touch our rush / but what will we do when we’re sober?” she muses darkly, segueing into a husky whisper. “These are the games of the weekend / we pretend that we just don’t care.” Happy Friday, indeed.
"Second Chances," Rooney
Get your rock ‘n’ roll fix with Rooney this week, an alternative band out of L.A. with a knack for toe-tappers. New single “Second Chances” off of upcoming EP El Cortez is a sunny pop-rock record with a driving beat, a natural successor to the group’s tried-and-true sound. (The band got its start thanks to Phantom Planet and The O.C., coming of age in the early 2000s when their brand of west coast alt-rock was the flavor of the era.) Frontman Robert Schwartzman is bringing the band back now, though, and “Second Chances” is a promising — and satisfying — start to this next phase.
"OMG," Vic Mensa feat. Pusha T
Chicago rapper Vic Mensa has a lot to say, starting with his release of new four-track EP The Manuscript (there’s an album on the way later this summer, too). He’s never shied away from spitting heavy rhymes without holding back, and “OMG” is no exception, managing to get in a diss at Bill O’Reilly and rhyme “horchata” with the name of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, all over a slim, insistent Pharrell beat. More than anything, “OMG” is an announcement that Vic is not an artist to sleep on.