This week, Selena Gomez returns with a gloomy, EDM-tinged single in the Marshmello collaboration “Wolves.” Swedish dance pop heavy hitter MØ comes back swinging with the irresistible “When I Was Young,” alongside a new EP. Rap trio Migos suggest the beginning of Culture II season with a collaboration with both Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, marking the first time the two names have released something together. Producer RedOne taps Daddy Yankee, French Montana and Dinah Jane of Fifth Harmony to collaborate on a truly global, Latin-tinged dance hit backed by their collective star power. And Sydney trio Mansionair explore the depths of a piano in an atmospheric new track.
"Wolves," Selena Gomez and Marshmello
The first new song from Gomez since her duo of slick, retro early summer releases (“Bad Liar” and “Fetish”), “Wolves” is another entrant into the category of moody pop. Given an EDM boost from producer Marshmello, “Wolves” starts out slow and dramatic before layering in a country-style chorus over toe-tapping percussion. But then it switches it up again, following the drop with a surprising electronic melody break. And repeat. “I’ve been down the darkest alleys / Saw the dark side of the moon / To get to you,” Gomez sings in her signature feathery vocals.
"Boom Boom," Red One, Daddy Yankee, French Montana and Dinah Jane
Today’s Latin fix comes at us in the form of a savvy collaboration between megaproducer RedOne, reggaeton king Daddy Yankee, rapper French Montana and Fifth Harmony singer Dinah Jane in her debut as a soloist. “Boom Boom” is an eclectic, upbeat mix: it kicks things off by sampling the chorus from “Lady (Hear Me Tonight),” which you’ll recognize as soon as you hear it, and then throws in some reggaeton beat, a lush Latin melody, and the group’s distinct mix of voices. In other words, it’s a truly global song — and one that’s guaranteed to get you dancing. The fantastical, globetrotting video — filmed on location in L.A, Morocco and the Sahara Desert and featuring everything from lions and camels to hot air balloon rides — is also on track to beat records, outpacing the new Taylor Swift music video and reaching 10 million views in just over 12 hours.
"When I Was Young," MØ
Swedish pop powerhouse MØ (of “Lean On” and “Cold Water” fame) hasn’t released an EP in three years. But that all changed this week, with lead single “When I Was Young” carrying the charge for MØ’s continually refreshing brand of bombastic, beat-driven club pop. A blaring sax and warm percussion here set “When I Was Young” apart from its peer tracks, with a jazzy, dance-worthy drop giving it irresistible kick. It’s a bop, as they say.
"Motor Sport," Migos, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B
Take three of the hottest players in hip-hop right now — the indefatigable rapper trio of Migos, the generous queen Nicki Minaj and this summer’s breakout success story Cardi B — and put them together in a slow-burning, unhurried track. Result? A rap song that has the dark, cold edges that feel just about right for this time of year, as the nights get cooler and winter creeps up on us. “Motor Sport” sees all five artists reminding us just how dominant they are, spitting with unwavering confidence for nearly five and a half minutes and throwing out a few notable lines in the process, including Cardi calling herself the “trap Selena” and Nicki referring to herself as “rap’s Jackie Chan.” The ladies have spoken.
"Astronaut (Something About Your Love)," Mansionair
Ease into the weekend with Mansionair’s dreamy, atmospheric new track. The Sydney trio have a way with turning low-key soothing beats into something unexpected; “Astronaut” continues in that sweet spot. Equal parts lonely and warm, the track has an unusual back story: they recorded its reverberating sounds by putting a microphone deep into a piano and recording the “atmospheric noises that came out,” as producer/guitarist Lachlan Bostock explains it. “Like what I imagined an astronaut felt as if he was looking back at Earth.”