Here are five new songs to take you into the weekend, including a smoothly political rap from Joey Bada$$, the latest ballad from guitar crooner John Mayer's comeback project, a hypnotic electro-pop track from Grammy-nominated artist Sofi Tukker, the fiery rock-rap hybrid of watt and Post Malone, and a soaring new single from singer B.Miles.
"Land of the Free," Joey Bada$$
Tap into the political spirit with rapper Joey Bada$$'s "Land of the Free," a song with a resistance theme. While his rhymes are biting—"In the land of the free, it's for the free loaders / leave us dead in the street then be your organ donors / they disorganized my people, made us all loners / still got the last names of our slave owners" — the song itself goes down easy. Although, with lines like "Donald Trump is not equipped to take this country over," some listeners won't be here for Bada$$'s vibe.
"Burning Man," watt feat. Post Malone
Or let politics take a backseat to the burning rock of watt, a guitarist and singer-songwriter whose new single "Burning Man," featuring rapper Post Malone for a few hypnotic verses, has the searing guitar solos and easy beat of an old-school acid rock favorite. (It will also appear on the soundtrack of the new Vin Diesel movie, so consider this one a bad-boy action-hero anthem.)
"You're Gonna Live Forever in Me," John Mayer
Smooth-strumming songwriter Mayer has finally released what he's calling "Wave One" of his new album The Search for Everything, a first handful of his songs on this return project after a handful or years of relative silence. "Wave One" delivers some satisfying guitar tunes. "You're Gonna Live Forever In Me," though, is Mayer at his softest: it's sweetly, tenderly melodic, a healing ballad about love and loss that shows the rock star's vulnerabilities. "This is the first time in my life as a singer that I'm in a state of emotion," he told Rolling Stone about recording this song, and you can feel it.
"Johny," Sofi Tukker
Sofi Tukker's dark, genre-bending "Johny" switches seamlessly from Brazilian poetry to English lyrics, from spare hand-clapping rhythms to haunting electronic layers. The Grammy-nominated indie duo from New York—up for Best Dance Recording—get under your skin a little, in a good way. "Johny, can you hear me?" vocalist Sophie Hawley-Weld keeps repeating, a searching plea that you somehow still want to dance to.
Fresh face B.Miles's debut EP isn't out until March, but in "Running" we get a taste of the crossover pop that the L.A.-based artist—whose debut single made it into Hype Machine's popular charts and Spotify's Viral 50—will be working with. With confident, breathy vocals over a pleasantly infectious electropop track, "Running" is poised for a breakthrough.