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Happy Friday, party people! Let this not be the week of ex-One Directioners‘ new music or Paris Hilton and Sisqo’s ill-fated comebacks, but instead, another week of brand new fire for your weekend playlists. Exhibits A through E can be found below.
In exploring sex, luxury, love, sadness and America, again, Lana illustrates what it means to be a modern woman on her stellar fourth album Lust For Life. Only this time, she fittingly throws a little state-of-the-nation social consciousness into the mix—in the most over-the-top way possible, obviously—enlisting voices like Stevie Nicks and Sean Ono Lennon to help her sing about the fate of the American dream. “13 Beaches” actually avoids the aforementioned theme, instead recalling the kind of symphonic, heartbreaking drama that drew us to her back in 2011. Whatever Lana we get, on any given album—we’re lucky to have her.
Anyone else still get butterflies when they hear Frank Ocean pop up on a track? While the elusive Frank’s contribution to his fellow Odd Future pal’s track is big, it’s Tyler’s best album yet that warrants the whole spotlight here. Famously brash, sometimes misogynistic and homophobic, Tyler’s Flower Boy doesn’t forgive any of his previous shortcomings—but turns over a refreshing leaf. Seemingly coming out on the album opener (“I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004”), Tyler proves he’s matured in his craft and approach, while still dummy-ing beats that range from jazzy to cutthroat.
The Arts & Crafts-signed quartet have returned with this glittery anthem (featuring vocals from Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew) and its equally powerful MuchFACT-funded video. Directed by Kheaven Lewandowski, the “Spirit” visuals are a documentary-like look at the life of fictional character Esther, the only female “death rider” left in Northern India. Combined with the soaring full-band effort, Andrea Lo’s chilling vocals make for a triumphant five minutes.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not sold on Toronto’s latest sing-rap export NAV (yet) but I will give The Weeknd’s co-sign props for the Metro Boomin-produced, feature-heavy project Perfect Timing, which dropped last night. While NAV needs to work on his lyricism, this 21 Savage collab is sinister enough to stand out as more than house party background bass.
Toronto pop artist Liz Lokre further solidifies her rising star status with the sultry second single “Buh Bye,” and its brand new MuchFACT-funded video. The neon visuals suit Lokre’s confident, silky voice and the song’s multi-instrumental touches, leaving us excited for whatever’s next from the Canadian talent.