Friday Playlist: New Music for Your Weekend

New music from James Blake, Kelis, Lute, and more

After a year and change spent listening to new music from the confines of our homes, dance parties and concerts have returned (with some restrictions, of course) and artists are ramping up their new releases. Each week, we pick a handful of newly released songs worth a play—or eight.

Don Toliver, Life of a Don

Cactus Jack member Don Toliver released his highly anticipated sophomore album, Life of a Don, on Friday. The Houston artist announced the project just a week ago (September 28) via a compelling trailer, which featured the then-unreleased single “XSCAPE.” Life of a Don consists of 16 tracks featuring guest appearances from Cactus Jack head honcho Travis Scott on “Flocky Flocky” and “You,” Toliver’s Grammy-winner girlfriend Kali Uchis on the previously released “Drugs N Hella Melodies,” and Baby Keem on “OUTERSPACE.” To commemorate the album, Toliver also dropped a collaboration with GUESS Originals for a limited-edition merch capsule.

Fans won’t have to wait long to hear the album live, as the 27-year-old artist is slated to perform two nights in a row, October 30 and 31, at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. He’s also set to perform at three upcoming music festivals: Scott’s Astroworld in Houston (their mutual hometown) on November 5, Day N Vegas on November 14, and Rolling Loud in San Bernardino on December 12 . [Artist info]

James Blake, Friends That Break Your Heart

Just weeks after he graced the Hollywood Bowl stage with a memorable performance accompanied by the venue’s orchestra, James Blake has released his fifth studio album, Friends That Break Your Heart. The album comes less than a year since he released two other projects, Before in October 2020 and Covers in December. Friends That Break Your Heart, which took the British artist roughly 18 months to create, features guest appearances from SZA, JID, SwaVay, and Monica Martin. [Artist info]

Lute, Gold Mouf

After grabbing our attention with his standout verse on “Under the Sun” from Dreamville records’ compilation album Revenge Of The Dreamers III—which earned him a Grammy nom—Lute has dropped his debut album, Gold Mouf. Featured on the 13-track album are fellow Dreamville affiliates J.I.D and Ari Lennox, North Carolina duo Little Brother, singer BJ the Chicago Kid, Compton’s Westside Boogie, and more.

Dreamville co-founder, Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad, took to Twitter to congratulate Lute on the release saying: “This album is special. My dawg @lute_west9 did an incredible job putting together a body of work that you can feel. Emotions and feelings that really cut through. I’m so happy this is out and I know y’all are too. Enjoy this incredible project.” [Artist info]

Kelis, “Midnight Snacks” 

It’s been seven years since Kelis dropped her 2014 album Food and nearly two decades since she released her hit “Milkshake.” Now, the singer and author of My Life on a Plate is back with a new single titled “Midnight Snacks.” Produced by trio the FaNaTix, the smooth, R&B track also arrives with a sexy video filled with treats of Kelis’s choice, including gummy bears, doughnuts, and pancakes.

“Someone recently said to me, I’m always talking about food in my music,” Kelis said in a caption on Instagram about the song. “I thought about it, and you know what… I do! It isn’t intentional, but it’s something everyone can relate to. It’s very human, it’s sensual, it’s something that you crave.”

“And it’s sexy!” she adds. [Artist info]

BadBadNotGood, Talk Memory

The jazz-fusion band BadBadNotGood, who’s worked with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Ghostface Killah, and Tyler, the Creator, released their fifth studio album, Talk Memory, on Friday. The eight-track project features guest appearances from Los Angeles saxophonist and rapper Terrace Martin, Stones Throw drummer and producer Karriem Riggins, Brazilian composer Arthur Verocai, and contemporary harpist Brandee Younger. If you’re looking for an album to listen to while you’re getting through your weekend errands, Talk Memory is the one for you. [Artist info]

David Sabastian, “Bad Bitch Holiday”

Los Angeles rapper, producer, and community activist David Sabastian just dropped the song that’s sure to hype you and your girls up before you go out this weekend. “Bad Bitch Holiday,” which is narrated by none other than rapper Saweetie, is an ode to women. The single, which was produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E League and Remix God Suede, also arrives with an energetic video that highlights women of all types. In an Instagram caption Sabastian said, “This Friday I pay homage to all the powerful women out in the world that deserve praise + worship. My mom never went on a Vacation day in her life while raising me, while sacrificing everything !!! I know it’s so many women out there that do so much…” “Bad Bitch Holiday” will be featured on Sabastian’s upcoming EP, Sista, he said. [Artist info]

Other worthy mentions

We also recommend that you check out projects by Southern California natives the Alchemist, who released This Thing of Ours 2and Huey Briss and Nikobeats’ Grace Park Legend (Deluxe).

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