Friday Playlist: New Music for Your Weekend

New music from Chlöe Bailey, Kacey Musgraves, J Balvin, 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 six.

Chlöe Bailey, “Have Mercy”

While she and her sister’s 2020 album Ungodly Hour is still in heavy rotation, Chlöe Bailey has treated fans to her highly anticipated single “Have Mercy.” For the last year, the 23-year-old Grammy-nominated singer has grabbed—and held—our attention with her star-studded performances, frequent cover songs posted to Instagram, and teasers of the new single, which is finally here with an accompanying music video.

In an interview with Billboard last month, she said, “I’m creating my own lane, as well as paying homage to the ones who have inspired me. It has been fun finding my voice,” hinting at what’s to come on her upcoming solo project, which will drop on Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia.

Bailey is set to bring “Have Mercy” to the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Billboard reports. [artist info]

Syd ft. Smino, “Right Track”

The Internet’s lead singer, Syd, reemerged from something of a musical hiatus a few months ago with the loose singles “Missing Out” and “Fast Car,” her first solo offerings since her 2017 debut Fin. The Los Angeles native returned on Friday with a new song, “Right Track,” featuring St. Louis rapper Smino. 

In addition to the new song, Syd also announced via Instagram that she’ll be performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on September 22. Tickets are available now with the promo code “Syd.” [artist info]

Baby Keem, The Melodic Blue 

After creating buzz with the release of his single “family ties” with cousin Kendrick Lamar and appearing on Kanye’s West DONDA, Baby Keem has unveiled his album, The Melodic Blue. The 16-track project, which includes guest appearances from Don Toliver (“Cocoa”), Travis Scott (“durag activity”), and a second feature from Lamar on “range brothers.”

Baby Keem made his TV debut this month on The Tonight Show, performing his melodic single “issues,” which he also released a music video for. [artist info]

Kacey Musgraves, Star-Crossed

As a follow-up to her 2018 Grammy-award-winning album Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves has released her fifth studio album Star-Crossed. Stemming from new experiences with psilocybin mushrooms, the country-pop singer described the 15-track record as “a modern-day tragedy in three acts,” Pitchfork reports.  

Star-Crossed also arrives with a cinematic companion fans can stream on Paramount+, which features Princess Nokia, Eugene Levy, and more, Rolling Stone reports. (Hot tip: If you haven’t joined the streaming service yet, Paramount+ offers a seven-day free trial.) [artist info

J Balvin, Jose

Colombian megastar J Balvin just released his sixth studio album, Jose, featuring the likes of Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Ozuna, and Skrillex.

Standout tracks from the album include “7 de Mayo,” named for Balvin’s birthday, in which he chronicles his rise from the streets of Medellín to international stardom, and “Si Te Atreves” featuring Zion & Lennox. (Balvin released an accompanying video for the single on Friday.) During an appearance on The Tonight Show this week, Balvin announced that tickets for his Jose tour will go on sale next week. [artist info]

Ari Lennox, “Pressure”

It’s been two years since Ari Lennox released her acclaimed Shea Butter Baby album, which solidified her position within the R&B music space. On Thursday, the singer-songwriter released her latest offering “Pressure,” making us even more excited for her anticipated return. Lennox worked with music legends Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox and Johntá Austin on the track, Stereogum reports.

Creating an entire mood, Lennox sings “​​Keep your eyes on me, eyes on me, apply that pressure/ Get it, don’t be timid when you in it, apply that pressure” on the chorus, and it’s the energy we want to hold onto throughout the weekend—and beyond.

Lennox also dropped a Motown-esque visual for the sultry single, which features looks inspired by late disco queen Donna Summer and “every fine ass woman in the 2000s,” she said on Instagram. [artist info]

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