New Music Friday: Ariana Grande, Jack Harlow, KAROL G & More of the Hottest Songs and Albums of the Week
By Meredith B. Kile
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Happy New Music Friday! It's every audiophile's favorite day of the week, and some of our favorite artists from all different genres have blessed us with new tunes.
Ariana Grande headed to the White House to kick off her new Positions era, H.E.R. previewed her upcoming SNL performance with a new single and Jack Harlow dropped a new track dedicated to one of the NBA bubble's biggest stars.
Plus, Karol G released a powerful new single after winning big at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, Thomas Rhett reminisced about his "Broke" days with YouTube breakout star Teddy Swims, and Gorillaz rounded up their Song Machine tracks and announced plans for their first live performances since 2018.
Read on for some of our favorite recommendations for new songs and albums to listen to this week -- plus, where you can stream them now!
"Positions" - Ariana Grande
The prolific pop princess launched a new era on Friday, sharing the debut single, "Positions," off of her upcoming album of the same name. The song is a sultry promise about doing anything for a new lover, but it's the bubbly bop's presidential-themed music video that truly set the internet abuzz. In Ari's aspirational administration, women truly can hold any position, from Cabinet member to Commander-in-Chief, to Secret Service and sexy White House chef. She has our vote!
Ahead of her Saturday Night Live debut, GRAMMY darling H.E.R. dropped a new track, adding to her impressively eclectic 2020 catalogue with "Damage," a soft groove with muted horns and lyrics that warn a new lover about a fragile heart. "Careful what you take for granted, yeah," she croons on the chorus, "'Cause with me know you could do damage."
Harlow kept 2020 rolling with a new track on Friday, paying tribute to another of the year's white boy phenoms, Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro -- aka the would-be breakout star of the NBA bubble. And while his flow isn't anything like Eminem, Harlow doesn't seem to be running from the inevitable comparisons to the other white rap star. He drops a few Shady moves in the "Tyler Herro" video, poking fun at a spoof boy band and running from an army of curly-haired clones.
"The ones that hate me the most look just like me," Harlow raps in the video as he's chased down by the doppelgangers. "You tell me what that means."
After sweeping the female categories at the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards this week -- winning Hot Latin Songs Artist of the Year, Female and Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year, Female -- KAROL G wasted no time dropping a new single and stunning video for "Bichota," a powerful anthem that calls for empowerment and inclusion for all.
"'Bichota' is a celebration for all women and men who choose to be fearless and fabulous," Karol said of the track, which backs up its swagger with a dance-worthy beat.
Thomas Rhett joins soulful YouTube sensation Teddy Swims on a new version of Swims' second original single, adding a country twang to the light-hearted look back at less-successful days. "Yeah, we’re gon’ celebrate tonight," Rhett sings on his verse, "Put some champagne on some ice / ’Cause you can’t take it with you when you go!"
"Thank you Thomas for believing in me!!" Teddy captioned a sweet behind-the-scenes Instagram shot of he and Rhett filming the fun-filled video. "You such a good friend and mentor!!"
Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez - Gorillaz
If ever there was a band ready-made for pandemic-mandated virtual performances, it's Gorillaz. Mercifully, the inventive ensemble have provided fans with plenty to listen to in recent months, thanks to their ongoing Song Machine webseries project. On Friday, they dropped their seventh studio album, Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez -- a culmination of Song Machine tracks featuring guest appearances from Elton John, Robert Smith, Schoolboy Q, St. Vincent and more.
The band will be performing songs from the album -- as well as additional favorites -- in a worldwide, live-streamed event on Dec. 12 and 13. The three shows, across three timezones, will mark their first live performances since 2018. Get tickets and more information at WWW.GORILLAZLIVENOW.COM.
Ahead of the 2020 holidays, Stefani dropped a deluxe version of her Christmas album, You Make It Feel Like Christmas, which includes a brand new track: "Here This Christmas." And it's just in time for the release of holiday movies -- the song will be the theme song for Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas!