Originally published here, on Billboard.com. Reposted below.
Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik - "I Don't Wanna Live Forever"
As 2016 creeps closer to an end, Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik are reminding us that this year isn't over quite yet, with plenty of incredible music still to come. The unlikely duo's new collaboration, "I Don't Want To Live Forever" tops this week's #SpotifyNMF, with the pair joining forces to bless the forthcoming Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack. With both powerhouse vocalists trading verses, the song takes a turn for the dramatic and passionate, painting an emotional story of a less-than-picture-perfect romance. The track came together through several twists of fate, with Malik's girlfriend, model Gigi Hadid, helping to connect the dots thanks to her friendship with the superstar singer. Penned by Jack Antonoff, the picturesque ballad comes to life over soft production, making for a solid and sound duet that beautifully weaves together Zayn's impressively wide vocal range with Swift's piercingly sweet and signature voice.
Coldplay - "Everglow" - Live from Spotify London
Coldplay recently made magic at Spotify London, crafting a deliciously unique collection of stripped-back live recordings capable of winning over new fans and reminding day one supporters exactly why the British rock group has been at the top of the game for the past two decades. For the special Spotify session, the alternative rock quartet expertly revisits the depths of their extensive catalog, performing celebrated tracks such as "Viva La Vida," "Yellow" and "Adventures of a Lifetime." As exemplified on their live take of "Everglow," throughout the five track collection, Coldplay breathes new life into each, highlighting their talents as veteran musicians who have long honed their gift for both captivating and connecting with a diverse audience.
Kid Cudi - "Swim In The Light"
Today, we find ourselves discovering a new hero in Kid Cudi. Through 86 minutes of original music, in the form of his highly anticipated sixth studio album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin', the Grammy Award-winning recording artist evolves right in front of our eyes, taking us through the depths of his genius with an intimacy and boldness we can't help but feel grateful for. The album arrives following his publicly addressing his private battle with depression and suicidal urges, with the Cleveland native voluntarily checking himself into a rehab facility earlier this fall. As exemplified through his new 18-track collection, this project's lyrical content is immensely personal, honest and unfiltered. Through stylistic, auto-tuned vocals, Kid Cudi takes us on an emotionally raw journey accented by dark, looming production, intentionally divvied up into four acts, with each tackling various themes with artistic and passionate intention. On "Swim In The Light," Kid Cudi pours his soul out, diving deep into waters that navigate the importance of finding light, even in the darkest of times. Through Kid Cudi's heartfelt expression, we are reminded once again that music truly is therapy.
Yo Gotti - "Castro" featuring Kanye West, Big Sean, Quavo, 2 Chainz
Yo Gotti is ringing in the New Year with the best kind of swag: a shiny new record deal. Pairing the exciting announcement he's signed with Roc Nation with a new track, the rapper makes a strong re-introduction with a star-studded assist featuring Kanye West, Big Sean, Quavo and 2 Chainz. Such a posse cut is as rare as it is epic, solidifying the 35-year-old emcee's place as a force to be reckoned with. With over fifteen years in the game, Yo Gotti is ready to take what's his and soak up the spotlight he deserves, apologizing for nothing along the way. On "Castro," each rap heavyweight joins forces for the second time in their careers, flexing in a unique fashion by way of comparing themselves to the late Fidel Castro.
Muscadine Bloodline - "WD-40"
Muscadine Bloodline is continuing to make their incredible talents known, with the release of their new single "WD-40" unapologetically upping the ante the Alabama duo has got next. This week, members Gary Stanton and Charlie Muncaster celebrated their first year milestone creating and performing music together as Muscadine Bloodline. The multitude of success the group has achieved following their relocation to Nashville and in such a short time span is undeniably impressive, helping to build anticipation for their first official project. Despite only having three singles recorded, the duo found themselves capturing the attention and interest of critically acclaimed songwriter, Luke Laird, who was quick to reach out to the group regarding the life-changing possibility of working together. "I was driving to my studio at Creative Nation one morning when I first heard Muscadine Bloodline on my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist," Laird recalls. "I was immediately captivated by their songs and artistry and messaged them. We totally hit it off and the next thing you know, we were in the studio recording 'WD-40' and their upcoming EP." While the rest was history, technically, Muscadine Bloodline's future is looking bright as ever, with the trailblazing country scene theirs for the taking in 2017.