Originally posted on Billboard.com here.
All-star collaborations make for a strong end to the month.
Every week, Spotify updates their "New Music Friday" playlist, featuring 50 of the freshest new tracks hitting the service that week.
On the heels of Billboard's partnership with the streaming giant, we'll be tapping Spotify's editors to sift through the soon-to-be-hits and highlight the best of the bunch.
Check out the picks and listen to the entire "New Music Friday" playlist below.
Cheat Codes -- "No Promises" featuring Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato and Cheat Codes have today set free their highly anticipated collaboration, a song that expertly highlights both of their talents while also finding common ground between the ever-trending marriage between EDM and pop music respectively. True to form, the track, aptly titled "No Promises," features a major drop and couldn't arrive at a better time, inviting the warmer weather in, all while keeping things fittingly noncommittal for the summer, with the line, "Promise me, no promises" further driving home the freeing beauty behind endless possibilities. While sky's the limit for what the rest of the year may unfold, the track marks another successful entry into both artist's fruitfully prospering catalogs, with both entities trading vocal duties over an electronic-tinged radio-friendly soundscape. For Lovato, the vocal-heavy collaboration helps the now 24-year-old singer continue to come into her own as she arrives closer to the decade milestone following her impressive debut release, all while building anticipation for what’s next up her sleeve with her sixth studio LP. Whereas for Cheat Codes, the partnership helps to further solidify their reputation as three undeniable talents with a hunger for hit-making, who have a tried-and-true ability to adapt to best fit whichever artist they are working with on any particular track. All in all, "No Promises" marks a solid joint effort to ring in the weekend and the new month alike, sure to have staying power into the summer months the whimsical, feel-good lyrics are alluding to.
Mary J. Blige -- "Love Yourself" featuring Kanye West
Mary J. Blige is opening up about her recent divorce for the first time in the best way she knows how: through her music. Using her powerful, soulful voice to tell her story, her new release, "Love Yourself," doesn't hold back in the slightest. The song, much like Blige has throughout her almost three decades making music, emits raw emotion, with the queen of hip-hop soul delivering with a strong dramatic flair that not only pulls listeners in, but has us hanging onto every word along the way. Over a building piano-driven, saxophone-littered beat, Blige drops gem after gem of wisdom drawing from her deeply personal experiences, in turn creating an empowering moment that is already sticking out as an impressive highlight of her storied career. With a guest verse from the likes of Kanye West adding the song's impassioned nature, both artist show that despite how many storms each has weathered respectably, they have a fire inside of them allowing perseverance and self-preservation alike. The song is a bit unexpected, adding to the captivating and curious vibe the unapologetically off-the-beat-path emotive anthem exudes. At the end of the day, the power loving oneself has makes for the greatest love story of all, with the 46-year-old legend expertly lifting us all up as we welcome a brand new month ahead, full of possibility, strength and inspiration. As the iconic Mary J. Blige selflessly offers us wisdom from the depths of her soul for the umpteenth time during her impactful career, all we can say is thank you. As proven once again, getting deep into one's feelings should never be mistaken for weakness. As Mary J. reminds us, the opposite couldn't be more true.
Logic -- "Everybody"
Logic is wasting no time. Just yesterday announcing that his new album, Everybody, is slated for a May 5 release, today (March 31) he promptly followed-up to deliver the title track. The announcement marks a transition in direction for the Maryland native, who originally shared that his album would be titled Africaryan and feature a concept exploring the duality of mixed racial identity, a decision that was originally met with heated backlash. In his own words, Logic shared that, "as [he] created the album, it became less and less about [him] and more about everybody else." With the shift in creative direction happening organically along the way, Logic's latest offering marks the beginning of a new era for the 27-year-old. With his first studio album, 2015's The Incredible True Story, elevating his career to soaring heights, Logic has all eyes on him regarding where his sophomore effort will take him next. Diving into the autobiographic nature his storytelling lyrics hold on his new track, "Everybody," the rapper divulges that in a way, he's talking to his younger self, offering a warning regarding the effect growing up among violence can have on a person. He then tackles the nitty gritty straight on, breaking down his own conflicts directly related to his own biracial identity, doing so in a hard-hitting way and not necessarily an emotional fashion. With a lot to digest lyrically, Logic's new single addresses his experiences regarding what it's like to be rejected by both races that make up who he is, even admitting to Genius that perhaps life would have been easier to navigate as a "f***ing accountant" than it is as a rapper. However, Logic addresses such personal topics in a way that encourages intelligent conversations to transpire regarding acceptance and identity, making for a culturally important release. Logic demands respect and by unwaveringly telling his story through his music, he's sure to receive it in turn.
Yellow Claw -- "Open" (from Los Amsterdam)
The Dutch electronic production outfit fondly known as Yellow Claw came out on top with their 2015 debut landing at the No. 1 slot on the Billboard Dance Albums chart. With the duo poised for success from the very beginning, it may come off as bit of an interesting surprise that despite everything they've impressively accomplished in a short amount time, they chose to approach their new album completely differently than one could safely assume. While the duo, composed of members Nils Rondhuis and Jim Aasgier, has been held in high regard for their polished ability to craft dance floor-ready bangers, lending their talents to the likes of Diplo and DJ Snake, the group is ready to further refine their creative process, applying what they learned from the creation of their first project in a way that is allows them to continue pushing boundaries and their sound alike. "We did everything wrong that we could've have done wrong [making Blood For Mercy]," Rondhuis shared with Billboard. "We were really compromising between: what do I like to listen to, what do I want to play in the club, and even what can people listen to at home," Aasgier added. With today's arrival of their sophomore record, Los Amsterdam, Yellow Claw covers a lot of ground throughout the course of less tracks than their debut featured, proving that the duo is further honing their skills and celebrating what it’s like to create a cohesive album, as opposed to firing off loose singles. By placing a lot of conscious thought and energy into this project, the group has successfully and humbly created a sophomore effort more than worthy to be proud of. With a clear focus on balancing sound, as found on our New Music Friday playlist this week, "Open" is a great place to dive into the project and get a feel for how Yellow Claw dedicated themselves to taking risks, switching it up and proving that it'd be an ignorant disservice to count them out of the game.
Thomas Rhett -- "Craving You" featuring Maren Morris
Country singer-songwriter Thomas Rhett has a lot to celebrate these days. From the recent announcement he and his wife, Lauren Gregory, are both expecting a baby girl and adopting a second child from Africa, to having to expand his tour due to fan demand (before it even started), to the fact that he paired his 27th birthday this week with a track release, it doesn't come as too much of a surprise that his new music is reflecting the feel-good nature of his personal life. With his third full-length album currently in the works, the highly anticipated project's first single, "Craving You," is one that is slated to make its live debut by way of being performed at the 2017 ACM Awards on April 2. Not too shabby for the new year, sir. The single was written by Julian Bunetta and Dave Barnes, and is full of emotional longing and an intense, infectious chorus to match. With the recruited talent of singer Maren Morris, the two head in a pop rock-friendly direction, further playing to their crossover appeal and merging their country roots to create a duet that is undeniably catchy, all over a rolling melody with thunderous drums and accenting guitars. With the urge to freely sing along almost impossible to fight, the uptempo number has an undeniably sexy feel to it, proving that with "Craving You," Rhett has scored yet another exciting slam-dunk.