Like delicious holiday leftovers, the post-Thanksgiving playlist consists of a little bit of everything.
First, keep the holiday spirit alive with Stray Kids’ new song “Christmas EveL” and single-album release. Elsewhere, Doja Cat gave fans the opportunity to direct the music video for her latest single, “Woman,” Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi dropped a breathtaking collaboration for their upcoming film, Don’t Look Up, and Kai (Exo, SuperM) delivered nothing but vibes with his single “Peaches,” which likens the fruit to savory time spent with a lover. And speaking of vibes, August08 did not disappoint with his uber-relatable release, “Keep Me Around.”
Also this week, Afro B premiered his new single, “Shisha,” which features Niniola and Busiswa and The Linda Lindas debuted an adorable tribute to band member Bela’s cat, Nino. Get into it, y’all. Here are our selections for this week’s Best New Music Friday.
Stray Kids, “Christmas EveL”
Stray Kids delivered chaotic holiday cheer with a trappy twist via their new single, “Christmas EveL.” The track is included on their Christmas mini-album, featuring three additional songs that put a fresh spin on traditional holiday music. And this music video — in which Stray Kids pick up Santa’s job duties — is festive perfection.
Doja Cat, “Woman”
Doja Cat put fans in the director’s chair for the “Woman” music video. Released in partnership with Girls Who Code, the interactive experience allows fans to modify aspects of the spicy visualizer and unlock hidden video content using nothing but basic code languages. “I am so excited that Girls Who Code has partnered with me to make my ‘Woman’ music video the world’s first codable music video,” Doja shared in a press statement. “Fans all over the world will get to input code via a microsite and unlock some really cool special features. It’s going to be awesome.”
Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi, “Just Look Up”
Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi premiered a new single, “Just Look Up,” a power ballad from the soundtrack of the Netflix film, Don’t Look Up, which stars both Ariana and Cudi. Slated for a December 10 release, the star-studded cast also includes Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Tyler Perry, and more.
The magnificent Kai (Exo, SuperM) returned with a charming new single “Peaches” to go along with his comeback solo mini-album. Throughout the 808 bass-driven single, Kai likens the sweet fruit to time spent with a lover, leaning into the smooth quietness of his vocal range.
MUSAS ft. Luis Eduardo Acústico, “Destino”
New York-based girl group MUSAS joined forces with Luis Eduardo Acústico for “Destino.” Produced by DJ Bunde and MUSAS member Keshia Sanchez, the percussion and horn-laden track serves as a tribute to women’s empowerment and the sister trio’s Colombian heritage.
August08, “Keep Me Around”
If your playlists is missing a nice, calm, vibe track, August08’s “Keep Me Around” is precisely what you’re looking for. The keyboard-guided R&B song “speaks to the willingly complicated dynamic in relationships,” August shared in a press release. “That beautifully painful confusion. That piece of fear we all have as we dive into trusting someone new, even though we know, with every fiber of our being, that we could be either hurt or fall madly in love. I wanted to express each side and feel every feeling. As I take my steps to grow, this song speaks to the journey to happiness.”
Afro B ft. Busiswa and Niniola, “Shisha”
Afro B served vibes on a platter with a couple of assists from Busiswa and Niniola. Their new single, “Shisha” is a laid-back dance track to which you won’t be able to resist dancing in your seat when you hear it. “Shisha is an Amapiano styled track, with a slight UK Funky house vibe,” Afro said of the single in a statement. “The perfect come back to Africa and dance song. This South African sound is currently taking the world by storm.”
The Linda Lindas, “Nino”
The Linda Lindas delivered the ultimate ode to household cats with “Nino,” an uptempo power-punk dedicated to the band’s vocalist and guitarist Bela’s cat, Nino. According to the band, cat lovers will also be pleased to know that “if you listen carefully, there is a real-life, remarkably talented cat named Lil’ Dude playing piano” on the single as well. Interestingly enough, this is the second time the Los Angeles-based girl group has doled out a track that centers Bela’s pets. In 2020, on their self-titled EP, the group released a song, “Monica,” devoted to the singer’s other cat.
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