The government has encouraged the US to practice social distancing this week, meaning many of us remain inside for the time being. But thankfully, musicians are offering solace through music. While they may not be giving fans money like Lil Nas X and Megan Thee Stallion, pop musicians are gracing fans with new music. Niall Horan released his sophomore record Heartbreak Weather, Tones And I returned with a dance-ready single, and Justin Timberlake and Anderson .Paak teamed up for a groovy tune.
Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new releases. Listen Up.
Niall Horan — “Heartbreak Weather”
Niall Horan finally released his highly-anticipated LP Heartbreak Weather following his 2017 solo debut. While the record as a whole showcases Horan’s seasoned ear for pop hits, “Heartbreak Weather” stands out. Buoyant guitar riffs color the track as Horan croons of braving a turbulent time in a relationship.
Tones And I — “Bad Child”
With resounding production, Tones And I put forth the polished single “Bad Child” after the break-out success of her hit “Dance Monkey.” In a statement, Tones And I described the songwriting process of her newest single: “I’ve always wanted to write a song in someone else’s shoes; writing from their perspective. ‘Bad Child’ was the first time I got to do that. It’s seeing life growing up through someone else’s eyes. This is the first of a bunch of songs I’m releasing this year and I can’t wait to share more.”
Justin Timberlake and Anderson .Paak — “Don’t Slack”
Justin Timberlake has teamed up with some of the industry’s most talented musicians for the songs off the upcoming Trolls World Tour soundtrack. After releasing “The Other Side” with SZA, Timberlake returns with the groovy number “Don’t Slack” with Anderson .Paak. The song’s soulful production is emphasized by .Paak’s punchy lyrical delivery and Timberlake’s signature falsetto.
Mxmtoon — “Quiet Motions”
Mxmtoon finds comfort in solitude with “Quiet Motions,” something that many of us are now attempting to find while self-quarantining. In a statement, Mxmtoon described her inspiration behind the track: “One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in my short time so far on this earth is that finding comfort in your own company is a wonderful thing,” she wrote. “The ‘quiet motions’ of pouring yourself a cup of tea, turning on the TV, or lighting a candle can all be pieces of a puzzle that help you to maintain calmness throughout the chaos of the world.”
Ava Max — “Kings & Queens”
Ava Max‘s new single “Kings & Queens” draws from ’80s pop nostalgia through the lens of an empowering anthem. With a revved-up production and clapping backbeat, Ava Max imagines a world in which everyone is treated with equal respect.
JoJo — “Man”
After years of label troubles and even re-recording much of her catalog, JoJo is ready for her new era. The singer returned with “Man,” and shimmering anthem about finding somone who matches the love she has for herself. “I’ve been lucky to have the space to reflect on my own journey up to now, and I hope people can take comfort in the fact that I am not anywhere near perfect, and I will never sugarcoat anything,” JoJo said in a statement about the track. “We are all constantly living and learning, and that’s what makes this life so fun.”
Ellie Goulding — “Worry About Me” Feat. Blackbear
Though Ellie Goulding‘s debut release Lights celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, the singer isn’t slowing down any time soon. Teaming up with Blackbear, Goulding released the haunting number, “Worry About Me.” In a statement, Goulding said the track was written in a dark state of mind. “‘Worry About Me’ is a song I wrote reminiscing about a time a guy wanted me at his convenience, just as I was getting over him,” she said. “It is intentionally tongue-in-cheek because I’m not at all bitter, I just found it humorous.”
Alaina Baraz — “Morocco” Feat. 6lack
Alaina Baraz follows up her 2018 record The Color Of You with a slew of singles. The latest, “Morocco,” features a collaboration with 6lack. Wonky synths provide a backdrop for Baraz’s lilting musings while 6lack’s auto-tuned verse provides a hard-hitting intermission to the fluttering track.
Alma — “Stay All Night”
Finnish singer Alma continues to tease music from her upcoming debut record Have U Seen Her?. With “Stay All Night,” Alma’s soaring voice rides above a low, resounding beat. “I wrote this song for myself, which confuses a lot of people as it feels like it’s for someone else,” Alma said in a statement. “At the time I really needed some encouragement to be free and not think about the ‘what if’s’ in life. Now when I’m feeling anxious I just ask myself ‘would it really be that f*cking bad?’ – maybe I should just stay all night.”
Rita Ora — “How To Be Lonely”
Rita Ora shares her first music of the new year with the empowering track “How To Be Lonely.” Written by Lewis Capaldi, who provided the guitar and backup vocals, the ascending single is about learning to love spending time with oneself. “When you’re alone, remember that you are enough and that you have the strength to make your own choices,” Ora said about the track. “Enjoy being you!”
Some of the artists mentioned are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.