New music Fridays are a thrilling, yet daunting prospect for any music lover.
It's essentially a weekly holiday where fan-favorite artists and fresh faces alike drop their latest offerings for all the world to hear, flooding streaming services and digital retailers with an onslaught of aural goodies. But who has the time to sit there and listen to everything before updating their playlists? There's just too much good stuff! (And, if we're being honest, usually a few stinkers, too.)
As it turns out, we do. Welcome to The MixtapE!
Somehow, it's already March. We can't believe it either.
But while we continue to puzzle over how time has ceased to have any and all meaning, the music industry has kept on pumping out the hits. In honor of International Women's Day on Mar. 8, we've dedicated this week's super-sized edition of The MixtapE! to the women recording in every genre who've proven that they're at the top of the game. These are our picks for the best of the best.
Your playlist for the first weekend in March has arrived. Enjoy!
Selena Gomez & DJ Snake — "Selfish Love"
For the latest taste of her forthcoming Spanish-language project Revelación, Selena re-teamed with her "Taki Taki" collaborator for this sun-drenched bilingual bop that has us dreaming of warmer weather and a healthier world that'll allow us to enjoy the song as intended. That sax line alone feels like an instant vacation.
Jennifer Hudson — "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
You want some vocals? Ms. Hudson's got your vocals. The Oscar-winner takes us all to church on this cover of the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell classic, proving that some vocalists can duet all on their own just fine.
Aly & AJ — "Pretty Places"
The Michalka sisters continue their steady string of winning releases ahead of their forthcoming untitled album with this lush and airy stunner that would make the Laurel Canyon rockers of yesteryear proud, as their influence lives on in the sonic reinvention of the "Potential Breakup Song" stars.
Jensen McRae — "Starting to Get You"
With her latest release, an earnest alt-pop exploration of falling for a friend, the rising singer-songwriter proves yet again exactly why she deserves a place on your radar. Get into Jensen now. You're going to be hearing her name a lot in the coming months.
Aziya — "Slip!"
A woman of color rocking out on the guitar? We love to see it. It's hard to believe that this spiky, funky single is Aziya's literal debut, that's how impressive it is. We can't wait to hear what comes next.
Emotional Oranges feat. Biig Piig — "Body & Soul"
The anonymous R&B duo tap Irish singer Biig Piig for their latest, a seriously smooth sip of their always dreamy juice. We're earmarking this one for our pool party playlists when those become a thing we can all do again. It's exactly the sort of song you'd want for your soundtrack to a laidback Saturday afternoon in the sun.
Siena Liggins — "No Valet"
For the second single off her forthcoming debut album Ms. Out Tonight, the Detroit native delivers a steamy downtempo groove meant to be an anthem for anyone who's, as she explained on Instagram, "ever hit second base in the backseat of a car." It's seriously sexy stuff.
Grace VanderWaal — "Don't Assume What You Don't Know"
Zara Larsson — "Need Someone"
After a long wait, Zara's new album Poster Girl is finally here. The entire LP is a delightful set of dancefloor fillers more than worthy of your time, but we keep coming back to this standout track. A sparkling midtempo celebration of independence with a seriously funky bassline, this one's an excellent entry point.
Jesswar feat. Kobi Spice — "Hit Em With Bass"
The rising Fijian rapper proves she is a legitimate force to be reckoned with on this opening track off her debut project TROPIXX. Sleep on her at your own peril.
The first half of this special expanded section is all about quieter, gentler moments.
Laura Mvula — "Safe Passage"
Morgan Wade — "Take Me Away"
Maple Glider — "Good Thing"
Kat Cunning — "Confident"
Japanese Breakfast — "Be Sweet"
Now let's bring things home with a dance party. We've earned it.
Au/Ra — "Dead Girl!"
No Rome feat. Charli XCX & The 1975 — "Spinning"
Brittany Howard, Joy Anonymous & Fred again.. — "Stay High again.."
Winona Oak feat. ELIO — "Nobody Loves Me"
LP Giobbi — "Take My Hand"