Alessia Cara Sees The Light In Her Defiant ‘Trust My Lonely’ Video

If anyone knows a thing or two about brushing off haters, it’s Alessia Cara. This year alone, the singer expertly dismissed critics who questioned whether she deserved a Grammy, then triumphantly launched her second album era with the relatable jam “Growing Pains.” Now, the 22-year-old is back with another new earworm, “Trust My Lonely,” which comes with an awesomely empowering message.

In the bubbly track’s video, Cara performs in front of various colorful backdrops in sunny locales like a beach, a football field, and a grassy meadow. While goofily and carelessly dancing, she sings, “Go get your praise from someone else / You did a number on my health / My world is brighter by itself, and I can do better, do better.”

Upon releasing the video, Cara explained the song’s meaning on Twitter, writing, “It’s human instinct to hold on to things that aren’t good for us something because we’re afraid of being without them. They become our comfort. In some cases, it’s a toxic relationship, in others, a bad friendship, or in my case — and the reason I wrote this song — internal black clouds and voices of doubt, both my own and those of others. Letting go is not easy, but most times it’s the uncomfortable nudge we need in order to find a happier place within ourselves. This song is for you and for me. Let it be both a reminder and celebration of the frequently forgotten sentiment that we’re here and we’re okay.”

The video also sees the return of the symbolic oversized suit Cara’s been regularly rocking lately. On Instagram, she said that the suit “visually represents the idea of growing up too fast, or trying to fit ourselves into roles that can feel too large to handle.” Considering her forthcoming sophomore album is titled The Pains of Growing, that seems like a perfectly suited (sorry) metaphor.

Watch Post Malone Smash Guitars And Shotgun Beers In ‘Better Now’ Video

If you loved watching Post Malone and Aerosmith smash a guitar onstage at the VMAs, you’ll definitely want to watch the rapper’s new video for “Better Now.”

Released on Friday (October 5), the Adam Degross-directed vid chronicles Post’s touring adventures via a black and white compilation of his finest live moments. When he’s not performing in front of throngs of hyped fans, we see Post shotgunning a Bud Light, riding a scooter, wearing a tiara, and, of course, gleefully smashing an axe. All of this has nothing to do with the breakup-centric lyrics of “Better Now,” but it doesn’t really matter — this is about seeing Post in his element and proving why he’s a bonafide rockstar.

“Better Now” is yet another top 10 hit from Malone’s chart-topping sophomore album, beerbongs & bentleys. It’s been a banner year for the rapper, and he’s not slowing down yet — on October 28, he’s set to throw his inaugural Posty Fest, headlined by himself and Travis Scott. Check out the full lineup below.

Eminem Infects An Entire City With A Shady Symbiote In ‘Venom’ Video

Just in time for the release of Marvel’s blockbuster Venom, Eminem has released the official video for his track of the same name. Unsurprisingly, it’s a dark and murky affair that has plenty of body-hopping symbiote action but, sadly, no Tom Hardy.

The “Venom” visual is a continuation of Em’s video for “Fall,” which ends with him smashing a CD copy of his (oft-panned) 2017 album, Revival. That disc houses an alien symbiote similar to Venom’s, and it causes a bunch of everyday people — and even a dog! — to spaz out and rap Em’s bars while haphazardly infecting one another. After working its way through the city, the virus eventually gets back to the Detroit MC, who in turn morphs into Venom itself in the vid’s final moments.

Along with appearing on the film’s soundtrack, “Venom” is the closing track on Eminem’s recent surprise-dropped album Kamikaze, which hit No. 1, becoming the rapper’s ninth chart-topping solo project. Venom hits theaters today (October 5).

Ariana Grande Just Shared A ‘Needy’ New Song Teaser

Ariana Grande released one of the best albums of the year, Sweetener, just 49 days ago, but that hasn’t stopped her from working on new material. The 25-year-old returned to the recording studio recently (she even teased a tracklist on her Instagram Story), and now, she’s giving fans a taste of what she’s cooked up.

Late Thursday night (October 4), Ari tweeted a video from the studio with an unreleased song playing in the background. “Passionate but I don’t give no fucks / I admit that I’m a little messed up,” she sings over minimalist production (this definitely isn’t a Pharrell joint). “I can be needy / Way too damn needy / I can be needy / Tell me how good it feels to be needed.”

No word yet on if and when we’ll get to hear the final versions of the music Grande’s working on. Fans are speculating that she’s already at work on her fifth album and, if so, that she’ll tour in support of both #AG5 and Sweetener. Grande didn’t outright confirm that rumor, but she slyly alluded to the possibility in an Instagram comment this week. She also wrote in a since-deleted tweet, “can’t wait for you guys to start being weird little ag5 detectives,” which sounds like a promising sign.

All in all, fans definitely weren’t expecting a Sweetener followup this quick, but it’s a welcome surprise from Grande, who’s, by her own admission, had a tough year. Her team recently shared a statement about her taking time off after her ex Mac Miller passed away, but as Ari herself explained on Twitter this week, “music is the best medicine.”

Charli XCX And Troye Sivan Go Back To ‘1999’ On Nostalgia-Trip New Song

The first thing you need to know about “1999,” the new collaboration between Charli XCX and Troye Sivan, is that it’s not a Prince cover. The second you need to know is that it’s a positively nostalgic bop.

While the Purple One was concerned with the future, Charli’s caffeinated-as-always vocals are a touch wistful for the past. She sings, “Wishing we could go back in time / Maybe we could do it tonight, tonight, tonight” and pinpoints the final year of the 20th century as the preferred destination.

This all begs the question, what exactly would one do if she found herself dropped back near the end of the first Clinton term? (Charli grew up in Essex, and Troye in Perth, so the Clinton reference point isn’t as fitting, but whatever.) The song’s escapist lyrics mention some specific cultural hallmarks of the time — blasting Slim Shady and Britney Spears — but also simply indulging in what being young has to offer, like “playin’ air guitar on the roof.”

“I know those days are over but a boy can fantasize / About JTT on MTV and when I close my eyes,” Sivan sings on the bridge, shouting out ’90s teen heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas. The single’s cover art also finds Troye and Charli decked out in shiny Matrix leather like Trinity and Neo, a look that never quite went away or maybe did but is now back, for good?

“1999” marks the second prominent time-machine pop song this year, after Anne-Marie’s early-aughts patchwork “2002.” Both songs shout out “…Baby One More Time” specifically, too, though “2002” expands its scope and uses songs from many other years as reference points. The madcap “1999” is absolutely classic Charli, a celebration of pop that fuses elements of the era she’s shouting out while also somehow sounding like a roadmap to pop’s effervescent future.

I can only hope we’ll soon get a video that’s as incredibly studied in its approach to the late ’90s as that cover art. I mean, look at that font! Not since Beerbongs & Bentleys has an album cover evoked such particular late-’90s shopping-mall music shop feels.

Until we get a proper visual though, you can listen to the whole thing above. And dance.

Halsey’s ‘Without Me’ Is Her Most Personal Song To Date: ‘I Cried The Whole Time’

Halsey is back with her first new song not as Halsey. Technically, “Without Me,” is still released under that moniker, but — as she explained in an interview with Zane Lowe on Thursday (October 4) — it’s the first time she’s written a song using her real name, Ashley Frangipane.

“It’s just me. No wig, no colorful hair, no character, and it’s about my life and about my relationship that the world has watched so closely and so vehemently in the past year and a half,” Halsey explained, emphasizing that “Without Me” is a standalone track that’s not part of some grand Shakespearean concept album á la last year’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom.

The relationship in question is Halsey’s romance with G-Eazy, which has been plagued by his rumored cheating and their brief split over the summer. The couple has since gotten back together, but “Without Me” seems to reflect on their torturous time apart. “Tell me how’s it feel sittin’ up there / Feeling so high but too far away to hold me,” she sings. “You know I’m the one who put you up there / Name in the sky / Does it ever get lonely? / Thinking you could live without me.”

For dramatic effect, the song even nods to Justin Timberlake’s spiteful 2002 breakup hit “Cry Me a River” with the lyrics, “You don’t have to say just what you did / I already know / I had to go and find out from them.”

Recording the track, Halsey admitted, was an emotional process. “I cried the whole time I recorded it,” she tweeted. “But now I feel proud. And empowered.”

See Halsey further discuss “Without Me” in the Beats 1 interview below.

Pop Quiz: What’s The Best Intro Song On An Album?

The TRL Pop Quiz works like this: our editors are posed a music-related question and have only 15 minutes and just 100 words to research, choose and explain their answers. This week’s question: what’s the best introductory/opening track on an album?

Ariana Grande’s fourth album Sweetener just dropped, but I’d already call her intro track “Raindrops (An Angel Cried)” one of the most beautiful tracks… ever. A brief cover of “An Angel Cried” by The Four Seasons, the song is 38 seconds of acapella bliss highlighting Ariana’s soaring vocals. It sets the tone for Sweetener and even has a personal connection — her grandpa’s best friend wrote the song. Plus, with Ariana’s musical theatre roots, it’s fun to consider the fact that this song is featured in the Broadway musical Jersey Boys might also play a factor in her song choice. – Kristen Maldonado

“Gloria: In Excelsis Deo” from Patti Smith’s iconic album Horses is my favorite album opener. The track reimagines an existing song, “Gloria” by Them, and incorporates poems and previous works of Smith’s. Within the song, Patti plays with gender, religion and sexuality, setting up the punk tone of the rest of the album. The song has an arc, starting very slowly with just Patti’s voice and a piano, sounding a lot like a hymn (the title comes from a Catholic hymn). It gains speed, instruments and energy as it plays, and it’s an excellent preview for what’s to come. – Leah Williams

“Supermodel” is the hook to SZA‘s excellent debut CTRLboth as its stunningly bold opening track and the album’s thematic focal point. Over three airy minutes, she delivers dangerously careless kiss-offs (“I’ve been secretly banging your homeboy,”) demands explanation for being dumped (“Why am I so easy to forget like that?”) and dreads the oncoming isolation that greets singledom (“Wish I was comfortable just by myself / but I need you”). Those tension points of insecurity, loneliness and how those feelings can often lead to bad behavior weave through the entire album, but are honed brilliantly from the very beginning. – Terron Moore

I’ll start off by saying that “Self”, the first track on Noname’s album Room 25 has one of the best lines I’ve ever heard: “My p*ssy teachin’ ninth grade English / My p*ssy wrote a thesis on colonialism.” The song introduces her new maturity to her audience following her mixtape, Telefone. On “Self”, Noname raps about how people don’t believe she can rap and that she made this album for herself, not for anybody else. It does a good job of introducing the album as her coming-of-age story, talking about politics, musical success, sexual exploration and personal growth. – Landyn Pan

In less than 90 seconds, Tori Kelly prepares you for the next 50 minutes on “Where I Belong,” the opening song on Unbreakable Smile. “I’m just a girl with her guitar / trying to give you my whole heart,” Tori sings to open up her debut studio album, setting the stage for a no-holds-barred, acoustic soundtrack of her experiences with love, loss and fame. It’s clear that after four years of making music, Tori found a sweet spot with her sound and was doing things her own way, not to appease her label or anyone else. – Matt Gehring

“Lucky Star” isn’t just a great album opener; for some, it may have been their first moment hearing Madonna. On her self-titled debut, Madge delivered a decade-defining hit from the jump, kick-starting a career that produced countless more. The qualities that made her an icon are immediately recognizable in “Lucky Star”—her appeals to the dancefloor; the breezy, teasing vocals; her willingness to conflate the sacred with the sacrilegious. This didn’t just set the template for one of the best albums of the ‘80s (which it is); it signaled the emergence of arguably the most influential pop star in history. – Gus Turner

Lauv’s ‘I Like Me Better’ Began As An Accidental iPhone Voice Memo

Believe it or not, Lauv once had to “beg” his friends to come to his shows. That was years ago; back when he’d play tiny rooms for tinier crowds that didn’t know his name, and maybe didn’t care. Joke’s on them — the 24-year-old singer-songwriter, who is MTV’s Push: Artist to Watch for the month of October, has been enjoying a banner breakout year on the back of his platinum hit, “I Like Me Better.” The nostalgic, moody electro-pop bop is a streaming smash (over a billion streams and counting) and, to hear Lauv tell it, its genesis was practically destiny.

“I came in that day and… I had no concept, no lyrics, no idea I was going to write that song,” he told MTV News. “I had just gotten some new synth sounds, and then I threw in this drum loop, and then I got the whole melody.”

The melody he’s talking about is one you’re probably already familiar with: it’s the one that, when tweaked to the high heavens, sounds sort of like a humming dolphin and immediately gets etched into your brain. Lauv sang it into his phone with the intent of eventually scrapping it, but it was just too good to resist.

“I didn’t want to forget it, so I just voice memo’d it in my iPhone,” Lauv continued. “I thought I was going to replace it with a different sound later but I ended up just sending that to my computer and chopping up that voice memo with all the noise and everything and just using that. It was probably the fastest song I’ve written. It kind of feels like it wrote itself, honestly.”

“I Like Me Better” is like a crush in musical form, and that sweetness, that emotion, translates beautifully to the stage. While performing in New York to celebrate his new Push: Artist to Watch tenure, he sang the hook (“I like me better when I’m with you”) with a sincere smile on his face, before dropping some playful spins and dance moves as the crowd cheered in approval. It was far from an empty room this time — no begging was involved in the making of this performance! — and it signals even more sweet success as Lauv continues making hits and defining his sound.

“I think the best artists, at least the artists I look up to the most, kind of redefine themselves throughout time and aren’t afraid to do that,” he said. “So I’m just trying to be as open to the future as possible.”

Check out Lauv’s full, exclusive performance of “I Like Me Better” below, and see more from his Push series here.

Get Ready For Taylor Swift’s First Awards Show Performance Of The Reputation Era

Later this week, Taylor Swift will pack up her flame launchers and giant inflatable snakes as she wraps up the North American leg of her massive Reputation tour. But before jetting off to Australia for the next installment, she’ll make a pit stop at the American Music Awards on October 9 to do something very, very bad.

The pop star announced Tuesday morning (October 2) that she’s opening the AMAs next week with a performance of the Reputation banger “I Did Something Bad.” She and her kitty/bestie Meredith broke the news in a cute video, with Swift quipping, “Don’t be too excited about it, my god,” as Meredith slunk away mid-announcement (Mer wanted “Getaway Car” as the next single, I guess).

Though “I Did Something Bad” was never a single, it’s an easy fan-favorite thanks to its warped vocals and venomous lyrics like, “If a man talks shit them I owe him nothing / I don’t regret it one bit ’cause he had it coming” and “They’re burning all the witches even if you aren’t one / So light me up.”

Even more exciting, this is Swift’s first awards show performance in almost three years, and her first of the infamously media-shy Reputation era. The last time she graced an awards show stage, believe it or not, was back in February 2016, when she opened the Grammys with “Out of the Woods.”

Besides performing at the AMAs, Swift is nominated in four categories, including Artist of the Year, alongside Ed Sheeran, Drake, Imagine Dragons, and Post Malone. The show airs on Tuesday, October 9 on ABC.