Kanye West And Bon Iver Whisper Into Cosmic Winds In New Collab With Francis And The Lights

Kanye West is back — well, kind of. He’s collaborated with Bon Iver on Francis and the Lights‘s new song, “Take Me to the Light,” which dropped on Tuesday (September 3). It’s a mystifying new world captured in a bottle, then transcribed for audio in what amounts to one of the year’s most eccentric otherworldly releases. It’s not quite 1980s-inspired, not exactly futuristic, maybe not even all the way in this realm. But it’s absolutely chilling, and neck hair-raising, and proof that when you bring together some of music’s most eclectic and haunted minds, they break expectations every time.

It’s theorized that the path to heaven exists at the far end of a tunnel the same color as tree branches. You float through to a bright light where eternal salvation and peace exist on the other side. If this exists, “Take Me to the Light” would be what plays during the journey. Synths are stretched around a blackhole’s axis of rotation and spread ad infinitum. Imagine Chewbacca’s opening theme if he were a talk-show host on Tatooine. That’s the closest approximation to the Andromeda galaxy-like sounds that continuously reinvent themselves like blossoming flowers.

West is credited with producing it along with benny blanco, Cashmere Cat, BJ Burton, Jeff Bhasker, Caroline Shaw, and Noah Goldstein. Everyone comes together for a mystifying tune about love that stays with you long after it whispers to a close.

“Take Me to Tte Light” is the title track from Francis’s forthcoming album of the same name. Kanye may or may not be releasing a new album named Jesus Is King on September 27. Whatever happens, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Listen to the haunting “Take Me to the Light” up above.

It’s Official: Lizzo’s ‘Truth Hurts’ Is 100% That No. 1 Hit

Lizzo took the Billboard Hot 100 test and it 100% confirmed that she’s got a hit with “Truth Hurts.” It’s just been revealed that her epic self-love anthem has peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard chart. The flute-slinging chanteuse is officially at the top of the game now.

“Truth Hurts” has spent 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune came out in 2017 and was something of a sleeper hit until this year when Lizzo released her smashing set of tracks “Juice” and “Cuz I Love You” and helped light a massive spark. “Truth Hurts” also found its way into the Netflix rom-com Someone Great earlier this year, where it soundtracked a pivotal scene.

To see her song resurface like this and climb the charts has to be an epic feeling, especially since it’s reached the same heights as other recent number-ones like “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish and the record-breaking “Old Town Road (Remix)” by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus.

Lizzo absolutely smashed the 2019 VMAs to smithereens with her performance that featured both “Truth Hurts” and “Good As Hell” (as well as a show-stopping inflatable ass). She dropped her third studio album Cuz I Love You in April.

Alessia Cara Says Goodbye To An Unforgettable Tour On ‘October’

With fall around the corner, it’s time to acknowledge that summer is over — even if our stubborn, toasty temperatures refused to recognize it. Luckily for us, Alessia Cara has released a melancholy new jam that sounds like when the first chilly winds of autumn hit and we’re forced to bring out jackets.

Her new single “October,” which is about her touring experience with Shawn Mendes, feels like a breakup song for a situation that she’s going to miss. But all good things must come to an end, so Cara’s send-up feels like an awesome conclusion to a thrilling chapter, delivered with a softness that brings out the tears.

“October” is a mid-tempo jam with relaxing guitars and delicate melodies whispered into the microphone. Cara previously toured with Mendes for The Tour and was so enamored by the experience that she wrote a song about not wanting it to end. “I’m gonna miss it when it’s over / Yeah, yeah / I hope we never see October / Yeah, yeah,” she sings gently. It’s the perfect breakup anthem, one that happens to be about an experience instead of an actual person. But this is just the first act of Cara’s career; there’s sure to be more tours, more adventures, and more moments that will birth even greater experiences.

Before the song dropped, Cara took to Instagram and detailed the song’s meaning. “I wrote this song about a very recent period of time in which I felt more aligned than I ever have,” she wrote. “It’s about healing and discovering that some feelings are as beautiful as they are inevitably fleeting. So much so that I wanted to encapsulate these ones before they were gone. Now, I’ll have them forever and I can go back there anytime. I can go back and feel the thorns in my hands after falling into a ditch in Europe (I won’t elaborate) or hear everyone’s tired 5 AM taxi laughs. Playing shows in beautiful cities with my road family and happy crying with my best friend (a lot).”

“It’s all there,” she continued. “This is for the friends I’ve kept and the ones I’ve found. The places we’ve been, the nostalgia accidentally set ourselves up for, and the months I’ll always think about.”

“October” appears on Cara’s forthcoming EP, This Summer that’s out on September 6. The project will also feature the previously released tunes “Rooting For You” and “Ready.”

Miley Cyrus’s ‘Slide Away’ And The Necessity Of Emergency Breakup Bops

By Emilee Lindner

When I read the headline, I forgot to breathe. There I was, gawking at my computer without blue-light glasses (I know, dangerous), as my almost-lunchtime appetite shrunk back down to my stomach. Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth had called it quits after eight months of marriage.

While celeb breakups are as common as your standard American house finch, for some reason I absorb them every single time. (I’m still grieving Heidi Klum and Seal, if that tells you anything.) I soak in other people’s breakups — possibly because I’m reminded that my own relationship may be mortal. That scares me. Happy endings are promised to no one. Even Miley and Liam.

So, what the hell happened? The happy couple had just tied the knot in December after nearly a decade of being on-again-off-again. They had already worked out their kinks, right? How could they just ignore their past? Didn’t Liam show her the magic of Malibu, like her song says? Weren’t they soul mates?

Now ordinarily, like any pop star whose personal life I’m far too entangled in, they’d answer all these questions in a new album possibly months, or a year, away. With Taylor Swift, we had to wait three years to hear if she’s still dating that guy from The Favourite (#BuyLoverOniTunes). Hell, the Kardashians make us wait eight months for all their stale tea on Keeping Up. But not Miley. In fact, just a few days after that heartbreaking headline, Ms. Cyrus dropped a new song revealing everything.

Slide Away” tells the story of an ocean boy and a city girl phasing out of their relationship. The lyrics explain the breakup almost too accurately: “Grow up, we’re not 17” (they started dating in 2009 when she was indeed 17); “Think I’m gonna miss these harbor lights” (Miley once sang about how Liam led her to the coast on 2017’s “Malibu”); “Baby, we were found, but now we’re lost” (while they rekindled their partnership in each other, they’ve shed their sense of self). It’s concise and clear.

While Liam posted a detail-devoid statement over on his Instagram, Miley’s song did the same job — although more revealing and emotionally charged. It’s closure, even when we’ve barely had time to wallow in their separation. Even before she fired off a string of tweets denying her infidelity, fans weren’t exactly left hanging. The song said it all.

At the 2019 VMAs, Miley avoided the red carpet and interviews altogether, instead letting her black-and-white performance of “Slide Away” speak for itself. With just the correct amount of vulnerability — hair wet, legs exposed, flanked only by a line of string players — her voice exuded power and independence (a stark contrast from her romantic, teary Billboard Music Awards performance in 2017).

In a time when social media makes us feel closer to famous people than we actually are, the expedited breakup song is beginning to take the place of a breakup statement (or silence, for that matter). Nearly two weeks after Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s whirlwind engagement ended, we got “thank u, next” — where we learned that there was no animosity on Ariana’s end; she was just “grateful” for her ex. The song spawned the swift release of an entire LP of post-breakup tunes, free from an extended hefty rollout plan, just six months after her Sweetener album. And when Halsey and G-Eazy were dunzo, we got “Without Me,” a one-off single about a dude that took “advantage” of Halsey. The song stood alone without an album or EP to live on, capitalizing off the narrative of Halsey’s own life rather than abiding to an album cycle. It’s worth noting that both “thank u, next” and “Without Me” were Ariana and Halsey’s first No. 1 (solo) songs on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively.

Fans aren’t entitled to these breakup tunes, but with the success of Halsey and Ariana’s songs, they might just entice record labels to break format and give the people what they want. And what we want is a cap to a celebrity storyline — one that might even mimic our own.

In 2015, my Spotify was crammed full of breakup playlists. They helped me wallow in my own issues. Lyrics from Beyoncé’s “Jealous” and Nicki Minaj’s “The Crying Game” gave me words when all I could do was sob. Even after my heart had healed, I returned to these playlists to commemorate the tough time — like glancing at a tattoo you got as a reminder of the dark days. I made my sister a playlist for her breakup. My friends with boy problems get links from me daily. Annoying? Perhaps! But I guess it’s my way of saying, “Hey, I don’t know what to say to you right now, but Tove Lo does.”

Miley’s “Slide Away” is just more proof: Bring on the era of the emergency breakup bops, separation songs, dissolution ditties, ghosting galops, and what have you. We’re always going to need them.

P.S. I still hope Miley and Liam get back together.

Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor, And Rapsody Front The NFL’s New Social Justice Campaign

The first new aspect of the NFL and Roc Nation partnership is a program called Inspire Change. It was announced earlier this month, but today (August 30), it has been detailed. First, the program has advocates for the 2019 season and they are Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor, and Rapsody. And the first thing that comes from these advocates is a free concert in Chicago on September 5.

Inspire Change, according to the NFL Operations website, “showcases how the players, owners and the league work together to create positive change in communities across America.” It’s divided into three priority areas: education and economic advancement, police and community relations, and criminal justice reform. It will include community activation in social justice events, grassroots funding, and sharing stories of change.

The Inspire Change concert will take place in Chicago’s Grant Park at the NFL Kickoff Experience. A day before that, Rapsody is set to host an Inspire Change Speed Mentoring Session at Chicago-based organization BBF Family Services that will involve teaching from authority figures in Roc Nation, the community, players in the NFL, and more.

Inspire Change will also be funded by the proceeds from the Songs of the Season project, which is set to bring attention to both established and emerging artists in various genres. Songs that are selected will be worked into promotional material for the NFL and will play during game broadcasts. There’s also the Inspire Change apparel that is set to launch and will also be utilized to provide funding for the program’s efforts.

Bop Shop: Songs From Miley Cyrus, A$AP Rocky, Ava Max, And More

Teejayx6 is Detroit’s premier scam rapper and he’s not even 18 yet. Artists like Vince Staples and Lil Yachty have given him co-signs, and if you listen to his absurd brand of rap, it’s not hard to see why. He breaks down scamming to a science, often fondly remembering how he evaded capture by the skin of his teeth. But what really makes his rhymes stand out is just that they’re so heavy and hilarious.

Nowhere is that truer than on his latest release, the cartoonish “Blackmail.” Slightly offbeat but energetic throughout, Teejayx6 smashes himself over the head with a piano, scams his grandmother on Facebook, and hides a body on the top of Mount Everest. The way that he practically screams each line feels like he’s in on it, winking at YouTube comments writing off his recent songs as jokes. But with its emotional, instrument-led beat and booming bass, “Blackmail” transcends the rough-feeling aesthetic of his work so far, opting for something a little more polished and commercial. He’s not exactly cut out for radio just yet. But with him subtly evolving with changes in the formula like this, it’s not too hard to imagine him breaking down his questionable methods on a station near you in the future. —Trey Alston

Lana Del Rey’s New Album Is Out Now — And She’s Already Working On Another One

Lana Del Rey‘s sixth studio album, Norman Fucking Rockwell, is now out today (August 30), finally. Six singles later and a couple of wild music videos, including one where she’s tall enough to date Godzilla, the LP has arrived with bold and swaggering style, as only Lana Del Rey can deliver.

Norman Fucking Rockwell features the previously released tunes, “Mariners Apartment Complex,” “Venice Bitch,” “Hope Is A Dangerous Thing For A Woman Like Me To Have – But I Have It,” “Fuck It, I Love You,” and “The Greatest.” Its rollout stretches back to 2018 with the release of “Mariners Apartment Complex” in September followed soon after by “Venice Bitch.” It wasn’t until June that she revealed that Norman Fucking Rockwell would be out in two months. Last month, it felt official when she shared the tracklist with fans.

Even with the album coming out today, Lana has made it clear that she’s one of the hardest working women in pop. In an interview with The TimesLana revealed that she’s already working on her next album, tentatively titled White Hot Fever. She also recently released a cover of Scottish singer Donovan’s 1966 song, “Season of the Witch” for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and shared “Looking For America” in response to recent mass shootings.

Stream Lana’s new album up above.

Hear HAIM Plunge Into Charli XCX’s Electro-Pop Universe On ‘Warm’

What happens when Charli XCX invites HAIM to her avant-garde electro-pop world? You get a track like “Warm,” which seamlessly fuses the band’s sunny harmonies and the pop star’s brash production.

As with most Charli joints, “Warm” is a total sonic adventure, enveloping her and HAIM’s warped vocals in a fog of heavy bass and whirring, twinkling synths. At times, they sound like they’re underwater; at others, it’s like they’re whispering in your ear. The effect is dizzying, and it only amplifies the track’s urgency, as Charli and the “Summer Girl” trio cooly convince their partner to “fall in love, risk it all.”

“You gotta tell me the reason / Why we can’t fall in love / You gotta tell me the reason / Why you won’t open up,” they repeat on the chorus, insisting they’re ready to “jump in the deep end” of love (they’re far from the shallow now!).

“Warm” is the fourth mouth-watering taste of Charli’s upcoming, eponymous third album. She got the party started with Troye Sivan on “1999,” then delivered “Blame It on Your Love” with Lizzo, “Gone” with Christine and the Queens, and “Cross You Out” with Sky Ferreira. The rest of the album comprises even more collaborations, with CupcakKe, Clairo, Brooke Candy, Yaeji, and Big Freedia all lending features. Charli arrives on September 13, five long years since the arrival of Sucker. We’re ready!

Post Malone Wants To Get Off A Rickety Carousel Of Love On ‘Circles’

Ah, yes. Fall is arriving. Smell the dying leaves in the air and crunch on orange and brown fronds as they litter the streets. Post Malone has released a new song that captures the feeling of the season in its mellow melodies and chilly description of love. It’s “Circles,” a bittersweet song about pointless, neverending love that revolves meaninglessly and runs on empty fuel. Get out a light jacket for this one. It feels like it’s getting cold outside.

“Circles” might be the most perfectly mellow song that Post has ever released. Over a guitar riff from the middle of an empty forest, he sings dejectedly like he woke up early in the morning to skip rocks on an empty river. His voice vibrates and shakes to the mellow groove as he explains his situation: He’s been on the carousel of love with a partner for quite some time and the ride has grown old. No matter how they try to spice it up, they’re ready to get off and try something different.

Until they decide to though, they’re just revolving in circles with dim eyes and dead souls. “Make up your mind, tell me, what are you gonna do? / It’s only me, let it go,” he sings on the bridge. He doesn’t want to, but it looks like he’ll have to step up and be the bad guy.

“Circles” will appear on Post Malone’s forthcoming album Hollywood’s Bleeding, set to drop on September 6. The LP will also feature his other recently released singles, “Goodbyes,” which features Young Thug, and “Wow.” Post Malone will also be heading out on tour with Swae Lee in support of the album on September 14.

Listen to Post Malone’s sweet embrace of heartbreak on “Circles” up above.

Rick Ross Has The Best Time Just Standing Still In The Video For ‘Fascinated’

Rick Ross has released a new, relaxing video for “Fascinated” that, depending on who you ask, could either excite you or leave you wondering if there’s a double meaning to it. In it, Ross gets fitted for a suit while he blows smoke. That’s the punchline. And that’s all that happens because, in a life of luxury, sometimes the smallest details are the selling point.

What are your suit measurements? Rick Ross probably knows his. He has a personal tailor who handles his measurements for him. In “Fascinated,” he just stands still while smoking, getting measured for what will undoubtedly be an expensive suit. He’s moving just a bit so it probably makes it hard for the tailor to really measure, evident in her repeated attempts to measure his back without him moving. While he’s doing this, snapshots of some cool moments flash across the screen, and it ends with Rick Ross in a giant mink coat. Yeah, it’s not a story, but it’s cool. With Rick Ross, the cool is the story.

“Fascinated” appears on Rick Ross’s recently released album, Port Of Miami 2, that came out earlier this month. The LP also features the previously released singles “Big Tyme” with Swizz Beatz and “Gold Roses” with Drake.

Watch Rick Ross get fitted for a suit up above.