New Music Friday Graphic

Friday’s new music releases showcased an array of reality-infused tracks, including symbolic nods to queerness, drug abuse and growing up.

Lil Nas X dropped his long-awaited single “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” on Friday, paired with a symbolic music video that serves as an unapologetic ode to his sexuality. Born Montero Lamar Hill, Lil Nas X dedicated the song to his younger self, explaining on Twitter how the song “will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist.” The upbeat, provocative track is a departure from Nas X’s 2018 smash hit “Old Town Road,” but it is a welcome addition to his expanding repertoire.

Pulled from her vault of unreleased songs, Taylor Swift unveiled “You All Over Me (ft. Maren Morris) (Taylor’s Version),” on Friday. The twangy, harmonica-backed song is reminiscent of Swift’s country roots, fitting for its place on her re-recorded 2008 album “Fearless,” expected to drop on April 9. The slow-tempo, melancholic track transports listeners to the height of Swift’s love song era, captured in the lyrics: “But no amount of freedom gets you clean / I’ve still got you all over me.”

Demi Lovato reentered the music scene Friday with “Dancing with the Devil,” the debut single from her upcoming album and four-part YouTube documentary. The brutally honest track explores Lovato’s past life choices, including substance abuse that led to her near-fatal overdose in 2018. The slow-building song serves as a cautionary tale of money and fame: “I was dancing with the devil / Out of control / Almost made it to heaven / It was closer than you know.”

Hip-hop boy band BROCKHAMPTON and rapper Danny Brown joined forces on “BUZZCUT,” the debut single from their new album “ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE,” set to release April 9. The high energy, pulsating and brash track covers unfortunate truths from being in the spotlight, including member Kevin Abstract’s reality of being Black in America. Encapsulated best with lyrics: “A platinum record not gonna keep my Black ass out of jail,” the track scrutinizes the harsh realities of growing up.

Departing from their electronic-funk origins, neo-soul duo Jungle released “Keep Moving,” an inspirational, groovy disco jam sure to make anyone bust a move. The track’s lyrics encourage change and, fittingly, moving forward in life, showcased with: “If I can’t understand it, I’ll find another way / Keep moving, keep moving.” The song is the perfect remedy to gloomy days — something we all need right now.

Whether you prefer unapologetic love ballads, rhythmic odes to honest living, or funky tunes for the future, this week’s new music releases have got you covered.

Hanna Ellington is an assistant editor for the Arkansas Traveler.

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