- Each week, INSIDER rounds up a list of great songs and albums to stream on Spotify over the weekend.
- In addition to Chance the Rapper’s first two mixtapes, you can listen to a Kygo song that features an elusive Whitney Houston recording from the ’90s.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Friday is typically a big day for music, but in the world of YouTube, SoundCloud, and streaming services, it can be difficult to keep track of new releases.
That’s where we come in. Each week, INSIDER selects albums and songs – usually new, sometimes old but relevant – that we believe deserve your attention.
This week, Chance the Rapper’s first two mixtapes are available to stream for the first time. You can also listen to a Kygo song that features an elusive Whitney Houston recording from the ’90s.
Keep reading to see our four additional picks and why we pulled them out of the fray.
1. “Higher Love” by Kygo and Whitney Houston
Seven years after her death, Whitney Houston has a new single.
The singer’s estate, along with RCA Records, collaborated with Norwegian super-producer Kygo to release her elusive cover of Steve Windwood’s 1986 song “Higher Love.” As reported by Rolling Stone, Houston recorded the vocal in 1990, but it was only released in Japan as a bonus track.
“The current cultural environment has been thirsty for something uplifting and inspiring. Who better to inspire than Whitney, the most exhilarating vocalist of all time?” her sister-in-law, Pat Houston, told the magazine. “We want to remind people why they fell in love with Whitney in the first place.”
2. “Clarity” by Kim Petras
To anyone paying attention to Kim Petras, it’s long been clear that she’s destined for stardom. Her full-length project “Clarity” only serves to underscore that fact.
To label Petras’ music as “pop” feels inadequate. Her songs have universal potential, yet they’re still sprinkled with hints of her own personality, dodging the formulas and tropes that can make radio-ready music so boring. Even impossibly catchy club hits like “Icy” and “Got My Number” have a unique, can’t-put-my-finger-on-it flair that sets them apart from anything you’ve heard before.
3. “Closer to You” by Clairo
“‘closer to you’ is about not being able to communicate or get through to someone emotionally because they’re choosing to not let you in – the idea of knowing this person is wrong for me but thinking i can change them,” she explained on Twitter.
“the autotune feels emotionally unavailable,” she continued, “but what i wanted to keep was the human error that you can still hear through the song.. we didn’t use a vocoder, i sang every part & even messed up slightly.”
4. “Acid Rap” by Chance the Rapper
“Acid Rap” is nothing new for day-one Chance the Rapper fans. The 2013 mixtape followed the rapper’s 2012 debut, “10 Day,” both released independently as free digital downloads. But on Friday, Chance finally decided to make these projects available to stream.
This is phenomenal news for fans who have been itching to add Chance’s older songs to Spotify playlists. But the move should also bring him more acclaim and appreciation from “Colouring Book” fans who never bothered to find his first two mixtapes on SoundCloud.
2016’s “Colouring Book” put Chance on mainstream radars, but his characteristic style and charisma were honed long before – particularly on “Acid Rap,” a singularly delightful tracklist that features classics like “Cocoa Butter Kisses.”
5. “Oasis” by J Balvin and Bad Bunny
Both J Balvin (“I Like It,” “Con Altura”) and Bad Bunny (“Mia,” Te Boté”) have proven that quality Reggaetón transcends language barriers. You don’t need to understand Spanish to dance your heart out to their new joint album. The eight-song project is the definition of “short but sweet,” radiating positive summer energy.
6. “Inner Monologue Part 2” by Julia Michaels
Julia Michaels is the lyricist responsible for some of your favourite hits, including Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Selena Gomez’s “Hands to Myself.” As a solo artist, she burst onto the scene with the Grammy-nominated single “Issues,” and fans have been eagerly anticipating her official debut ever since.
She released the EP “Inner Monologue Part 1” back in January and, thankfully, “Part 2” doesn’t disappoint. Michaels is more vulnerable and innovative throughout its brief 25-minute track list than most pop stars have ever been.