Billboard’s First Stream serves as a handy guide to this Friday’s most essential releases — the key music that everyone will be talking about today, and that will be dominating playlists this weekend and beyond.
This week, Morgan Wallen reaches the big leagues with a huge new project, Saweetie and Doja Cat toss out a song for BFFs, and Taylor Swift shares a few more secrets from Evermore. Check out all of this week’s First Stream picks below:
Morgan Wallen, Dangerous: The Double Album
Kings of Leon, “The Bandit”/”100,000 People”
Kings of Leon have opened what’s sure to be a busy year with some muscle: on “The Bandit” and “100,000 People,” both of which preview the March album When You See Yourself, the Tennessee quartet deploy their riffs and vocal hooks with a swagger that keeps the listener engaged even as the run time rolls on. The group’s new album was produced by Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons), who seems to have encouraged a shaggier approach without sacrificing any of the band’s anthemic appeal.
The title of Zara Larsson’s new single refers to something that the pop star does not want to do just yet with her new romantic partner: “I just want to keep it right here, in the moment/ Why you gotta go get lost in emotion?” she asks. Young Thug shows up to assist on the snappy new single, leaning into the rap-lothario portion of his persona in between Larsson’s refrains.
Prolific singer-songwriter Jhay Cortez received a huge assist from Bad Bunny late last year with the top 10 smash “Dákiti”; meanwhile, rapper Myke Towers had a busy year himself, including a guest spot with Anitta and Cardi B on “Me Gusta.” On “Los Bo,” the Puerto Rican artists link up to keep the momentum going, furiously spitting over an elegant beat and reminding casual fans that they can each capably handle leading-man duties on a hit single.