First Stream: New Music From Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande, The 1975, The Weeknd & Doja Cat

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lady-gaga-ariana-grande-2015-billboard-1548-1585429833
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Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande attend Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life – An All-Star GRAMMY Salute at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Feb. 10, 2015 in Los Angeles.

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, Lady Gaga makes it rain with Ariana Grande, The 1975 delivers another opus and The Weeknd recruits Doja Cat for another pop radio offering. Check out all of this week’s First Stream picks below:

The Song That Can Be Described As An International Bop:
Lady Gaga feat. Ariana Grande, «Rain On Me»

If anyone thought Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love” was a dance-pop red herring leading up to the release of her new album Chromatica, “Rain On Me,” her new collaboration with Ariana Grande, quickly dispels such notions. The new team-up shimmers to an even more spectacular degree, gobbling up house and disco touchstones to become a gigantic dance record about embracing pain as a marker of humanity (“I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive,” goes the post-tears refrain). Lucky for us that Gaga selected the perfect collaborator for the track: Grande sounds reinvigorated here, her melismas filling gaps in the song and her verse becoming a full-on diva showcase. If the rest of Chromatica is this propulsive, we’ll be grooving to it well into 2021.

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The Album That’s Worth The 80-Minute Run Time:
The 1975, Notes on a Conditional Form

For those of you desperate to hear The 1975 deliver a concise (read: shorter) body of work after their first three albums contained at least 15 songs each: album number four, the 22-track Notes on a Conditional Form, will not grant your wish. Yet the self-indulgence and air-gulping ambition of Matty Healy and co. have also produced wide-screen brilliance on a consistent basis, and Notes on a Conditional Form demands your attention because it has several of them. The amount of rock-adjacent sounds covered here is staggering, from the scream-punk urgency of “People” to the coffee-shop acoustic intimacy of “The Birthday Party” to the hilarious gospel/rap/piano-pop mash-up  “Nothing Revealed / Everything Denied,” but Healy’s songwriting can handle the sprawl and jump over the potential missteps. Sure, The 1975 could have turned Notes on a Conditional Form into a tighter 12 songs — but then, the most interesting rock band in the world wouldn’t be themselves.

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The Remix That Could Lead To Another No. 1 Smash:
The Weeknd feat. Doja Cat, «In Your Eyes» remix

The Weeknd and Doja Cat are two of the most recent artists to top the Hot 100 chart, with “Blinding Lights” and “Say So,” respectively; one is a established hitmaker approaching a decade as a major name in music, while the other is the mainstream’s most in-demand rising star. It makes sense, then, that the pair balance each other out so effectively on the new remix to the Weeknd’s “In Your Eyes,” with Abel providing the steady hand on the track and Doja delivering the breath of fresh air. “Hate the way I feel love, only hurts with real love,” she sings, her voice unexpectedly fragile, her sentiment taking a page from the Weeknd’s pleasure-is-pain brand of pop. “In Your Eyes” just received an injection of feeling from the exact right choice for a remix, and could become another major hit for both artists in the coming weeks.

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The Video That Makes Eating Fruit Look Super-Cool:
Harry Styles, «Watermelon Sugar» video

“This Video Is Dedicated To Touching,” reads an intro slide ahead of Harry Styles’ new video, which takes a Fine Line standout, adds some heavy petting (on the beach, no less), and lets us all wistfully reflect on the days before social distancing. The “Watermelon Sugar” clip is celebratory and slightly ridiculous — no one man should have all that citrus, and at one point, Styles casually tosses a full watermelon high behind his head with little concern. Yet Styles’ charm levels remain unending, and watching him pal around on the beach and pose for photos will make you want to do so the same (even if, you know, the snack menu is slightly diversified).

The Album That Could Be The Arrival of a Reliable Hip-Hop Star:
Gunna, Wunna

In addition to scoring solo hits like “Skybox” and “Speed It Up,” Gunna has become one of rap’s most in-demand collaborators, hopping on recent tracks by Young Thug, NAV and his Drip Harder partner Lil Baby. Wunna, a new 18-song project, boasts its own share of high-profile collaborations, but kicks off with four solo cuts that showcase the Georgia native’s effortless flow, melodic understanding and flashy-lifestyle lyrics. Come to Wunna for the Travis Scott teaming “Top Floor” and the latest Lil Baby link-up, “Blindfold,” but stay for Gunna running laps around his foes on the crackling “Feigning” and crooning all over the late highlight “Don’t Play Around.”

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The Song That You’ll Want To Add To Your Instant-Inspiration Playlist:
Sia, «Together»

“Together” is a song that Sia wrote for her upcoming directorial debut, Music, and the veteran pop mastermind has said in recent interviews that the track was designed as a closing-credits anthem. If that’s the case, rarely will leaving a movie theater feel so empowering: “Together” aims to enthrall its listener with images of rainbows, angels, sharing love and setting the past ablaze, with Sia selling the approach with full vocal enormity. From “Alive” to “The Greatest” to “Elastic Heart,” Sia has fashioned a solo career out of providing hard-fought inspiration; “Together” is a kid-friendly, candy-colored edition of that vision, and an effective way to reach a new generation of listeners.

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The EP That Sounds Like An Overdue Hang With Old Friends:
Florida Georgia Line, 6 Pack EP

“It’s beer. Thirty. And I’m. Thirsty.” So goes the opening line on Florida Georgia Line’s new EP, the appropriately titled 6 Pack, and the best-selling country duo is making it clear that, even if these songs don’t represent the proper follow-up to their ambitious 2019 album Can’t Say I Ain’t Country, at the very least they’re going to check in with you and provide a party. “Thank the Lord it’s Friday night and it’s time to chill,” Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard remark on the standout “Ain’t Worried Bout It,” which joins the previously released “I Love My Country” and the impressive Songland product “Second Guessing” on the track list. That sense of relief and welcome distraction pervades the project, with FGL saddling up during a fraught period in the country and doing what they can to entertain over the course of 17 minutes.

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The Song That Should Immediately Be Added To Your BBQ Mix:
Deadmau5 feat. the Neptunes, «Pomegranate»

For a too-brief moment in the 2010s, Pharrell Williams revived his career in front of the boards and became one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, thanks to “Get Lucky” with Daft Punk, then his own “Happy,” and his GIRL full-length, which snagged a Grammy nom for album of the year. Williams has seemingly placed his singing career on the back burner in recent years, but no reason that he can’t occasionally slip into the spotlight and deliver another heater, as he does on the deadmau5-Neptunes collaboration “Pomegranate.” With the robe-funk production taken care of by the experts, Williams is given room to glide around his sea of intimate euphemisms (“You’re making faces, probably so am I / We’re in the ocean / Waves are rolling in your eyes”). Even as “Pomegranate” serves as delectable summertime fodder, let’s hope it’s not the last we hear from Williams for a while.

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The Album That Pop Twitter Will Be Raving About All Weekend:
Carly Rae Jepsen, Dedicated: Side B

Although Carly Rae Jepsen’s songwriting has evolved thematically with each new release — the young-love meet-cutes of her “Call Me Maybe” days have given way to adult passion and attentiveness — there’s still a mixture of an airiness and inclusivity that has served as her bedrock and turned her into a cult hero. Dedicated: Side B, a collection of cuts from the sessions of last year’s masterful Dedicated, is stronger than most pop stars’ actual albums, and part of that consistency has to do with a lack of pomp or circumstance. Songs like “Summer Love,” “Let’s Sort The Whole Thing Out” and the Bleachers team-up “Comeback” are dreamy, ‘80s-indebted pop tracks that don’t need high stakes or superficial drama to soar. Jepsen remains such a talented song creator that even her castoffs sound blissful.

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Sia Announces New Song ‘Together’ Off Her Upcoming ‘Music’ Film

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Sia
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Sia performs at KeyArena on Sept. 29, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.

We’re gonna swiiiiing from the chandelier, because Sia is back with new music.

The singer announced on Wednesday (May 13) that her new single, «Together» is dropping on May 20.

The tune will be part of her upcoming film Music, which is «due for release» in September. The movie, announced back at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, stars Kate Hudson, Maddie Ziegler, and Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. The film marks Sia’s first director gig, and she co-wrote and co-produced Music with writer Dallas Clayton and producer Vincent Landay, respectively.

Pre-save «Together» here, and see the announcement below.

Source: Billboard

Diplo Teases “LSD,” His New Collaboration With Sia & Labrinth

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This is shaping up to be an unusual robust week for new music. Florence + The Machine kick off their fourth LP with “Hunger,” while Ariana Grande is expected to debut “R.E.M.” after teasing it on Twitter. And then there’s Christina Aguilera, who may or may not launch her comeback with a song called “Accelerate.” Joining that potentially explosive mix is Diplo. He throws his hat into the New Music Friday ring with “LSD” — an all-star collaboration with Sia and British singer/rapper Labrinth.

The super-producer started teasing the song yesterday (April 30) with a series of boomerang-type videos on Instagram that show the trio in wacky, rainbow-colored costumes. Sia, in particular, embraces the trippy theme — rocking a bright yellow robe with a clown wig. At this point, it’s unclear if “LSD” is a stand-alone single or the first taste of a larger project. Of course, the ever-prolific hitmaker just dropped an EP called California featuring DRAMDesiigner and Trippie Redamong others. See the pics below.

Lsd Gang @labrinth @siamusic

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David Guetta & Sia Recruit Ninjas For Their Cinematic “Flames” Video

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Two weeks ago Sia and David Guetta showcased their continued chemistry with the release of their latest joint anthem, “Flames.”Boasting a summery production complete with lush synths and an inspirational message, it seems like another surefire hit from the pair. Since then it has racked up an impressive 12 million streams on Spotify and is gearing up for another run at the charts. Today (April 5), they breathed new life into the release with the unveiling of a lively video. Directed by Lior Molcho, who worked extensively with Sia during her This Is Acting era, the visual tells a daring and comedic tale.

In it, David Guetta plays the role of an evil villain. In order to realize the track’s empowering message, he and a crew of evil minions kidnap a trio of aspiring ninjas. After brutally murdering the group’s trainer, Danny Trejo, they are forcibly led to Guetta’s lair. There, they spring a counter-attack and fight bravely to liberate themselves. Of course, there are some surprising twists as the “Mad Love” producer reveals some magical powers. What follows is a desperate battle between good and evil. Paying tribute to a classic film genre, the “Flames” video puts a playful spin on the fierce collaboration.

The zany visual is a fun release that is sure to spark conversations. With any luck, that will help the track make its debut on the Billboard Hot 100. “Flames” is Guetta’s fourth release of 2018, and it joins the Sean Paul and Becky G-assisted “Mad Love” as well as his Martin Garrix and Brooks collaboration, “Like I Do.” At the beginning of the year, he and Afrojack put a fresh spin on Sia’s Fifty Shadessoundtrack contribution “Helium.” Watch “Flames” below.

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Sia Reunites With David Guetta On Their Tropical-Tinged “Flames”

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Sia and David Guetta established an excellent working chemistry after unveiling their debut collaboration, “Titanium,” in 2011. The explosive anthem was the first in a series they have rolled out over the years. Today (March 22), they are offering up their latest, and it is another smash. Called “Flames,” it is an inspiring anthem complete with a rousing production and another of the “Chandelier” siren’s jaw-dropping vocal lines.

“One foot in front of the other babe. One breath leads to another yeah; just keep moving,” Sia proclaims over lush synths on the opening lines. She continues inspiring as the track moves into its chorus. “Oh, my love, don’t stop burning. Gonna send them up in flames,” she sings. The production is vaguely tropical and warm enough to beat any final cold snaps of winter. The accompanying lyric video mirrors the warm vibes with a summery illustration and glowing letters.

In a press release, Guetta opened up about the pair’s history and his excitement at the prospect of getting back in the studio with her. “‘Titanium’ is still one of the tracks I am proudest of and Sia is one of my favorite artists to work with. She’s a great songwriter and has an amazing voice. I’m just super excited that we get to release another track together.”

“Flames” is another winning release for the pair’s discography. It joins their most recent collaboration, a rip-roaring remix of the Aussie’s “Helium.” Originally included on the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack, the brooding track was reimagined in honor of Sia’s Mac Cosmetics X Viva Glam collaboration. With any luck, their latest will replicate the meteoric success of their original release. Give the track a spin and check out its vibrant lyric video below!

This article was originally published by: Idolator

Sia Joins Forces With David Guetta & Afrojack For An Explosive “Helium” Remix

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Sia joined forces with David Guetta and Afrojack for an explosive remix of “Helium” in honor of her new MAC Cosmetics X Viva Glam collaboration. Originally included on the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack, the song is an evocative ballad that showcases her soaring vocals. On it, the Aussie realizes she is stronger with a loved one by her side. It is a sentiment that relates back to her new line with the company, which is a labor of love.

The “Chandelier” siren partnered with her frequent collaborator Maddie Ziegler to design a red-hued lipstick. Sia announced the project last month, and it launched in stores and online today (January 25). All proceeds from sales directly benefit the M.A.C. Aids Fund, and the newly released remix will be used in marketing materials.

“I’m trying, but I keep falling down. I cry out, but nothing comes now. I’m giving my all, and I know peace will come,” she resolutely announces over the song’s original piano accompaniment on the opening lines. Things take a turn for the better as she reaches out to a loved one who provides the ultimate fix. “Your love lifts me up like helium. Your love lifts me up when I’m down,” she proclaims in a joyful moment of release. The production swirls underneath her as she moves into the chorus, eventually boiling over into an extended instrumental break complete with bellowing sirens and glistening synths.

It is unclear why she decided to revisit “Helium;” however, the remix vibrates with new life and could become a massive hit. This marks the second time the hitmaker has raised funds for HIV/AIDS in the last year. In June she partnered with the #endHIV campaign to release her inspiring ballad, “Free Me.” It is also worth noting that Sia has decided to remove her oversized wig and bare her face on the joyful cover. This is one of the first times she has publicly shown her face since returning to the scene in 2014. Considering the importance of the project, it is hard to imagine a worthier moment to break from tradition. Give the song a spin below!

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Sia Reflects On Her Goal Of Protecting And Empowering Maddie Ziegler

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Although she has written on some of the biggest anthems in recent memory, Sia remains one of the most mysterious pop stars. Citing previous toxic experiences with the spotlight, the Australian hitmaker has made the conscious decision not to show her face in public. She hides behind a supersized wig and does not appear on her album covers or in her music videos. In her absence, she has relied on others to stand in for her, most notably 15-year-old dancer Maddie Ziegler.

The pair have worked together extensively since Maddie appeared in Sia’s “Chandelier”music video in 2014. Recently, the relationship caught the attention of Bonnie Malkin, a writer for The Guardian. After watching the pair perform together at an Australian stop on her Nostalgic For The Present Tour, she penned an article that questioned the 41-year-old’s decision to expose a teen to the spotlight she shuns.

“Where Furler was hidden, Maddie was exposed. Where Furler was still, Maddie was moving. Where the singer was in darkness, the child was in the spotlight. Where Furler’s face and body was carefully hidden from the eyes of a stadium full of strangers, Maddie’s face and body was offered up instead,” she wrote. She concluded the article critically, writing “Furler herself might not be willing to marry fame but standing on the stage in front of us, she seemed to be officiating another marriage. Not to a ‘perfect blank slate’ but to a minor who is yet to learn about, or tame, the monster.”

Sia took to social media to respond to the article in a series of tweets. In them she candidly admits that she also often worries about exposing Maddie to the fame that she so carefully avoids. “I do check in with Maddie weekly about whether she wants this, and assure her if she ever wants it to stop it stops,” she wrote. Since the dancer is so young, she admitted that she also watches over things carefully. “I feel very protective of her and my goal is to empower her in whatever choices she makes,” she said, adding “I do try to choose the best for her always.”

However, she noted that the young dancer has thus far avoided any of the pitfalls Sia herself experienced with fame in the past. “What I learned from Maddie is that fame affects her differently than how it affected me. I can only trust that she is telling me the truth. If that changes, we stop.” Read her full response below.

This article was originally published by: Idolator

Sia Travels Back To The ’50s For Her “Santa’s Coming For Us” Music Video

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Sia recruited some of her famous friends to host a throwback holiday party in the music video for her tropical holiday banger, “Santa’s Coming For Us.” The lead single from her Christmas album, Everyday Is Christmas, is a surprisingly uplifting affair, and the video treatment is equally joyful. Released today (November 22), it heads back to the ’50s for a classic celebration with Santa himself.

In the visual, husband and wife Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell host a slew of friends including Henry WinklerSusan LucciSophia LillisWyatt Oleff and Caleb McLaughlin at their home. The group is in for a surprise when Santa (J.B. Smoove) climbs out of the chimney with gifts for all. The party eventually transitions into an epic dance off with everyone taking a turn to showcase their slick choreography. Keep an eye out for some classic throwback moves and prepare to groove along!

The Australian hitmaker has delivered the perfect music video for such an energized single. When it first dropped “Santa’s Coming For Us” felt a little jarring, but it has proven to be a grower. Hopefully Sia has a couple other videos prepared for the remaining tracks on the album. Until then join in on the festivities and check out her latest music video up top!

This article was originally published by: Idolator

Sia Unleashes Icy Christmas Ballad “Snowman”

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Sia continues her festive takeover with the unveiling of “Snowman,” ahead of the release of Everyday is Christmas. Unlike the LP’s tropical lead single, “Santa’s Coming For Us,” her latest is more of a lovelorn standard that we would expect from the Aussie. Released today (November 9), the Greg Kurstin-produced ode compares her lover to a fleeting snowman.

“Don’t cry snowman, don’t leave me this way. A puddle of water can’t hold me close, baby,” she bellows over a plodding production. There is a stark beauty to her delivery, and, although distinctly darker than typical Christmas releases, the song pulls from a similar sonic aesthetic with it’s twinkling piano keys. Only Sia would be able to put such a snowy spin on the dazzling holiday, but I’d have it no other way.

The album is shaping up to be a mixed bag of tricks, and it will be interesting to see if the rest of it is more melancholic like this or if it will be as unexpected as her first effort. Everyday Is Christmas drops November 17 and is available to pre-order now. Until then listen to “Snowman” below!

This article was originally published by: Idolator 

Sia Unleashes Tropical Xmas Anthem “Santa’s Coming For Us”

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Sia announced that she was releasing a festive LP called Everyday Is Christmas a couple of weeks ago and I instantly pictured an album of snowy, emotionally-tortured ballads. My mistake. The first track from the opus arrived yesterday (October 30) and it’s a sunny, tropical-tinged anthem. “Santa’s Coming For Us” doesn’t quite work for me, but it makes an interesting change of pace from the usual standards. “Singing to the deer in the sky, singing as they jingle, jingle, jingle tonight,” she croaks over island beats.

“Sing your heart out with all of your love, santa’s coming for us.” It will be interesting to see if the rest of the album is as quirky as this. We’ll know soon enough. Everyday Is Christmas drops November 17 and is available to pre-order now. If you’re not here for seasonal Sia, you can still hear her on the radio with a feature on Zayn Malik’s “Dusk Till Dawn.” She also contributed an adorable ballad to the My Little Pony soundtrack.

This article was originally published by: Idolator