Friday Music Guide: New Music From Ariana Grande, Bleachers and More

Billboard’s Friday Music Guide 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, Ariana Grande finds her Sunshine, Jack Antonoff pushes Bleachers forward and 4batz receives a huge co-sign. Check out all of this week’s picks below:

Ariana Grande, Eternal Sunshine

While Eternal Sunshine, Ariana Grande’s seventh studio album, explores a new beginning in her romantic life, the pop superstar is also pressing start on a fresh phase in her career: following 2020’s Positions and ending her longest gap between full-lengths thus far, Grande sounds emboldened through elapsed time and newfound wisdom, and more uncompromising than ever in her lyrics and aesthetic. Thumping lead single “Yes, And?” acts as a bit of a red herring for an album that’s often pensive and prodding, with the subtle R&B of Positions expanding in scope and deepening in detail; pop fans will find more playlist fodder in the shimmering synth showcase “We Can’t Be Friends (Wait For Your Love)” and the snappy, clever “The Boy is Mine” re-imagining, but Eternal Sunshine is an extended dive into the psyche of a generational talent who’s only getting more thoughtful, and better, with time.

Click here for a full breakdown of every song on Ariana Grande’s Eternal Sunshine.

Bleachers, Bleachers 

Jack Antonoff keeps refining Bleachers, but instead of sanding down his band’s rougher edges, he’s amplifying their quirks, and translating the live-wire energy of their live shows into the studio setting. Bleachers, Antonoff’s fourth and best album as the leader of the collective, is an apt project to end up self-titled: songs like the rollicking “Modern Girl,” wistful “Alma Mater” and quietly graceful “Woke Up Today” exist in different modes but get to the root of Antonoff is trying to accomplish, various shades of indie-flecked pop-rock with communal hope coalescing around his strengthening voice.

4batz feat. Drake, “act ii: date @ 8” remix 

Since Drake emerged as a star in the late 2000s, there have been multiple years in which his career was defined by hopping on smaller artists’ hit songs and pouring some gasoline on their chart prospects. That age-old impulse returns with the remix to “act ii: date @ 8,” the viral R&B smash from Dallas native 4batz; here, Drizzy essentially doubles the original song’s length and remakes the second half in his image, taking 4batz’s late-night musings and running with an extended verse on love and lust.

Norah Jones, Visions 

Now squarely in her forties and 20 years removed from her mega-selling debut album Come Away With Me, Norah Jones keeps regularly cranking out accomplished, sonically adventurous projects. Visions, her strongest since 2012’s Little Broken Hearts, is especially daring in its verve, a soul record that’s swirled a little garage-rock onto its canvas: Jones sounds fantastic leading full-throated tracks like “Paradise” and “All This Time,” while producer Leon Michels guides the throwback arrangements with a light touch.

Editor’s Pick: The Marías, “Run Your Mouth” 

“Hope you dance to this one,” Marías leader María Zardoya declares in a press release for the band’s new single “Run Your Mouth,” which precedes forthcoming sophomore album Submarine. It’s easy to oblige: “Run Your Mouth” boasts an effortless groove that funks up the Marías’ alt-pop sound, with a hustling tempo and an extended instrumental breakdown that invites embarrassing hand-dancing (for some of us, at least). Drop this in your favorite weekend playlist and don’t think twice.

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