Friday Music Guide: New Music From Taylor Swift, Brent Faiyaz and More

Check out the must-hear releases of the week.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

Beth Garrabrant

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, Taylor Swift turns back the calendar to 1989, and Brent Faiyaz delivers another star turn. Check out all of this week’s picks below:

Taylor Swift, 1989 (Taylor’s Version)

The arrival of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was always going to be a big deal: after all, her 2014 album was one of Taylor Swift’s critical and commercial high points, scoring three No. 1 hits on the Hot 100 and winning the album of the year Grammy after fully reinventing the country superstar as a pop icon. When 1989 was announced as the fourth of Swift’s six albums to receive the Taylor’s Version treatment, fans understandably turned giddy at the thought of Swift’s new takes on her old classics, plus the “From the Vault” goodies coming from that time of high-wattage, cinematic pop music.


And while 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is landing at a particularly busy time for Swifties — considering the fact that “Cruel Summer” sits atop the current Hot 100 after its months-long viral comeback, the Eras Tour concert film dominated the box office this month and wholesome content of Swift and Travis Kelce is darn near inescapable — the achievement that it represents should not be overlooked, even by the most casual of fans. Perhaps more than any Taylor’s Version release thus far, the re-recorded 1989 subtly tinkers with songs like “Blank Space,” “Welcome to New York,” “Out of the Woods” and “Clean” in compelling new ways, reanimating its gems from a fresh perspective and with a more seasoned pop voice.

Click here to read more about all five “From The Vault” tracks on 1989 (Taylor’s Version).

Brent Faiyaz, Larger Than Life

Larger Than Life could represent another leveling up for Brent Faiyaz, the singular R&B star whose 2022 album Wasteland earned a No. 2 debut on the Billboard 200 and signaled a mainstream breakthrough; although billed as a mixtape, his new project boasts guest spots from Missy Elliott, A$AP Rocky, Coco Jones and Babyface Ray, among others, to help prove its commercial bonafides. Yet Larger Than Life is at its best when Faiyaz’s croon is operating with ample space and over woozy, zapped-out beats, as songs as like “Best Time,” “Wherever I Go” and “Forever Yours” succeed based on his style and taste.


Jay Wheeler, TRAPPii

Puerto Rican star Jay Wheeler dives headfirst into trap music on his fifth studio album, following the success of his single “Pacto” — and while that hit exists as a centerpiece in the middle of the TRAPPii track list, Wheeler cooks up a dedicated, often riveting exploration of its sound in other areas. While “Walk My Way” marks a tender dip into English-language belting, “Frio” sizzles in the back half of the album, with Wheeler’s tone gliding naturally above the programmed drums.

David Guetta feat. Ayra Starr & Lil Durk, “Big FU”

“Big FU” may be dripping in bitterness — the title of the David Guetta/Ayra Starr/Lil Durk summit represents a middle finger to the person who’s taken your place in a relationship — but as a dance track, the unlikely trio form a sweaty, effective symbiosis, and Guetta puts Starr and Durk in positions to win. Durk continues to provide rock-solid features and sinks his teeth into the bass line here, while Starr continues her upward trajectory by giving her scorn ample momentum on the hook.


Editor’s Pick: Yebba, “Waterfall (I Adore You)”

The majority of singer-songwriter Yebba’s best-known tracks are collaborative in some way, from “Yebba’s Heartbreak” on Drake’s Certified Lover Boy to “Best Part of Me” with Ed Sheeran to her A$AP Rocky-assisted “Far Away” — and while new single “Waterfall (I Adore You)” has been released with a solid alternate version featuring R&B artist Sweata, the solo take on the track best showcases Yebba’s delicate R&B approach and nuanced vocal prowess. Following her 2021 debut album Dawn, “Waterfall (I Adore You)” feels at once more naturally rendered and sonically opulent than her previous output, and suggests a must-hear next project.


This article was originally published by Billboard U.S.

Burton Cummings

Burton Cummings

Legal News

The Guess Who's Burton Cummings Will Give Up His Royalties to Stop Alleged 'Cover Band'

The Canadian musician has cancelled performing license agreements for all of his songs, which will prevent the act currently performing under The Guess Who name from playing hits like "American Woman" and "These Eyes."

Canadian musician Burton Cummings is giving up his royalties to protect his legacy.

The "American Woman" singer and co-founder of classic Winnipeg band The Guess Who has cancelled his performance license agreements, Rolling Stone reports, in an effort to prevent the current iteration of The Guess Who from performing.

keep readingShow less