Friday Music Guide: New Music From Drake, NewJeans, Noah Kahan & Kacey Musgraves and More

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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, Drake lets the Dogs out, NewJeans joins the League of Legends, and Noah Kahan spins gold with Kacey Musgraves. Check out all of this week’s picks below:

Drake, For All The Dogs 

Following the long-awaited, chart-conquering Certified Lover Boy in 2021, Drake spent last year experimenting — first with his house music detour Honestly, Nevermind, and then with his jaw-smashing 21 Savage joint album Her Loss. To some degree, For All The Dogs represents a return to the star-studded, knowingly indulgent aesthetic of CLB, but Drake’s highly anticipated new album also offers a more diverse approach to that maximalism, from the raucous fun of “Rich Baby Daddy” with Sexyy Red and SZA to the haunted rhyming of “First Person Shooter” with J. Cole to the zonked-out crooning with “All the Parties” with Chief Keef. There’s a lot to dig into with For All The Dogs, the ultimate more-is-more declaration from Drake, upon first listen.

NewJeans, “GODS” 

If “GODS” sounds like quick-rising K-pop group NewJeans striking a particularly anthemic pose, that’s because the new single arrives as the official song of the League of Legends 2023 World Championship; it’s a pretty lofty platform for the collective considering that series’ track record of success, and “GODS” sounds like it will fit in just fine as another crossover hit. “Welcome to the big show / Next on the ladder / Is it your name in the rafters?,” Hyein sings over trap drums, in between an arena-sized chorus that aims to turn “GODS” into your new favorite jock jam.

Noah Kahan & Kacey Musgraves, “She Calls Me Back” 

After separately linking up with Zach Bryan in recent months — Kacey Musgraves on the Hot 100-topping duet “I Remember Everything,” Noah Kahan with the tender surprise collaboration “Sarah’s Place” — the two singer-songwriters have joined forces on their own with “She Calls Me Back,” a heartfelt slice of storytelling that gains its power in its brisk pace. Kahan’s voice adopts a jittery cadence in the back half of the opening verse as the guitar strums gain steam, and when Musgraves arrives with the line, “I’m running out of tears to cry,” the emotional heart of “She Calls Me Back” swells, then strides forward.

Tems, “Me & U” 

On her first solo music release since 2021, Tems looks upward instead of around at all of the success she’s achieved over the past few years, and addresses a higher power with devotion and purpose: “Give me one break, I need faith / Faith to believe you, faith to receive you,” she sings. “Me & U” relies on those intimate pleas, but also isn’t confined to a small scale — if anything, the single expands the Nigerian-based superstar’s collection of sensual dance music, capable of soundtracking a night out in addition to a request to the heavens.

Jennie, “You & Me” 

BLACKPINK’s Jennie has been previewing the solo track “You & Me” on the K-pop quartet’s stadium tour, so while its sleek pop contours may be familiar to fans across the globe, receiving the studio version of the single represents an exclamation point on another huge year for the collective and its supporters. The ping-ponging production envelops Jennie’s voice as she effortlessly navigates the different components of the track; it’s been years since Jennie’s last solo song, and her confidence has grown considerably since then.

Editor’s Pick: Sufjan Stevens, Javelin 

Some Sufjan Stevens fans solely want to hear the quiet, heartbreaking indie-folk of projects like Seven Swans and Carrie & Lowell; others want their minds blown with epic writing exercises like The Age of Adz and The Ascension. Javelin, Stevens’ towering new full-length, feels like a summation of both modes: songs like “So You Are Tired” and “A Running Start” are built around finger-picked elegance, but the greatest achievement here might be the eight-minute, devastating “S–t Talk,” as one of the greatest songwriters of his generation fully justifies widening his stance.

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