Listen to this week’s YouTube Music playlist here.
Avril Lavigne, “Tell Me It’s Over”
Sounds like: A former pop-punk princess all grown up
Perfect for: Completely checking out of a relationship
Avril Lavigne is priming herself — and us — for a big, surprising 2019 comeback. The soulful, Billie Holiday-inspired “Tell Me It’s Over” is the second new song we’ve heard off her sixth album, Head Above Water, and it shows a different side of Lavigne than the redemption narrative of the title track. After years of battling Lyme Disease, Lavigne seems more than ready to remind the world that she’s the motherfucking princess.
Ariana Grande, “Imagine”
Sounds like: A pop diva at the undisputable top of her game
Perfect for: Making the case for a chill night in
While “thank u, next” continues its unmatched domination as we head into the new year, Ariana Grande has dropped another preview of her impromptu follow-up to her August LP Sweetener. “Imagine” has her wondering what it would be like to be with her love in a simpler timeline, one where they can just chill in the tub and eat pad thai. The song’s already a bop, but just wait until she hits that whistle register.
Sounds like: The ideal slice of boy band pop fun
Perfect for: Showing off your word play
Here’s a little sugary sweet pop bliss: Emerging boy band PrettyMuch have debuted the wiggly, fun “Jello” as their new single. First heard on their Funktion tour this fall, “Jello” is a goofy, playful and cute little tune where the boys celebrate a girl who can “call the shots” and get them “weak in the knees” like the aforementioned gelatinous dessert.
Neil Young, “Too Far Gone”
Sounds like: A lively, restless memory of a bygone era
Perfect for: Dedicating some songs to the one and only Judy Garland
Neil Young recently unearthed a collection of his November 1976 live performances for an album called Songs for Judy. It’s Young at his peak, and these particular performances capture him during the solo acoustic sets that prefaced a much heavier, rollicking performance with his band Crazy Horse. “Too Far Gone” is from a Boulder, Colorado show; the singer-songwriter sounds young, wild and free as he regales a tale of a chance romantic meeting at a bar, singing about drugs and booze to jovial cheers from the audience.
Bad Bunny, “Solo de Mi”
Sounds like: An instant classic from one of Latin trap’s most exciting new stars
Perfect for: Preparing for Bad Bunny’s total takeover of 2019
Bad Bunny is ready to take over the world. Just listen to his latest single “Solo de Mi,” a languid rejection of toxic relationships that celebrates putting yourself first. In the final minute, however, he pulls a fast one, shifting the beat to an adrenaline-rushing BPM, raising the stakes and making the track his best and most unforgettable yet.