Friday Music Guide: New Music From Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Zach Bryan, BLACKPINK 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, Selena Gomez’s new “Single” is here, Miley Cyrus waxes poetic on her youth, and Zach Bryan drops another affecting opus. Check out all of this week’s picks below:

Selena Gomez, “Single Soon” 

Although Selena Gomez has been plenty busy over the past few years — with her starring role in Only Murders in the Building, her Spanish-language project Revelación, her cooking show Selena + Chef and her remix of Rema’s summer smash “Calm Down,” among other endeavors — a proper follow-up to her great 2020 album Rare has remained elusive. Within that context, “Single Soon” functions as both a promise of new music on the horizon, and a delicious first bite: unlike the sweeping emotion of Rare lead single “Lose You to Love Me,” “Single Soon” shrugs off a relationship and looks ahead to giddy independence with oversized synths and a sing-along melodies (Gomez does, in fact, perform karaoke to the song in its music video).

Miley Cyrus, “Used to Be Young” 

Miley Cyrus’ mammoth 2023, led by her longest-leading Hot 100 chart-topper “Flowers,” doubles as the 10-year anniversary of her Bangerz era, back when hits like “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball” firmly removed her from her Disney Channel days. “Used to Be Young,” which appears on an expanded edition of her Endless Summer Vacation album, finds Cyrus reflecting on how she’s evolved to the point where now her wild days are in the rearview mirror: “You tell me time has done changed me / That’s fine, I had a good run,” she admits, tapping into the pop balladry that she’s utilized her entire career, from “The Climb” to “Wrecking Ball” to “Flowers.”

Zach Bryan, Zach Bryan 

In the midst of a wild run of country songs and artists near the top of the Hot 100, Zach Bryan, one of the genre’s biggest breakout stories of the past few years, has stayed steadily successful, with “Something in the Orange” spending months on the chart while his album American Heartbreak remains in the Billboard 200’s top 20. Whereas American Heartbreak was a marathon — 34 songs, most of them gorgeously written, over a two-hour run time — his new self-titled full-length is a 54-minute sprint through grief, bitter memories, love stories and formative travels across the country; Bryan’s lyricism is as affecting as ever, the arrangements are more thoughtfully rendered, and Zach Bryan immediately establishes itself as one of the strongest country projects of a topsy-turvy year.

BLACKPINK, “The Girls” 

“The Girls” catches BLACKPINK at a celebratory moment: the new single, which launched as part of their popular mobile game The Game and comes in the midst of U.S. stadium dates, allows the K-pop quartet to flex a bit after all of their successes. On a stopgap single that sounds just as fresh as their best cuts from Born Pink, BLACKPINK praises girl power by exuding strength in numbers — over bouncy pop production and crackling percussion, all four members sharpen their individual skills while complementing one another on the hook.

Burna Boy, I Told Them… 

With his album Love, Damini last year, Burna Boy scored a real, world-spanning smash, as “Last Last” grew into the Nigerian superstar’s signature hit; with the follow-up I Told Them…, Burna tries to catalog his journey to household-name status while also crafting a more fully formed full-length statement. Guests ranging from J. Cole to GZA to Dave to Seyi Vibez make for inspired ways of switching up the album’s energy, but the solo run of songs in the middle of the track list, beginning with the boisterous “Big 7” and ending with the sensual “City Boys,” showcases why Burna Boy is able to gaze down from the heights he’s scaled and declare “I told them so.”

Editor’s Pick: Victoria Monét, Jaguar II 

The title of Victoria Monét’s new project is a bit deceptive — after all, the original Jaguar was a 2020 EP that found a fervent fan base but didn’t deliver the veteran singer-songwriter as a commercial artist. Jaguar II may be a sequel in name, but the full-length stands on its own, head and shoulder above its predecessor in every way: the interpretations of R&B, funk and soul are markedly more distinct, the Kaytranada-produced “Alright” sounds like a surefire hit, and Monét generally comes across as more comfortable commanding each track, conjuring a handful of dazzling moments while announcing her real, undeniable arrival.

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