This week: An entire playlist of 20 hand-picked songs!
Why we’re into them: There’s a lot of good music out right now. Some you may know, some you may not, and some may deserve a leap of faith. Instead of offering a single great artist or song, this Friday we are giving you 20 greats, each perfectly paired with a particular weekend activity.
Perfect for… the last essential jolt of energy that you need before crawling into that 4:40 p.m. Friday meeting.
The “Bubblegum Bitch” is back and delivering a welcome throwback to what made Marina and the Diamonds so great. Serving us vulnerability with a side of attitude, it’s the track to push you over the finish line and into the weekend.
Perfect for… replacing the intensity of a train ride home with a daydream.
Pop in the headphones and get lost in the crush-heavy world Gray created in “The King.” Let yourself be rescued from that person who isn’t respecting your space on the train and drop straight into the loving arms of your crush.
Perfect for… a sliver of remedial mental solitude before the weekend festivities begins.
With the iconic soft-electro pop/jazz pianist producer Moglii as the support behind her debut album, which is out at the end of April, it’s no wonder this track feels like sunshine on your face. An exploration of her experience recovering from an eating disorder, this song is a comfortable sound perfect for not permitting that snag of existential dread to dominate your headspace.
Perfect for… pregaming Friday night’s house party.
ROSALÍA is one of the most exciting artists to break into the mainstream US music scene. Paired with hit-maker J Balvin, this track is the one you need playing as warm up for the weekend.
Perfect for… the house party playlist.
Their beachy music video tells you the kind of vibe this song brings. It’s a slow and steady track that oozes salty air good vibes. After all, what’s a real party without good vibes?
Perfect for… the Saturday morning reconciliation with last night’s mistakes.
Guilt, regret, and shame are key components to any hangover. In Land’s newest she tackles expectations, for ourselves and those around us. Wallow just a little bit and then get over it.
Perfect for… a Saturday morning dance party in your undies as your mood shifts while you continue to purge the mistakes from Friday night.
There’s nothing unique or original about this song. It’s a stereotypical Shawn Mendes/Liam Payne/Young-Good-Looking-White-Boy-singing-about girls song. That said, it’s also surprisingly fun and an essential track for a guilty pleasure playlist.
Perfect for… reminiscing about that boy you kissed at a house party last night and stupidly fell in love with even though it was only one kiss.
This isn’t the only track from The Drums that has graced Mother Jones, but it’s so good it deserves a place here. From their brand new (also fantastic) EP Brutalism, “Bedford” is a depressing love song that still, somehow, manages to be joyful.
Perfect for… smoking a Saturday afternoon joint with a cutie. (If that’s your thing. If it’s not, this song is perfect for a walk in the sunshine after brunch.)
The energy Amber Marks exudes in this track overflows into the music video and is invigorating. Track after track, she just keeps releasing music that shines.
Perfect for… an afternoon of fresh vodka lemonades and a spontaneous potluck in the park.
This new track from pop aficionado MAX has summer written all over it. Dripping in sunshine and soaked in the smell of freshly cut grass, if you dig Bazzi or Diplo, this one’s for you.
Perfect for… stabilizing yourself before another night out.
To be expected of the young hit-maker Whethan, comes a track that feels lo-fi yet equally upbeat. With its infectious tone, subtle background chimes, and easy-to-remember chorus, the song never feels stale.
Perfect for… the moment you just know you need to dance.
The K-pop megastars are back with an absolutely banging track. It’s as if Madonna’s “4 Minutes” and Gwen’s “Hollaback Girl” had a baby on steroids. Pound a few pints and get down to this Korean pop jam.
Perfect for… when you’re a bit tipsy from the bar, walking home under the poetic streetlights, and want to feel like you’re in sad (but very cool!) indie movie.
A little bit of Bowie, a little bit of Prince, SuperKnova’s—real name Ellie Kim—newest track is a must listen for anyone who enjoys an alternative-pop-rock cross genre tune. With her second EP due out this summer, this track only tantalizes us with the proudly trans pop-rock star’s potential.
Perfect for… sex.
It’s as if Justin Timberlake’s voice had been reincarnated into a younger someone else who really knows what to do with it. It’s sexy, fun, and one of the best tracks off Chance’s already enjoyable album. (And yes, this is the kid who went viral for singing Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” at his middle school talent show.)
Perfect for… a Sunday morning of procrastinating while reflecting on the glorious mess of your weekend.
Ryahn dropped this track last year, but it’s just making its way onto our radar due to the tropical getaway that is her new music video. A bit Christina, some Eve, and a sprinkle of Britney, Ryahn’s crafting some gratifying R&B pop.
Perfect for… sending that special someone a DTR text.
He’s written for Troye Sivan, Selena Gomez, Charli XCX, Kelsea Ballerini, Betty Who and even Carrie Underwood. He knows how to make a deep, gratifying, singable piece of music, and “Another Lover” is an incredible ensemble addition to his already incredible solo work.
Perfect for… afternoon rumination about that crush from the other night.
Ciara is serving some Robyn with a dollop of Janelle Monáe. Most importantly she’s serving a new sound—”Level Up” and “Dose” are club bangers—that makes the wait for her new album seem longer than we had thought.
Perfect for… chore time. Hop to it.
Nothing will ever top bülow’s debut track “Not A Love Song,” but her newest EP Crystalline is pretty damn close. “Get Stüpid” is a chill yet upbeat tune that will keep you energized just enough to knock out your to-do list.
Perfect for… a private concert for your pet as you settle into your now pristine living space.
Never forget. Now that that’s out of the way, this track is a genuinely enjoyable listen, especially if you ignore the truly awful video. This track is a jump-on-the-trend of the 80’s synth-pop resurgence, and a good one at that.
Perfect for… the Monday morning pump up as you embark on another week.
Lizzo’s fiery collab with Missy Elliott is the perfect track to put you in the headspace needed to take on the week. Lizzo is the queen of pump up jams, and this song deserves to be the song of the spring…and summer. No competition.
And for your listening pleasure, here’s an Apple Music and Spotify playlist of these tracks.
Honorable mentions: “Old Town Road (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus) [Remix]” by Lil Nas X, “Noon” by Soft Glas, “Emmy” by Sean Grandillo, “Peace” by Alison Wonderland, “Bad Vibes” by K. Flay.