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New Music Releases July 22: Billie Eilish, Clinton Kane, Megan Thee Stallion, Future and More

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Happy New Music Friday! It’s every audiophile’s favorite day of the week, and some of our favorite artists from all different genres have blessed us with new tunes.

Billie Eilish released two new singles, “The 30th” and “TV,” under an EP titled Guitar Songs — and teased a possible new album coming next year. Kane Brown dropped the latest track off his upcoming album, Different Man, a pop-forward track titled “Grand.” And Clinton Kane released his new album, MAYBE SOMEDAY IT’LL ALL BE OK, which features hit songs like “CHICKEN TENDIES” and “I GUESS I’M IN LOVE.”

Megan Thee Stallion teamed up with Future for the NSFW “Pressurelicious,” Tainy and Rauw Alejandro reunited for a new single, “Sci-Fi,” and Ed Sheeran joined Russ on the high-energy “Are You Entertained.”

Plus, new music from Lil Uzi Vert, Dawes, Fletcher, Montell Fish, ODESZA and more!

Read on to check out some of our favorite recommendations for new songs and albums to listen to this week — plus, where you can stream them now!

Guitar Songs – Billie Eilish

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Pressurelicious” – Megan Thee Stallion feat. Future

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Space Cadet” – Lil Uzi Vert

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Sci-Fi” – Tainy & Rauw Alejandro

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Grand” – Kane Brown

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


MAYBE SOMEDAY IT’LL ALL BE OK – Clinton Kane

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Are You Entertained” – Russ feat. Ed Sheeran

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Sweet – Single Edit” – Jon Batiste, Pentatonix & Diane Warren

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Forgive Me” – ODESZA feat. Izzy Bizu

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


JAMIE – Montell Fish

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Becky’s So Hot” – Fletcher

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


I Love Life, Thank You – Mac Miller

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“UN PASO” – Trueno & J Balvin

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“it’s ok!” – corook

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


Misadventures of Doomscroller – Dawes

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“She Can Dance” – Betty Who

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


Las Ruinas – Rico Nasty

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


 

“Kill Or Be Killed” – Muse

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Rich Man” – Little Big Town

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Duele Tanto” – Sofia Reyes & Carlos Zaur

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


 

“Better Alone” – Benson Boone

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“CHANT” – Macklemore feat. Tones & I

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Memory Lane” – Wiz Khalifa

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Naturaleza” – Camilo feat. Nicki Nicole

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“She’s Not You” – Jake Scott

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


Egg in the Backseat – Em Beihold

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


 

“i’m a mess” – Omah Lay

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Two Doors Down” – Positive Vibrations feat. Dolly Parton

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Impossible Is Possible” – Billy Porter & Shea Diamond


“Late Night Feels” – Monsta X & Sam Feldt

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


 

“Tides” – Shwayze feat. Pepper & Slightly Stoopid

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


 

“FOH” – iyla

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


 

“Tears In My Eyes” – Justice Carradine

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“nothing lasts forever” – Lauren Sanderson

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


 

“Ready For The Sky” – Budjerah

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


Overcomer (Deluxe) – Tamela Mann

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“GTFO” – Genesis Owusu

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“As We Live” – The Interrupters feat. Tim Armstrong & Rhoda Dakar

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


 

“Pterodactyl” – Bendigo Fletcher

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


HARMONY: ZERO IN – P1Harmony

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Friends I Barely Know” – Windser

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Beauty & The Beast” – Grace Gaustad

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“The Game” – Kate Stewart

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“I Am Yesterday” My Heart in Two” – Zoe Boekbinder with Gracie and Rachel

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Kiss City” – Blondshell

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Breakup Sex” – NERIAH

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Paranoid Heart” – John Fullbright

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Matter of Time” – B00TY feat. Loose Ends

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Pink Cadillac” – Nox Holloway

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“All Back” – Ali McGuirk

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Tears the Size of Texas” – Ben Burgess

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“No Tattoos” – No Trigger

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Country Music” – Jordana Bryant

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“The Sea” – Tiffany Williams

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Change Your Mind” – Long Gone

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Hand Me Downs” – Jaylee Gandy

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“True Belief” – Hello Stranger

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


“Sorta Single” – Katelyn Clampett

Stream it now: Apple / Spotify


 

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Music

Taylor Swift Slaps Back at ‘Shake It Up’ Plagiarism Lawsuit, Says She’d Never Heard Plaintiffs’ ‘Playas Gon’ Play’

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Taylor Swift clearly believes she’s being played in court, as a declaration she filed to the judge in a “Shake It Off” plagiarism lawsuit laid out her contention that she never heard the song she’s accused of lifting, “Playas Gon’ Play,” until after she was made aware of the legal action.

“The lyrics to ‘Shake It Off’ were written entirely by me,” Swift said in paperwork filed in response to the allegation from two songwriters that her 2014 smash infringed upon a single from the group 3LW that peaked at No. 81 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2001.

“Until learning about Plaintiffs’ claim in 2017, I had never heard the song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW,” Swift wrote in a filing first reported on by Billboard. She said she would have had little opportunity to hear it during its brief chart run, since her parents “did not permit me to watch (MTV’s hit countdown show) TRL until I was about 13 years old.”

Regardless of exposure to the tune, Swift and her attorney made the case that any similar phrasing is a result of the terminology being a part of everyday language, and was part of the popular vernacular before Sean Hall and Nathan Butler wrote “Playas Gon’ Play” around the turn of the century — at which point the hitmaker says she was hearing that language on the playground, not on the airwaves.

“I recall hearing phrases about players play and haters hate stated together by other children while attending school in Wyomissing Hills, and in high school in Hendersonville,” the Pennsylvania-bred star wrote. “These phrases were akin to other commonly used sayings like ‘don’t hate the playa, hate the game,’ ‘take a chill pill,’ and ‘say it, don’t spray it.’ … I was struck by messages that people prone to doing something will do it, and the best way to overcome it is to shrug it off and keep living.”

Swift noted that the phrasing was common enough that she had worn a T-shirt bearing the words “haters gonna hate” at a 2013 concert — one that was not custom-made, but purchased at Urban Outfitters.

The songs appear to have nothing in common except the core contested lines — with the 3LW tune repeating the lyrics “Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate,” while Swift’s track uses the lines “‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate” as the linchpin of its chorus.

Still, that was enough for an earlier judge to overturn a prior dismissal of the lawsuit, which has been making its way through the courts for five years. It was set aside by a federal judge in 2018, but the suit was reinstated by an appeals court the following year. It’s due to be decided by a jury at an undetermined date in the future, but Swift attorney Peter Anderson is arguing that further evidence shows the plaintiffs’ claims are baseless enough to not warrant a trial.

Although “Playas Gon’ Play” made minimal impact on the pop charts in 2001, Billboard did place the song at No. 87 on a 2017 ranking of “the 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.”

As internet sleuths have pointed out, the contested phrases or close variations on them have appeared in a number of other 21st century songs, both before and after “Shake It Up,” including Eric Church’s “The Outsiders” in 2014 and BTS’ “Mic Drop” in 2017. The Notorious B.I.G. is often credited as popularizing the phrase “Playa Hata” with his 1997 song of that name.

In his initial dismissal of the case, before it was sent back to him by an appeals court, federal judge Michael Fitzgerald wrote that the lyrics were “too brief, unoriginal, and uncreative” to be protected. “In the early 2000s, popular culture was adequately suffused with the concepts of players and haters to render the phrases ‘playas … gonna play’ or ‘haters … gonna hate’ standing on their own, no more creative than ‘runners gonna run,’ ‘drummers gonna drum,’ or ‘swimmers gonna swim,’” he continued.

Subsequently, upon having the case returned to him by the higher court, the judge said that Swift’s lawyers “made a strong closing argument” but added that it was not so clear-cut that leaving it to a jury was unwarranted.



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Billboard Expands in Asia With Launch of Billboard China

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Billboard is expanding its global footprint in Asia. On Monday (Aug. 9), Billboard announced the launch of Billboard China along with plans for its rollout.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Billboard brand in China,” Billboard President Mike Van said in a press release announcing the news. “We look forward to providing a platform for Chinese musicians to share their art and unique sound amongst a global audience. Today marks the beginning of another exciting chapter in Billboard’s evolution and we are eager to witness the proliferation of new artists shaping pop culture.”

Billboard China adds to the list of the publication’s international editions and music content in Asia, following Billboard Japan and Billboard Korea. Per the press release, Billboard will work closely with local industry partners in China to develop offerings geared toward Chinese music fans. The new edition will additionally aid in bringing global pop music to Chinese fans and expose Chinese artists and music to an international audience.

Billboard China will also launch with the Master Collection, which will serve as a bank of resources from industry leaders such as music critics, producers and artists to deliver a professional perspective on Chinese music.

The first official cover story for Billboard China is set to be published and unveiled later this week and will be shared on Billboard‘s website and social media accounts; the feature story — in addition to a teaser video and portrait pictures — will be shared on Chinese microblogging website Weibo, which has a reported 582 million users.



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‘Thirteen Lives’: How Hints of a Thai Folk Melody Subtly Informed Benjamin Wallfisch’s Score

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Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has a vast amount of experience scoring films, from “Hidden Figures” and “Blade Runner 2049” to “It” and “The Invisible Man.” Yet nothing had quite prepared him to score “Thirteen Lives,” the true story of the rescue of a dozen boys and their coach from a flooded cave in northern Thailand in 2018.

“It turned out to be one of the hardest scores I’ve ever worked on,” Wallfisch says. “Everything you thought might work, just didn’t work.” Plus, COVID restrictions prevented him from traveling to Thailand to research the music. So he flew instead to London and worked closely with director Ron Howard for more than three months to come up with the unusual soundscape for the film.

Howard hired Wallfisch, in part, on the recommendation of Hans Zimmer (with whom the director had done nine films including “The DaVinci Code” and “Rush”). “I felt like music could help with defining the culture,” Howard says. “I knew that we didn’t want it to be traditionally bombastic action music. I wanted to make sure the movie was chilling, suspenseful and scary, but it also needed to be subtle and cool and interesting.”

Says Wallfisch: “The music really had to be something completely fresh. It’s a story of unimaginable heroism, but I couldn’t write heroic music, and we didn’t want to have any of the tropes of a suspense and tension score. Everything had to be very carefully considered.”

He was taken with the idea that the Tham Luang caves were in a mountain range named after Princess Nang Non, and that the silhouette of the mountains looked like a sleeping woman. The locals believed that the princess was angry and the rain that flooded the caves, trapping the young people, were her tears.

The composer began by contacting Thai musicologist and vocalist Natt Buntita, who discovered a traditional song (“Soh Long Nan”) from the Chiang Rai province where the Tham Luang caves are located. “It’s hundreds of years old,” Wallfisch notes, “about the flow of a river being similar to the flow of life, always going in one direction.”

Wallfisch added “little echoes” of that song “just to connect us to this idea of the mountain having a voice.” Buntita sings it under the end titles.

In addition, the composer managed to arrange for three other Thai soloists to perform and improvise in a Bangkok studio on traditional instruments: the two-stringed saw duang, the national instrument of Thailand; the khlui, a bamboo flute; the phin, a lute; and the khaen, a mouth organ.

“I was very concerned about overly sentimentalizing the film,” Howard says. “I didn’t want it to be cloying or manipulative in any way. I wanted an urgent sense of a kinetic drive, a little chaotic.”

So, Wallfisch determined, “the score had to be quite experimental. So much of the movie happens underwater. So what would it sound like to have these Thai instruments and voices warped, slowed down, reversed, and made to sound in a kind of underwater texture?”

In addition, he acquired oxygen canisters, scraped them, tapped them and sampled the sounds of air escaping the valves. “All of these things were incorporated into the rhythmic parts of the score,” he says. Adds Howard: “The more abstract, the more unsettling it was for us, almost like an artifact of the cave.”

Another element of the story that intrigued Wallfisch was the presence of two British divers, Richard Stanton and John Volanthen (played by Viggo Mortensen and Colin Farrell), whose daring and creative thinking helped save the boys. So he incorporated English piano and cello soloists, along with the strings of the Chamber Orchestra of London, which provide the most traditional sounds in the score.

Wallfisch says he “tried to capture the spirituality of the people. There is something incredibly beautiful about the place, a serenity and a reflective feeling.” Says Howard: “It was a process of discovery. Ben’s creative endurance was remarkable.”



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