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Charli XCX & Lorde Beat The Drama Allegations & 8 Other New Songs Out This Week

Plus, Gracie Abrams gets the Taylor Swift cosign.

by Carson Mlnarik

Every week, we bring you SOUNDCHECK — your destination for the best new music that hit the web over the course of the week. Because you should always be prepared when someone passes you that AUX cord. This week's roundup features nine of our favorite emerging and established artists.

“The Girl, So Confusing Version With Lorde” - Charli XCX & Lorde

The Charli XCX and Lorde lore dates back to 2014, the era of Tumblr, Instagram filters, and this interview in which the Brat singer was confused for the New Zealander and ran with it. Fans suspected “Girl, So Confusing” was about the “Royals” singer from the jump, and she made good on her promise to “work it out on the remix.” What starts out as a “pop girl vs. pop girl” bop turns into a meditation on femininity in the industry, ending with the gag-worthy line: “I ride for you, Charli.”

“Us” - Gracie Abrams ft. Taylor Swift

Gracie Abrams and Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated collab already feels as mythic as the Babylonian gardens its lyrics reference. Dripping in synths and stacks of vocals — courtesy of Swiftian legends Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner — “Us” is a moody track “Taylor-made” for dramatically sprinting through the forests of your memory.

“The Boy Is Mine (Remix)” - Ariana Grande, Brandy, Monica

After paying homage to Brandy and Monica’s iconic 1998 collaboration, Ari gives the two R&B queens another chance to duke it out on this retro-feeling remix that lets each lady plead their case. Fighting over a man has never sounded so delicious.

“Supernatural” - NewJeans

When was the last time you heard a K-pop group get this funky? The South Korean girl group embraces ’90s-reminiscent production for a sugary-sweet bop about a supernatural love affair. You may just want to bust out a boombox and dance in a parking lot to this one.

“:)” - The Japanese House

It’s hard to think of a better title for this breezy new Japanese House cut than “Smiley Face.” The dreamy indie-pop bop starts at a breakneck pace and never quits, much like the feeling of falling in love — fitting, considering its lyrics document Amber Bain’s real-life love story of falling for an out-of-state girl on a dating app, buying a plane ticket to see her, and eventually getting engaged.

“PUT EM IN THE FRIDGE” - Peso Pluma & Cardi B

It was only a matter of time until Cardi B collaborated with rap’s rising star Peso Pluma. The Mexican singer and rapper holds his own against Cardi’s flow in this angsty and intense Spanglish banger from his new album Éxodo, which feels like the sonic equivalent of texting the knife emoji.

“Cut!” - Maren Morris ft. Julia Michaels

Maren Morris continues her repertoire of “it’s OK to breakdown” bops with this Julia Michael collab penned specifically for the overachiever in us all. The lyric “everyone needs an intermission” is the perfect plug for Morris’ upcoming EP of the same name. And it’s not hard to imagine captioning your summer photo dump with “I’ve got clear skin from all the sleep / Clear mind from therapy / Yoga four days a week,” both literally and ironically.

“Breakdown” - Yungblud

On this tears-in-the-club-sounding bop, Yungblud peels back a layer to show off a more vulnerable side. In a statement, the English alt-rocker described the track as his means of “embracing the light, realizing what’s beautiful in the world, and fighting the darkness.” And with a spinning production and the 26-year-old’s typical lyrical swagger, it’s hard not to feel the infectious optimism.

“Stevie Nicks” - New West

Name-dropping a musical icon like Stevie Nicks is a surefire way to snag attention, but New West will keep you enthralled with this groovy and vintage-sounding ditty that sounds like a poolside round of shots while you’re already struggling to stay above water (in the best way possible).