- Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney
- Each week, INSIDER rounds up a list of great songs and albums to listen to over the weekend.
- In addition to Spotify’s official playlist for Disney’s “The Lion King” remake, you can listen to Ed Sheeran’s newest album featuring artists like Travis Scott, Cardi B, and Bruno Mars.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Friday is typically a big day for music, but in the world of YouTube, SoundCloud, and streaming services, it can be difficult to keep track of new releases.
That’s where we come in. Each week, INSIDER selects albums and songs – usually new, sometimes old but relevant – that we believe deserve your attention.
This week, Spotify has released the official playlist for Disney’s “The Lion King” remake, which includes Beyoncé and Donald Glover dueting on “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” You can also listen to Ed Sheeran’s newest album featuring artists like Travis Scott, Cardi B, and Bruno Mars.
Keep reading to see our four additional picks and why we pulled them out of the fray.
1. “The Lion King” soundtrack
- Walt Disney Studios
Disney’s remake of Simba’s beloved story has so far received mixed reviews, but one strength it seems all critics can agree on is the music.
The majority of the film is dominated by Hans Zimmer, arguably the most legendary film score composer at work today, whose pieces recall the cinematic wonder and deep-rooted nostalgia of the original film.
But for the soundtrack’s best moments, look no further than Beyoncé, who shines on “Spirit” and predictably dominates the iconic duet “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (although the vocal chops offered by Donald Glover and Billy Eichner are nothing to be scoffed at. Even Seth Rogen’s raspy voice brings something endearing to the table).
2. “No.6 Collaborations Project” by Ed Sheeran
- Atlantic Records UK
Even if you think Ed Sheeran isn’t your cup of tea, he has all but guaranteed you’ll find something to love on his newest album.
Each of the 15 songs on “No.6 Collaborations Project” was co-created by one or two other artists. These include pop icons like Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars, Grammy-winning R&B stars like Ella Mai and H.E.R., and rappers at the top of their games like Cardi B and Travis Scott.
3. “III” by Banks
- Capitol Records
Like the album’s two lead singles had suggested, “III” doubles down on what Jillian Banks does best: translating complex emotions and dysfunctional relationships into menacing, seductive, genre-bending anthems of power reclamation.
The goth-pop queen put it best in her note to fans: “Dive deep into these songs. Sit with them. I want you to sing, dance, laugh, feel sexy, feel cocky, feel seen, feel heard, feel angry, feel right, feel wrong, and feel understood by them.”
4. “Bad Guy (with Justin Bieber)” by Billie Eilish
- Darkroom/Interscope Records
Seventeen-year-old phenom Billie Eilish has often gushed about Justin Bieber, citing him as one of her first loves – as evidenced by the remix’s cover art, which shows a younger Eilish surrounded by Bieber posters.
Fans know the two young stars met for the first time at Coachella a few months ago, and the look of pure joy in Eilish’s eyes in those videos is enough to celebrate their new collaboration.
Bieber takes some of the edge off of Eilish’s brooding “Bad Guy,” but not in a bad way. His sickly sweet voice glides over the thumping beat, creating an interesting and irresistible contrast.
5. “Old Town Road (Remix)” by Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Young Thug, and Mason Ramsey
- Columbia Records
There’s a reason why “Old Town Road” is poised to break the all-time Billboard Hot 100 record.
The ridiculously infectious song just celebrated its 14th week at No. 1 on the chart, and now, Lil Nas X has enlisted Young Thug – as well as the young yodeling sensation Mason Ramsey – to keep it fresh.
6. “Swing” by Sofi Tukker
- Sofi Tukker, LLC
The Grammy-nominated electro-pop duo have released the lead single for their upcoming album, “R.I.P. Shame, Pt. 1,” which is slated for a September release.
The nonsensical and pulsating song, “Swing,” is a collaboration with the Brazilian poet Chacal.
“This song always felt like an epic battle song. It’s more like a chant than a song, really,” Sofi Tukker told Nylon. “Like a lot of the things we do with Chacal, part of the meaning of it is just how nonsensical it is. It’s really about how delicious and delightful and also meaningless words ultimately are.”