Weekend Replay: Ariana Grande, Liam Payne, and Billie Eilish ruled the week

It’s Sunday evening, which means it’s time for another edition of Weekend Replay.

First, I’d like to start this week’s post off by acknowledging the passing of Swedish musician and DJ Tim Bergling, known as Avicii. He was most known for songs like “Hey Brother” and “Wake Me Up”; his family have asked for privacy as new details emerge about Bergling’s death.

This week saw new music from Liam Payne, Sugarland, The Chainsmokers, and more. But only a handful made the Weekend Replay cut.

Friday saw Ariana Grande release her first single since 2016’s Dangerous Woman. Titled “No Tears Left To Cry,” it’s a slick, upbeat track tinged with the synth-y sounds of ’80s pop. The lyrics exude confidence: “Right now I’m in a state of mind I wanna be in, like, all the time / Ain’t got no tears left to cry.” It’s the sort of track that demands to be turned up and danced to, whether it’s in a club surrounded by masses of people or in your bedroom by yourself.

The same day Grande released her single, Liam Payne shared “Familiar,” which features Colombian reggaeton musician J Balvin. Payne shows himself to be surprisingly versatile with this track, after releasing dance-leaning songs like “Get Low,” with Zedd, and “Strip That Down,” which featured Quavo. The phrase “song of the summer” is overused, but the smooth, shimmery beats accented by Balvin’s Spanish verse truly do evoke the heat and humidity of summer.

Billie Eilish and Khalid collaborated on “lovely,” which was released last Thursday. Emotive strings and ultra-modern percussive beats create a dramatic, yet restrained instrumentation to let the vocal performances take front and center. Both singers’ voices work together extremely well, meeting in the middle to intertwine in a sweet spot of sorts for both of their voices. All combined with the simple but poetic lyrics, the result is a haunting and beautiful song.

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