Hot Heats & Summer Beats: A July Playlist

Summer is here, and as the weather heats up, so does our music! We all need some sunny summer songs to suit the mood, and we have just the playlist for you. These summer beats are perfect for days spent at the beach, strolling through vacation hot spots, and soaking up the summer vibes.

Enjoy the hot heat and these summer beats right now! Stream our new July playlist below:

Like what you’re hearing? Check out our other playlists: “Dad Jams,” “Out Loud,” “Look, Mom! I Made You A Mixtape,” “Travel Tunes,” “Tunes In Bloom,” “Body+,” “Black History Month,” “Black Future Month,” “Resolutions,” “Chill Vibes,” and “Get Pumped.”

We made this playlist in conjunction with Petite2Queen, a new business for women, by women. They offer diverse content to help women in life, at work, and in sales. Among that varied mix of content? Playlists by Hidden Jams!

Paramore Shares Trippy New Video For “Caught In The Middle”

More than a year after dropping their fifth album, After Laughter, Paramore is back with another single and music video. “Caught In The Middle” is a deceptively peppy track about being stuck in life. Frontwoman Hayley Williams sings about being able to sabotage herself without any help. Meanwhile, tropical, ’80s-inspired music tricks us into cheeriness in spite of the lyrical mood.

Today, the single gets the video treatment. And what a trippy, wild clip it is. In the animated, lo-fi music video, watch as Hayley, Taylor York, and Zac Farro navigate a strangely fruity world. They move from one animation style to the next, never content to stay in one place too long. By the end of the video, we see that they were jumping from postcard to recipe on a refrigerator covered in reminders.

Computer Team, who have been part of most the After Laughter videos, directed the new clip. In a statement, they summed up the video better than we can:

In our video for the song, we put Hayley, Taylor, and Zac into animated worlds that go from ‘80s nostalgia one moment to futuristic sci-fi the next. The band runs from one world to another, never able to stay in one place, always being chased by one particularly relentless giant orange.

Watch the music video for “Caught In The Middle” below:

In addition to sharing the clip for “Caught In The Middle,” the band also announced a new project they’re starting, Art + Friends.

We are pretty close to wrapping up our touring cycle for After Laughter and heading home. So we thought, “Instead of a throwing a homecoming party for ourselves, why don’t we throw a party for the whole city?”

We want to celebrate our hometown and the fast growing, wacky and wonderful alternative music and arts community of Nashville. We want to show you what our fine city has to offer, outside of bachelorette parties and karaoke bars. So here’s your official invite to Art + Friends.

We (Paramore) are gonna play a big rock gig, along with some of our friends – it’s a solid lineup of all Nashville based artists. Plus, there will be tons of local art to see and experience, local independent business owners showing off their wares, and some local food & bevs.

Take it from a group of kids who grew up right here in this city – the new Nashville is definitely alright with us. We’re excited to give everyone a chance to experience Nashville the way we do.

Find out more about Art + Friends here and look out for pre-sale tickets this Friday.

“Caught In The Middle” is the fifth song on After Laughter to get the video treatment. Be sure to also watch videos for “Hard Times,” “Told You So,” “Fake Happy,” and “Rose-Colored Boy.”

You can buy After Laughter on iTunes or stream it on Spotify now. Meanwhile, Paramore is currently touring North America with Foster The People. Check out dates and find tickets before it’s too late.

Keep checking back here for all the latest Paramore news.

Avril Lavigne Confirms New Collaboration With Bonnie McKee

Although Avril Lavigne supposedly completed her final week of recording in early May, it looks like she may still be working on her long-awaited sixth studio album. Tonight she posted about working with songwriter Bonnie McKee on the new music:

 

Bonnie McKee is a pop singer, as well as a popular songwriter. Some of her best-known collaborations are with Katy Perry on songs like “Roar,” “Wide Awake,” and “Teenage Dream.”

This is not the first time Avril and Bonnie have collaborated, but if the song is released, it would be the first time fans get to hear the resulting song. In 2014, Bonnie spoke about working with Avril:

Bonnie also mentioned their collaboration again last year:

It’s not clear if Avril and Bonnie were just working on the new music, or if it happened weeks/months ago. If they are just now in the studio together, that may mean further delays for Avril’s upcoming album.

Avril’s sixth studio album has been a long labor of love. After releasing her self-titled fifth record in late 2013, she came down with Lyme disease the following spring, announcing it in 2015. Overcoming the illness inspired her new music. Though she officially began recording it last spring, Avril began writing and demoing three years ago. And despite multiple predictions of finishing – first last November, then this February – it had looked like Avril finally wrapped the recording process last month. Is she still writing and recording, or is this Bonnie post about a previous studio session?

Avril has described her upcoming album as being more rock this time around, and worked on a few songs with Travis Clark of We The Kings. She’s also returning to her roots in some ways. As proof, she co-wrote two songs with Lauren Christy, the songwriter behind “I’m With You” and “Complicated.” Avril has also worked with producer J.R. Rotem. Some songs fans may hear on album #6 include “Lucky Ones,” “It Was In Me,” “Warrior,” and “Crush.”

In non-album news, Avril has kept busy in the last couple of years. She recorded a few new songs with other artists, including tracks with Japanese band ONE OK ROCK and new production duo Grey. In time for the winter holidays, she released a cover of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Jonny Blu last November. Avril also returned to her acting ambitions, voicing Snow White in the upcoming animated film, Charming. For the movie, Avril also joined Ashley Tisdale and G.E.M. to sing “Trophy Boy,” written by Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump.

Avril’s “next level” album will come later out this year via BMG RecordsCatch up on all we know about the new record so far, and keep checking back here for more on Avril’s new music.

Sara Bareilles Talks About Upcoming Album: “Broken, But It Has Heart”

Sara Bareilles has been teasing a new album for many months now. Though she initially hoped to have a record out by the end of 2017, last fall she promised that 2018 will be the year. At the time, she already had some “slick songs” ready. Now that she’s entering the studio to officially begin recording, Sara gave a heartfelt update on where the new album is headed musically and lyrically. Sara admits that it may sound a bit broken – a reflection of the current state of the world – but it still has heart, too.

See her update on Instagram below:

My friend @shervinfoto took this. ♥️ It reflects how I feel right now. (With slightly less smiling) Music is all around us in all this raw life and I have been creating songs that simply try and put the feelings somewhere. I am making a new record very (VERY) soon with heroes of mine and since the world feels insane I feel like my record might reflect that. But I know it has heart. It might be broken, but it has heart. That is a good start.

In a new interview with Billboard earlier this month, Sara spoke at length about the themes of her upcoming album. In response to possibly having a heightened desire or responsibility to embrace some of the issues occupying so much of our collective social conscience, she said:

I think I feel what a lot of people are feeling, which is a reawakening of a global consciousness, and an awareness of some of these really just primal themes that have been a part of every artistic expression since the dawn of time. Division and identity and hate and fear and love — all these things that are so alive in our social climate. I want songwriters to speak to that and not pretend they are not a very big part of what our community at large is experiencing.

There is this epidemic of depression and anxiety, especially with young people. It’s a vulnerable time anyway, but now more than ever I feel the need to speak to these larger themes and try to parse them out a little bit and at least remind people, You’re not alone in that being a human is really hard, and we’re all trying to figure it out. You’re not alone if you’re confused or you’re fearful or you think you’ve failed in some way. We all end up in those places sometimes.

She also spoke about writing with a distinctly female voice:

In my perfect world there would be a nice balance. Looking through my canon of work I always have felt passionately about the female perspective. Young women are really important to me and giving them a reflection of themselves that is positive is something I’ve spent my whole career hopefully doing because it really matters to me. I want to continue that messaging, but there is a part of me that wants to speak to larger themes that transcend gender. As I’m writing for my next record, I want to go where the energy flows and don’t want anything to limit it.

So when will we hear this new music? Last month, the Washington Post reported that Sara would begin recording after the Tonys. She co-hosted the awards on June 10th. It seems that Sara is currently in the early stages of recording. Though she promised an album in 2018, we’ll have to wait and see how it works out. She told Billboard:

I’m writing currently and it’s kind of one of those things where you want to press the pedal to the metal, and you don’t know where the car is going to go. I have a handful of songs that I’m proud of but still need some work, and then of course there’s the recording process. But I’m hopeful.

Read the full interview at Billboard. 

Sara’s last regular album, The Blessed Unrest, came out in July 2013. Though it’s been half a decade already, Sara has certainly kept busy with other projects. Indeed, the last five years since then have been a whirlwind of activity. It started with a musical called Waitress, for which Sara composed all the songs. It debuted in Boston in summer 2015. That November, a selection of those new songs appeared on Sara’s themed album, What’s Insides: Songs From Waitress. That fall Sara also released a book, Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) In Song.

Things didn’t slow down there. In 2016, Waitress went to Broadway; in 2017 – and again earlier this year – Sara took on the lead role of Jenna. She also played Mary Magdalene in NBC’s adaption of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, composed a song for the SpongeBob Square Pants musical, wrote a song called “Seriously” in light of the 2016 presidential election, and released “If I Dare,” a song she composed for the 2017 film, Battle Of The Sexes. She hosted the Tonys this month, is composing music for a new dramedy series called Little Voice (a reference to her major label debut?), and just received a prestigious award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame. All things considered, Sara Bareilles is hard woman to keep up with!

We’re glad to know what themes Sara will touch on in her new music. It may sound broken, but it will have heart, too. It will be exciting to finally get a new Sara Bareilles album – hopefully later this year! Catch up on all we know about it so far, and keep checking back here for all the latest Sara Bareilles music news.

Florence + The Machine Unveils Stunning New Song, “Big God”

Following “Sky Full Of Song” and “Hunger,” Florence + The Machine just shared a third new song from their upcoming fourth album, High As Hope. With only one week to go before the album drops on June 29th, “Big God” is the most impressive song we’ve heard yet. While the first two singles were delicate and empowering respectively, “Big God” dives into that other side of Florence + The Machine we love so much: It’s a song that starts off unassumingly minimalistic, but it quietly grows into something epic and intricate. It sneaks up on you so that the horns and crashes that join in later catch you by surprise.

Lyrically, it tackles a subject so many know all too well: ghosting. As Florence Welch told DIY:

“Big God was written about that feeling when someone has not replied to your text, the modern phenomenon of ‘ghosting’ which is one of my favourite words but not my favourite feeling. I was describing it to someone and they said to me “you need a big god,” as if the need in me were so cavernous it would take something enormous to fill it. Probably something bigger than a text message.

She also talked about how to music video for “Big God” came about:

It’s always been a very physical song, I saw a dance piece  in my head as I was writing it, so to co choreograph something with Akram Khan was a huge honour. Autumn de Wilde fully understood what I was trying to do. The power of the desire within the void. Left with yourself to rage and wonder. And really it is yourself you are raging against. Not the ghost.

Choreographer Akram Khan also spoke about the video:

For me, this encounter with Florence and her powerful song somehow navigated itself towards the element – water. But the direction of the dance also became a resistance to all things that wish to oppress, a sort of protest dance and yet a celebratory one towards a new found freedom.

Indeed, the video centers on Florence Welch and a group of women dressed in sheer, brightly colored skirts. They dance and pound the air as their images are reflected in the water at their feet. With its black backdrop, shallow pool of water, and vivid colors, it’s a visually stunning video for an audibly stunning song.

Watch the music video for “Big God” below. It was directed by Autumn de Wilde, choreographed by Florence Welch and Akram Khan, and produced by Somesuch.

“Big God” will appear on Florence + The Machine’s upcoming album High As Hope, due out on June 29th. You can stream “Big God” on Spotify or download it from iTunes now. You can also pre-order High As Hope; check out all the digital and physical preorder options here. Pre-orders come with instant downloads of all three singles.

You can also look forward to seeing Florence + The Machine live this year! The band has a few dates in Europe and North America this summer, with a full tour kicking off in September and extending well into 2019. Check out all of the tour dates and get tickets before it’s too late!

Enjoy the new songs as we count down the final days until High As Hope is out. Keep checking back here for all the latest Florence + The Machine news.