If I have to hear this, fine: Ed Sheeran feat. Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock, “Cross Me” - I don’t particularly care for Ed Sheeran, save the one song he sings that’s good for weddings, but for some reason, this song is... fine? I’ve listened to it on repeat in order to fully immerse myself for this blurb and have not felt blood trickle out of my ears, so I’ll consider that a win for me and a win for Mr. Sheeran, also. The song is not bad! Put it on at a barbecue this weekend and see how many friends you keep. Let me know. —Megan Reynolds
Nah: Martin Garrix feat. Macklemore, Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, “Summer Days” - There are a lot of famous men on this song, and I expect Justin Timberlake is fuming he wasn’t asked to hop on it, too. Sorry, JT, Stump’s falsetto is simply crisper! I also expect “Summer Days” to be unavoidable in the next few weeks. I am not looking forward to it. It’s unremarkable.—Maria Sherman
I’m hopeful: 5 Seconds of Summer, “Easier” - As a former 5SOS stan, the last album cycle has been pretty disappointing—they pivoted from biggest and best guitar band in the land to Chainsmokers-lite. However! “Easier,” is better than “Youngblood,” and according to Rolling Stone, their next release is “inspired by dark, synth-heavy groups of the Eighties and Nineties like Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears and, more specifically, Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer.’” I’m cautiously optimistic. Besides being “derivative of the driving drum groove” in “Closer,” I’m not sure I hear it just yet. —MS
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Yes: Heterofobia, “Huele A Muerte” - I have a friend in Boyle Heights who turns me onto the coolest punk stuff happening in Mexico and Heterofobia might be the best band he’s put me onto all year. The queer death rock band from Monterrey are absolutely ferocious—the opening track, “Huele A Muerte” on their Queremos Ver El Mundo Arder LP reminds me of Christian Death, just without all the bullshit. It’s the perfect listen if you’re trying to extend World Goth Day into a lifestyle. —MS
Y: Juanes feat. Alessia Cara, “Querer Mejor” - It’s no surprise that this mellow pairing has made me believe I’m in love. With whomst? Yo no se! Beyond the soothing melodic base (of which Tainy is to no one’s surprise in part responsible for) is a lovely lyrical spine put together by seven writers, one of which is the legendary Ricardo Montaner. “Quizás mañana cuando estemos viejos/Y se nos arrugue un poco el corazón/Sabré querer mejor,” the chorus says. “Maybe tomorrow when we grow old/And our hearts wrinkle a bit/I will know how to love better.” This is Alessia Cara’s first time singing in Spanish on record, and I vote for her to further explore her range and potential there. The simplistic yet beautifully in-tune and unforced nature of this petit song is lovely in every which way. —Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo
Y: Vicente Garcia, Candela — I’ve never been to the Dominican Republic, but every time I listen to Vicente Garcia, I feel like he takes me there. His welcoming sound of home is a weekend fav. His latest album is a little more upbeat rhythmically, as he sought to dig deeper into his roots with a mostly merengue album. His only feature is that of his mentor and musical icon Juan Luis Guerra. Any artist that guy is behind, I’ll likely be into, too. Plus, as a little, juicy cherry on top—Visitante (best known from Calle 13) is the producer. A few candidates for your MDW playlist here include “La Tambora,” “San Bá,” and “Palm Beach,” a chilled bilingual track in which he sings of a gringo’s desire to return back to the land in which he freely danced and fell in love. I hope you do either and/or both this weekend! I’ll be doing the former till my heart’s content. —ELC