EDGE's New Music Friday, Aug. 20: Lorde is Back, Aaliyah Comes to Streaming, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber & More

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Friday August 20, 2021

Welcome to EDGE's New Music Friday, our guide to the best singles and albums released every week! We break down the return of Lorde, Aaliyah's music inching its way on to streaming, and new singles from Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber and more.

Lorde - "Solar Power"

Lorde is finally back with her third album, "Solar Power." The breezy singer-songwriter album finds Lorde teaming up with producer Jack Antonoff (Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift, The Chicks) but taking a break from the twisted shimmery bops she's known for. Instead, the New Zealand native aims at a stripped-back album that pays respect to nature. Songs like "Mood Ring," "Big Star" and the title track are some of the strongest songs from Lorde's new LP and Robyn gets a songwriting credit on the track "Secrets from a Girl (Who's Seen it All)."

Aaliyah - "One in a Million"

Two decades after her untimely death, Aaliyah's music is finally heading to streaming services. The first album to make pop up is her brilliant breakout album "One in a Million," featuring the singes "4 Page Letter," "Hot Like Fire" and the title track.

Ed Sheeran - "Visiting Hours"

Ed Sheeran follows up his funky hit single "Bad Habits" with "Visiting Hours," a return to form where the British singer-songwriter coos a soothing ballad. The new song also came with an announcement: His fifth album "=" is set to be released on Oct. 29.

Skrillex, Justin Bieber and Don Toliver - "Don't Go"

After making some of his best music to date with Skrillex, Justin Beiber teams up with the EDM producer, along with rapper and singer Don Toliver, for the new song "Don't Go." It's a satisfying and surprisingly restrained bop that finds the trio staying away from their worst tendencies and putting forth a fun bop.

Shawn Mendes - "Summer of Love"

Though summer may be winding down, Shawn Mendes isn't ready for fall. The singer teams up with Puerto Rican producer for "Summer of Love" a radio-friendly bop propped up with tropical beats. It's a bit of a departure from his 2020 album "Wonder," which was full of mid-tempo songs that highlight the Canadian singer's vocals. On "Summer of Love," Mendes is still baring his soul but also having a good time while doing so.

Saint Etienne - "Penlop"

U.K. band Saint Etienne is getting ready to release its 10th album next month called "I've Been Trying to Tell You." The effort finds the band returning to their roots with sample-based music, like their 1993 album "So Tough." But instead of sampling songs from their youth, the group is sampling music from the era when they rose to fame, including Natalie Imbruglia. On their new song "Penlop," the groovy song samples Lightning Seeds' "Joy," resulting in a moody and euphoric track.