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The Playlist: Demi Lovato's 'Daddy Issues' & 10 More New Songs

Demi Lovato

Every Friday, OUT’s pop critics weigh in on the week’s most important new music releases. This week saw the return of Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus, as well as previously unreleased tracks from indie darlings Whitney and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Listen to everything, below. 

“Daddy Issues” by Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato released today her new album, Tell Me You Love Me, featuring the unapologetic lead single, “Sorry Not Sorry.” The LP’s absolute highlight, however, is a giant track called “Daddy Issues,” where Lovato unveils the source of her attraction to “unavailable” men. “Lucky for you, I’ve got all these daddy issues,” she sings above euphoric synth-pop production. “Forget all the therapy that I’ve been through,” the 25-year-old continues, tongue-in-cheek, delivering a hilariously relatable queer anthem. 

“Last Time We Danced” by Betsy

We first became enamored by Betsy after seeing her video for the glory-fueled anthem, “Waiting.” Not only is the rising U.K. artist impossibly fashionable with her peroxide blonde hair, Monroe red lips and ultra-glam wardrobe, but her voice is one of the generation’s strongest, bellowing with a force that’s rightfully been compared to Cher. Now, Betsy’s self-titled debut album is out and with it 11 powerful tracks that bridge soulful nostalgia with soaring euro-pop. “Last Time We Danced” is a highlight with an explosive chorus that’ll make you lose control.

“Paper Love (Stress Remix)” by Allie X

Our favorite alt-pop star Allie X is busy touring her debut album, COLLXTION II, across the world, following the release of her surreal “Paper Love” music video. Now, the whistle-heavy lead single has been given a sunny remix that trades out its original grizzly rock guitars for more tropical sounds. “‘Paper Love’ is about self-sacrifice,” Allie X previously told OUT. “And knowing that someone or something is going to rip you apart like paper, and you’re in a vulnerable state, but just doing it anyway.” 

“Rainbowland” by Miley Cyrus & Dolly Parton

Miley Cyrus’ long-awaited album, Younger Now, is finally out and serves up some serious country pop. Much like “Malibu,” the LP strays far from Cyrus’ provocative past to make space for diary-style lyrics and more guitar-driven production. Her collaboration with Dolly Parton, called “Rainbowland,” is naturally one of the strongest tracks, as they duet about “livin’ in Rainbowland, where everything goes as planned.” As the title would suggest, it’s packed with queer references: “We are rainbows, me and you/ Every color, every hue/ Let’s shine through.” 

“It’s a Shame” by First Aid Kit

Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg of folk duo First Aid Kit shared their new song, “It’s a Shame,” produced by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Sufjan Stevens). With warm, bustling guitars and driving drums, the track is First Aid Kit at its finest, and explores “the emptiness and desperation you feel after a relationship has come to an end.” Despite its melancholy lyrics (“Just say when and we’ll say goodnight”), the track is optimistic and summery in its execution—a balance that’s defined First Aid Kit since the start. 

“Shake It” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs shared this week a previously unreleased outtake from their 2003 debut album, Fever to Tell. Titled “Shake It,” the song arrives in anticipation of an official Fever to Tell reissue scheduled to drop next month, which will include everything from old photos to a mini film and even more never-before-heard demos. Lead singer Karen O’s vocals shine amidst sparse guitar licks and a distant, barely there drum beat, before “Shake It” builds into a fiery, ferocious chorus. It’s grizzly, grimy and would’ve been a standout on the original Fever to Tell tracklist. 

“Fight and Fuck” by Terror Jr

Terror Jr is already on its third LP, releasing today seven new tracks on Bop 3: The Girl Who Cried Purple. With bizarre album art that shows a woman projecting purple tears into two separate glasses, the latest project is just as strong and focused as its predecessors. “Fight and Fuck” sees Terror Jr reveling in dense ‘80s synths that sound like the goth-glam sister of Tiffany’s hit single, “I Think We’re Alone Now.” In a sea of swirling electronic, the pop trio’s unnamed lead vocalist sings, “It can’t be good for us/ If all we do is fight and fuck.” 

“You and Me (Demo)” by Whitney 

Chicago-based indie band Whitney will follow their acclaimed debut album, Light Upon the Lake, with a full LP of demo recordings. The first taste of what’s to come November 10th is an unreleased track, called “You and Me.” Vocalist/drummer Julien Ehrlich coos wistfully about a love interest as guitarist Max Kakacek plays brightly beneath him. “Remember, you and me, darling,” he insists, channeling the same relatable nostalgia Whitney purveyed on their breakout 2016 effort—something that’s helped them draw listeners close and transcend audiences. 

“Kills to Be Resistant” by Bully 

Bully is gearing up to release their second album, Losing, out October 20th via Sub Pop, a label that’s led by women and actively supports all female-identifying and femme artists. It’s a perfect fit for Alicia Bognnano’s band, which sees her scream-singing across their music and championing the strength of women as leaders in male-dominated rock. Their grungy garage-punk single, “Kills to Be Resistant,” is a perfect sampling of Bully’s raw sound with crashing drums, searing guitars and lyrics that wrestle with feelings of unrequited love. 

“Skim” TORRES

“There’s no unlit corner of the room I’m in,” Torres (real name: Mackenzie Scott) repeats on her powerful Three Futures single, “Skim”—a statement that’s made believable by her arresting voice and expansive production. The New York musician’s alt-pop recipe is one that dances on a line between scary and sexy, oozing with untouchable strength throughout her new album, out today. She created “Skim” like an architect would build a house, allowing lyrics and melodies to take physical shape in her mind—a tangible space you could enter and dance within. 

“Deathless” by Ibeyi

French-Cuban twin duo Ibeyi’s second album Ash is out today, delivering fully Spanish lead single “Me Voy” and a lineup of guests like Mala Rodriguez, Chilly Gonzales and Kamasi Washington, whose saxophone flutters on “Deathless.” The chant-heavy, synthesized highlight was penned to be “an anthem for everybody,” inspired by one of the sisters’ experience being wrongfully arrested at age 16. Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz want listeners to “feel large, powerful, deathless” while listening to the song. 

Listen to OUT's full 9/29 playlist, below.

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