Kicking off the weekend on New Music Friday is Ed Sheeran who is back with an up tempo hit ‘Bad Habits’ plus many more great tracks out now.

1. Ed Sheeran releases ‘Bad Habits’

Global superstar Ed Sheeran officially returns with his new single “Bad Habits,” alongside the Dave Meyers-directed official video. Download/Stream

Spending the last few years out of the spotlight following his record-breaking two-year Divide tour and the arrival of his first daughter, Ed Sheeran marks his official return with the euphoric, song-of-summer contender, “Bad Habits.” Sheeran is an artist who motors on nonconformity, with “Bad Habits” landing as something unexpected yet wholly his; a testament to a forward-thinking artist who continues to push his art into new dimensions. Deploying an up-tempo, guitar-laced summer anthem, “Bad Habits” is a song that channels escapist energy and most importantly makes you want to dance.

Ed Sheeran says – “Feels great to be back with my new single. I wanted the video for Bad Habits to play on the nature of habits in a fantastical way so I decided on vampires. It was mega fun getting into character except for the heights (that wasn’t so fun). Enjoy x”

2. Aitch releases scroching new single ‘Learning Curve’

Manchester’s finest Aitch returns with his scorching new single “Learning Curve” – out now via Capitol Records / 10K Projects. Listen HERE.

Straight out of Manchester, in just two years 21-year-old Aitch has ascended from scion of underground UK hip hop to chart-dominating, platinum-selling, BRIT Award-nominated household name as the pioneering sound of New Manchester. Aitch has collaborated with Stormzy, Ed Sheeran, Stefflon Don, AJ Tracey and Headie One and accrued over 1 billion global streams and over 5 million worldwide record sales. This young superstar matches an infectious no-fucks-given attitude with crafty lyrics and rhythmic prowess.

Over a killer beat produced by frequent collaborator WhyJay, “Learning Curve” sees Aitch capture the mood of a generation desperate to make up for the lost summer of 2020. The pvideo, shot by KC Locke, capitalizes on Aitch’s intuitive comic chops as he shifts multiple guises from “Harrison” the wedding guest to “Big Shell” the driver to streetwear shepherd.

Aitch stands at the vanguard of a new wave of talent and “Learning Curve” marks the start of a meteoric year for the young artist.

3. Brian May releases ‘Drive By You’

Brian May’s first solo hit, and the unforgettable TV ad it was made for, came from the most unlikely of origins.

Driven By You’ is, without doubt, one of rock’s most rousing and lasting anthems. Originally written for a Ford car television commercial, the solo track was a worldwide hit when it first debuted as a single off May’s 1992 ‘Back To The Light’ album. But the unforgettable song had its beginnings oceans away from the open roads of the UK countryside that were framed in that TV ad.

Originally released in November 1991, ‘Driven By You’ saw success worldwide including reaching No 6 on the UK Singles Chart and No 9 on the US Billboard Album Rock Chart. Re-released to download on June 25 ahead of the forthcoming remastered reissue of May’s “Back To The Light” album on August 6, the reissue of the track comes with a scorching new 30th Anniversary video edit. The performance was originally filmed when the Queen legend sang the track live for the first time at the 1991 Guitar Legends concert in Seville, Spain, and during his 1992 South America tour.

The energetic footage features Brian performing the song with an all-star band including Cozy Powell on drums, Neil Murray on bass and Steve Vai on rhythm guitar. Plus, Rick Wakeman and Mike Moran on keyboards, alongside Maggie Ryder, Miriam Stockley and Chris Moran on backing vocals. That music video can be seen in its updated form now.

4. Leon Bridges releases ‘Why Don’t You Touch Me’

Grammy Award-winning R&B recording artist and songwriter Leon Bridges has released “Why Don’t You Touch Me”, the latest track from his forthcoming third album Gold-Diggers Sound. “Why Don’t You Touch Me” is a gently pleading, vulnerable love song from Leon to a lover who feels preoccupied and just slightly out of reach. Keeping within Leon’s love of fashion, storytelling, and visuals, “Why Don’t You Touch Me” has a two-part official music video: watch part 1 here / part 2 here. The Jackson Tisi-directed video blurs fact and fiction with an intertwining narrative of 3 people, working through a souring relationship, drifting in a surrealist send-up of Gold Diggers, the real-life hotel/recording studio that inspired his upcoming album.

Leon also announced that he has a track on the forthcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy Official Soundtrack; the soundtrack hits stores and all digital retailers on July 9, 2021, one week ahead of the movie’s release on July 16. Watch Leon in the star-studded announcement here.

Gold-Diggers Sound is an R&B album birthed from extended late nights at the complex of the same name. The album celebrates Leon’s immersive experience of creating music in the same space in which he lived, worked, and drank over the course of two years. What began as nightly all-night jam sessions where Leon and his fellow musicians could just vibe and let loose away from crowds, cameras, and structured studio schedules, quickly began to form into what he realized was an album.

5. Nessa Barret unveils new track ‘Counting Crimes’

Disrupting pop on her own terms, rising singer-songwriter Nessa Barrett today unveils the new single ‘counting crimes’, which is accompanied by a music video. It follows her first single of 2021, ‘la di die’ (featuring jxdn), which has amassed over 134 million streams and became a hit at US Alternative and Top 40 radio.

On ‘counting crimes’, guitar and piano bleed into glitchy production as her vocals teeter between intimate verses and an achingly catchy refrain. Calling out a lover’s indiscretion, she confesses, “I could never love me again. I could never trust me again, if I did half of what you did, it’s enough to make me sick.

Nessa said, “‘counting crimes’ is about moving on from something toxic with an empowering bad bitch energy. Admitting that you have made mistakes, but the other person has done worse than you and understanding who is really the bad guy in the situation. I hope this song inspires all the other bad bitches out there!”

6. The Feeling, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Jamie Cullum and more release ‘Don’t Stop’

The Feeling have come together with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Jamie Cullum and friends to re-record the classic Christine McVie (Fleetwood Mac) song ‘Don’t Stop’ in support of National Thank You Day on July 4th. The single and video are released today (June 25th), available on all digital service providers HERE.

Recorded at the iconic Studio 1 in Abbey Road, the artists were joined by the chorus of the West End hit Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. The track was inspired by an initiative from community choirs to mark National Thank You Day on July 4th, who will be singing the optimistic classics outside of care homes and hospitals. The track will be played and sung at ‘thank you’ events up and down the country on July 4th.

The Feeling’s Daniel Gillespie Sells, says: “The last 18 months has been hard for so many of us but as we begin to emerge we all have so many people to thank. We were inspired by all of the community choirs taking part in national thank you day and thought recording the track and helping to provide a soundtrack to the day was the best way we could help and say our own thank yous.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor
 also comments; “One of the few good things about the last 18 months has been our community spirit. But we can’t take that for granted. Moments like thank you day give us all a chance to reach out and keep it going.”

Jamie Cullum adds; “It was a real privilege to be asked by The Feeling to play on their version of this glorious song “Don’t Stop” for Thank You Day – a great cause and concept within this incredibly challenging time.

7. The Wombats release ‘Method To The Madness’ remix

Following the announcement of their biggest ever UK headline show to date at The O2, London next year, indie legends The Wombats have teamed up with Brisbane band The Jungle Giants to release a remix of their standout new track ‘Method To The Madness’, out now via AWAL. Released last month, ‘Method To The Madness’ is the Liverpool formed trio’s first offering since their highest charting album to date, 2018’s UK Top 3 Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life.

Combining a 4×4 beat, shimmering synths and upbeat house euphoria with singer and guitarist Matthew “Murph” Murphy’s aloof signature vocals, The Jungle Giants have turned the emotionally-charged indie banger into the perfect summer anthem.

“I’ve been a fan of The Wombats for as long as I can remember. Pretty sure I lost my virginity to their first album. There’s a lot of history there so It was an absolute pleasure to remix Method To The Madness,” explains frontman Sam Hales.

With a summer ahead that includes second from top billings at Reading & Leeds Festival main stage and Neighbourhood Weekender, plus their show at The O2 set for 15th April 2022, which will see The Wombats perform a career spanning greatest hits set, this is only the start of what’s to come as fans new and old gear up for the next exciting chapter in this constantly evolving success story from one of Britain’s most adored bands.

8. Foo Fighters release ‘Making A Fire’

The incendiary opening track of FOO FIGHTERS’ critical and commercial smash album MEDICINE AT MIDNIGHT — also the first song in the encore of the band’s triumphant Madison Square Garden show — blazes in a whole new way with “MAKING A FIRE,” the Mark Ronson Re-Version.

Produced by Mark Ronson, the re-version features members of Antibalas, the Budos Band, the Dap-Kings, El Michels Affair, La Buya, Menahan Street Band, the Tedeschi Trucks Band and Tuatara — all providing a combustible new backdrop to Dave Grohl’s unmistakable vocal, as well as the irresistible refrain by a back-up vocal quartet featuring Violet Grohl.

9. Finn Askew releases ‘Paranoia

Finn Askew has today released ‘Paranoia’,  the latest new music from the carefree Gen Z’er. As the follow up to his alt-soul single ‘Cherry Bomb’, ‘Paranoia’ is a genre defying party record, with its trap-rock sounds and provocative lyrics.

Determined to give fans a new peak into his world , Finn has spent the past 6 weeks developing the perfect visual to release alongside the song. The video adds a dreamlike and futuristically stylised feel to the upbeat track, and really shows Finn in his element.

Of the track Finn says “If I was in the form of a song that song would be paranoia. It represents me as an artist the best. When you see the word paranoia you’d probably imagine the song to be pretty dark, that’s what I love about this song cause it’s far from that.”

At 20, Finn Askew is more focused than ever; ambitious, self-reliant, and prepared for the thrilling future he is building for himself.

10. JC Stewart release new single ‘Loud’

JC Stewart’s loyal and burgeoning fanbase is set to again grow in stature as he shares more new music and his second single of the year ‘Loud’, together with its official video.   Listen HERE.

‘Loud’ is arguably JC’s most beautiful, elegant, and reflective song to date. It is a song that has the bravery to push JC’s lovelorn lyricism to the fore, this time with a twist as the self-confessed Professional Sadboy is heartbroken by separation rather than a break-up. It is classically melodic yet infused with voguish sonic touches, constantly evolving in stature from fragile piano into a wall-of-sound rich with soothing vocal harmonies and commanding percussion.

JC wrote ‘Loud’ earlier this year when he spent a few days alone by the Kent coast. That time apart was all the inspiration he needed for the song’s affecting emotional intensity. The track was subsequently produced by the Grammy winner Koz, best known for his work on both of Dua Lipa’s smash hit albums, and mixed by Matty Green

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