Music Scene: Songs from Ed Sheeran, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande

Ed Sheeran poses as a vampire in his new music video and Billie Eilish drops another song from her hotly anticipated sophomore album. PHOTOS: ASYLUM, DARKROOM / INTERSCOPE

SINGAPORE - Duets are the order of the day.

New besties Australian singer-rapper The Kid Laroi and Canadian pop prince Justin Bieber are back with a joint single. Scottish singer Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream teams up with Savages' frontwoman, French singer Jehnny Beth, for a whole album, while R&B star Ariana Grande joins fellow American act Ty Dolla $ign on a live recording.

Meanwhile, English singer Ed Sheeran poses as a vampire in his new music video and American Grammy winner Billie Eilish drops another song from her hotly anticipated sophomore album.

Check these out on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.

1. Pop/Electronic

Bad Habits
Ed Sheeran

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English pop star Ed Sheeran stars as a pink-suited vampire flying through the air in the music video for Bad Habits. The electronic pop tune is his first new song this year and will be on his upcoming fifth album.

"Feels great to be back with my new single," he says in a release. "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."

2. Pop

The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber

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Stay is the second collaboration between rising Australian singer-rapper The Kid Laroi and Canadian singer Justin Bieber.

The duo's first song together, Unstable, is included on Bieber's latest album, Justice. They share the same manager, music mogul Scooter Braun.

The synth-driven track is from The Kid Laroi's upcoming collection of new songs, which will be the third and final instalment of his F*** Love series.

3. R&B

Safety Net
Ariana Grande featuring Ty Dolla $ign

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The second video in American singer Ariana Grande's live series with online video platform Vevo is a live performance of Safety Net, a song from her sixth album, Positions (2020).

Just as in the album, Grande performs the tune with guest singer Ty Dolla $ign. Together with a live band, they sing on a set complete with flowers and moody lighting. The first song in the live series, POV, also from Positions, was released in June.

4. Pop

Billie Eilish

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NDA, which stands for "non-disclosure agreement", is a single from American singer Billie Eilish's upcoming sophomore album. She directed the music video, which features cars zooming by as she sings in a dark desert.

The full album, Happier Than Ever, is set to be released on July 30.

5. Soul/Rock

Utopian Ashes
Bobby Gillespie & Jehnny Beth

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Utopian Ashes is a collaboration album between Scottish singer Bobby Gillespie, frontman of alternative rock veterans Primal Scream, and French singer Jehnny Beth from post-punk band Savages.

A meld of classic genres such as rock 'n' roll, soul, country and blues, the lyrics reflect the turmoil arising from the breakdown of a marriage.

The album also contains contributions from Gillespie's bandmates Martin Duffy, Andrew Innes and Darrin Mooney.

6. Indie Rock

The Golden Casket
Modest Mouse

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The Golden Casket is the first new album in six years from indie rock mainstays Modest Mouse.

In a recent interview with entertainment news outlet Variety, frontman and songwriter Isaac Brock said the album would not have been made if not for the pandemic. "If I'd gone on tour last summer, that would have meant I wouldn't have been in the studio working," he says.

7. Indie Rock

Home Video
Lucy Dacus

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The third studio album by American singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus, Home Video comprises songs that reflect on her years growing up in Richmond, Virginia. It features the single Thumbs, a song she included in a VHS tape that she mailed to some fans in February.

"It tells the story of a day I had with a friend during our freshman year of college, a significant day, but not one that I had thought of for years," Dacus says of the dark fantasy about murder.

8. Alternative Rock

Planet (i)
Squirrel Flower

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American musician Ella Williams, who performs under the moniker Squirrel Flower, fills her second album with imagery of natural disasters.

The title, Planet (i), is the name of a fictitious planet which people who leave Earth will settle on and eventually destroy. The songs also reflect on personal turmoils.

"Planet (i) is my body and mind, and it's the physical and emotional world of our planet," Williams says in a release.

9. Pop

Madison Beer

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Reckless is a song from American singer Madison Beer's upcoming second album, the follow-up to her debut released in February 2021. The fairy-tale setting in the song's music video was inspired by classic children's books.

"I wanted the world for Reckless to feel both disorienting and familiar, like a nightmare where nothing is what it seems and there's no way out," Beer says in a release.

"Those are exactly the emotions I've gone through in relationships that have turned sour. When someone you've given all your trust to betrays you, you feel like everything you've ever known was a lie."

10. Pop


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Popular British YouTuber KSI - real name Olajide "JJ" Olatunji - has released the song Holiday, which will be included in his second album All Over The Place, set to be released on July 16.

Describing it as a "summer tune", he says: "I showcase the progression in my singing here as I talk about how every time I'm with my significant other, it feels like a holiday, a break from the pressures of the world."

But a real holiday would be lovely, he adds. "It's felt like forever since me and my mates have had one, so hopefully after this pandemic is old news, we can go back to truly enjoying life again."

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