Taylor Swift Drops Lover Tracklist The Same Day As The Title Track — Because She Can

Taylor Swift is the gift that keeps on giving today (August 16). After releasing Lover‘s title track at midnight, the pop star took to Instagram this afternoon to share the full tracklist for her upcoming seventh studio album. As diehard Swifties already know, the LP will include a whopping 18 tracks. And while that may seem like a lot, longtime fans of the country turned pop songstress would agree that you can never have too much Taylor Swift.

For the most part, it seems that the tracklist confirms much of what Swifties have been theorizing all along. For example, “Cruel Summer” — which was tattooed on Ellen DeGeneres‘s forearm in the “You Need to Calm Down” music video — is a song title on the album. Also, Dixie Chicks — who were the subject of many Easter eggs leading up to this point — will be featured on a track called “Soon You’ll Get Better.” And if you’re wondering whether or not there will be any songs on the album about Swift’s current boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, well, we think “London Boy” is a pretty safe bet.

At this point, we’ve pretty much reached peak excitement for Lover. And now that the tracklist is officially out for all to see, all we can do is wait patiently for Friday, August 23, when the album drops in its entirety. If you haven’t yet, Lover is available to pre-add, pre-save, and pre-order, so go do all the things in preparation for the big day. It’ll be here before you know it!

Lover tracklist: 

1. I Forgot That You Existed

2. Cruel Summer

3. Lover

4. The Man

5. The Archer

6. I Think He Knows

7. Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince

8. Paper Rings

9. Cornelia Street

10. Death by a Thousand Cuts

11. London Boy

12. Soon You’ll Get Better feat. Dixie Chicks

13. False God

14. You Need to Calm Down

15. Afterglow

16. ME! feat. Brendon Urie

17. It’s Nice to Have a Friend

18. Daylight

Swae Lee Recruits Drake For Relationship-Savoring ‘Won’t Be Late’

Swae Lee dropped a couple of great new tracks on Friday (August 16), one of which recruited Drake‘s talents for a sizzling summer bop.

The 24-year-old Rae Sremmurd rapper dropped a solo track called “Sextasy” as well as the Drizzy-assisted track “Won’t Be Late,” produced by ChopsquadDJ and Mike Will Made-It and Tekno, respectively. “Won’t Be Late” is a slower groove about both rappers taking time out to enjoy their relationships and their ladies as they focus on only them. Sign us up, TBH.

Soak up the sensual “Won’t Be Late” in the lyric video below.

Swae took to social media to announce both tracks before they made their streaming debut, as you do when you’re about to drop some straight fire. Incidentally, check out that “Sextasy” cover with an ice angel straight out of the ’80s cyberpunk alternate realty we deserve.

This new duo of drops comes after Swae tweeted about how “exciting” August would end up being, and it looks like he’s delivering on that prophecy.

What’s next? Swae is hard at work on his sophomore album, which he told Billboard he’s “not playing” about.

“I’m gonna up the standards for these 2010-whatever artists. I’m gonna push the music forward,” he said. We can’t wait to see what’s next, especially when Drake gets involved.

With this new song out in the wild, perhaps Swae will perform it on tour as he heads out with Post Malone in their new Runaway Tour that kicks off on September 14 in Tacoma, Washington.

Inside The Fan-Fueled Push To Bring K-pop To The U.S.

By Monique Melendez

K-pop fans descended upon the Javits Center and Madison Square Garden in July for KCON NY, a hybrid convention and concert that brings K-pop acts and other figures from Asian pop culture to the East Coast. With banners and poster boards in hand, K-pop fans were ready to congregate with their fandom peers to support their favorite groups and discover new ones. Everyone from veteran acts like Seventeen, who made their second KCON NY appearance this year and have toured the States independently of the event, to first-timers like VERIVERY and fromis_9 aimed to court American fans through their KCON sets. The annual convention is just one of many live K-pop events populating local calendars, as American K-pop fans have been rewarded with more stateside concerts each year. And through various conversations with fans at and outside of KCON NY, one thing became clear: Fans are working around the clock to keep the genre’s momentum in America alive.

After years of the genre’s success being limited to Korean shows and chart metrics (and thus Korean fans), American K-pop fans are finally able to play a key role in the advancement of their faves’ careers, and they aren’t passing up the chance, helping to turn 2019 into a watershed year for K-pop in America. Blackpink and NCT 127 have already rounded out their inaugural U.S. tours with appearances on Good Morning America, Strahan and Sara, and The Late Late Show with James Corden, with Blackpink also landing second-row billing at Coachella. GOT7 — who toured the U.S. for the past three years — brought K-pop to the Today show stage for the first time ever in June. KCON NY performers The Boyz and ATEEZ both made appearances on Good Day New York, a solid feat for rookie acts who only debuted in Korea within the last two years.

KCON USA

Fans await their faves at KCON NY

Fans often push for appearances like these across social media, where they flood the mentions of local TV hosts and Ellen DeGeneres alike in hopes of landing their faves coveted airtime, or a puppy interview. “When groups announce world tours, a lot of fans immediately go tweet and email a lot of well-known companies — places like BuzzFeed, Build Series, and local news stations — to try and book them for interviews,” Seventeen fan Stephanie Contreras, 23, says. “We try to get them as much positive exposure as possible.”

Though American K-pop fans congregate across most social networking sites, Twitter is the preferred place for fans to make these key moves, says Masia, 15. “Something could trend, could go worldwide, and your favorite K-pop group could get noticed in the U.S.,” she says. The platform has also become the go-to place for all K-pop news. Quinn Roche, 27, stumbled upon the fandom after hearing BTS’s “DNA” on Spotify’s Top Hits playlist in late 2017. The lure of the genre drew her onto Twitter for the first time. “I was like, ‘I don’t understand this social media platform at all, I don’t get it,’” she says. “But if you wanna know anything, you have to go on Twitter.”

Plus, some awards, like the Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist, rely entirely upon fan engagement on Twitter; Billboard gathers the acts that have received the most Twitter mentions and hashtags within a specified window of time, and the most active fanbase will propel their favorite act to the BBMAs stage. This was the first year where multiple K-pop acts — EXO, GOT7, and now-three-time winners BTS — were up for the award. It’s an undeniable milestone for the genre as a whole, and for many, it became a crucial opportunity to get their faves the shine they deserve.

Monique Melendez

Emma Myers and Stephanie Contreras show off their banners

Running concurrent to K-pop fandom’s all-consuming Twitter culture is its streaming culture, which treats YouTube views as a form of scorekeeping, whether it’s racking up millions of views within the first 24 hours of a video’s release or reaching a goal number of views before a specific date. To achieve this, fans will often head back to Twitter to promote “streaming parties,” digital gatherings where they will all stream a video or playlist of videos, strategically following methods that will keep their views from getting docked or frozen by YouTube — peppering other videos in between, keeping volume above 50 percent, allowing ads to play in full. As a result, Korean acts have been dominating YouTube metrics, with BTS and Blackpink leading the pack and crushing previous milestones.

Despite celebratory results, the urgency to support their faves has led to a hypercompetitive landscape on K-pop stan Twitter that some fans have found exhausting — and as the playing field becomes saturated with labels looking to cash in on the global rise of Korean pop, every tweet and every stream matters. Over fifty acts have debuted on the K-pop scene in the first half of 2019 alone: What was once a domestic platform that highlighted a handful of idol groups is now a global marvel that churns out almost two new acts every single week. The odds of all these acts garnering Korean attention, let alone international fame, is slim to none. “K-pop is that thing where you feel super emotionally invested in how well your group does,” Emma Myers, 20, says. As we speak, she distributes fromis_9 banners and stickers, a home-grown collaboration with a fellow fromis_9 stan, or Flover. “It’s such a competition out there that you have to constantly be promoting your faves, otherwise they’re just gonna sink under the radar,” she says. “It’s kind of a toxic culture, to be honest. You always have to be promoting.” This constant need to promote may burn out some fans, but the consequences — exiting the industry without so much as a music show win, or fading into obscurity without anyone noticing — are too dire.

KCON USA

ATEEZ greet fans at KCON NY

The fervor to support their faves is further fueled by the idols themselves. As the Internet makes global fame increasingly possible for Korean acts, they’re placing greater importance on American tours, awards, and charting feats. Seventeen member Vernon stated he hopes to perform at the Billboard Music Awards, while the group’s leader S.Coups named New York’s Citi Field, where BTS made history and opened doors just last October, as his dream venue. And when idols dream, fans follow suit. “We’re gonna make that happen no matter what it takes,” Contreras says, “‘Cause that’s what they want, and we want them to be happy, and that’s really what it comes down to. … We all know idols go through a lot, with training and having to [leave] their families, so we want our favorites to feel like those rough paths they took to get where they are were completely worth it.”

K-pop fandom is fixated on numbers — inevitable when sales numbers, downloads, and streams determine which groups survive to see another year in the industry. But beyond numbers, every milestone helps K-pop acts become more intelligible to the global community. K-pop fans are slowly chipping away at the English-language domination of the American pop landscape. “A lot of people that would never consider music with a different language are being exposed to this more now because of us,” Lindsay McNamara, 26, says. “We’re actively stanning these groups and we’re actively participating in these events and — for BTS, for example — getting a ton of attention because there’s a ton of people that are going to these shows. People like my mom, who would never consider something like this, can actually begi[n] to understand why we like it, and their messages, and their stories.”

And for many fans, like KpopMaine.com creator Leocardia Sheehy, the aim is even higher than bringing their faves into the spotlight. “K-pop is awesome, and I think it has potential to open doors to not only a diverse music scene, but for diversity in general,” she says. “I strongly feel that as more foreign musicians gain recognition and fans here in America, that we might begin to be reminded of how amazing it is to live in a place that is made up of different individuals and different cultures; a place where you can turn on the radio and [hear] a song mostly in Spanish, like ‘Despacito.’ So why can’t we turn on the radio and hear K-pop?”

Bop Shop: Songs From Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Alessia Cara, And More

Taylor Swift hasn’t named an album after a song since 2012’s “Red,” so to say “Lover,” the title track from her seventh album out next week, had big shoes to fill would be an understatement. She’s been teasing the song with Easter eggs since the “ME!” music video, and no surprise here: she delivered.

“Lover” finds Taylor at perhaps her softest yet, with an atmospheric production reminiscent of an empty bar, or club. She’s serenading her lover with a vow of dedication that feels and sounds timeless. Her high notes are whispered secrets under the covers, the drum is a steady heartbeat. Her most confessional moments spill out through one-liners in true Swiftian fashion, as she wonders aloud, “Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?” The absolute highlight is the bridge, where Swift herself said she “was really able to go to Bridge City.” “My heart’s been borrowed and yours has been blue / All’s well that ends well to end up with you,” she sings. Her emotions feel big, even when her voice gets small. In a way, she sounds like she never has before, but she’s never been in love like this. – Carson Mlnarik

Miley Cyrus Laments Lost Love On Surprise Song ‘Slide Away’

Miley Cyrus surprised fans on Thursday (August 15) with a brand new song called “Slide Away.”

Rather than the funky bops she recorded for her She Is Coming EP, it was a much more introspective, somber affair. And given her recent split with partner Liam Hemsworth, it’s nearly impossible to think at least some of the lyrics aren’t about him.

Whether it’s about Miley’s tumultuous end to a lengthy relationship or not, it’s hard to deny the heartbreak in the song. It’s all about letting go of your significant other when you finally realize you’ve grown apart. There’s beauty in the acceptance, or so it seems. And while Miley didn’t explicitly name Liam in the song, it certainly appears that many of the references are at least vaguely about him.

“Once upon a time, it was made for us
Woke up one day, it had turned to dust
Baby, we were found, but now we’re lost
So it’s time to let it go”

It’s hard to imagine the song being about anyone else with verses like that, if we’re being honest. Plus, the image accompanying the audio for the YouTube release of the song features what looks like an empty bottle of whiskey with pills floating in the water, which is an interesting statement considering Miley references “whiskey and pills” in the song. Rumors since her breakup with Liam suggested she had been growing weary with Liam’s alleged partying with his friends, but this could also be a reference to Miley’s party-heavy past or yearning for adulthood.

We won’t try and color your perception of the song’s meaning, but we’ll be over here working out the enigmatic lyrics ourselves over here. Either way, it’s a great but bittersweet tune that many will likely associate with Miley and Liam for a long while.

Taylor Swift Takes Us To ‘Bridge City’ On ‘Lover’ — As Promised

Well, Swifties. The day has come. The title track for Taylor Swift‘s upcoming seventh album, Lover, is finally here, and if there’s anything we know with absolute certainty, it’s that the pop star is more in love now than she’s ever been before.

With an old-school vibe that’s both classic and timeless, “Lover” is so atmospheric in nature that it feels like we’re being transported to a wedding reception at an odd hour — when the guests have already left, the flower arrangements are being towed away one by one, and the newlyweds are so smitten with each other that they didn’t even notice the party has ended.

“We could leave the Christmas lights up ’til January / This is our place, we make the rules,” she sings in the very first verse. “And there’s a dazzling haze, a mysterious way about you dear / Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?” The lyrics feel like vows, but not the generic ones you hear at most wedding ceremonies. Instead, these feel like the words that come afterward — when the happy couple gets a moment to themselves to express the depth of their love without fear of judgment or misunderstanding.

And let’s not forget the bridge, which Swift herself called one of her “favorite bridges” because it really allowed her to go to “Bridge City.” In it, she expresses her love with certainty. “Ladies and gentlemen, will you please stand? / With every guitar string scar on my hand / I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover.” And since her loyal fans have stuck by her through her six-album journey of navigating heartbreak, she threw in a reminder that all the tears and bruised hearts along the way have been worth it: “My heart’s been borrowed and yours has been blue / All’s well that ends well to end up with you.”

Watch the lyric video for ‘Lover’ up above, and get ready for the music video, which premieres on August 22 at 5 p.m. EST via YouTube Live.

Normani’s ‘Motivation’ Is A Rain-Soaked Spectacle That Beyoncé Would Be Proud Of

Look, no one’s saying Beyoncé can be replicated (we all know she’s, ahem, irreplaceable). But if ever there was a budding superstar with a shot at filling Bey’s shoes, it might be Normani.

After a string of one-off singles, the former Fifth Harmony singer launched a new era on Friday (August 16) with the single “Motivation.” The song itself is an absolute jam, with ‘Mani riding a horn-backed beat and confidently asserting, “I’ma break you off, let me be your motivation … Baby turn around, let me give you innovation / ‘Cause I do it so right.” You’d be forgiven for not hearing her on the first listen, though, because the song arrived alongside a video that puts the spotlight on Normani’s unparalleled dancing. I mean… let’s just look at what she can do with a basketball:

The vid opens on a young Normani watching BET’s 106 & Park and daydreaming about becoming a countdown-topping video vixen. That fantasy of course comes true — the song kicks off as the 23-year-old rocks a “Crazy In Love“-style outfit and takes her show-stopping moves to the streets of L.A., rain showers be damned. She’s the full package; serving style, choreo, and vocals galore. Check it out:

“Motivation” is a promising taste of what lies ahead for Normani; so far, most of her solo output has consisted of features and collaborations, like “Love Lies” with Khalid, “Waves” with 6LACK, “Dancing With a Stranger” with Sam Smith, and the Calvin Harris collabs “Slow Down” and “Checklist.” “Motivation,” however, is 100 percent Normani, and it’s good to see her shine on her own.

How Women In EDM Are Fighting Sexism With Success

By Shammara Lawrence

“I’m an artist. I’m not a female artist. I’m a woman and I’m proud of being a woman and I love being a woman. But my art doesn’t have a gender and it never has,” Alison Wonderland (née Alexandra Sholler) emphatically says over the phone two days before her early August headlining set at HARD Summer out in Fontana, California. A conversation about the way people treat women in EDM has the Sydney-born and Los Angeles-based DJ-producer riled up — and understandably so.

Being a woman in music comes with a unique set of challenges — household names like Tiësto or Martin Garrix don’t get asked about being a man in EDM — and is rife with people constantly commenting on your gender instead of your work. Alison Wonderland is over it. She’s a sonic powerhouse in her own right, headlining sold-out arenas around the globe and clocking millions of streams across Spotify and iTunes. Her 2018 sophomore album Awake hit No. 1 on Billboard’s ​Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. To date, she’s highest-billed female DJ at Coachella alongside Canadian DJ REZZ (with hopefully more to come soon). And recently, Billboard named her one of the 100 top DJs of 2019.

“[Speak] about me as an artist who just sold out two Red Rocks [shows and is] making albums and pushing music forward,” she tells MTV News.

In recent years, there’s been a lot of conversation about representation of women in EDM, which is, like the majority of the industry, dominated by men. They rule the charts, radio airwaves, and media headlines. But nowhere is the gender disparity more visible than festival lineups. Scan the posters of your favorite dance festivals and you’ll generally find just a couple of female names, if any at all. In a 2016 study, the dance music website Thump revealed only 17 percent of headliners at electronic music festivals were women. So what can be done to diversify EDM and the live music scene? Meagan Deschenes, the head of HARD Events, has a simple answer: prioritize diversity in bookings. In her role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of all HARD-branded concerts and festivals for Insomniac Events. One of their biggest events is HARD Summer, the hip-hop-cum-EDM festival headlined by Wonderland this year, and conceived by Gary Richards, the founder and former CEO of HARD Events.

While curating each year’s lineup, Deschenes, who’s been with the company since 2007, makes it her mission to amplify emerging talent, especially women. “I really like to book new people [other] people might not even know about, just to educate more fans on other good music that’s out there. …. And I really make a conscious effort to find as many women as I can. If [only] people could see how many offers I sent out to book women versus how many I actually was able to get. I sent so many. I really try to make the lineup diverse [so it has] something for everyone,” she tells MTV News.

Music has no boundaries and spans cultures., so people of all backgrounds should be allowed to participate without judgment, says GG Magree, an Australian DJ, producer, vocalist, who’s been making waves in the dance-music sphere for her mesmerizingly sweet vocals and high-energy live sets. “I just think that if you pocket things, it’s just not the right way to do things. Music is universal. It should be open,” Magree stresses to MTV News over the phone after a whirlwind weekend performing at HARD Summer.

For the 12th year, 170,000 music fans converged at the Auto Speedway in Fontana from August 3 to 4 to watch a medley of artists — from heavies like Alison Wonderland, Kid Cudi, Major Lazer, and Claude VonStroke to up-and-comers such as Cam Girl, DreamDoll, and LP Giobbi. Notably, an array of female talent was front and center, thanks in part to Deschenes’s booking efforts.

GG Magree shook Saturday’s crowd with high-octane energy. Later at night, Alison Wonderland’s treated fans to an explosive and headbanging mix. And on Sunday, fans got a taste of some gritty trap from Cam Girl and new music from LP Giobbi. This kaleidoscopic and variegated lineup injected some much-needed diversity into a genre historically ruled by white men.

Yet many female dance musicians often find themselves having to prove to their peers that they’re not just not a pretty face. “People on the outside [are always] thinking you fucked your way into the industry. I worked my fucking ass off to be here,” Cam Girl tells MTV News. “I didn’t have to do anything to do that except for hard work, not sleeping, [and] not going out. I lost all of my friends from practicing and getting better at my craft. I just want some recognition for the hard work that goes behind this instead of [people being] just like, ‘Oh, you’re just cute.’”

As an L.A.-based DJ/producer, a co-owner of Animal Talk Records, and an all-around synth master, LP Giobbi knows how frustrating it can be for women in the industry, constantly having their talents and capabilities questioned. So in 2019, she created an inclusive nonprofit workshop called Femmehouse, an educational platform addressing the lack of representation of women in electronic music by holding monthly workshops where musicians can learn how to produce and engineer music. “When you walk out of this room with the knowledge of something new, I want you to feel empowered; you can now take this skill set and also just knowing that you can do something and make something in other parts of your life. That’s a powerful tool,” she says.

One notable reason LP Giobbi believes there might be a big gender and racial gap in the dance world is because of high costs associated with creating music, which can be a hindrance for people without the necessary resources. Femmehouse is on a mission to change that. “A big, big barrier for producers is money. Gear is really expensive, computers are expensive, headsets are expensive. It’s been really important for me to try to help lower that barrier to entry and then also creating a safe space with a bunch of other women to ask whatever questions you need to ask. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities and it’s my duty to pay that forward,” she says.

In the late 1970s, house music — to which many of today’s dance musicians can trace their roots — was born out of Chicago’s gay, Black party scene to radically break down racial, sexual, and gender barriers. Since then, the sound has transformed, due in part to the rebranding efforts of the U.S. music industry, and in turn, the face of it has completely changed — with names like Calvin Harris, David Guetta, and Martin Garrix leading the pack. But for a genre descended from a subculture thriving with both diversity and political struggle, dance music will suffer if only a handful of artists are showered with attention.

Cam Girl looks at the progress made so far and thinks it’s just a matter of time. But she also stressed how important it is for organizers to keep making it happen. “When I started going to electronic music festivals, there was like maybe one, maybe two female DJs. Now, shout out to Alison Wonderland, shout out to Anna Lunoe — they’re killing it. Mija, all those girls. But if you look at girls like me and other ones, we’re not playing the main stages and we’re not playing the main set times. And I’m just waiting until it’s like 50/50,” she said.

As this year’s HARD Summer proved, women are killing the game across the spectrum of dance music, proving that your gender does not define your success. And all the women interviewed for this story remain hopeful about the future of EDM, especially Deschenes, who’s been working in the industry for over a decade. “I’ve seen it evolve a lot. When we first started HARD, there really [were not] any women, so from then to now, there are some big top women that can headline a stage [and] can headline a festival and are making equal money [to] men,” she said. “It’s just finding more of those, because now there’s only so many and now there’s so many festivals, it’s kind of a fight to get to share them.”