The best new music of the week: Band Aid 30, Charlie XCX, The Carpenters and more

By Nicholas Jennings

As music columnist for, each week I’ll bring you my selections for the best and most notable new music, albums you’re going to want to add to your collection plus a five-song playlist to try out. Happy listening!


Band Aid 30 - “Do They Know It’s Christmas”
The latest version of the beloved charity single—this one to help raise money to fight Ebola in West Africa—features major English stars like Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sandé, Ellie Goulding, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and U2’s Bono singing slightly revised, heartfelt words to Bob Geldof-Midge Ure classic.

Charli XCX
- Sucker
Charli has a knack for crafting massive, infectious pop songs like Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and Iggy Azalea’s Grammy nominated “Fancy.” Now the English singer-songwriter shows off her skills on her second major-label album, featuring her hits “Boom Clap” and “Break the Rules” and such irresistible numbers as “Die Tonight.”


James Blunt - Smoke Signals
From “Working It Out” to “When I Find Love Again,” this EP from England’s romantic pop master serves up some of his most confessional love songs to date.

The Carpenters - ICON
Siblings Richard and Karen Carpenter’s timeless songs, including “Superstar,” “Top of the World” and “We’ve Only Just Begun,” get reprised on this 11-track collection.


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