Every week, members of the Vulture staff will highlight their favorite new songs. They might be loud, quiet, long, short, dance-y, rawkin', hip, square, rap, punk, jazz, some sort of jazz-punk-rap fusion — whatever works for the given person in that given week. Read our picks below and please tell us yours in the comments. (Also, read music critic Lindsay Zoladz's piece about how One Direction and Nick Jonas are changing the rules about how boy bands grow up and her review of Beyoncé: Platinum Edition.)
Will Butler, "Take My Side"
If I had to guess what sort of music Will Butler would make after working on something like the Her score and spending a decade as the little brother in Arcade Fire, this is exactly what it would be: spastic-y, White Stripes–like rock 'n' roll. —Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox)
Hannah Diamond, "Every Night"
Oooh, this one’s perfect for your next bat mitzvah or level on Dance Dance Revolution. “Every Night” is the pure expression of a crush — all beep-beeps and boop-boops and feelings you can’t explain. She sings, “I want to see you every night.” Because when you’re young and obsessed, that’s the only proper solution. —Lindsey Weber (@LindseyWeber)
William Ryan Fitch, "Heavy"
As that one TV show famously said over and over and over again, "Winter is coming." So time to start stocking up on warm clothes, hot toddy ingredients, and music that sounds like Bon Iver. —JDF
G-Dragon and Taeyang, "Good Boy"
It almost seemed like we were going to pass 2014 without a single from G-Dragon, the androgynous lead rapper and producer of the most important contemporary K-Pop group (bias alert!), Big Bang. He wrote and produced the song with the Fliptones and raps with fellow bandmate Taeyang. It's classic G-Dragon, combining the hallucinogenic brightness of K-Pop with an infectious, synthy beat. Dig in. —E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung)
Colleen Green, "Pay Attention"
Have you ever wondered what the Ramones would sound like if, instead of four dudes from Queens, they were a sardonic female stoner from L.A. and a drum machine? Well, now you never have to, because Colleen Green exists. “Pay Attention” is the first song released off her third full-length, I Want to Grow Up, which will be out next year. It’s a mostly snotty — if slightly polite — kiss-off (“I can’t ever pay attention to anything you ever say to me … Apologies”) propelled by Green’s chugging power chords and sweetly lilting vocals. (Bonus: It’s one of the first Green songs to have an actual human drummer!) For an ode to distraction, it’s oddly transfixing. —Lindsay Zoladz (@LindsayZoladz)
Hudson Mohawke featuring Pusha T, Future, Travi$ Scott, and French Montana, "Chimes (RMX)"
This song started as the instrumental you probably Shazamed while watching that MacBook commercial with all the stickers. Getting the foursome of Travi$ Scott, Pusha T, Future, and French Montana, frequent Kanye collaborator Hudson Mohawke could have easily just added the weird noises those rappers always make — Pusha T’s “yuugh,” French Montana’s “haanh,” etc. — and I would’ve been satisfied, but instead they spun it into a dark club banger about a woman so heartless. —Marcus Jones (@MJinMD)
Sleigh Bells featuring Tink, “That Did It”
It's not shocking that Red Bull sponsored this song given that Sleigh Bells packs pure energy, but in a quintessential year for female collaborations, this late entry is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Plus, the video with Alexis Krauss and singer/rapper Tink is a little reminiscent of Eve and Gwen Stefani in “Let Me Blow Ya Mind." —MJ
Sun Kil Moon, "The Possum"
This week, Mark Kozelek took a break from being an asshole on the internet to release a song that instantly reminds you how talented he is. "The Possum" is a sprawling, complicated, rich, beautiful song. Kozelek uses quiet and restraint to draw the listener in and doesn't let go for nearly nine minutes. —JDF
This one goes out to all the people feeling down about Lauryn Hill and anxiously waiting for a new Erykah Badu album. Let SZA, first lady of Top Dawg Entertainment, hold you over with her hazy confessional that is easy on the ears but cuts deep emotionally. —MJ
Terror Pigeon, "Dharma & Greged"
I'm not going to pretend I totally get this yet. It reminds me of a more disaffected Postal Service, or if Animal Collective had tried to write an early Justin Bieber song for some lazy emo band. Somewhere in there is a pop song. —JDF
Kanye West vs. Sam Smith, "Tell Me I'm the Only One (Carlos Serrano Mix)"
Sam Smith's fairly recent earworm ("I'm Not the Only One") wriggles with Kanye's old one ("Can’t Tell Me Nothing") in this blessed mash-up. It works better than you'd expect at first, and then it starts to really work, as Smith's soulful tenor complements the Kanye in exchange after exchange. Also, there’s just something about Kanye set to piano and strings that makes the raps sound that much more Yeeziful here. —Sean Fitz-Gerald (@srkfitzgerald)