Every week, members of the Vulture staff highlight the best new music of 2015. We do not discriminate; as long as the song is worthy of your ears and attention, you will find it here. Read our picks below, share yours in the comments, and subscribe to the Vulture 2015 Playlist for a comprehensive guide to the year's best new tunes.
Best Coast, “Fading Fast”
I’ve read a few people calling Best Coast’s new album, California Nights, which came out today, their darkest album yet. This might be true, but in the face of this, my fave song off it is undoubtedly the peppiest. Sorry, Bethany, it’s like a million degrees outside already; I need music to remind me that the sun is fun. —Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox)
Big Bang, “Bae Bae”
As Vulture’s resident Big Bang stan, imagine how I felt when they released two songs late last week from their upcoming album Made: “Loser” and “Bae Bae.” While the former killed on the charts upon its debut, I prefer “Bae Bae” both for its cheeky title (yes, it’s supposed to sound like “baby”), and the sexual puns (the colliding rice cakes is supposed to mimic the sound of another type of pounding). Big Bang is the best at blending aesthetics, and the music video is a prime example of how they jump from romance-novel realness to the Mad Hatter like a psychedelic bumblebee in a trap house. —E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung)
Chemical Brothers, “Go”
The Chemical Brothers' comeback has been very rewarding. This is the type of song that, when it comes on at the party, you dance so hard that you exhaust your best moves and end up dry-heaving on the floor. Also the video, directed by Michel Gondry, gives me new #squadgoals. —Marcus Jones (@MarcusJonesNY)
Ciara, "Dance Like We're Making Love"
For some women, motherhood is the key to unlocking next-level Queen behavior. Were it not for Blue Ivy, I don't think Beyoncé would've had Beyoncé in her. Having a child not only freed Ciara, it allowed her to snatch back her dignity from her garbage ex-fiancé Future. You might expect her new album, appropriately titled for her mother Jackie, to be one long breakup letter in his name. But as Ci-Ci's quick to remind the world on the album's ballsy rap-sung title track, she's a fierce woman with a baby to raise, a business to run, and zero time to dwell on someone who never deserved her. (Of course, there's also a new man in her life.) This is an album strictly for the ladies dedicated to feeling emotionally, professionally, and sexually liberated. "Dance Like We're Making Love," a summer scorcher meant for getting turnt up and turned on in the club, especially caters to that last one. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)
Ducktails, “Headbanging in the Mirror”
I’m very excited about the next Ducktails album, St. Catherine, Matt Mondanile’s fifth solo record outside of Real Estate. First there's “Headbanging in the Mirror,” a twee-inspired “baroque pop” track that reminds me of Matthew Sweet and Teenage Fanclub. Win. The second is Mondanile’s new collab with one of my favorite L.A.-based experimental electronic producers Julia Holter called “Church.” You can enjoy the first track here now. St. Catherine is out July 24 on Domino. —Lauretta Charlton (@laurettaland)
Kehlani, "The Letter"
Kehlani's enjoyed quite the breakout year so far, but I wasn't sure she's worth the hype. And then I heard "The Letter," off her new mixtape, which may as well be her debut album. It's one of the bravest songs I've ever heard: a singer, whose life and story most of us aren't acquainted with, completely emotionally naked, sharing her pain about having to grow up without her drug-addicted mother. Maybe it's because I, too, spent a big part of my life wondering about my own absentee parent that one of the song's first lines ("And I somehow missed the meaning of love that is real") forced me into an uncontrollable fit of sobbing for over an hour. Songwriters this fearless don't come along that often, so expect to hear her name everywhere in 2015. —DL
MNEK, "Believe” (Cher Refix)
If you read this column regularly, then you probably know about MNEK and his mash-ups, but damn are they good. This may be blasphemous, but when it comes down to it, the sum of “Believe” and “Love Me Like You Do” is a lot greater than its parts. —MJ
I am completely smitten with Shamir's aura. Lindsay Zoladz, in her New York profile of the 20-year-old rising star, described his demeanor as giving off both "a neon exuberance and an ennui." I feel that deeply on his latest song, "Darker," a ballad off his upcoming debut album about transcending the shells of our bodies to new celestial heights only to be grounded by our legacy left behind on Earth. It's a responsibility Shamir doesn't want tainted by lies about universal love that doesn't exist between races. Call Shamir post-whatever, he's most certainly not post-humanity, and I'll follow him toward whatever alternate way of living he's dreamed up in this song. —DL
Son Lux, “Change Is Everything”
Ryan Lott, mastermind and front man for Son Lux, is a composer at heart, but he’s confident incorporating traditional pop idioms into his music so long as it maintains the conceptual underpinnings that keep it rooted in post-modernism. On "Change Is Everything," a new song off the forthcoming Son Lux album, Bones (June 23, Glassnote), Lotts seems to be embracing pop even more than usual, but the song still sits comfortably in between accessibility and high art, both sonically and visually — thanks to a glorious stop-motion video made with pins and string courtesy of the Made Shop. —LC
Torres, “New Skin”
Torres first recorded this song last year for Shaking Through, with Sharon Van Etten serving as producer, and I was instantly obsessed, but the song wasn’t really anywhere to be found. Thankfully, Torres has released a powerhouse new album, Sprinter, which came out today. “New Skin” starts slow, with Torres sounding meditative and nearly frail, but it builds and Torres's signature big, full voice comes in and dominates. She is a force. Reckon. —JDF
Do you like good music? Of course you do! Subscribe to Vulture's 2015 Playlist to hear the new music we're listening to every week.