Every week, members of the Vulture staff highlight the best new music of 2015. If 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 music.
All Dogs, "That Kind of Girl"
I'm finally getting around to watching You're the Worst. I know, I know. Anyway, this song could be Gretchen's anthem. Maryn Jones sings, “And I know that I am always fucking up your world / ‘You are better off not messing with that kind of girl,'” defiantly, proudly, just as Gretchen doesn't apologize for who she is before or after she meets Jimmy. Jones, like Gretchen, isn't cynical — they're just content only having love on their terms. “If you’re wanting something else, then I hope you find it.” —Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox)
Kari Faux, “Nada”
This feisty rapper from Little Rock loves to go in, but, like, super casually. Her smooth, punch-line-laden bars on songs like “No Small Talk” — later remixed by Childish Gambino — are tailor-made for disgruntled internet types. (It also has one of my favorite music videos of 2014.) On the new song “Nada,” she pivots a bit with a slicker R&B vibe. The results are hella on point. —Lauretta Charlton (@LaurettaLand)
KenKen KillT iT, "What Are Those"
This is what happens when you turn one of the year's best memes into one of the year's best rap songs. —LC
Nicolas Godin, "Widerstehe Doch Der Sunde"
Nicolas Godin, one half of the French chill-wave progenitors Air, reunited with Gordon Tracks (the pseudonymous moniker of Phoenix singer Thomas Mars) for "Widerstehe Doch Der Sunde." Before Phoenix made it big Stateside, Mars laid down lead vocals for "Playground Love," the lead single off Air's lyrical score for Sofia Coppola's 1999 debut film The Virgin Suicides. Now, 16 years later, Mars has revived the Gordon Tracks persona for Godin's upcoming solo album. The serene new song channels the same sort of high-school love and un-shattered innocence as their previous collaboration, with its electronics drifting from left ear to right and sparse keys chiming. Mars sings in German, so unless you speak Deutsch, you'll have to just enjoy the tranquility of his voice and not worry about the words. —Greg Cwik (@)
Julia Holter, “Feel You”
A few years ago, I discovered a little-known 1970 folk album called Parallelograms. The artist, Linda Perhacs, shared Vashti Bunyan’s wistful melancholy sprinkled with cosmic dust. Perhacs had been living in relative isolation in California until Julia Holter came along and helped pluck her out of obscurity. I can’t thank her enough for doing that; Parallelograms is among my favorite albums. Holter, of course, has a career of her own. In 2013, her album Loud City Song was one of the year’s best. The follow-up produced in collaboration with Cole Greif-Neill, Have You in My Wilderness, promises to be more sleek. The first single, “Feel You,” is a gorgeous baroque-pop dreamscape. The full album is out September 25 on Domino. —LC
Hamilton Leithauser & Paul Maroon, "Proud Irene"
The Walkmen — the band Hamilton Leithauser and Paul Maroon were in, which has been on hiatus since 2013 — had a way with space. There was room-filling guitar sound, always lingering with thick reverb. And there was, especially later in their career, sparse and precise songwriting, giving each instrument its place. "Proud Irene" continues in that grand tradition. I say grand because this song sounds like it should only be performed in a gilded concert hall. The resonance of Maroon's piano is beautiful, and Leithauser's voice is at its best — dynamic, subtle, full of character. It's safe to assume these guys aren't going to write another "The Rat," but it's okay. I always say that later Walkmen is perfect dinner-party music, so, by that standard, "Proud Irene" kicks ass. —JDF
Maximum Balloon featuring Karen O and Tunde Adebimpe, "Let It Grow"
It's hard to know what they are like in their everyday lives, but publicly, Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio) sure seem like romantics: O with her charming little album Crush Songs, Adebimpe with that a cappella scene in Rachel Getting Married that left everyone in the hip part of every city walking around with weak-ass knees for a month. Put these QTs together for a charming duet produced for Adebimpe's TVOTR-mate Dave Sitek’s solo project Maximum Balloon and it is Swoon City, population you. Sweet dreams. —JDF
Ramriddlz featuring Drake, "Sweeterman Remix"
Ramriddlz's "Sweeterman" could only find success in 2015: It's littered with middle-school dick jokes ("She can't handle my wiener") made for Instagram thirst traps from a 21-year-old with ties to Drake's OVO Sound. As such, it's slowly been picking up steam in Toronto's underground rap scene for weeks. Enter: Drake. The 6 God premiered his remix of the song on his Beats 1 radio show over the weekend, and like most other co-signs he's given his hometown hopefuls, it's a slight improvement. Need a song that gets your summer fling into bed? Drake's your go-to wing man. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)
Jordin Sparks, “Right Here Right Now”
Sparks's latest release vastly improves upon her last single, "Double Tap," a sexy track with weak lyrics in which she warns her S.O. not to “double tap that hoe” on Instagram. "Right Here" is more mature, incorporating Desi/South Asian vocal percussion beats that bookend a lush R&B sound. If anything, watch the video to see Jordin serve up some Queen of the Desert realness. —Eric King (@erickingdavid)
Tame Impala, "The Less I Know the Better"
If you're a music fan, even a casual one, then you don't need me to tell you that Tame Impala's third album, Currents, is one of the year's best albums. Hell, it might even be the only rock album worth spending real time with in 2015. You've likely already heard the lead single "Let It Happen," and if you haven't yet sunk your teeth into the rest, have a go at the dreamy "The Less I Know the Better." It's sort of an homage to Phil Collins and everything you adore about French bands like Air and Phoenix. —DL
Toro Y Moi featuring Rome Fortune, "Pitch Black"
Anytime I listen to a new Chaz Bundick song — which is often, given his frequent one-offs — I always wonder why he's not a more sought-after producer. Then he drops a song like "Pitch Black," and it's clear that Chaz is the one meant to do the searching. Here he's teamed up with Atlanta rapper Rome Fortune for what I imagine a Neptunes-produced collab with Rome could resemble if Pharrell had Arca and Syd the Kid's the Internet to jam to in his heyday. —DL
Ultimate Painting, "(I've Got the) Sanctioned Blues"
This song borrows its imagery from hardscrabble folk tunes about life on the road, down and out, disenfranchised. (Its twangy, toe-tapping boogie sounds a lot less serious.)—LC
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.