Every week, members of the Vulture staff highlight the best new music. 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 Playlist for a comprehensive guide to the year's best music.
Marina and the Diamonds, "True Colors"
When I talk about the women in pop whom I adore, I somehow almost always forget to mention Marina. She put out a somewhat-overlooked beauty in last year's FROOT, and this Cyndi Lauper cover was apparently intended for a reissue of that album that's since been scrapped. Luckily, this piece of it survived. It's understated, beautifully sung, and emotionally gripping — everything you cherish about the original, only shorter. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)
Rae Sremmurd, "By Chance"
If, like me, you entered 2016 feeling asleep at the wheel, Rae Sremmurd get it. They're so shockingly low on energy after a breakout year that their new song (off producer Mike WiLL Made-It's new mixtape) has them begging to see the Xan man. Maybe it's their never-too-bothered attitude or general charm, but I hang on every word Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy slur. Their debut album was a personal favorite from 2015, so consider SremmLife 2 at the top of my most-anticipated albums going into this year. —DL
Panic! at the Disco, "Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time"
Panic! at the Disco have had a weird career. After dabbling in the pop-punk, '60s rock, and electronic genres, and losing all of their members, Panic! are still here making music that's actually pretty good. They ditched the exclamation point once upon a time, but it's back, along with Brendon Urie, who's pretty much a solo act at this point with a bunch of revolving members joining him for touring. So of course a band with such a random history would release a new song that samples the B-52's "Rock Lobster." Because why not? It's Panic! at their best. Whatever that is at the moment. —Ira Madison III (@ira)
BJ the Chicago Kid, "Untitled (How Does It Feel)"
I remember Jill Scott saying in an interview last year that BJ the Chicago Kid's voice reminds of her everything that's good about music. "He's got this clear understanding of what soul is," she gushed. Well, real recognizes real. As if her high praise wasn't enough, this underappreciated Chicago crooner's on a mission to get in the good graces of even more R&B greats with an EP tribute to D'Angelo's "Untitled (How Does It Feel)," which just turned 16. The original's smooth as honey, and BJ doesn't stray far from that, ahem, feeling. I expect big things from him this year, if he ever gets around to putting out that new album. —DL
Hinds, "I'll Be Your Man"
The Madrid band formerly known as Deers have what's maybe the first great album of 2016. Women in rock are doing the damn thing right now, but please don't lump them together for gender's sake. Leave Me Alone, out this week, showcases a knack for better songwriting than a lot of their peers, lo-fi nostalgia that isn't just lazy imitation, and, best of all, a bright future ahead. I'm excited about this band. Get excited, too. —DL
Ellie Goulding, "Just in Case"
Ever get the sense that Ellie Goulding can't quite make up her mind about what kind of pop star she wants to be? There are really no rules to this thing nowadays, but she seems stuck somewhere between big Max Martin radio hits and electro-R&B SoundCloud jams, which is exactly where she dropped her latest cover. She's previously reworked the Weeknd's "High for This," and now she's randomly covered Jaheim's 2001 "Just in Case" with producer Jordan Evans. It's not as sexy or funky as the original, but you know what, her version is good enough to grind to, and that's all we can ever ask for. —DL