Every week, Vulture highlights 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.
Britney Spears ft. G-Eazy, “Make Me ... ”
Last year, when Brit was seen in the studio with new pop "It" writers Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels, it appeared #B9 might mark one of the biggest sonic shifts of her career. "Make Me," the first single from the album, wasn't written by Tranter or Michaels (credit goes to BURNS and Joe Janiak), but their handiwork is all over it. There's a seductive slant to their writing (Selena Gomez's "Hands to Myself," Nick Jonas's "Close") that's especially laid on thick here, even if it's not their words. Britney's always been frank about her sexual agency, and in the tradition of "Breathe on Me" (and, y'know, all of In the Zone), she's still forced to demand pleasure. Only now, she's less patient about it: "No shame in the game, just cut the shit, be honest." Now that's the Britney that will.i.am and his cohort forgot to invite to the Britney Jean party. There's no questioning whether Brit can werk a Europop smash; that she's able to also carry a song driven only by innuendoes, swelling synths, and an unworthy G-Eazy verse, well, our bitch is back. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)
Goat, “Try My Robe”
When Goat tells you to "sit down and rest," they don't mean take a nap or a relaxing trip to the beach. A command from Sweden's most enigmatic psych/world-beat band comes with a prescription for communal activities: Share my bread, play the drums, sing a song, taste my food, try my robe. The Afrobeat-indebted groove and droning violin solo make it impossible to imagine anything other than images of primal, ceremonial celebration, and that's just fine: Who said hypnosis wasn't cleansing? —Samantha Rollins (@Samantha Rollins)
Miranda Lambert, “Vice"
Miranda Lambert, like the rest of us basics, is her harshest critic. So when she wakes up in another man's bed she shouldn't be in, after yet another night she probably can't remember, followed by yet another morning she wishes she didn't, those self-destructive thoughts don't just collect in her mind. They consume it. It's easy to read this as a song about one-night stands, and that's fine if you do. But Lambert and her co-writers' stinging prose deserve a less-shallow interpretation than that. The defeated attitude Lambert's living with on this devastating song might've stemmed from last night's transgressions, but it's worth considering how many nights like these she's beat herself up for. –DL
Like Lambert, after the year Kehlani's endured — a quick ascension that included a Grammy nomination, followed by vicious slut-shaming on social media provoked by an ex-boyfriend, the aftermath of which led to an apparent suicide attempt — no one would fault her for wanting to walk away, even for good. But as we learned on her sophomore mixtape, as well as her first comeback song, few fight back quite like Kehlani. She's a survivor whom life has taught never to dwell too long on what she can't change. And on "CRZY," the likely first single from her debut album and yet another pop-steered song, she's a solider returned from war, unafraid if her wounds are showing. "All this shit I been through only made me as real as an assassin," she sings. If it's kill or be killed, trust Kehlani to outlive us all. –DL
Jamila Woods ft. Noname, "VRY BLK"
The other night I had a conversation with my best friend. She wanted to know about blackness, about my experience with it. I'm sure I rambled some things that maybe made sense, most of which probably didn't. But what I should've done was play her Jamila Woods's timely debut album, HEAVN, front to back, and then replay "VRY BLK" on loop. It says everything I'm unable to presently express. It's a story about one black person's black experience, which is of course, a story of every black person's black experience — pain, unity, joy, repeat. It's also a transcendent story, captured in a typically thoughtful observation from Noname: "All I wanna do is find love and be happy." Woods ends the song with an anecdote about black happiness and love: A group of black women, strangers, collectively reminiscing over a shared memory of a game they all used to play on schoolyards in their respective pasts. "And then like all of the people who weren't black were just looking at us like ... 'Did y'all go to elementary school together?'," she says. "It was literally like the best inside secret that I felt like I had ever had. That's one of my favorite things about blackness." Blackness can't be explained, unless maybe it's James Baldwin or Maya Angelou doing the explaining. It has to be felt, witnessed, heard in this way. It has to be very. –DL