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.
We don't talk enough about the genius of Miguel. Most of us have gotten down to his songs, maybe even made a baby or two. And if that was all his music was capable of procuring, well, then he'd still be one of the best musicians presently working in R&B. But what makes Miguel a cut above his peers is his ability and willingness to extend himself beyond the traditional expectations of what that genre should produce. Be more than an aphrodisiac, so to speak. He's dabbled in psychedelic rock and funk and it's now led him in the direction of disco, aptly for Netflix's upcoming '70s-set The Get Down. If you told me Miguel grew up on '70s disco outfit Hot Chocolate, after hearing "Cadillac," I'd have no doubts. "Cadillac" owes more than its sample and melodic skeleton to the Hot Chocolate original; Miguel resurrects that song's entire essence and era for a master class in the very idea of Grandmaster Flash's The Get Down. It sounds like a day in the Bronx in August feels: hazy, unpredictable, and always with trouble lingering in the sticky air. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)
Hayley Kiyoko, "Gravel to Tempo"
Hayley Kiyoko is the Ellie Goulding that I want Ellie Goulding to be. She’s got that ethereal voice and incredibly contemporary sound that would fit in so many movies about young women going through sexual and emotional awakenings. But where Goulding can often sound like an irrepressible hook generated by a pop algorithm, Kiyoko’s songs still manage to feel personal underneath all that lush production. The first listen of “Gravel to Tempo” makes you think, “Oh, this is a nice song,” but then realize you’re on rotation number four and shout-singing “I’ll do this my way, don’t matter if I break! I gotta be on my own!” as you’re driving with the wind in your hair. And the video of Kiyoko dancing on a table in a high-school cafeteria to prove that she is no longer beholden to the social politics of a group of Plastics is a note perfect accompaniment. —Jordan Crucchiola (@jorcru)
Britney Spears, "Private Show"
You may have heard some dismiss Britney's "singing" on "Private Show" compared to speaking in robot tongues, but if we've learned anything in the past week, it's maybe don't trust music writers for expertise in linguistics. As pop's most shameless Auto-Tune enthusiast, Brit's heliumized vocals should be an afterthought. Focus instead on how the song itself functions in her extensive oeuvre: It's not just an experiment in lite doo-wop that works better than it has any right to; it's musical shade directed at the Meghan Trainors of the world that two can play this game. And for Brit, it comes at the lowest possible effort – a veteran move. —DL
Father Dude ft. Joell Ortiz, "Why I Can't Relate"
Listening to “Why I Can’t Relate” makes me long so hard for the days when Sam Sparro’s Black and Gold was brand-new and his white soul was on a constant loop in my life. This track has that same kind of dark-corners-of-a-club cool with the added bonus of having a very 2016 bouncy dance beat. This song sounds like attractive people having an argument at night in a glass-and-concrete house with a lit-up pool in the backyard. As Father Dude tells us he has “Stared into your darkness,” you can just picture a music video of him singing confrontationally at the woman who broke his heart, definitely with some sort of choreographed, dance-based finger-pointing. And we can all relate to that. —JC
Lydia Loveless, "Same to You"
Somewhere in the middle of the road between country and alt-rock is where you'll find Lydia Loveless. Like the lovechild of Fiona Apple and Miranda Lambert, she writes brutal songs about love's wickedness — how it shreds the heart to pieces then sutures it back together in one act. The Ohio singer has already shared two memorable songs from her forthcoming fourth album, Real, but "Same to You" resonates hardest with me. She describes it best: "Sonically, it’s a bit like sliding down the side of a mountain." To put it another way, it's a tough-as-nails meditation on a toxic relationship in free fall and the search for the softest possible landing that's nowhere in sight. However it ends, there's no escaping the pain. —DL
Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam, "In a Black Out"
Out of nowhere, the debut of Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam Batmanglij as a duo has fast become one of my most-anticipated albums of the fall. I've already sung high praises of "A 1,000 Times," now comes "In a Black Out." It's an intricate, almost unlikely piece of guitar work that sets the backdrop for a raw-but-patient vocal performance from Leithauser that comes and goes too soon, like all the best dreams do. Good thing this one has a replay button. —DL