5 Best New Songs of the Week

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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.

Pink, “Barbies”
Pink’s new album Beautiful Trauma doesn’t aim to reinvent the wheel she’s been spinning for a couple decades, but it does invite a few more collaborators along for the ride. New to her orbit on this album are producers like Jack Antonoff and songwriter of the moment Julia Michaels, who co-wrote the best ballad on the album, “Barbies.” Drenched in nostalgia, it’s a fairly by-the-numbers midlife crisis in song, that moment when you wake up one morning and can’t remember where the time went but, suddenly, you’re a child in an adult’s body. If it were anyone else, the cheese of the concept — with its too-literal hook about missing her youth — would be too potent. But very little that Pink does reads as inauthentic. The growing pains she’s grappling with aren’t insular; she’s as baffled at the way culture has regressed as she is to have lived through the shock. If you hear the song as a letter to her daughter reminding her to latch on to her innocence as long as she can, it gets even better. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

St. Vincent, “Young Lover”
Chemical dependency plays a major role in St. Vincent’s excellent new album, mostly because she’s always on something to avoid feeling off. There’s a whole song dedicated to pills (titled “Pills”) that speaks candidly about self-medicating but is careful not to criticize the addiction, or even call it that. “Young Lover” reveals that her lover’s hooked on prescription pills, too. The song sets the scene of a hotel room overdose in Paris, with Annie trying to revive her partner; all she wants is for her lover to have felt a stronger rush from Annie’s love than all those pills. The song begs you to dance while its subject lays limp and dying — the thumping, cacophonous production courtesy of Jack Antonoff, reminiscent of his recent work on Lorde’s “Hard Feelings.” That’s just how Annie Clark copes. —DL

Gucci Mane ft. Monica, “We Ride”
It may not be the strongest track on Mr. Davis, but this week it only feels right to honor the union of Mr. and Mrs. Mane, Radric Delantic Davis (a.k.a. Gucci Mane) and Keyshia Ka’oir. “We Ride” celebrates just this: It is a pure, unabashed love song, complete with a sparkling R&B chorus courtesy of Monica. “Look I don’t trust nobody like I trust you / I know you’ll never hurt me ’cause it will hurt you / Everybody turn their back on me but you / And when I did time you was doing time too,” he raps, referring to Keyshia’s loyalty during his time in jail. He even drops a clue about his (then upcoming) all-white wedding — “Have you ever seen a street nigga slow dance in a white tux with a live band playing?” he asks in the second verse. If you’re not moved by this, then you’re a cynic. —Corinna Burford (@coriburford)

Sufjan Stevens, “Wallowa Lake Monster”
As we await the no doubt heart-shattering Call Me by Your Name soundtrack from Sufjan, here’s an equally emotional leftover from his last album Carrie & Lowell. Of course, it’s about his mother. It weaves together an old urban legend about the monster that lives in Oregon’s Wallowa Lake with the demons that consumed his mother. He pairs the tale with a story of his mom leaving her kids in Detroit “in the rain with a pillowcase,” and their adventure back to her only to find her transformed into that same kind of monster. The song starts off bare, but then expands the size of its sound — introducing orchestral, atmospheric bursts — to match the high-stakes tragic drama. Once again, Sufjan remains our most effective world-builder. —DL

Kelly Clarkson, “Meaning of Life”
The people asked for a Kelly Clarkson soul album, and she’s about to give it to them. Down to the finger snaps, her latest single “Meaning of Life” is Kelly on her diva steeze, inflecting her signature powerhouse wail with a smoker’s rasp. Kelly doesn’t need to prove a thing to anyone about the quality of her voice, and still she puts on a show of vocal acrobatics on every inch of this gospel-assisted song. Basically, your auntie will love this song. Meanwhile, Demi and Kelly owning their new grown ‘n’ sexy sound continues to be my favorite pop story of 2017. —DL

Best New Songs of the Week