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10 Best New Songs of the Week

Every week, members of the Vulture staff will highlight their favorite new songs. They might be loud, quiet, long, short, dance-y, rawkin’, hip, square, rap, punk, jazz, some sort of jazz-punk-rap fusion — whatever works for the given person in that given week. Read our picks below and please tell us yours in the comments. (Also, read music critic Lindsay Zoladz’s review of Taylor Swift’s 1989.)

APHEX SWIFT, “Why You Gotta Be So Flim”
Did you hear, did you hear: Taylor Swift has a new album out? Of course, you did. But it wasn’t the only exciting Tay-related release this week. David Rees – TV show host, pencil sharpener, “Get Your War On” creator — released an album of Taylor Swift and Aphex Twin mash-ups that is surprisingly great. My favorite is “Why You Gotta Be So Flim,” which mixes Swift’s “Mean” with AT’s “Flim.” Honestly, it just kind of sounds like if Kid A were recorded in Nashville. —Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox)

Baauer featuring AlunaGeorge & Rae Sremmurd, “One Touch”
Rae Sremmurd of “No Flex Zone” fame were major standouts at CMJ last week, so it’s no surprise that their brand of brash banshee-style rapping fit well on a dance track. In theory, it should be terrible to listen to a song where the performers have baby voices and the producer is the man behind the viral “Harlem Shake,” but it all just jells really well. —Marcus Jones (@MJinMD)

Chumped, “Name That Thing”
It is a great year for female-lead punk bands, with Perfect Pussy, White Lung, Bully, and now Chumped. Don’t let the peppy tempo fool you: This song is arguably #EmoRevival, earnest and angsty as hell. For example, the chorus: And we drank and we talked shit and I was happy / Tried so desperately to hold onto the feeling / Of being young, being sure, being lucky / ’Cause I get down and it’s so easy feeling nothing.” Were we ever so young?  —JDF


The Flaming Lips featuring Miley Cyrus, “A Day in the Life”
Did the world need a track-by-track remake of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? Not really. But it’s too late, the Flaming Lips already made one — no use complaining. And weirdly, my favorite song from the album is the one I was most worried about. I am really into Cyrus’s take on McCartney’s “wake up, got out of bed” section — that part was always a bit silly, but Cyrus brings a certain hung-over melancholy that I actually like better than the original.  —JDF

Frankie Cosmos, “Art School”
This song isn’t totally new, but the video just came out today and it’s a true delight. “Art School” is one of my favorite songs off of Frankie’s Zentropy (which is my favorite record of the year so far), if only because it includes the lyrics “My dad is a fireman,” when in reality her dad is actor Kevin Kline. The video finds her singing the song to a bunch of posters and pillows and clay sculptures of Justin Bieber, just like I always imagined her doing.  —JDF

LUH., “Unites”
Remember WU LYF? Once shrouded in mystery, the band released one terrific album in 2012 (Go Tell Fire to the Mountain), only to break up, also kind of mysteriously. Ellery Roberts was the band’s lead singer, known for a voice that sounds like a British demon who started crying in a cave. Roberts is back. He might have a new name, LUH. (yes, the period is part of it), but thankfully that voice is the same. —JDF

Meek Mill featuring Lil Boosie, “Fuck U Mean”
Sometimes you just want to hear rappers scream their faces off about how much money they spend on jeans. Meek and Boosie both just go so damn hard. When I played varsity basketball in high school, my most important contribution to the team was making the mix CD we played when doing lay-up lines and the like; 2014 me would’ve definitely included this song.  —JDF

Leighton Meester, “Heartstrings”
Don’t look at me like that! You know you loved the Country Strong soundtrack. Before Hayden Panettiere ever sung a note on Nashville, Leighton Meester was showing off on “Summer Girl” (which is a great song). Her new album, Heartstrings, is far less country, more Lana Del Rey if anything, but Meester is still sounding sweet. —Lindsey Weber (@LindseyWeber)

Run the Jewels featuring Zack De La Rocha, “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)”
Killer Mike and El-P are back with Run the Jewels 2, a sequel to the beloved album from last year. Start with “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck),” where the two jam with Rage Against the Machine’s Zack De La Rocha. Their brotherly love is straight-up heartwarming: “Look at Mikey, I think he likey, we are sinister sons.” —LW

Tiga featuring Pusha T, “Bugatti”
I am down with the annual occurrence of rap bangers titled “Bugatti,” but this song is night and day compared to Ace Hood’s 2013 smash. Here, Pusha T still has that King Push attitude, but the feel is more fun-’90s West Coast sound à la Tone-Lōc or LL Cool J’s “Going Back to Cali.” —MJ

Best New Music of the Week