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12 Best New Songs of the Week

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty, Jason Kempin/Getty

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 our music critic Lindsay Zoladz’s review of Mark Ronson’s Uptown Special.)

Belle & Sebastian, “The Cat and the Cream”
I won’t lie, I usually prefer bouncy B&S to melancholic B&S. But there is definitely a time for the latter. And that time is winter. —Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox)

Childish Gambino, “Sober
Looking for something to hold you over to the next Frank Ocean single? Childish Gambino does his best Frank impression (did you know this guy could sing?) with “Sober” — a track you know Frank would totally be jealous of. —Lindsey Weber (@LindseyWeber)

Kelly Clarkson, “Heartbeat Song” 
More than a decade into her career, Kelly Clarkson is still giving me reasons to be proud I decided to vote for her instead of Justin Guarini. (It was a closer call than I would like to publicly admit.) “Hearbeat Song,” the shimmering electro-pop single from her upcoming record Piece by Piece, sounds like Heartthrob-era Tegan and Sara rewriting “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Which is to say it will soon be utterly inescapable, so enjoy it now, before you’re super sick of it! —Lindsay Zoladz (@LindsayZoladz)

Ellie Goulding, “Love Me Like You Do”
You’re probably thinking some version of the following: “50 Shades of Grey soundtrack? What a mess!” (And, sure, that slowed-down remix of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s “Crazy in Love” is a mess.) But Ellie Goulding’s contribution is very simple and very infectious. It’s actually a lot like 50 Shades of Grey. It gets the job done.  —LW

Iron & Wine, “Everyone’s Summer of ‘95”
If you’re me, you’d listen to Sam Beam read the phonebook. That’s why a new Iron & Wine album full of unreleased “home recordings” is just as valuable as anything new. Archive Series Volume No. 1 will be out on February 24 — spend your time up until then celebrating the fact that “No. 1” implies there will be a “No. 2.”  —LW

Jimmy Napes, “Give It Up”
Jimmy Napes may not be a household name, but you have definitely heard his music on Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour and Mary J. Blige’s London Sessions. For a man famous for writing and producing “Stay With Me,” this sounds way more like a choice cut from a Disclosure album, with its warbly falsetto over a twinkly midtempo dance track.—Marcus Jones (@MJinMD)

Moon King, “Roswell”
I think dreamy is a great adjective. I really do. The problem is, when applied to art, I too often find it less like my own dreams (super interesting to me) and more like other peoples’ dreams (super boring to me). The Canadian duo Moon King get it right here, by pairing all their guitar histrionics and harmonic lushness with a driving beat. I wish all my dreams sounded like this — though all the head bobbing it would cause would probably mess with my REM cycle. —JDF

Elvis Perkins, “Hogus Pogus”
Though it’s been seven years since he released the terribly sad Ash Wednesday (trust me, look it up, it’s the saddest), I still can’t listen to Perkins without almost crying a little bit. Though the borderline whimsical “Hogus Pogus” feels a bit like Sgt. Peppers meets “Lily, Rosemary and The Jack Of Hearts,” there is a very welcome hum of sadness running through it. —JDF

Phony Ppl, “Why iii Love the Moon” 
With new projects like Chance the Rapper’s Social Experiment and Ghostface Killah’s collaboration with BADBADNOTGOOD, hip-hop has been getting really jazzy again. Enter Phony Ppl, who have been around for a while, but their new album comes out today and it features this single that feels like the kind of song you wake up to when you know it’s going to be a good day. —MJ

Jazmine Sullivan, “#Hoodlove” 
There are few singers out there with a voice that burns like Jazmine Sullivan’s. After a five-year hiatus, she is releasing her third album, Reality Show, today. On it, Sullivan channels VH1 divas of the past and present to drive the narrative of how fame can haunt relationships and create ugly situations. Here Sullivan goes all mob wife on her man, promising to “ride this bitch to the wheels fall off.” —MJ

Twerps, “I Don’t Mind”
Not just a super-chill song, but a super-chill state of mind. Save this one for when it’s warm again. (Or play it now and dream of palm trees.) —LW

Waxahatchee: “Air”
I absolutely love the tone of Katie Crutchfield’s voice: twangy, charred, yet somehow defiantly sweet. When she started recording under the name Waxahatchee, her songs were muffled, private confessions, so it’s been exciting to hear her sound grow vaster with each new record. “Air,” the first single from her upcoming Ivy Tripp, is big, billowing, and wide open, like something howled at the moon. —LZ

Best New Music of the Week