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14 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 our music critic Lindsay Zoladz’s review of Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.)

Action Bronson, “Terry”
Before I get into this song, can we please take a moment to appreciate the cover art for Bronson’s debut album? Look at it! Genius — much like his new song, which marries a soulful Alchemist-produced beat with Bam Bam’s meditative lyrics about his life (which, right now, apparently consists of these four things: “smoke good, fuck, eat, drink”). You’ll want to play this one all the way through just to reach that heavenly closing instrumental. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Angel Haze, “Gxmes”
Oooh, a radio-friendly Angel Haze track! “Gxmes” may have an unpronounceable track name, but its beat is catchy as hell. —Lindsey Weber (@LindseyWeber)

Anna Kendrick, “Still Hurting”
Anna Kendrick is at her most vulnerable in The Last Five Year’s opening number, setting a powerful tone for the rest of the film, which came out last weekend. From the quiet piano intro to Kendrick’s emotional delivery, the song perfectly captures the gut-wrenching heartbreak of dealing with a split you didn’t see coming. Keep tissues nearby. —Tara Abell (@tara_abell)

Father John Misty, “Heart-Shaped Box”
If you haven’t heard Father John Misty’s new album, I Love You, Honeybear yet, do that now. Then come back and take a listen to his cover of a Nirvana classic, “Heart-Shaped Box.” As my favorite Nirvana song, I’m sort of biased when it comes to covers, but I’m especially keen on this toned-down interpretation. Few can match Kurt Cobain’s remarkably strained vocals, so it’s good Tillman doesn’t try. His is more of a slow-burning homage and it works beautifully. —DL

Florence and the Machine, “What Kind of Man”
Ooooh, Florence Welch, how we have missed you and your majestic voice. We’re not used to hearing Florence this angry and unhinged (love really can be so cruel). Both the song and the video are refreshingly raw and explosive, but, I’ll admit, it’s hard not to end up scarred by her emotional trauma. —DL

James Fauntleroy, “I Never Know What She’s Doing”
James Fauntleroy is one singer-songwriter who has been mostly behind the scenes, working on projects like Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience. Hopefully in 2015, he pulls a Sia and steps into the spotlight (sans face-shielding wig) with more hits like this Valentine’s Day tune about a love that lasts two lifetimes. —Marcus Jones (@MarcusJonesNY)

José González, “Let It Carry You”
José González is back, with his first album in nearly eight years, Vestiges & Claws, coming out today. Don’t worry, JG is as mellow as ever — if not more so. If anything, his mellowness has gotten a little sunnier to the point that it’s closer to chillness. The point being, this is exactly the song I’d like to hear when I wake up from a nap. —Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox)

Kanye West featuring Sia and Vic Mensa, “Wolves”
It’s rare that I’ll declare a new song one of my “favorites” before even hearing a high-quality version of it, but Kanye’s always worth making an exception. Kanye premiered “Wolves,” the first track from his upcoming untitled album, at his Adidas show last week, and then debuted it live on SNL 40. Like 808s and Heartbreak (and MBDTF’s “Lost in the World”), it’s cloaked in melancholy — the only way Kanye knows how to write a stunning love song. I’m especially a fan of what sounds like Sia howling in the background. —DL

MNEK, “A Thousand Miles” (Remix)
This remix goes from a wonderful take on Vanessa Carlton to full-on “Love Shack.” You can’t comprehend it until you hear it, so you’re going to have to just press play. Mash-ups are rarely this entertaining. —LW

Passion Pit, “Where the Sky Hangs”
It’s been two years since we last had new Passion Pit. Did you miss ‘em? (I did!) Well, here they are again, with “Where the Sky Hangs,” off a new album due out in April (!) called Kindred. It’s cool, light, and snappy — yes, there are actually snaps! —LW

Speedy Ortiz, “Raising the Skate”
The dream of the ‘90s is alive in Speedy Ortiz. —JDF

Sufjan Stevens, “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross”
Sufjan’s mighty whisper is back. Where his last proper album, 2010’s The Age of Adz, was all bleeps and bloops and whimsy and vocal brashness (relatively, of course), “No Shade” features the hushed folk that made 50 percent of his fan base first fall in love with him (the other 50 percent just wants albums about states and little miss sunshines). If you like music to sound like the singer is about to cry, then you’ll be happy — well, you won’t be happy, but you’ll be content in your shared sadness. —JDF

Twin Shadow, “I’m Ready”
If I had a time machine and I had to use it for good, one of the first things I’d do is kidnap Twin Shadow and bring him back to the ‘80s, so he can do what he was put on this Earth to do: write songs to play over montages in John Hughes movies. —JDF

Ty Dolla $ign feat. Charli XCX and Tinashe, “Drop That Kitty”
The jury is out on whether this song is so bad it is good, or is just plain bad. Personally, I wasn’t sold until Tinashe burst into the bridge, and now I dare anyone to challenge that this song is perfect for trios doing choreographed dances and karaoke. —MJ

Best New Music of the Week