songs of the week

5 Best New Songs of the Week

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.

Chance the Rapper ft. Ty Dolla Sign “Blessings (Reprise)”
It’s been a long time since I’ve believed in God. And yet, listening to Chance the Rapper’s stunning third mixtape, Coloring Book, I can’t help but feel my religious upbringing creeping up on me. This is as spiritual an album as it gets, summoned into creation for reasons similar to Kanye’s The Life of Pablo: a crisis of mind. Chance seems at peace with his relationship to God (“I speak to God in public,” he repeats, twice, on this particular song), but it still sounds like a work in progress. Coloring Book is a project rooted in deep despair and redemption, a celebration of triumph over the evils that still haunt even Kendrick Lamar, and, most important, a hymn of positivity. “Are you ready for your blessings? / Are you ready for your miracle?” a makeshift choir of Ty Dolla Sign, BJ the Chicago Kid, Anderson .Paak, Raury, and more, sing both to Chance and to anyone who’s given up hope. Chicago is a difficult city to call home, and it’s certainly not the Promised Land Chance envisions on this song’s opening verse. Hearing that it is still your God-given right to live a joyful life despite constant reminders of tragedy, I think, is this album’s highest power. I can’t say I’m about to rejoin the Church anytime soon, but I’ll praise dance to this every day. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

BADBADNOTGOOD ft. Sam Herring, “Time Goes Slow”
This song may have only just debuted on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio show, but its groove, as Lowe says, feels timeless. Jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD teamed with Future Islands frontman Sam Herring for this laid-back, melancholic soul track that’s made even more special by the addition of Herring’s husky and expressive voice. “Running away is easy, it’s the living that’s hard,” Herring laments. Hit ‘play’ and stare wistfully out the window. —Samantha Rollins (@SamanthaRollins)

Brand New, “I Am a Nightmare”
Don’t ask me what’s going on with Brand New; I’m none more the wise than any lifelong fan. I just go about my business, rarely thinking about what they’re up to, and then one day the emo gods deliver. It’s easy to badmouth a band as inconsistently productive (to the public, anyway) as Brand New, but you can’t hate on what they eventually do put out. Last year’s one-off, “Mene,” was loud and brash, though not nearly as disorienting as anything on their last album, 2009’s Daisy. “I Am a Nightmare,” on the other hand, is giving me major Your Favorite Weapon nostalgia, back when Jesse Lacey knew how to write a killer hook and you could always count on 11-year-old me to take the bait. —DL

Sampha, “Timmy’s Prayer”
It’s been a long, lonely three years without new music from Sampha. He recently featured on Kanye’s not-quite-released “Saint Pablo” without a peep elsewhere, until yesterday, when he finally gave an update on his absence. Then, poof, along came “Timmy’s Prayer.” True to the title, it feels like a heavenly experience. “And when I’m left without your love, it could feel like a lifetime baby,” he croons in that soft-sung slight falsetto he’s well-aware has been missed. The song starts off sounding like an electronic ballad, but explodes midway into something more frenzied, with even faster bursts of electronic textures, before it exhales again. Still, it’s soulful as hell, like all of Sampha’s rich, evocative songwriting. If there are storm clouds in Sampha’s vision of heaven, I can only hope they pass long enough for him to come back down to Earth and bless us with gifts like this more often. —DL

Kathleen Hanna and Tommy Buck, “Dancing in the Dark”
Springsteen purists, please resist the urge to take this cover too seriously. What we have here is Kathleen Hanna and actor Tommy Buck essentially dicking around somewhere — probably on the set of Maggie Plan’s, the new Greta Gerwig film they both appear in — when they decide to have a jam session, put on silly accents, and mumble-sing “Dancing in the Dark,” acoustically. Sure, there are forgotten lyrics, corny gang vocals, and background noise, but all that just adds to the cover’s charm. It’s hard to tell if they intended to perform this for the film’s soundtrack, but heeey babyyy, that’s the end result: a happy little potential accident that exudes the whimsy of actually dancing in the dark. —DL

This Week’s Best New Music