songs of the week

8 Best New Songs of the Week

Every week, Vulture and friends highlight 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.

Radiohead, “Burn the Witch”
Radiohead is back, baby, and this time they sound … well, like Radiohead. If the title of their new lead single didn’t tip you off, the band’s paranoia has not eased up in the five years they’ve been away. Thom Yorke announces his return with a harsh warning: “Stay in the shadows, cheer at the gallows — this is a roundup.” But there’s an unexpected element here: the clanging of Johnny Greenwood’s insistent strings, which dance across the border between joy and menace. Why do we take part in witch hunts? Because, as anyone who’s ever been on Twitter could tell you, moral righteousness feels good. —Nate Jones (@kn8)

Pierce the Veil, “Circles”
Pierce the Veil’s “Circles” is a death spiral through some tragedy. “Listen, do you hear my heartbeat thump over the monitor / You pretend to close your eyes,” the song begins, before recounting a story of flying bullets, labyrinthian escapes, and glorious depictions of love. It’s a song fans of All Time Low and Blink-182 might enjoy, as they drive down a springtime interstate with the windows down and a group of friends in the back. This song is a happy-escape kind of tune, a fitting addition during the interlude to summer. —Justin McCraw (@JustinMcCraw)

Drake ft. Rihanna, Too Good
Now that Drake and Rihanna are onto their fourth collaboration, I’ve noticed a pattern that’s likely intentionally indicative of their relationship: When Rihanna’s the lead (“Work,” “What’s My Name?”), she always opts for up-tempo made-for-radio hits, getting her full money’s worth of Drake’s phoned-in verse. But when it’s Drake’s song (“Take Care” “Too Good”), it’s deceptively darker and equally featuring Rih at less than 100 percent. “Take Care” was essentially about Drake making Rih his healer, but that’s not what’s happening here. On “Too Good,” a Soca-vibed sleeper Song of Summer (give it time), we meet the two at their breaking point. They each feel used and abused: “Lately I just work too hard for you,” Rih sings. Imagine Rihanna putting in overtime for any man, I mean really. This is an alternate reality only Drake could construct, and it’s a testament to their “genuine energy” that the back-and-forth formula never fails. They could go on like this for the next few years of their career — just riding whichever beat with no evolution or regression — and you’d still be hard-pressed to find a better duet on the market. It’s only a matter of time before they drop a full album. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Brandyn Burnette, “Worship”
It isn’t all the time a guy will worship you, but damned if Brandyn Burnette doesn’t try. Burnette’s pillow-talk purrs are the aperitif to a long day of not being worshipped at the office. “Don’t care if you’re sober,” he croons, “swear I could get you high.” That the single’s cover art is a well-appointed four-poster with chandelier lends credence to his siren song. It’s a sexy get-down song with the plucky instruments of Low Fang when he sings Ginuwine’s “Pony” during his sets. So let your hair down, girl. And prepare to be worshipped. —JM

D’Angelo ft. Princess, “Sometimes It Snows in April”
Is there any artist who owes more to Prince than D’Angelo? Would D’Angelo even exist were it not for Prince? Doubt it. So it’s fitting that one of the later tributes would come from a man who likely needed all the time he could get to process having to honor the man to whom his career is indebted. Prince never needed an introduction, and neither does D’Angelo. I’d like to think he chose to do “Sometimes It Snows in April” with part-time Prince cover artists Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum because Prince’s death was just that: an unpredictable occurrence for a man so unimaginably rare. —DL

Kehlani, “24/7”
Listen, Kehlani has been going through it. Someone somewhere always is, and that’s the ultimate truth behind the new song she just dropped on SoundCloud that I hope finds its way onto her debut album. If you’re prone to mistaking a woman’s smile for happiness, allow Kehlani to make this crystal clear: “It’s okay not to be okay.” It’s such a cliché line, especially overused in music, but that doesn’t cheapen the meaning one bit. A smile isn’t always a smile, neither is a laugh, or a tear. There’s always more to the story, and I have a feeling that as much as we think we’ve already heard of Kehlani’s, there’s so much more to know. I’m particularly interested in discovering the next chapter in her sound, which now sounds more adorned with electronic-driven R&B flourishes than anything we heard on You Should Be Here—DL

Popcaan, “Ova Dweet”
Try as Drake will to erase every artist he’s ever co-signed, they’re not having it. Everyone expected Jamaican dance-hall prince Popcaan to show up on Drake’s “Controlla” because we all heard and loved the original that leaked weeks ago. Maybe that’s why Drake edited Popcaan out of the song entirely (instead interpolating some of Popcaan’s own phrases himself), and furthered the insult by tacking a Popcaan song on the end of fellow SOTW, “Too Good” (above). Whatever Drake’s motives, it’s not a good look. But thank Jah, Popcaan had the good sense to drop a song of his own, the summertime fine “Ova Dweet.” On it he sings, “every man is invisible,” which I’m choosing to interpret as a direct warning to Drake. Keep stealing Popcaan’s sound, and he’ll erase you right back with ease. —DL

Blink-182, “Bored to Death”
It truly amazes me that it’s 2016 and we’re still talking about fucking Blink-182. I’ve been listening to this band since middle school — we go back. So trust me when I say that I can’t believe they’ve made it this far. Bands aren’t supposed to last; it’s in their very foundation to disintegrate over time. Blink nearly did thanks to Tom DeLonge’s breakdown, but Mark and Travis had the foresight to know that all they needed to go on was enlist Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba. Make no mistake, Tom was vital to the band, but he’s not the band. Mark has arguably always been its nucleus, no matter how bad his writing (it’s pitifully stupid here), which is why it’s 2016 and they’re still churning out hits. I could’ve sung my young heart out 15 years ago to “Bored to Death” and it would’ve felt just as right then as it does now. Blink-182 are a consistently good band — give ‘em credit. —DL

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