songs of the week

8 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.

The Hotelier, “Settle the Scar”
Hotelier is arguably the emo-revival’s most undeniable artist. It’s emo-revival for people who didn’t know and/or don’t care that emo has been revived. If your heart had a fist, it would pump its little heart-fist at Goodness, Hotelier’s new record that came out last Friday. It’s like a basement show by Bruce Springsteen. —Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox)

The Strokes, “Drag Queen”
I’ve been closely following the Strokes ever since I discovered the joys of the post-punk movement in middle school, so I was quick to stream and pre-order their new EP, Future Present Past, when they dropped it last week. Look, I’ve succumbed to the fact that wishing for anything remotely mirroring Room on Fire is futile, especially with Julian currently going through his (still pretty enjoyable!) Voidz phase. But if “Drag Queen” — the first song on the EP — supposedly corresponds with the “future” of their sound, I’m here for it. Honestly. Sure, things get batshit crazy halfway into the third minute when Julian decides to do his “screaming into an oscillating fan” thing, but before that occurs, the ominous bassline, bouncy guitar riffs, and the smoooooth baritone vocals make for an excellent track. In fact, if it ended right before the pre-Julian fan screams at the three and a half minute mark, I’d be daring enough to call it sublime. (Find me at their show at the Capitol Theatre tonight, screaming and dancing profusely.) —Devon Ivie (@devonsaysrelax)

Fat Joe ft. Jay Z, Remy Ma, French Montana, and Infared, “All the Way Up (Remix)”
You’re probably thinking I picked this remix because it’s the first time someone got more than two bars out of Jay Z in two years, and he used them to address Lemonade by awkwardly quoting Gang Starr’s Guru (“Lemonade is a popular drink and it still is”). But see, even two sentences from Hov rapping nonsense on a track with Fat Joe would’ve been reason enough to go apeshit given their longstanding beef. Nope, we’re here to talk about Remy Ma. What she does on this remix, alongside fellow New York rap elite, is nothing short of Nicki Minaj on “Monster” bodied-level. She comes through late in the song (just after three minutes) rip-roaring with venomous verses about snatching back the throne she let others keep warm for her while incarcerated. It’s a sharp reminder that her crown was never anyone’s for the taking; it’s only fit for Queen Remy. Jay Z opens this remix with a challenge: “The remix for the city let’s just start snapping.” Remy’s the only one who listened. Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Julien Baker, “Photobooth” (Death Cab for Cutie cover)
It’s not hard to see the parallels between Julien Baker and Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard: Both write songs that use sonic sparseness as a complement to lyrics that are deeply emotional. But while the two may be musical kin, Julien still makes this DCFC deep cut her own, stripping the song down to just a finger-picked guitar and stretching out her syllables so that her voice quivers with understated yet soul-crushing intensity. She imbues “Photobooth” with a different kind of sadness, totally separate from Gibbard’s nostalgia-flecked melancholy, making this not simply a cover, but a track that stands firmly on its own. —Samantha Rollins (@SamanthaRollins)

Flume ft. Allan Kingdom and Raekwon, “You Know”
It’s always fun to watch rising producers blow up and start playing in the big leagues, with enough clout and a budget that allows them to make the bucket-list calls. You have to imagine Raekwon was that for Flume, who scored the Chef for the Australian’s DJ’s wildly impressive sophomore album — presumably thanks to Ghostface Killah. (He even got Beck!) This is just Raekwon in classic storytelling mode, painting a grim picture of a snitch’s fate, when not even family ties are enough to spare you. R.I.P. to his niece’s boyfriend, apparently. He’s joined by Allan Kingdom on the glitchy hook and for a rap-sung verse, because Raekwon can be nice when he’s not busy burning dudes alive. —DL

Jack White, Maya and Marty theme song
If you ever thought to yourself, you know, I’d love to see Jack White create a really retro, groovy theme song for a prime-time network variety show, congratulations! He has indeed! It’s for Maya and Marty, Maya Rudolph and Martin Short’s new NBC show, and it’s a funky good time. —DI

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, “First World Problem
Leave it to the band who gave us an incredibly catchy funk anthem about checking your phone to follow up with another jam about first world problems. Thankfully, this song isn’t actually about how much it sucks when Chop’t forgets to chop up your salad — it’s about love, of course! “You’ve got to understand that I could be your man or a first world problem,” front-man Ruban Nielson sings. If this groove is what it sounds like when that dude you only like as a friend keeps asking you out, things could be a lot worse. —SR

Jenny Hval, “Female Vampire”
New Bat for Lashes and Jenny Hval in the same summer? Bless the spirits. Jenny Hval’s excellent last album cast out gender binaries; her newest, Blood Bitch, is said to be about the binding divination of menstruation, as well as ‘70s horror exploitation films and a vampire named Orlando. The supernatural being of its lead single has enough bloodlust on her mind to rival her male counterpart, only she’s maybe even less patient about satisfying her cravings. Hval sings this song in a bewitching high-pitched, barely audible trance — not unlike what the voice of temptation must sound like in her thirsty vampire’s head. The production behind her thumps, swells, and pitter-patters with the rhythm of a heartbeat that’s racing. It’s deeply sensual, but not obviously so. Nothing about Jenny Hval is ever obvious; she’s a master at putting you through rigorous, exciting work to see the world with her gaze. —DL

This Week’s Best New Music