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.

Arcade Fire ft. Mavis Staples, “I Give You Power”
If, like much of the country, you’ve spent the days since last Friday preoccupied with thoughts of resistance, let Arcade Fire and Mavis Staples’s collaboration push you over the edge. Their anthemic rallying cry was released on Inauguration Eve in likely anticipation of the descent into chaos that everyone feared would begin with the new transition of power. For the moments when citizenship and the basic human right to matter feel meaningless and threatened, Mavis will be here to snap us out of defeat. Even if the people did mathematically give those who occupy the highest office of this country the power to run it, she and Arcade Fire won’t allow us to fall for the trap that we don’t have the power to strip them of it. “Watch me!” Mavis grunts. Get angry, get active, and get to agitating the powers that be right along with her.  —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Syd, “Body”
Odd Future alumna Syd is going solo. She’s been fronting The Internet for the past few years, but is breaking off now with her new album, Fin, and in advance of its release, we’ve been given “Body.” It’s slow, crawling like honey down a cold knife, and very sexy. Syd practically channels Aaliyah as she coos over a plodding, spare beat about a teasing bedroom back and forth: “If your friends could see you right now, not lying girl, I bet they’d wanna be you right now. Your body’s taking over you.” It’s like “Rock the Boat” for a 2017 audience, with Syd putting the seduction on a woman and telling her to say her name. The artist told Zane Lowe on Beats 1 that she hopes “Body” will be the “baby-making anthem of 2017.” There are 11 months left in the year, but Syd’s new slow jam is the one to beat. —Jordan Crucchiola (@JorCru)

Thundercat ft. Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, “Show You the Way”
You know, it makes sense that Thundercat would find Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, of all people, at the bottom of his own personal surreal rabbit hole. Thundercat has never had a care in the world for genre constraints, expectations, or whether or not something looks good on paper. The bass god cares only that it feels right to him, and there’s truly no plane of existence on which “Show You the Way ” could ever sound wrong. It’s an unexpected collaboration from Thundercat’s next album that mixes the sensual side of his funk together with the smooth rock mastery of the OGs Kenny Loggins (in full high pitch, swoooon) and Michael McDonald, blending it all on low speed. It’s a smooth wave of balladry, people; ride it all the way home. —DL

Mew, “Carry Me to Safety”
This song exists for its payoff. It feels like a meandering dream at first. You can imagine yourself cruising through the Milky Way and taking in the vast beauty of space, but then halfway through you hit the warp drive and suddenly everything around you is an explosion of color speeding past you. It’s an incredibly satisfying emotional climax to a song that would have been nice enough just subsisting on the sonic beauty, but it’s that explosions-in-the-sky liftoff that will keep you hitting repeat. —JC

Camp Cope, “Footscray Station” and Cayetana, “Mesa”
When I first heard Camp Cope, I was obsessed. They sounded like how I want all bands to sound, like the post-Strokes indie rock of the mid-aughts. More urgent and tuneful than their college-rock forebearers, these bands didn’t necessarily sound like New Order but like they learned how to play “Ceremony” on guitar in college. Or like you know how the Smiths have some songs that are kinda fun? They sounded a bit like that. They sounded like Ted Leo’s cover of “Since U Been Gone” mixed with “Maps.” Lamely, I admit, this is also the sound of my “youth,” as I’ve become just another old man trying to recapture the sound of the bars I used to go to on Friday nights, when I used to go to bars on Friday nights. They sounded like they were from modern-day Philadelphia, as that city magically continues to put out bands that sound like throwbacks to the recent past. But they were from Australia, the Philadelphia of the former British empire (don’t fact-check this).

As I told the three people I know who still listen to music like this, they sound closest to Cayetana, a similarly passionate yet bouncy band from Philly. And what do you know: They released a split 7-inch! Oh what a terribly ‘00s thing to exclaim. But it’s true. They did it. Apparently, they met on tour, which sounds like a very good and nice show for the Australians who saw it. They both sound so good here. I love it! Also because their names are so close to each other alphabetically, it allows me to group together in one write up. I love it! —Jesse David Fox (@jessedavidfox)

WRLD x Savoi, “Hideaway”
Sometimes you just need some heavy handed electro-pop. Put a big bounce in your step with “Hideaway.” — JC

Tom Speight ft. Jessica Staveley-Taylor, “Willow Tree”
If you love the Staves, sentimental folk music, inviting harmonies, and gentle reminders of where your roots grow, then Tom Speight and Jessica Staveley-Taylor made a a gem of a song for you. —DL

Rodes Rollins, “Wes Come Back”
What a sneaky treat. “Wes Come Back” sounds like a smoky old murder ballad, with its slow guitar strums and distant whistles, but no one dies at the end. Rollins wistfully sings of being young and reckless, and leaving behind the only man who ever let her in to go sow her wild oats. It sounds like a song from a modern day spaghetti western, something you’d hear when that tall dark drifter rolls into town, and the subtle theatricality makes the melancholy in Rollins’s voice feel extra haunting. Will she ever love again? — JC

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