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.

BNQT, “Restart”
I’ve been a devoted follower of the gospel of Alex Kapranos ever since I first cracked open Franz Ferdinand and You Could Have It So Much Better in my school years, so upon hearing he had a hand in creating a new supergroup, I naturally hopped on the Kapranos train once again. As opposed to Franz Ferdinand’s other newer supergroup, the deliciously funky FFS created with Sparks, this one has a much more simple sound  it’s Kapranos along with a few members from rock staples Midlake, Band of Horses, and Grandaddy, churning out smooth indie tunes with a swingin’ classic-rock twist. And as a bonus, the group has chosen to describe themselves as “a poor man’s Traveling Wilburys.” The Wilburys — one of my favorite bands of all time — need to get some more love these days. You have my full support, gents. —Devon Ivie (@devonsaysrelax)

Mai Lan, “Vampire”
This really is just a kicky little number about being a vampire. It has that single topic “Why not?” playfulness that Charli XCX is so good at, but it’s about being an inescapable unholy creature that’s going to drink your body dry. Rarely to vampires get the anthems they deserve.
—Jordan Crucchiola (@JorCru)

Father John Misty, “Two Wildly Different Perspectives”
Father John Misty is inching closer and closer to becoming an honest-to-god preacher. On “Two Wildly Different Perspectives,” a sermon of a song and the second single from his upcoming album, he offers spiritual caution, speaking out as a neutral observer reporting on two warring “sides.” One side says: “Y’all go to hell”; the other says: “If I believed in God, I’d send you there.” He builds on the Plastic Ono Band–esque minimalism of his previous single “Pure Comedy,” accenting bleak lead piano with sporadic jazz drums, digital shimmers, and the shadow of a string section. It’s unclear if the differing “sides” in the lyrics are the two sides of the American political divide or the two sides of America’s war with its adversaries abroad. And that’s the most disturbing thing — it could so easily be either one. —Gabe Cohn

Allison Crutchfield, “Charlie”
Some bands aren’t meant to last forever. Of the Crutchfield sisters, Katie figured that out first when she branched out and started Waxahatchee, an entire act and persona separate from her twin sister. Now it’s Allison’s turn to let the light shine on just herself for once. After a string of failed bands (mostly with her sister, but then Swearin’ with her ex), Allison Crutchfield has released her debut solo album. The whole thing is tremendous — the year’s first best album — and “Charlie,” for me, is where it all starts to coalesce. It’s the latest entry in the breakup canon, an acoustic low-key song about disconnect, rewriting memories, and falling in love with yourself while falling out of love with someone else. The road to recovery from heartache is long, but it sounds like Allison has finally found her way. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Space Above, “Let It Still”
Just let this song hit you like a rainbow kaleidoscope tidal wave and bliss out. —JC

Tei Shi, “Keep Running”
I can’t say this was the direction I expected Tei Shi to go — from her self-described “mermaid music” to glam R&B — but that’s what so great about it. She’ll probably get accused of bowing to convention (a scroll through her YouTube comments reveals some backlash), though the greater crime would’ve been to harp on a sound she’s outgrown. Slinky cooing and playing the role of a femme fatale who’s insecure about time outrunning her sound like a mold she fits nicely into, even if she didn’t invent it. My only request for the new Tei Shi is less tarantulas, for all our sakes. —DL

Molly Burch, “Wrong for You”
There’s a certain charm in songs that feel like they should be sung into a Unidyne microphone, and Molly Burch’s “Wrong for You” has some real Series 55, Patsy Cline–style appeal. I fall hard for electro-pop songs that make you feel like your body is made of vibrating color, and something so anachronistic and lovely as this — spinning a tale as old as time about a good girl falling for a bad guy — is a perfect palette cleanser. —JC

Kehlani, “Escape”
I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong in thinking Kehlani’s proper debut album might be weighted in songs about emotional healing and self-reflection. She’s over that. Instead, these are songs centered on independence and making others feel good by way of her own courage. Kehlani puts herself second so much on this album, it’s often tiring to hear her repeatedly sing about setting selfishness aside to help a partner grow — as is the case on the quietly crushing “Escape” — but it’s also equally inspiring. Kehlani’s only 21, but she has the mature perspective of someone who’s lived a lot of life. SweetSexySavage, with its stockpile of mid-tempo ballads that have just a slight bop, has a vintage quality to it (as vintage as early 2000s R&B can be), but it isn’t stuck in the past or worried about sounding immediately dated as a side effect. “Escape” could’ve been sung by any young pop star on the rise of the last 30 years, but only Kehlani would’ve meant every word. (She also wrote them.)  —DL

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