songs of the week

13 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.

Syd, “Treading Water”
If the beat for “Treading Water” sounds familiar, it’s because the same instrumentation provides the basis for the song “Selfish” by Big Sean and Jhené Aiko. But if this song sounds brand-new, it’s because Syd has whispered into your ear and erased all memory of any previous recordings. Syd’s new album Fin is so good this sexy groove didn’t actually make the cut for release (probably something to do with “Selfish” already existing), but after tweeting “Is it too soon to drop more music?” on March 23 she followed up with this divine gift. Fan yourself as she sings, “One time for the girls that don’t let just anyone rock that boat.” —Jordan Crucchiola (@JorCru)

Mike Will Made-It feat. Future, “Razzle Dazzle”
Mike Will Made-It’s Ransom 2 is a bit spotty, as producer-led compilations like this tend to be. A highlight, though, is “Razzle Dazzle,” a fuzzed-out Future solo track that features the rapper revisiting familiar, but fertile territory: the existential pitfalls of drugs and fame, and what they are probably doing to his actual soul. Future is one of the few artists who is able to make being a celebrity sound like actual self-made hell. The catch is, he’s so good at this sort of troubled world-building that the hell he depicts seems like it might be worth spending some time in. —Sam Hockley-Smith (@shockleysmith)

Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, James McAlister, “Saturn”
The songs on the just-announced Planetarium album may have debuted live in 2013, but that doesn’t stop them from feeling relevant. The collaboration sees Sufjan Stevens, Bruce Dessner (the National), composer Nico Muhly, and drummer James McAlister doing their best to emulate outer space. On “Saturn,” Sufjan’s voice is Auto-Tuned to galactic levels as he sings “Tell me I’m evil, invisible people” over twinkling synths. High-tech sounds aside, that line sounds like a dig at internet trolls. And “Tell me I’m evil / Tell me I’m not love” sounds like not only a dare, but a rallying cry. — Gabe Cohn (@gabescohn)

Gorillaz feat. Popcaan, “Saturnz Barz”
If the words “Gorillaz feat. Popcaan” don’t immediately trigger a head rush, you’re not ready for the new Gorillaz album, which is actually happening and out next month. The list of collaborators is, simply put, wild, but Popcaan was an immediate standout even before I heard the song. Damon Albarn says he traveled to Jamaica and waited 12 hours to get to work with the rising artist. Their two worlds — dancehall and whatever it is you wanna call Gorillaz — didn’t immediately gel, but once the chemistry hit, it hit. “Saturnz Barz” is a slapping, twisted collision of psychedelia, reggae, and electronica that produces in its aftermath something so alien and appropriate for the album’s seemingly out-of-this-world theme. Popcaan speaks frankly, in patois, about overcoming violence to succeed, and it’s almost too human to bear, which is just when 2D enters. The contrast is striking, but also fleeting. Before you know it, it sounds like they’re riding the same wave in a whole other realm. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Desiigner, “Holy Ghost”
If you wrote Desiigner off as a cartoonish Future clone, you wouldn’t be entirely incorrect, but half of the appeal of the Brooklyn rapper is the way he treats all of rap like a recipe book: pulling ingredients from every corner, and letting them gel in a hyperactive sequence of elastic Auto-Tune and manic ad-libs. Desiigner’s not really about lyrics, but he doesn’t need to be — you can glean plenty from his voice. –SH-S

Blondie, “Long Time”
Damn, Debbie Harry, it’s good to hear your voice again. It’s a good thing the winter will be thawing soon, because this song calls for dappled sunlight and T-shirt weather. Blondie’s forthcoming album, Pollinator, will feature contributions from artists like Sia, Charli XCX, Johnny Marr, and Dave Sitek. This track was made in collaborations with Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, which is probably why it sounds like a pop magic potion. —JC

Tricot, “DeDeDe”
There’s something about the fast bouts of staccato guitar and intricate rhythms of Japanese trio Tricot that calms me. Sure, “DeDeDe” is hardly easy listening, but that’s not the point: Hearing the song’s satisfyingly streamlined chorus for the first time is the sonic equivalent of that feeling you get once you’ve unknotted a tangled necklace to reveal what you knew was there all along. “DeDeDe” is organized chaos, and sometimes, it feels great to lose yourself in something you know will still let you resurface on the other side. —Samantha Rollins (@SamanthaRollins)

Jacob Banks, “Chainsmoking”
Grab the dust pan and broom because you’re going to need to sweep the shattered pieces of your soul off the floor and glue them back together after this song rattles through you like thunder. Jacob Banks is a British singer-songwriter, and despite being just 24 he has the voice of a sword-wielding archangel. —JC

Arca, “Saunter”
The formidable solo artist and Björk collaborator Arca, a.k.a. Alejandro Ghersi, has always had a Cronenbergian obsession with the human body and the way it contorts itself physically and emotionally, but “Saunter” takes it a step further. Here, Ghersi stretches his voice (has he always been able to sing like this?) over cybernetic drips and squelches, stitching and soldering a digital opera in miniature. —SH-S

Land of Talk, “This Time”
This song. It’s good. It’s so good. I’ve been listening to it on repeat, wondering if it was going to be my favorite song of the year. Who will I be in December? I thought. The truth is, I don’t know. Our cells replace themselves in seven years, so I will be one-seventh different. But, until then, I am me and this song, with its Sharon Van Etten backing vocals, is also me. —Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox)

Sir Sly, “High”
Sir Sly fans have been waiting a long time for the band to deliver new material. Their last album-length release came out back in 2014, and since then they’ve only released one new song, “Expectations,” in 2016. That last track was heavy on vibe, but “High” has a more poppy spring in its step, and the “ohhhh ohhhh” chorus is built for large-scale sing-alongs in the general admission pit of your favorite local concert venue. —JC

Lucius, “Million Dollar Secret”
If last year’s Good Grief didn’t sonically reflect the fact that Brooklyn-bred indie-pop superstars Lucius actually live in L.A. now, their latest single, “Million Dollar Secret,” certainly does. Its opening melody heavily invokes the American West, with lonely whistles that echo like the breeze in a moonlit desert. The money here isn’t in a Wild West Wells Fargo wagon, though — instead, it’s all in the narrator’s head: “I’ve got a million dollar secret / Can’t tell you what it is / I’m keeping it to myself / Won’t give it away.” We never do find out what this secret is, only that the narrator here likes the attention that it brings them: “I have all your attention as long as it’s a mystery.” In a world where intellectual property can make you a million and “private” just means having to accept a friend request in order to share your inner life, maybe secrets — true secrets — are the most valuable currency we have. —GC

Mr. Mitch feat. Palmistry, “VPN”
To be clear, “Turn off the Wi-Fi, don’t care where you are / Turn on the Wi-Fi, I know that’s far” shouldn’t work as a romantic sentiment, and shouldn’t actually even work as lyrics at all, but we exist in an era when our deepest secrets are passed along digitally without a second thought. Suddenly, Palmistry’s ode to human connection over the most private and secure of networks actually feels not just timely, but touching. —SH-S

13 Best New Songs of the Week