songs of the week

11 Best New Songs of the Week

Every week — now on Wednesdays! — 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.

Rostam, “Gwan”
Let’s face it, positivity and actual self-care are in short supply these days. If all art is political, and all politics are currently scary, do we even have room for intimate moments that allow us to sit with our emotions as they relate to us, and not the stakes of basically the entire world? Is it possible to escape from life itself, while still remaining alive? Rostam’s “Gwan,” an accomplished but somehow casual song about listening to your own mind, holds all the melancholy of autumn, manages to coax interesting ideas out of dreams (talking about dreams is boring all the time except in this one song), but, perhaps most crucially, it’s optimistic. Remember optimism? —Sam Hockley-Smith (@shockleysmith)

Haim, “Want You Back”
Haim knew you needed those strong Wilson Phillips vibes as summer draws near. They know you and your (probably corny) girlfriends need a new song to harmonize to poorly at karaoke. They know what you need and these moon children are here to give it to you. So part your hair down the center, put on a floppy hat with something gossamer, and go find a super bloom to spin around in the middle of with your arms wide open, because Haim is on its way back. (For an extra fun exercise, imagine the sisters had a falling out with Taylor Swift, and this is their secret sonic plea to reconcile with her by taking all the blame on themselves — because that’s what Taylor demands. Just know that they want you back, Taylor!) —Jordan Crucchiola (@jorcru)

SZA ft. Travis Scott, “Love Galore”
Ah, how appealing a a life devoted to misandry can sound. Handmaid’s Tale fans, you know what I’m saying. There was never a real need to have Travis Scott, ruiner of good female-lead songs, on SZA’s first song in ages — other than to appease her label, which has held her next album hostage. SZA could’ve refused the feature. Instead, she played along, recorded this entrancing, deceptively dreamy anthem for the Ban All Men movement that could’ve doubled as the theme to Big Little Lies, flirted with Travis in the song’s video to keep up the ruse, tied him to the headboard, then hired a hitwoman to slaughter him. It’s all so cryptically demented. We wouldn’t recommend her label keep testing her patience much longer. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Sufjan Stevens and Gallant, “Hotline Bling” (Drake Cover)
File this under “things I didn’t know I needed until I heard them” — the encore of Sufjan Stevens’s live version of the Über-sad (but oh-so-beautiful) Carrie & Lowell is a duet of “Hotline Bling,” featuring Stevens alongside the R&B singer Gallant, who opened for him on the tour. What could possibly be a better pick-me-up than that, you ask? The answer is nothing. Except maybe for the video version, where the diamond-shaped video screens that Stevens used on the tour are repurposed to create an enormous quasi-shrine to Drake for the length of the song. This, of course, leads the one to wonder: What would it have been like if they’d had Drake’s photo up the whole show? —Gabe Cohn (@gabescohn)

Paramore, “Told You So”
Is there a statue built somewhere to Hayley Williams yet? There should be, because all those emo fans longing for the halcyon days of Yellowcard and Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance have prayed for a new idol, and 2017 has given them present-day Paramore. After coming on so strong with the undeniable new single “Hard Times” last week, the band is back with “Told You So,” and it’s another jewel in the coming crown of their next album, After Laughter. The song premiered on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show this morning, which means exactly 30 seconds after it dropped Pete Wentz and Ezra Koenig started stress-texting each other, I mean it’s not even that good, right???? And that car behind Paramore in the “Told You So” video? It’s Ez and Pete chasing Hayley down, but they’re just not going to catch her. —JC

Young M.A., “Bonnie”
The first time I heard Young M.A.’s breakout hit “OOOUUU” was on Hot 97 when Funkmaster Flex rewound the song a million times. In that moment, it felt insane that anyone had ever questioned New York’s place in the current rap landscape. “OOOUUU” was, if not the song of last summer, a very strong contender. I can’t say that “Bonnie” has the same verve as “OOOUU,” but what does? Instead, “Bonnie” feels like it was beamed straight from circa-’03 rap radio. It probably wouldn’t make sense with the narrative arc of the track, but Fat Joe would sound great on the remix. —SH-S

Black Lips, “Occidental Front”
The third single from the new Sean Lennon–produced Black Lips album, Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?, features Yoko Ono screaming as a brick wall of guitars and drums do what I can only assume is an attempt to emulate the experience of receiving a noogie from the devil. The song borrows liberally from the folk singer Dock Boggs’s “Country Blues,” though its heart is grounded in the apocalypse of now. —GC

Gorillaz ft. Grace Jones, “Charger”
It shouldn’t be this easy to pick the best, or even a favorite, song out of 26, but Grace Jones’s mere presence makes any decision a no-brainer. She’s the collaborator you should’ve been most excited to hear on Gorillaz’s new album, Humanz, and she delivers. Which is ironic because she doesn’t even do all that much — her one job on this song is to provide meaningless filler phrases like “I am the ghost” while 2-D does the bulk of the singing. And yet, she still does all the work. She gives the album its swaggering punk moment — this is the closet Humanz comes to a rock song — by evoking the genre’s spirit and venom. You will feel infinitely cooler just from one listen. —DL

Tove Styrke, “Say My Name”
“Say My Name” is every bit the Swedish pop joint promised by a name like Tove Styrke. The best part about Swedish pop is that the voice itself becomes a perfect instrument of the production. That’s not to say Swedish vocalists can’t sing! They most certainly can, but it’s almost as if being from the spiritual center of Pop Kingdom means the country’s young blonde things are blessed with voices that are almost algorithmically complementary to bouncy, candy-coated beats. Styrke may have only come in third in Swedish Idol in 2009 (because a third-rate contestant from that could likely win our domestic contest in a walk), but her cohorts aren’t sitting in Song of the Week now, are they? —JC

Algiers, “The Underside of Power”
It’s fitting that there’s a direct reference to Sam Cooke in the title track from Atlanta experimental soul outfit Algiers’s upcoming album, “The Underside of Power.” Mixing industrial sounds and noise rock into a song steeped in classic soul provides a different frame for Cooke’s phrase “a change is gonna come,” delivered three quarters of the way through. The track’s old-school sound, woke lyrics (the chorus is “I’ve seen the underside of power / It’s just a game that can’t go on”), and nod to Cooke all beg the question of how much has changed, and whether there’s any change that we can still fully believe in, anyway. —GC

Superorganism, “It’s All Good”
Earlier this year, Stereogum described Superorganism as “a 17-year-old Japanese girl named Orono who lives in Maine and 7 other people who live in London, or at least that’s what they say in an email we got from them a few weeks ago.” And whatever Orono and her seven friends are getting up to with this group, it sounds like everyone’s voice gets to be heard in the Skype group chats, because this song is one hell of a sonic mélange and that’s exactly what makes it so much fun! “It’s All Good” is a like a sonic soup that happens when you clear out your metaphorical fridge, and the result is mighty tasty. There’s a ticking clock, a tambourine, audibly heavy breathing, and even an excerpt from a Tony Robbins speech run through heavy filters. Get weird with Superorganism. —JC

11 Best New Songs of the Week