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.

Protomartyr, “A Private Understanding”
What’s the word for the feeling when you realize you’re too old to be labeled as precocious, and all those rock-star dreams are probably not going to eventually come true? It’s not settling, and it’s not any kind of bitterness — but whatever it is is embodied in the music of Protomartyr, a Detroit band led by Joe Casey, whose voice is blunt, bruised, and filled with bitter wisdom that feels lived, but never condescending. “A Private Understanding,” the first single from their upcoming Relatives in Descent, is a powerful blast of ennui that glamorizes defeat without trivializing it. —Sam Hockley-Smith (@shockleysmith)

Demi Lovato, “Sorry Not Sorry
“I’m out here looking like revenge, looking like a 10. Best I ever been.” Who doesn’t love a thumping summer jam about revenge? “Sorry Not Sorry” has an ascendant feel, like her song “Yes” from Confident, but it’s about the exact opposite feeling. She’s gone from giving herself over to another person, coming from a place of “Yes,” to feeling “inspired because the tables have turned.” Lovato no longer has tears for when you say those words to her, and is flat-out petty this time around: “Yeah I know how bad it must hurt to see me like this, but it gets worse.” Payback is indeed a bad bitch, and so is Demi. Looks like she’s still riding that Confident wave. Stay on it, girl. —Jordan Crucchiola (@jorcru)

A$AP Twelvyy, “Strapped”
If A$AP Rocky is the de facto leader of A$AP Mob, and A$AP Ferg is the weird, loose cannon, where does Twelvyy fit? Well, it turns out Twelvyy is very good at making a specific kind of often-imitated New York rap song. I’m talking about the New York Summer Song — which, to succeed, needs to somehow sound like a hazy sunset and also getting punched in the face. There should probably be a couple well-placed horn stabs for good measure. “Strapped” does all these things without coming off as overly reverent of New York’s hip-hop past. It’s a fine line to walk, and Twelvyy’s proved that he’s able to keep balance. —SH-S

Zola Jesus, “Soak”
After a brief foray into using her deeply powerful voice to experiment with more traditional pop on her 2014 album, Taiga, the former opera singer born Nika Roza Danilova has returned to her noisier, darker, and more industrial roots with “Soak,” the second single from her upcoming album as Zola Jesus. And this one has quite the backstory: Danilova said she wrote the song from the perspective of a murder victim who is attempting to reclaim her last moments in order to justify her life’s untimely ending. “Soak” lays the groundwork for a cathartic surrender over a down-tempo drumbeat, and hearing Danilova crack a near-scream as she resigns herself to “sink into the bay like stone” feels like a moment of triumph, even if it is about having agency when giving in to death. —Samantha Rollins (@SamanthaRollins)

Torres, “Three Futures”
A lot of music can be described as “heavy,” but Torres’s music is heavy. “Three Futures” is a dense, sluggish track that brushes against warped psychedelia, but ultimately acts as a vehicle for Mackenzie Scott, the woman behind Torres, to sing brilliantly evocative lines like “we lined the Hudson with our tangents / you trusted me to love your parents / sunk into my tunnel vision” and “You got me loaded on Bergamot perfume / downstairs in the TV room.” Feeling stuff is exhausting. —SH-S

Empress Of, “Go to Hell”
I can’t imagine who would underestimate Empress Of’s Lorely Rodriguez after her commanding debut album, plus one-offs “Woman Is a Word” and Blood Orange’s “Best to You.” But to whichever fool has been getting under her skin, this bubbly kiss-off contains a nice little unsubtle titular message for you: “Go to hell.” —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

A Savage, “Winter in the South”
As part of Parquet Courts, Andrew Savage makes brittle, literate post-punk, but his solo venture, “Winter in the South,” is a stoned country breakup song that sees Savage moving from exhausted deadpan to, uh, delicate deadpan. It’s clear that he’s being sincere, though, and that push-pull heightens the impact of plainspoken lyrics like “I’ll be 31 next month, and I only want you by my side as I wait.” I’m not trying to say Savage is running from his problems or anything, but this is the kind of song you put on when you’re driving away from a life you already half regret leaving behind. —SH-S

Tyler, the Creator, “Boredom”
Tyler’s next album is shaping up to be an outlet for an introvert who’s been wrestling with some real pain. Since it leaked, the conversation has been dominated by what he does and doesn’t say about his sexuality, but that’s about as banal an analysis as this very title gets at. Prior to this song, Tyler released “Mr. Lonely” about suffocating isolation and depression; “Boredom” is yet another song that features many friends (or are they just voices in his head?), and still, Tyler feels abandoned. If an idle mind belongs to the devil, Tyler’s is overrun with demons, and it doesn’t sound like making this song provided much personal healing despite how good it is. —DL

8 Best New Songs of the Week