songs of the week

6 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.

Demi Lovato, “Sexy Dirty Love”
If Demi’s last album was about announcing to the world how confident she was, the music she’s putting out now seems more about just being confident. As a vocalist, she’s got more than enough to parlay a Grammy one day, but the edge she’s always carried now feels more rooted in being emboldened and sassy as hell, instead of in the internal friction that has powered her persona to this point and made her so appealing to a fan base that relates to her. Demi’s chip on her shoulder and candor about her life and its trials are some of her most admirable, appealing character traits, but “Sexy Dirty Love,” like “Sorry Not Sorry,” sounds like a damn hot woman who knows how damn hot she is singing a mighty earworm of a pop song about her latest obsession. —Jordan Crucchiola (@jorcru)

Niall Horan, “Too Much to Ask”
While we were all busy congratulating Harry Styles for successfully shaping an image outside of One Direction that feels authentic, his bandmate Niall was scheming. He released a pair of singles that hinted at a new sonic (forgive me) direction perhaps more fully earned than the other guys. He’s been having biweekly mentoring conference calls with Don Henley! Niall means business. “Too Much to Ask” presents his clearest artistic mission statement yet: Niall will not be pigeonholed as “the other guy” in that one boy band; he’s a singer-songwriter now, from the guitar in his hand down to the whiskey-soaked anguish in his voice as he laments an old flame burnt out. “Don’t it feel fucked up we’re not in love” makes for a perfect lyrical moment for a singer still finding his solo voice — one 1D could have never got clearance for in one of their own songs. It’s nice to hear what a couple of these guys are capable of without restrictions. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Miley Cyrus, “Week Without You”
Miley Cyrus’s previous incarnations, the hip-hop/pop Bangerz era and the acid-tripping Dead Petz phase, feel more and more like her spring and summer breaks back-to-back. It’s like Miley went to music college and experimented with a bunch of stuff, and now she’s home from school — surrounded by papa Billy Ray’s old guitars and the Grand Ole Opry kind of world she was raised in — and she’s getting back to her Backyard Sessions roots. Whether or not Miley can thoughtfully speak to her evolution as an artist without coming off as flippant and disrespectful of the “hip-hop scene” she gleefully became a tourist of for a short bit remains to be seen, but vocally and stylistically, she has always seemed best suited for the mid-range and casual tone of bluesy rock and country music. It’s worked out very nicely so far with “Younger Now,” “Malibu,” and now “Week Without You.” Put her in a cowboy hat and a gossamer dress with rhinestone boots, and sit her on the back of a pickup on the shores of Southern California, where she seems most comfortable. — JC

Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Deadly Valentine”
More weddings should have the vows updated to reflect a mini bloghaus revival. Why be traditional when you could be très chic? For Charlotte Gainsbourg’s new album Rest, she was apparently inspired enough by marital requisites like the “I dos” to base a song around them. “Deadly Valentine’s” lyrics are mostly the Christian vows verbatim, only now, you can dance to them! Finally, an argument for marriage I can get behind. —DL

Young Thug & Carnage, “Liger”
Only a few months after the release of his acoustic R&B-tinged mixtape Beautiful Thugger Girls Young Thug is back with a new project — a joint EP with the L.A.–based producer Carnage, called Young Martha. “Liger,” the second single from the EP features Thugger at his most wonderfully kooky.“Everybody got tigers so I wanna get a liger,” he sings in the chorus. Carnage’s production on the track, which includes an 808, booming bass, a flute, and a church organ, is closest he gets to trap on the EP. The slow, minimal beat allows Young Thug’s melodic vocals to come to the fore, and his lyrics to be uncharacteristically easy to decipher. —Corinna Burford (@coriburford)

Jhené Aiko ft. Swae Lee, “Sativa”
Do not listen to Jhené Aiko’s new surprise album Trip sober; doing so will only yield inaccurate results. This is an album best consumed on a cloudy mind, when all the senses are that extra bit heightened. Almost every song on the album is dedicated to altering your brain, to same effect — there are entire meandering, half-baked ruminations on a bad trip, literal and otherwise. “Sativa” feels like a night in with a lover high off your faces whispering nasty things to each other that shouldn’t be repeated without even realizing you’re speaking. Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee’s hushed singing (the only way to duet with Jhené) resembles Jeremih’s vocals so much you’ll want to put it in a bowl and smoke it. —DL

6 Best New Songs of the Week