songs of the week

7 Best New Songs of the Week

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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.

First Aid Kit, “It’s a Shame”
While you were all waiting for the sisters Haim to get back to work, there I was, just twiddling my thumbs, checking for the sisters Söderberg. If you’re not on a last-name basis, they’re the duo that make up the Swedish folk godsends First Aid Kit. Finally my day has come: They’ve returned in top form with “It’s a Shame,” a song about growing tired of a lover and feeling so very bad about that, but it just happened. And maybe they’ll regret walking away, but then maybe that feeling will pass, too. “Sometimes I want you to stay / I know it’s a shame,” they harmonize, better than ever. The actual shame, though, is that this song, like the relationship it’s about, also has to end. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Kamaiyah, “Successful”
Last week, Oakland rapper Kamaiyah leaked the video for her new single “Successful” after she accused her label of stalling its release. Unsurprisingly, it’s a catchy G-funk meets Bay Area banger. Like the best tracks from her debut mixtape A Good Night Ghetto, the production draws on ’90s and early-2000s West Coast synths, claps, retro drum machines, and booming bass lines. Her vocals and lyrics build on the the triumphant themes of “How Does It Feel” and “I’m On,” celebrating her come-up, basking in the spoils of her new fame, and hoping that it never goes away. “They don’t wanna see me successful / these diamonds all on my neck glow / I will not fail / but you knew that there from the get-go,” she boasts. Sadly, the official video was removed from YouTube on Saturday, but she reassured fans that she’ll finally get her way when it’s returned to streaming sometime this week. —Corinna Burford (@coriburford)

Demi Lovato, “Ruin the Friendship”
Demetria Devonne Lovato has done it: She’s made an album that feels like her most complete work to date. Past Demi Lovato albums were scatterbrained collections of ballads and bops that, while typically quality work, lacked a through line. (A choice that never did her any favors with critics.) Tell Me Love You Me makes a titular demand that’s finally earned. It’s an album that, from top to bottom, oscillates smoothly between mature thoughts of love and lust; it’s for grown ears only, despite her young fan base. “Ruin the Friendship” speaks frankly about desiring a friend (who may or may not be Nick Jonas) so much that you’d be willing to risk the innocence of that relationship and surrender to sexual tension. Demi makes no qualms about wanting to go public with her carnal fantasies (“why the fuck are we a mystery?”), pausing for a naughty chuckle at her own candor, while the song’s sexy bass and horns keep the song’s heart racing. —DL

Kehlani, “Honey”
Kehlani quietly released one of 2017’s best R&B albums at the top of the year. Now along comes this sweet (as the title suggests) little tune that she made on the fly with Geoffro Cause and a few friends. As such, it has that effortless bedroom feel, like someone pulled out a guitar at a house party and Kehlani just started belting out whatever was on her mind — currently, all the ways she likes her women and her money. It’s flirtatious, light, and casually honest work from a songwriter who’s consistently held nothing back: “I’m a beautiful wreck, a colorful mess, but I’m funny,” she sings at my favorite moment. —DL

Stereo Honey, “The Bay”
Do you like pretty-sounding music that’s heavy on the electronic-pop vibes? I sure do, so listen to “The Bay” and join me in this dreamy, delighted state of mind. —Jordan Crucchiola (@jorcru)

Abra, “Novacane”
Mostly, Abra sings and sounds fine doing so. But for Adult Swim, she put her production skills to the fore and sounds like she’s found her true calling. She’s produced her own work before, but none of it pulsates, menaces, and face melts (as warned) like “Novacane.” This song sounds like what your brain looks like on the good stuff. —DL

Miley Cyrus, “She’s Not Him”
Maybe you find Miley Cyrus’s pivot from pop to rap to psychedelia to country both dizzying and artificial. And maybe you can’t forgive Cyrus for her inability to hold herself accountable for mocking black culture out of financial convenience. These are valid complaints to have about an artist who’s still got a lot of growing up to do. Younger Now admits as much, despite it being her most grounded work possibly ever. (She co-wrote and co-produced all of it.) She’s still not fully capable of accepting fault — on “She’s Not Him,” she tells a lover whom she’s leaving for another lover that he doesn’t deserve to be treated this way. Still, she does it anyway because she can’t help it. It’s an apology that lacks a “sorry,” but there’s some relief in such a selfish, sad, gorgeous ballad. If Miley can recognize her flaws, maybe she can continue to work on herself enough to win back everyone else she’s hurt along the way. —DL

7 Best New Songs of the Week