songs of the week

7 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.

Kendrick Lamar ft. SZA, “All the Stars”
The last couple of months have been big for the TDE crew. The label hosted a blowout holiday concert featuring an appearance by Rihanna, both SZA and Kendrick Lamar received several Grammy nominations, and the two released videos for their respective singles, “The Weekend” and “HUMBLE.” And from the looks of their first release from the Black Panther soundtrack (which is curated by Kendrick and label CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith), “All the Stars,” they won’t be slowing down any time soon. The track sees Kendrick and SZA approach exciting new territory, singing and rapping over a very catchy, synth-pop/R&B beat, courtesy of Al Shux and Soundwave. It’s probably the closest either artist has gotten to radio pop, and it turns out they do pop (and movie soundtracks) very, very well. As Dee Lockett wrote last week, the title “roughly translates in Wakandan to ‘Best Original Song,’ probably.” —Corinna Burford (@coriburford)

TM88 x Southside x Lil Uzi Vert, “Mood”
Not long after announcing that he never got paid for the “XO TOUR Llif3” beat he crafted, Atlanta producer TM88 dropped “Mood,” another woozy, depressive banger centered on Lil Uzi Vert. Everyone’s favorite Philly emo rapper is still traveling at light speed while fending off darkness, still on top looking down. “She said I’m adorable / My diamonds so sick / This shit is not curable.” Like jewels or chronic respiratory illness, Lil Uzi Vert’s in it for the long haul — “immortal,” in his own words. Here’s hoping that, in honor of the young king, TM88 (and his 808 Mafia compatriot Southside) finally gets all the royalties he properly deserves. —Frank Guan (@frankophilia)

Anika Pyle, “The Void”
It’s interesting, to me at least, when primary songwriters of bands decide projects are different projects. To use Anika Pyle as an example, when her band Chumped broke up, she started Katie Ellen, a band that sounded not incredibly like Chumped — save for her voice — but was still a manifestation of her brain. Now with Katie Ellen being a great thing with an album I loved so much last year, Pyle put out a song as herself. Katie Ellen still exists, but this song had to be solo. You can’t have a song called “The Void” and have other people hanging around. The point is, it’s some lonely-heart stuff. What I’m trying to say is, yes, avoid the Noid, I would never tell you otherwise, but, no, do not avoid “The Void.” —Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox)

CupcakKe, “Crayons”
CupcakKe has arrived! The ascending rapper is unapologetic about sex, her body, her politics, and her appetite for new experiences (see “Duck Duck Goose” from her new album, Ephorize), but she also can deliver a sneakily sweet and enlivening queer-pride anthem. On 2016’s Audacious she gave us “LGBT,” a super-dancy celebration of the specific beauty of life within a queer community. She’s now put out something like an emotional sequel with “Crayons.” CupcakKe can turn raunch into a kind of high lyrical art, but beyond the pearl-clutching moments, the message of “Crayons” is just really nice. After stringing up her pride flag and announcing, “It’s all about the taste of rainbows and colors. The gays gonna serve you life like a butler,” she serves up matter-of-fact calls for equality that renounce double standards of judgment applied to gay men versus gay women, and calls for everyone to come together under the banner of love. “Ain’t no confusion. Everybody human. Get to know people instead of just assuming. Yeah in conclusion the gays ain’t losing. Like boomerang cause I’m all about that movement.” It’s not really an appropriate song for your conservative suburban aunt, which means it’s maybe the exact song you should play next time you’re in the car with her. —Jordan Crucchiola (@jorcru)

Franz Ferdinand, “Feel the Love Go”
Franz Ferdinand has always been a low-key fave of mine for the better part of a decade, so I was a little feisty when they decided to revert back to their third-album electronica sound for their upcoming release — I’m more of an “indie-punk FF fan” than “Berlin acid house after 3 a.m. FF fan.” However, I’m pleasantly surprised how much I’m enjoying this tune. It’s a bop! I’m bopping at my little cubicle right now! Bop bop bop! —Devon Ivie (@devonsaysrelax)

Katie Dey, “Consequence” (The Notwist Cover)
Remember in the second Avengers movie when Ultron crashes that party singing “I’ve Got No Strings”? And it’s scary because you’re like, Oh yeah, one day it’s going to be all robots. The thing is these robots aren’t going to be all bad. They’ll eventually develop feelings and the ability to express them in song. Katie Dey’s cover the of the Notwist classic is like that; you know, just a lonely robot tune. —JDF

Jeremy Pope, “New Love”
“New Love,” the first single from Jeremy Pope — the singer, actor, and star of the new Temptations musical, Ain’t Too Proud — is a welcome throwback to classic ’90s and early-2000s R&B. Crooning over a soulful hip-hop infused beat, Pope’s vocals invite comparisons to artists like Musiq Soulchild, Raphael Saadiq, and fellow actor and singer Mack Wilds. The artist got his start in the world of musical theater, landing his first big role in 2013 as the star of Choir Boy, an Off Broadway production written by Tarell Alvin McCraney (who, among other things, co-wrote Moonlight). Since then, he has acted in productions including The Invisible Thread and The View Upstairs. The video for “New Love,” which Pope shot, directed, and produced himself, features a number of his Broadway and Off Broadway friends. If you look closely, you’ll spot Grammy- and Tony-winning actress Cynthia Erivo, Hamilton’s Anthony Ramos, Ephraim Sykes from Hamilton and Hairspray Live, Nicolette Robinson, and Michael Dean (a very buff contestant on MTV’s dating show Are You the One?). —CB

Best New Songs of the Week