songs of the week

10 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.

Parliament ft. Scarface, “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’Me”
After a 38-year hiatus, Parliament, the greatest funk band in history, is back, and the lead single for their upcoming album Medicaid Fraud Dog makes it feel like no time at all has passed. True, “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’Me” is an average song by the band’s own standards, but average for Parliament is still objectively great. Like many tracks before it, “Sick” is a mantra over a ultrathick bass line, a chipper guitar lick, female background singers, glorious horns, and assorted other flourishes, chief among them a verse from Houston rap legend Scarface. I was not expecting to hear Scarface pronounce the classic Parliament neologism “fuckentelechy” at any point in 2018, yet here we are. To top it all off, band leader George Clinton promoted the new song with a Reddit AMA which may well be the greatest AMA ever. The world’s still sick, and funk is still the cure: Any time and place that Parliament exists is a time and place worth living in. —Frank Guan (@frankophilia)

Jonny Greenwood, “House of Woodcock”
“You’ll kill me if you stop,” I whisper to myself every time I listen to the Phantom Thread score (which is all the time, as my roommates can confirm). Technically that line is from Call Me by Your Name (the book, not the movie), but the sentiment fits: Jonny Greenwood’s compositions for the new PTA movie sound gorgeous, generous, and light. The score balances both halves of the movie’s heart: fussy, demanding couturier Reynolds Woodcock has more baroque themes, and his bold, tender lover Alma (Vicky Krieps) gets sweeping romantic piano melodies. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but “House of Woodcock” sounds like silk feels. —Hunter Harris (@hunteryharris)

Jay Rock ft. Kendrick Lamar, Future, and James Blake, “King’s Dead”
More and more, it’s looking like the Black Panther soundtrack will be that TDE compilation fans have long begged for, the closest to a Black Hippy (and friends) full-length we’re likely to get. While “All the Stars” might play over the credits and get serviced to pop radio, “King’s Dead” feels in step with the film’s grit and power central. We know from Civil War that there’s now a threat to the crown of Wakanda with the king assassinated, and although T’Challa is his rightful heir, there’s a usurper eyeing his throne (hi, Michael B. Jordan). “King’s Dead” gets at the heart of that hostility between a monarch and his unruly dissident, royalty versus an outsider, by putting it in real-world sparring terms: “You’re not a gang member, you’re a tourist,” Future raps. And because this is a TDE track, it’s got a beat switch, after which Kendrick raps from the perspective of T’Challa’s nemesis Erik Killmonger. As Erik, he puts on quite the show of rapid-fire wordplay, but I must admit, it’s equally impressive hearing Kendrick get foolishly cocky with a line like “I made a hundred thou’ then I freaked it.” —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Troye Sivan, “My My My”
This edition of Songs of the Weeks is most definitely singular to me, because I couldn’t tell you if any other songs came out. “My My My” is the only song I’ve had on in the car for six days. Let’s all just stop running from love and run straight into the refreshingly groundbreaking latest from Troye Sivan. —Jordan Crucchiola (@jorcru)

Amen Dunes, “Miki Dora”
Yesterday, our music critic Craig Jenkins wrote about the voice of the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan, and how it could take center stage on any song she popped up on. In other words, the Cranberries had plenty of massive hits, but they were massive hits because O’Riordan’s voice, which she cracked and pushed at will, propelled them into an emotional stratosphere. Damon McMahon, who has been recording under the name Amen Dunes for about a decade (and has a considerable past in music before that), does something similar. What he’s saying is important, but how he’s doing it is what we’re all paying attention to. McMahon’s voice fills entire rooms, and on “Miki Dora,” he croons and lets it flutter. Whenever anyone says something feels “lived in” they’re secretly just talking about McMahon’s voice 100 percent of the time. —Sam Hockley-Smith (@shockleysmith)

Liza Anne, “Small Talks”
“The Rat” by the Walkmen, which obviously is one of my favorite songs, has a pretty famous lyric (at least famous to people my age and a little older): “When I used to go out I’d know everyone I saw / Now I go out alone if I go out at all.” Indie rock of that era really was obsessed with how partying isn’t like it once was. “I traded the cocaine for a baby and a south Brooklyn apartment” is a parody lyric I came up with just now. Anyway, this song I am technically writing about has a lyric that is arguably pretty similar: “I used to go out and talk to everyone I see / But now when I go out, it’s just keeping me from sleep.” I like it. I also don’t like talking to anyone who isn’t best-friend tier. Now I’ll say something about the music. This song is very catchy and there is an interesting mix of vocal phrasing blah blah blah. I think this is a fun song to put in a road-trip playlist. —Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox)

Marshmello ft. Lil Peep, “Spotlight”
Lil Peep could’ve been a star. For many who fell in love with his emo-rap fusion and became devout followers, latching onto to his confessionals about mental illness and addiction, he was. Lil Peep died from an overdose last year at 21, but not before making sure his voice would at least outlast him. At Lil Peep’s mom’s request, Marshmello has posthumously released one of Lil Peep’s final songs, “Spotlight,” which does exactly as the title says, spotlighting his best qualities. He was emotive, intensely personal and reflective, and fearless. Emo was and is all about removing shame from vulnerability, so for Lil Peep, that meant baring his soul about losing a lover, wondering if she deceived him or if it was all in his head, and coping with his conflicted feels through self-destructive means. In a tragic bit of irony, one of the last words we’ll ever hear from him is “Now you’re gone, I can’t believe it.” –DL

Mount Eerie, “Distortion”
Phil Elverum’s music has always been personal and direct. In his earlier work, he made music that engaged with the natural world, allowing that world to be reflected back on his consciousness through songs that echoed the warmth of life and asked big questions about what it meant to live. Last year’s brutal, heartbreaking A Crow Looked at Me, was Elverum’s stark account of the death of his wife — the artist and musician Geneviève Castrée — and his experience raising his young child in the wake of that trauma. It was an honest account of struggle and sadness, transmitted without much fanfare, like reading personal dispatches from a good friend who could write brilliantly about the unfathomable. “Distortion,” the first single from Elverum’s follow up to Crow, Now Only, furthers his exploration of this pared-down sound. Over 11 minutes, he sings about death, accidental pregnancy, watching a Kerouac documentary on a plane back from New Zealand, and his uncertain 20s — it is comforting in the way it documents life as little more than what it is: something everyone experiences. —SH-S

Stefflon Don ft. Sean Paul, Popcaan, and Sizzla, “Hurtin’ Me Remix”
London-based singer and rapper Stefflon Don released an all-star remix for her breakout single “Hurtin’ Me” last week, featuring dancehall legends Sean Paul, Sizzla, and Popcaan. All three contribute verses (or a repeated refrain in Sizzla’s case), giving the Caribbean-influenced song real dancehall credibility. The song’s original version, which featured French Montana, has already begun to cross over into U.S. markets, after reaching No. 7 on the U.K. singles charts. With these new additions, it may well become a hit in Jamaica too. —Corinna Burford (@coriburford)

Kali Uchis ft. Tyler the Creator and Bootsy Collins, “After the Storm”
If Kali Uchis is the Tito to Tyler’s Randy, as Tyler raps to be true on their newest collaboration, we’re in for a very fruitful musical marriage. Last year’s “See You Again” off his album Flower Boy was romantic, depressing, and beautiful — “After the Storm” feels like a spiritual sequel, except now they’re joined by the legendary Bootsy Collins with some spoken word and BADBADNOTGOOD on phenomenal production, which amounts to a lot of my favorite things all wrapped up in one with a bow on it. —DL

Best New Songs of the Week