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.

Girlpool, “Picturesong”
Where were you when Elon Musk launched a car into space? I was, for approximately the millionth time, listening to Girlpool’s “Picturesong,” which, not entirely unlike, um, launching a car into space, does the impossible. Girlpool have thus far succeeded because they make beautifully intimate guitar music. It sounds fragile until you pay attention to the lyrics, and then it just sounds like quiet power. Its appeal has been in the way the two women behind the project — Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad — have built a rickety, miniature world, closed off from the outside. So what to make of “Picturesong,” which invites Dev Hynes in to collaborate and adds a sheen of smoothness to their signature style? Does it still sound like they’re standing in the room with you? Do they still feel like your band, even though you know other people like them too? Did listening to them while thinking about an empty car rocketing through the vast, unknowable expanse of space feel weird? If you answered yes to all these questions — even the space car one — then “Picturesong” probably feels pretty exciting to you too. —Sam Hockley-Smith (@shockleysmith)

Joshua Hedley, “Mr. Jukebox”
Joshua Hedley, who has been a honky-tonk staple on Nashville’s Lower Broadway for many years, has finally released his first single, the title track from his upcoming debut album on Third Man Records, Mr. Jukebox. A reference to his nickname in Nashville (Hedley can play almost any old-school country song under the sun), the song channels the many classic country artists Hedley has covered over the course of his — already pretty lengthy — career. “It’s not a throwback. It sounds new because it is new, and it sounds the way it sounds because it’s the only thing I know how to do,” he said in a statement. “Classic country is like a suit. Nothing about a men’s suits has changed in like 100 years. Classic country never goes out of style. Something can’t be a throwback if it’s never been out of style.” The video, much of which was filmed at Robert’s Western World, where Hedley plays every week, gives viewers who haven’t spent time in Nashville (or haven’t seen that episode of Master of None) a chance to see him in his element — playing the fiddle as people two-step and working the room. His Florida-themed Nudie Suit is worth keeping an eye out for, too. —Corinna Burford (@coriburford)

Kehlani, “Again”
If Kehlani wants to put together a collection of acoustic, free-spirited songs, I fully support this. Just like last year’s “Honey,” she’s released another collaboration with her friend Geoffro that came together organically on the fly and hasn’t been mixed or fussed with in a studio. It’s essentially untouched, just another strong, raw vocal performance that sees Kehlani baring her soul even more than her heart to a lover. Somehow, her voice sounds like an even sweeter pot of honey. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Lauren Auder, “These Broken Limbs Again Into One Body”
Serious times call for serious music, and we are experiencing nothing if not serious times right now. So, Lauren Auder, a British musician who sings about love and religion and quiet moments that offer a strong sense of self like he’s half-asleep, feels like exactly what we should all be listening to right now. “These Broken Limbs Again Into One Body” is his best song yet — a deeply interior few minutes from an artist that sounds like he’s shouldering the weight of the world without even noticing it. —SH-S

Stevie Wolf, “Low”
With all the sad boys dominating pop and hip-hop in recent years, it’s increasingly hard to tell what’s performance art versus genuine vulnerability. Stevie Wolf’s second single “Low” leaves little doubt of it’s the latter. The lyrics drill down into depression and darkness, yet the song maintains enough pop sensibility to leave you feeling hopeful. The steady procession of stripped-down vocals and guitar riffs lead you into a swelling hook that recaptures your attention right before you get too, well, low. It’s Maggie Rogers meets Toro y Moi, on a cloudier day. —Olivia Becker (olivaLbecker)

Blood Orange, “Christopher & 6th” and “June 12th”
These aren’t songs so much as they are ruminations on black life set to music. Dev Hynes released these two songs as a short EP to mark the start of Black History Month, noting that they have nothing to do with his next album, but they do at least give a sense of where his head is at. He’s thinking about how he’ll never fully be able to grasp the struggle of being a black woman navigating her way through this unkind world, and why it’s important to check your privilege, however minuscule, and honor that which you do not know. He’s also been thinking about Philando Castile’s murder, blood money, and societal erasure. His heart is heavy. —DL

Aaron Childs, “Tangerine”
I’ve never been able to tell if saying a song is “barely there” is a compliment or not. Aaron Childs — son of the Windham Hill jazz pianist Billy Childs — has a song on his hands that is barely there in the best way. It’s tempting to describe “Tangerine” — built on not much more than a quirky bass line, some simple drum taps, and what sounds like some guy making a “tsss” noise with his mouth — as barely there, and that would be sort of true, but there’s a bit more happening. The song feels almost stream of consciousness, like Childs had a demo on his hands that he suddenly realized was actually great the way it was. —SHS

Best New Songs of the Week