songs of the week

9 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.

Paris Hilton, “I Need You”
Do not adjust your glasses, contacts, or whatever visual aid you might use. Paris Hilton is back to making music, and I am back to stanning for it. If you somehow erased from memory the aughts relic “Stars Are Blind,” may I remind you that Paris Hilton, pop star, does not miss. She might hit a few fouls along the way, but never a K! Fight me. “I Need You” is a whole box of Valentine’s Day chocolates melted into a pop confection that fulfills my every need: Did I need Paris Hilton Marilyn Monroe-ing her way through a doo-wop homage like the last three years of Meghan Trainor never happened? Absolutely. Did I need Paris Hilton making such holiday puns as “I wanna be the bunny in your Easter”? Abso-fucking-lutely. Did I need Paris Hilton “singing” an entire song in an octave that never goes above a whisper? The answer is: !!! Paris Hilton is in love, ya’ll (her fiancé, Chris Zylka, even directed the damn video), and now all our hearts should be full. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Iceage, “Catch It”
Iceage’s transition from Danish teens who specialized in violent, brittle, magnetic punk to … however we’re supposed to be classifying them now, has been amazing to watch. They seemed destined to make one great record, their first proper LP Brigade, and then flame out. But they didn’t. Instead, they seemed to absorb decades of drunken alt-country, bar rock, and moody, sweeping music evocative of the American West, and rather than change their sound entirely, they let all that influence seep into what they already had. It is a pleasure watching a band like this stack influences and emerge with something that feels aware of its ties to rock-music history while still sounding fresh. “Catch It” is the best version of that yet. —Sam Hockley-Smith (@shockleysmith)

L’enfance Nue (Adam Brock), “Fred Astaire”
Yes, this is the song Kyle (Timothée Chalamet) plays in Lady Bird.
It’s the perfect moment of pure suburban teen horniness: Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) has a boyfriend, Danny (Lucas Hedges), whom she totally adores. But after one bass solo performed at a coffee shop concert, she’s hooked on Kyle, the boy who smokes hand-rolled cigarettes, reads Howard Zinn, and “hasn’t lied in two years.” In real life, “Fred Astaire,” is performed by L.A. musician Adam Brock and has recently been dug up by Lady Bird stans. It’s light and singsongy, with lyrics that seem lifted from notebook doodles: “late night fire fight,” “boring Hemingway,” “easy A.” It’s sweetly pretentious, fake deep, and earnest. I love every second of it, especially how it’s just bland and Vampire Weekend–adjacent enough to morph into every song sung by every boy you eventually outgrew. “I’ll sweep her off her feet in a couple more years, I swear.” Were we ever this young? —Hunter Harris (@hunteryharris)

Khalid and Swae Lee, “The Ways”
In part due to the contrast, the lightest song on the rap-heavy Black Panther soundtrack happens to be one of its best. Kendrick Lamar tosses in a few secondary lines, but his real achievement here is sticking Khalid and Swae Lee, two consummate and complementary crooners, together over a Sounwave-BADBADNOTGOOD beat as delightful and rare as rain in sunlight. They’re singing about love: Khalid sounds like a reliably sweet guy, and Swae Lee sounds like an angel recently arrived from heaven. Love is a pernicious myth and Valentine’s Day is a scam like any other holiday, but if this song isn’t the truth, we wouldn’t know what to believe in. —Frank Guan (@frankophilia)

Forth Wanderers, “Not for Me”
Indie rock’s not dead, it’s just completely solid and unflashy. Not to draw false equivalencies here, but while Migos are coasting on a bloated album with a couple great singles, bands like New Jersey’s Forth Wanderers are finding new life in slacker rock, updating it just enough so it doesn’t feel needlessly retro. I already feel bad about the Migos thing I said before, so maybe think about it this way instead: If the pop charts are currently an exercise in gaming the system at the expense of quality, it feels nice to look away from that world for a second and remember that there are bands out there doing this because they really feel like it. —SH-S

Khalid and Normani, “Love Lies”
The time for Normani Kordei, solo star, has come. She is the last of the Fifth Harmony quartet to break free (excluding Dancing With the Stars), finally releasing a single outside the group. To test the waters, this is not a solo song, but a duet between her and Khalid (a two-time SOTW guest this week!), who is now the only person I ever want Normani to sing with again. (Sorry, 5H). Between his pleasing rasp and her velvety range, they make a great vocal marriage. This song comes from the Love, Simon soundtrack curated by Jack Antonoff, whom we now have to thank for a good 60 percent of the sound of this decade in pop, in a good way. –DL

Blocboy JB ft. Drake, “Look Alive”
Surprise! Turns out Latin trap wasn’t the next regional scene on Drake’s genre-hopping checklist (although it seems a Bad Bunny collab is still in the works). For his next trick, Drizzy, arguably rap’s most powerful co-signer, does his best Memphis flow on this collaboration with BlocBoy JB, who you might remember from his breakout track “Rover” last month. As with the best of Drake’s co-signing efforts, it’s a win-win situation — Drake ups his cool points (even with those very Drake-y dance moves), BlocBoy gets a hit, and we get to listen to it. —Corinna Burford (@coriburford)

Amen Dunes, “Blue Rose”
Amen Dunes’ upcoming Freedom is quietly becoming my favorite album of the year, and the two singles that are out now go a long way toward explaining why. I’ve talked about front man Damon McMahon’s voice, which is singularly weird and beautiful, before, but he also expertly constructs songs like “Blue Rose,” which feels like a miniature epic, filled with subtle flourishes that never overstay their welcome. —SH-S

Ryan Adams, “Baby I Love You”
“If I lie to you, will you still be mine?” my boyfriend Ryan Adams asks on his new surprise Valentine’s Day track. For you, Ryan, I suppose I’ll make an exception. No one writes a tortured love song like this man. So while today’s holiday is all about excessive romance, his ode to it predictably winds up with Ryan romantically convincing his partner that they’d be better off without him. Real love is honesty even if it hurts, baby. —DL

Best New Songs of the Week