songs of the week

8 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.

Courtney Barnett, “Need a Little Time”
Australian oddball Courtney Barnett is a master of introspection. She can pick apart the things we think about ourselves and each other, the stuff insecurity and fear keeps us from saying out loud, and put it all in a song. “Need a Little Time,” my new favorite thing she’s ever written, is just her showing off. I mean: “Open up your insides / Show us your inner most lecherous / I’ll rip it out carefully / I promise you won’t feel a thing.” She’s talking about her and a lover taking a break, but she’s using threats of vulnerability to justify the needed space. In other words, let me help you help us by getting closer to your mind during this time apart. It’s wild and so brave, and also not just for melodic convenience that she takes a gorgeous pause between “I need a little time out from me” and “you.” She also repeats “me” twice — this discovery process is just as much about getting away from herself in order to find herself as it is the other party involved. The point is: You gotta separate the puzzle pieces to put them back together. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Hayley Kiyoko, “Let It Be”
Queen of teen feelings Hayley Kiyoko is finally dropping her first full-length album, Expectations, on March 30, and her lead singles have delivered all the dreamy pop ennui you rely on the singer to deliver. Her fans call her “lesbian Jesus,” and as an out gay performer whose self-directed music videos leave no doubt about where her passions lie, Kiyoko leaves listeners free to picture her staring at another woman when she sings, “Every night gets a little tougher, how can I dream about another” in her latest release, “Let It Be.” Now, young queers play this imaginary match game all the time (“Here Are 37 Reasons Why Taylor Swift’s ‘Dress’ Is Actually About Karlie Kloss!!!!!”), but in the case of Kiyoko, it’s not just headcanon. And when those lush beats deliver her voice on a warm wind of marigold-colored longing, you know she’s singing about another girl, and that she means it. But even if you’re not in your sweet gay feelings about it all, “Let It Be” is just another damn lovely sounding Kiyoko jam. —Jordan Crucchiola (@jorcru)

Kygo ft. Miguel, “Remind Me to Forget”
This is one of those songs where before you know it, it’s over and not a single lyric has registered. Seventy plays later and I can’t tell you a thing Miguel says. Each time, I sing along to it, but I’m not really forming words, mostly just humming along in tongues. That’s not a knock against the thing — it’s called “Remind Me to Forget,” c’mon. I love it. It’s just funny how some of the best dance-pop unions amount to little more than an irresistible aesthetic. It’s like an audible Instagram feed. —DL

Yxng Bane, “Vroom”
One of the highlights from SXSW 2018, London’s Yxng Bane released his new single “Vroom” last week, and as far as woman-car analogy songs go, it completely puts R. Kelly’s “You Remind Me of Something” to shame. Using a magical mix of Afropop, dancehall, and grime — sometimes called “Afro-trap” or “Afro-swing” — on “Vroom,” Bane creates a fresh, dance-floor-ready sound, while also making reference to a million hits from the last two decades. Nods to “Ignition Remix,” “La Vida Loca,” “Who Am I (Sim Simma),” “Gimme the Light,” and even Eugy and Mr. Eazi’s “Dance for Me” can all be heard. If you are stuck in an office in lower Manhattan during a spring snowstorm (ahem), Yxng Bane and his automotive innuendos are sure to boost your mood. —Corinna Burford (@coriburford)

Twin Shadow ft. Rainsford, “Brace”
I was admittedly not checking for this new Twin Shadow album, now here I am recommending a second song from it. The first was an obvious Prince homage, like most everything Twin Shadow has done. This is not that: “Brace” is Big Pop. (With guitars!) Glittery and bouncy, like he had as much of a ball recording it as I am dancing to it. Now, does it contain a truly uninspired reference to Tom Petty (“I was like Tom Petty waiting on a free fall”)? Ya. Does it keep me from loving it any less? Nah. —DL

XXXTentacion ft. Joey Badass, “infinity (888)”
One of the weirder alliances in rap in recent months has been the alignment of XXXTentacion, the divisive pioneer of Florida punk-rap currently facing heinous criminal charges, with the squeaky-clean New York traditionalist Joey Bada$$. They say nice things about each other, they collaborated on this song from X’s new album ?, and word is that they’re planning a full dual tape. Fortunately or regretfully, depending on your perspective, they make a solid tandem. The connection is only weird at first glance: After all, one of X’s influences is NYC arch-traditionalist Immortal Technique, and he’s always had an ear for classic boom-bap production. Jazzy and wistful, the beat for infinity cements the bond between demonic cult leader and leading citizen of Wokeanda to the benefit of both. —Frank Guan (@frankophilia)

Halsey ft. Big Sean and Stefflon Don, “Alone (remix)”
It finally happened: A Big Sean lyric got to me. Listen, this semi-random blue-eyed soul track from Halsey’s latest record (I say “semi” because there are a few instances of that influence on the album) is dripping in schmaltz. She’s described the thing as having a Gatsby vibe, whatever that means. So yes, when Sean comes swooping in asking shit like, “Hold up, when the last time you had somebody hug you?” I was putty in his stupid hands. It’s been awhile, thanks for checking! —DL

Snakehips ft. St Rulez, “Cruzin”
It’s snowing for the umpteenth time this winter, meanwhile this song sounds like summer. It’d honestly be rude if it wasn’t so groovy. It sounds like Snakehips ripping off Bruno Mars ripping off New Edition and I have zero problems with any step in that formula. —DL

Best New Songs of the Week