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.

Anderson .Paak, “‘Til It’s Over”
“Til It’s Over” may very well end up on the next Anderson .Paak album, but for now it’s most recognizable as the song FKA Twigs asks Siri to play in a Spike Jonze–directed commercial for Apple’s HomePod. The fact that it was maybe expressly written for a commercial doesn’t actually take anything from it — instead it speaks to its appeal: The beat, which was produced by Jeff Kleinman and Michael Uzowuru, who has been kicking around since the early days of Odd Future, is endlessly warm and bouncy. It uses the Flying Lotus–helmed Los Angeles experimental beat scene as a starting point to bolster .Paak’s vocals, which are beautifully hoarse, and able to scurry between the beat’s pings and shudders with ease. —Sam Hockley-Smith (@shockleysmith)

Sade, “Flower of the Universe”
Sade’s first song in seven years comes in two different versions, for two different moods: One for sensory overload, the other for a pleasant, but not excessive, emotional experience. The way Sade leaves us with no notice or expectations for her return makes you wonder if she ever loved us at all. And then she materializes on her own terms, the way it’s always been, and you remember her devotion was never in question. She loves us in her own way, she just loves herself more, and that’s okay. I’m rambling because Sade melts my brain to mush whenever I hear her voice; it’s just so hard to process that it’s real. On the acoustic version of “Flower of the Universe,” which she made for Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, it comes at you like an old friend reappearing in your life to reach out and hug your heart when you weren’t sure anyone knew it was hurting. “They want to know it’s true, there’s someone in the world, lovely as you” — she could be singing about herself. On the No I.D mix (!), which adds drums, flute, and other bells and whistles, that feeling is intensified. It’s paralyzing catharsis (the overload). Engrave her name on the Oscar now. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Years & Years, “Sanctify”
When the AIs overtake us and humans are relegated to living within ruins in the wild, let us hope that the first question the droids ask when they find us is, “Do you dance?” In the Altered Carbon techno-futuristic world of Palo Santo, featured in the new video for “Sanctify” by Years & Years, Olly Alexander is the latest human puppet of the cyborg race who wants him to dance for their entertainment. And Olly looks thrilled to oblige. This is his Janelle Monáe–Cindi Mayweather moment, and he is going to werk this revamped “Slave 4 U” aesthetic. Put this boy on a tour with Troye Sivan and the twink buffee will start spilling off the stage while the electro-dance beats keep the crowd pulsing. This is the future that liberals want. —Jordan Crucchiola (@jorcru)

Beach House, “Dive”
Nostalgia’s annoying, but let’s indulge in it for a second: In 2006, when Beach House released their self-titled debut album, it was a kind of mysterious beacon in record stores, which is where everyone still went to buy their physical music — mostly on CD. Who was this band, and what was their deal? How’d they make music that sounded so simultaneously weightless and earthy? As the years went on, Beach House became something of a household name. If you wanted to hear music that still engaged with actual romance and sweeping emotion, you could 100 percent rely on Beach House. “Dive” is the second single from their upcoming seventh album, appropriately titled 7. Unlike the previous single, “Lemon Glow,” which felt like the work of a new band, “Dive” is familiar, slowly unfurling from the fog that made this band so appealing and confounding in the first place. –SH-S

J-Hope, “Daydream”
As our own intrepid Alex Jung reported, the K-pop boy band BTS is a pretty huge deal right now. The seven-man collective commands a fanatical loyalty from its legions of fans that’s extreme even by K-pop standards, and it’s not just because they’re cute: Their disaffected lyrics have struck a chord with a young audience stifled by social conformity and a lagging economy. “Daydream,” a highlight from BTS member J-Hope’s new mixtape, shows off Hope (Jung Ho-seok) at his best: He sings cleanly and raps with passion over a jittery, punchy track that reflects his anxieties and drive back to him, and in the music video you can see, above some handy English subtitles, that he dances like a natural and dresses well too. —Frank Guan (@frankophilia)

ZHU and Tame Impala, “My Life”
I haven’t a clue what this next era of Tame Impala is trying to be or if there’ll even be one. (They keep getting booked for festivals and yet not a peep about new music, hmmm.) Sometimes Kevin Parker is working with Mark Ronson, sometimes he’s working with Ronson and SZA; now he’s turned up with ZHU. But no matter the collaborator, it always seems to work. I don’t know if that’s a credit to him or the other person involved, but I do know I’d like “My Life,” a house-lite track, played at every function I attend whenever spring decides to show up. –DL

Trae Tha Truth, “What About Us”
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey last year, Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth took on a significant and enduring role in the city’s relief efforts. From late August onward, with the help of another local music scene leader, DJ Mr. Rogers, he raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for flood victims, distributed supplies, and rescued people by boat. On his new song “What About Us” from his upcoming album Home Town Hero, Trae describes his experiences during Harvey and the months after, including his frustrations with the government’s response to the crisis. “They say the city’s back to normal — that was news to us,” he says. And though it’s been six months since the storm hit Houston, Trae and his “Relief Gang” have continued to stay on task. Just last week they opened a warehouse filled with household necessities and home-repair materials, and on February 27 he was honored for his contributions at Houston’s city hall. —Corinna Burford (@coriburford)

serpentwithfeet, “bless ur heart”
Leave it to Björk to perfectly describe the music of serpentwithfeet: “I just find [his music] so moist and vibrant to listen to.” This is an absolutely true statement. “bless ur heart” is loose and full of life, like it’s been untouched by the realities of America. It’s a testament to the power of the song, though, that it never feels like pure fantasy, just a wide-screen look at a world that still has plenty to offer. —SH-S

Hinds, “The Club”
I’ve written about Spanish band Hinds before, but it’s been a while and now they’re back, about to release their sophomore album this April. “The Club” is full of crunchy guitar riffs reminiscent of Best Coast and the Strokes, sounding vintage and of the moment all at once. Which is exactly how I’d sum up everything they’re about: nostalgic but urgent. “A friend said that it is more Hinds than Hinds themselves,” they wrote in a press release. “From now on, it’s our presentation card.” —DL

Andy Jenkins, “Ascendant Hog”
Spacebomb Records operates outside of Richmond, Virginia. It’s a recording studio, but it’s also a sound. Imagine what would happen if every artist who passed through its doors — no matter what kind of music they wanted to make — was forced to listen to, like, every Spiritualized album and get really deep with Love’s Forever Changes. It’s not their official operating principle, but it does help explain how all the music that comes from their studio, from Natalie Prass to Bedouine to Matthew E. White (whose fingers are all over pretty much every record they release) sounds like orchestral folk, or orchestral country, or orchestral soul. Like the work of, say, Prass, Andy Jenkins’s “Ascendant Hog” manages to be sad and lively — in other words, it’s kind of a bummer jam, it’s just not mopey about it — it sounds sort of like some lost outlaw-country record, or your new favorite thing since the last time you listened to Big Star. —SH-S

Best New Songs of the Week