5 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.

Courtney Barnett, “Crippling Self Doubt and a General Lack of Self Confidence”
Tell Me How You Really Feel, Courtney Barnett’s second full-length solo project, feels, in a lot of ways, like a necessary and natural progression from her endearingly loose debut, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Musically and lyrically, it’s more refined than Sometimes — the production sounds more polished, the instrumentation feels more precise, and her lyrics are less rambling — but without losing the edge and the sharp, comedic sense of introspection that we love about her. One of the highlights (there are several) is “Crippling Self Doubt and General Lack of Self Confidence” (a very Courtney Barnett title), a tight, two-minute and 48-second track, with biting lyrics and a simple but rousing chorus that is somehow both raucous and controlled at the same time. “I don’t know, I don’t know anything / I don’t owe, I don’t owe anything,” she repeats over a sea of guitars (including one played by Kim Deal), and backup vocals from both Kim and Kelley Deal. Play it loud and without headphones. The people below and next door will survive. —Corinna Burford (@coriburford)

Shawn Mendes, “Nervous”
Choosing one of Shawn Mendes’s new songs to highlight this week was a real nail-biter that came down to the wire. Do I go for the divine, John Mayer cosplaying slow-burn “Where Were You in the Morning?” or the flirty, inevitable summer smash “Nervous”? I chose the latter because it’s undeniable: an impossibly catchy, hormonal bop about the stages of having a crush on someone and having no clue how to act that could’ve soundtracked every teen flick in the aughts. Mendes is sweating, shaking, and making a fool of himself because, as we learned in Vulture’s new profile of the teen, he’s not as suave as his skyrocketing fame would make him seem. Mendes’s new album is an excellent attempt at playing the part of grown and sexy, but “Nervous” can’t hide his endearing, boyish youth. And it only makes him all the more irresistible. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, DJ Khaled, “Dinero”
One day the Lord will answer my prayers and Jennifer Lopez will return to being the ethnically ambiguous leading lady in the best romantic comedies of the early aughts. (Have you forgotten that she was supposed to be, like, Sicilian in The Wedding Planner, because I have not!) Until my nightly rosaries pay off, however, “Dinero” is a welcome distraction. Lopez tries her hand at an ultramodern club anthem, and, for me, it mostly works. The hook doesn’t totally deliver, but it’s the kind of song I slip into a pregame playlist after two tequila shots and dance around my apartment like I have a reasonable amount of disposable income! What’s more: When Cardi said “I got the box that got the most flavor / Big fat cat like in the bodegas,” I felt that. The bodega cat downstairs did, too. —Hunter Harris (@hunteryharris)

Anderson .Paak, “Bubblin’”
It’s not news that Anderson .Paak is a formidable talent. In the past, he’s perfected a sort of sun-dazed approach to his music. He tends to sound worn out by the world even when he’s celebrating what it has to offer. So it’s not especially common for him to make a song as energetic as “Bubblin,” which finds him rapping hoarsely over a frantic beat, at points modulating his voice to imitate Busta Rhymes in his prime. I can’t say I expected .Paak to go in this direction, but I’m happy he did. —Sam Hockley-Smith (@shockleysmith)

Pharrell and Camila Cabello, “Sangria Wine”
The battle to become this summer’s “Despacito” is officially on: After the stratospheric success of that Spanish-language hit, every other Latinx pop star wants in on the bilingual action. J.Lo has “Dinero,” Cardi has “I Like It” (and “Dinero,” too); now Camila Cabello has “Sangria Wine,” her second collaboration with Pharrell. The pair previously made “Havana” together (he co-wrote it), which was her first musical nod to her Cuban roots. “Sangria Wine” pays even further homage by having Camila sing partly in Spanish against an Afro-Latin groove that’s infused with all of Pharrell’s production signatures. It’s silly to think that there can only be one successor to “Despacito,” so I’m not about to pick favorites. Find me sipping frozen margaritas at day parties all summer long shaking my ass to all of it. –DL

Best New Songs of the Week