songs of the week

8 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.

The Carters, “Salud!”
Everything Is Love is a satisfying snapshot of the Carter family post-flux. After Jay’s cheating and Beyoncé’s forgiveness, it almost sounds like a musical press release: “We’re good — stop bullying Jay-Z with those memes — Kanye? I don’t know her,” they seem to say. “Salud!” is The Carters’ Tidal-exclusive non-album single, a punctuation mark to their album. The whole project suggests that everything the Carters are making — their music and their marriage — are important enough and worthy enough to exist alongside (and sometimes in front of) the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. But “Salud!” points to something Craig articulated really clearly in Vulture’s review: More than anything else, “the message isn’t ‘Y’all could never do this.’ It’s that against all odds, two of us just did.” “Salud!” doesn’t do anything spectacular, but it’s a victory lap that restates Everything Is Love’s thesis, a steady reminder that through everything else, the Carters remain. —Hunter Harris (@hunteryharris)

Christina Aguilera, “Sick of Sittin’”
We don’t talk enough about how wildly experimental Christina Aguilera’s career has been from the jump. She’s the kind of artist who possesses the rare range to semi-successfully oscillate from Disney songs to robo-pop to bubblegum pop to Latin pop to R&B to jazz to doo-wop all in the span of two decades. Yes, she’s been guilty of playing to trends in recent years, if only so she can mold, stretch, and wear them out. (I maintain that Bionic was a Europop gem we’d think twice of had, say, Robyn made it.) Her very good new album, Liberation, doesn’t give a damn about structure, genre, or much of anything. “Sick of Sittin’” is practically a funk jam band joint, produced by none other than Anderson .Paak, that samples Janne Schaffer’s “No Registration.” It’s a bit buckwild: Xtina is at that age and point in her career where being giving limitations isn’t just inconvenient, it’s belittling. Much of the song is a reference to feeling caged as judge on The Voice, but it’s more a general feeling that if anyone in this industry is owed freedom, it’s her. “I survived the dark ages / But the former trailblazer took out the knife and cut ties / I’m just fine,” she sings. And for the first time in a long time, I believe her. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Father John Misty, “God’s Favorite Customer”
Father John Misty was so good at being a troll that it was easy to forget that the guy could write some really great songs. For the title track to his new album, God’s Favorite Customer, an album that was accompanied by no insane interviews and no overly ambitious concepts, he gets down to the business of solid songwriting. It’s tempting to call this one “timeless,” but that really just means he’s nailed a ’70s vibe that sounds like one endless comedown. —Sam Hockley-Smith (@shockleysmith)

Jay Rock ft. Jeremih, “Tap Out”
There are so many songs on TDE member Jay Rock’s rap album of the year contender, Redemption, that I could point to for top-level bars. Like, the rest of the album. That said, it is summer, I’m dripping in sweat, and feeling thotty. “Tap Out” is the complementary mood for that. Let’s not get deep here: This is a song about drinking too much, smoking too much, and fucking too much; it’s excess as a lifestyle, with trunk-rattling bass supplied by Top Dawg himself. And so, yes, I will be partying – among … other things – to it all season. –DL

Melody’s Echo Chamber, “Visions of Someone Special, on a Wall of Reflections”
It’s a good week for francophiles: the national squad enjoys a solid 15/2 gambler’s odds of pulling in the World Cup for the first time in 20 years, the team is extremely hot, and Mirazur on the riviera was named the third best restaurant in the world. Oh, and there’s new work from French psych-pop singer Melody Prochet, her first record after an undisclosed “serious accident” left her with broken vertebrae and a brain aneurysm. She’s downplayed the incident – her only public statement is that it “broke a life pattern that didn’t work for me” – and has blown out her sound on Bon Voyage, with long, psychic cuts that seem to encompass three songs in one. “Visions of Someone Special, on a Wall of Reflections” is all over the place – minor hooks, soft breakbeats, instrumental strings, a mouthful of a title – and somehow, she manages to land it all. Maybe it’s the nod to Serge Gainsbourg that unites the number. Listening to the strings, the guitar crunch, and the strolling bassline, it’s hard not to think of the creepily-desired subject of Gainsbourg’s best known work, with whom Melody shares a name. –Matt Stieb (@MatthewStieb)

SOPHIE, “Immaterial”
Pop queen SOPHIE has existed for what feels like so long now, it’s kind of unbelievable to think her debut album, Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides has only just arrived. But it has taken SOPHIE awhile to live her truth and put it in song. Technically, “Immaterial” and a lot of this album has been around for months, performed live several times, but she’s only putting it out now because the feeling must be right. The title “Immaterial” probably sounds like it’s a play on the Madonna classic, and you could read it that way from the repeated lyric “Immaterial girls, immaterial boys,” but they’re worlds apart. SOPHIE’s version departs from the material world to exist somewhere where existence is undefined, where boundaries and constructs are blurred, if not invisible. “With no name and with no type of story, where do I live? Tell me, where do I exist?” she wonders. But she already knows the answer: “I can be anything I want, anyhow, any place, anywhere, anyone, any shape, any way, anything.” It’s the kind of explosive dance song that’ll leave you choked up in the middle of the club. Which is to say, it’s the best kind of pop music. –DL

Wax Chattels, “It”
Guess what? The world is bad and everyone is anxious about it. It’s pervasive. So pervasive, in fact, that it worms its way into everything.
If you spend any amount of time on the internet, or, you know, in the actual world, it’s an unavoidable fact and it seeps into everything. So, “It,” a song by the New Zealand band Wax Chattels, unsurprisingly sounds like constant, just about to boil over anxiety. That I’ve listened to it ten times in a row today alone is kind of the point. Sometimes you want to escape from bad feelings, other times you want to lean into them. –SH-S

King Princess, “Upper West Side”
Any chance to revel in a spiritual successor to Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” I’ll happily take. King Princess’s “Upper West Side,” off her impressive new EP, is an ode to the ones we hate to love. She describes a coked-up Upper West Side princess (just “another bitch”) whom she can’t stop judging for all her vanity and pretentiousness, but whom she’s also totally smitten with. We’ve all been there. There’s always that one person (or more) who’ll enter our lives and get under our skin because they also make it crawl, in a good way. The one you swore you’d never entertain even for a second, then you give them hours. Good thing this song’s written about the past; Mikaela Straus has already gotten the feeling out of her system, left the bitch behind, but it’s a crappy memory that’ll stick with her for a little while – if only so she’ll never make the same mistake again. –DL

Best New Songs of the Week