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.

Brockhampton, “1999 Wildfire”
“1999 Wildfire” feels like a departure for Brockhampton, which is a weird thing to type, since the art collective/rap crew that has pitched itself as a boy band has been all over the map since its inception. Unlike most of the group’s previous singles, “1999 Wildfire” is largely subdued, and less joyfully manic. It also features an extended verse from Joba — the Brockhampton member who sounds like he has been listening to Bone Thugs-n-Harmony nonstop since he was born — about a village, magic, and shillings. In other words, he makes old-timey rap (previously the domain of Canadian underground rappers) a viable thing, which is no small feat. Sam Hockley-Smith (@shockleysmith)

Years & Years, “All for You”
Justin Timberlake is out here dropping loosies in a play for song of summer, but if you’re not listening to the new Years & Years album Palo Santo, do you even love summer at all? After leading with the outstanding pair of “Sanctify” and “If You’re Over Me,” it seems clear that the next thumping single from Olly Alexander and company needs to be “All for You.” It’s a song that you’ll hit replay on a few seconds before it can even end, a song you’ll dance to during hot sticky vacation days and cool rooftop nights. Can we just keep #20GayTeen running clear until 2020? — Jordan Crucchiola (@jorcru)

Interpol, “The Rover”
If you, like me, are familiar with the actor Ebon Moss-Bachrach because of Desi Harperin, the man-child masquerading as a True Artist he played on Girls, it will be impossible to imagine that his role in this video for Interpol’s new single “The Rover” is not a spiritual continuation of that character’s arc. Sonically, “The Rover” is a logical evolution for a band like Interpol — it’s undeniably them, but they’ve beefed up their sound in a way that makes it sound like it’s designed for stadiums (not that Interpol have not always had their sights set on stadiums — it’s just that, before, their music ended up in them; now that they’re in them, they’re playing to them). The video follows twin narratives: The band heads to a press conference in Mexico City, and Moss-Bachrach essentially parties as much as humanly possible in the same amount of time. You will not be surprised to learn that their narratives converge in an embarrassingly public spectacle that feels very “Desi.” –SH-S

JPEGMAFIA, “Millennium Freestyle”
JPEGMAFIA is a fountain of eloquence, in his jarring music and in interviews. (“Appropriation is a strong tool. White people have used it to excellent effect.”) But the noise rapper also thrives on revamping the melody and language of others, like on “Millennium Freestyle,” where he struts on an Auto-Tuned version of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” Earlier in the song, he reworks Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo,” turning a chorus of flirtation and viral challenge into something a little harder: “Girl you should know that I got a pound on me / time on probation so they gonna violate me.” “Millennium Freestyle” feels at first like JPEG flipping through some of his favorite pages of the late-’90s karaoke book, but then we catch an ugly soundbite butting its head in: “The answer is you’re not black, so drop the racism crap.” It’s Ann Coulter, telling a young man from Honduras that the experience of Central American migrants doesn’t clear her definition of oppression. That proximity of entertainment and racism is a mission statement of JPEGMAFIA’s work — that in America, it won’t take long for a moment of joy to get its legs cut out by some nasty extract of white supremacy. —Matt Stieb (@MatthewStieb)

Buddy ft. Khalid, “Trippin’”
It used to be that songs of summer were upbeat, cheerful, and safe. Trap, as both a genre and lifestyle, opposes that formula. Nowadays, summer anthems tend to be more sedated, coating that carefree attitude with the haze of a Xanny fog. Which brings us to “Trippin’” from Compton rapper Buddy, a song about nothing more than distracting and deceiving the mind with acid — a trip, as its title doesn’t bother to hide. There are references to Coachella, psychedelics, and Migos. It feels overwhelmingly of this specific cultural moment in time, when self-medicating with potent hallucinogens feels like more useful escapism than trying to mask our painful reality with a happy tune. “Trippin’” is exactly what this reprehensible summer deserves. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Wiki ft. Your Old Droog, “Litt 15”
In 2016, Complex uploaded a “Complex City Cypher” video featuring New York rappers A$AP Ferg, Your Old Droog, and Wiki rapping over an instrumental from jazz musician Christian Scott and his band. The highlight of the entire thing is Wiki’s verse, which finds him reminiscing about riding the subway in New York — it’s a touching moment that presents the confines of a train car as the vehicle for growing up and pivotal life experience. When Wiki is able to write about New York — he doesn’t romanticize it so much as completely and effortlessly embody it — he is at his best. On “Litt 15” he does just that, paired with quick cuts of grainy footage of the city that act as a shorthand for living here: a flash of a subway car, a quick pan down a building. It’ll make you miss the city even if you currently exist in it. —SH-S

Tanukichan, “Natural”
Shoegaze in July — what’s not to like? This two-minute cut from Oakland’s Hannah van Loon sounds like Beach House, if Victoria Legrand was banned at an early age from touching a synth. Van Loon is in and out with a few high-summer couplets — “kiss you tonight / it’s natural delight” — before giving way to a bending guitar solo catered to windows-down driving. On the cover of Sundays, the debut Tanukichan full-length out Friday, she lays over the hood of a nondescript grey sedan, stressed, with chin in hand, buying into the classic shoegaze promise of fuzzy bliss on the outside, and panic on the inside. With this record on, it’ll be a season of Sunday scaries over the work still left to do, no Lord’s day relaxation of brunches and pools to be found. —MS

Night Shop, “The One I Love”
For years now, Justin Sullivan has been a crucial collaborator for the musician Kevin Morby, who, after playing in the bands Woods and Babies, struck out on his own to create reverent, sun-blasted psych-folk with an unsettled edge. Listening to “The One I Love,” you can hear how integral Sullivan was to forming Morby’s sound. The track is subdued and conversational, like a lost Los Angeles rock classic that you’ve got some vague memory of hearing before. —SH-S

Best New Songs of the Week