songs of the week

7 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.

Lana Del Rey, “Mariners Apartment Complex”
Lana is back! Although it’ll be difficult to recall her ever leaving. Lana breaks ground on a new project as quickly as her last one gets a release, which means, in seven years, she’s put out five albums. Last year’s Lust for Life is barely a year old but already her next Jack Antonoff–produced record is nearing completion. “Mariners Apartment Complex” is the first taste of what they’ve been cooking up and it is quintessential high-stakes Lana melodrama, cinematic to its core. She’s got a string section, acoustic guitar, and layered spoken word. I don’t have to tell you that she’s singing about love and loss; it’s a romantic epic set at sea where Lana’s supposed to be both the bad guy and the hero. The vocal delivery won’t be to everyone’s taste — when hasn’t Lana been polarizing? — but there are inflections of Joni and Leonard peeking through, and Antonoff sounds more like Lana challenged him to make her a score rather than a song to work off of. All in all, it works beautifully. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Joey Purp, “Paint Thinner”
The Chicago rapper Joey Purp is something of a chameleon. At times, his voice (and the beats he’s rapping over) recall Blueprint-era Jay-Z, other times his voice skews toward something sharper and angrier, and that’s the version of Purp that appears on “Paint Thinner,” a track that appears in the very middle of his very good new album Quarterthing. Joey Purp runs through a number of different flows, speeding up, slowing down, letting his voice stretch and roll before speeding up and going choppy. Weirdly, it never comes off as showy, but it’s clear it’s great rap music. —Sam Hockley-Smith (@shockleysmith)

MØ, “Way Down”
MØ truly knows her way around an earworm. I don’t even drink or do drugs, but when she sings “I just want to get fucked up with my baby” on her new song “Way Down,” I start thinking, Damn, me too! You know you’re vibing on a pop song when its chorus makes you question your foundational life choices as you tap your feet and sway back and forth! —Jordan Crucchiola (@jorcru)

Majid Jordan, “All Over You”
Majid Jordan, who you may know as that R&B-lite duo signed to Drake’s label, make music that I can only best describe as vibe-y. Don’t ask me which vibe, you just know it when you hear it that the mood has been set. Candles are lit, mollys are popped, and expensive lingerie has been purchased. Majid Jordan make nightcap music for fake-sophisticated sexy people. The kind who brag about the thread count on the sheets they’re about to sully, Instagram Live nights out at the club, and rent Lambos in Miami for the clout. There’s nothing morally wrong with these people — live your best not-real life — just like there’s nothing wrong with making tunes that simulate that mood. All that said, I mostly just like “All Over You” because it sounds like the 2018 version of Montell Jordan’s biggest hits but also like it could’ve played over the Save the Last Dance credits. That is my highest compliment! –DL

Kelly Moran, “Helix”
When I first moved to New York, in ancient pre-recession times, I would come home from work and feel exhausted by the constant stimuli, and the only thing that made sense was to lay on my bed, stare at a ceiling fan I was pretty sure would soon fall on my face, and listen to whatever music I could think of that seemed calm. I wish I had Kelly Moran’s “Helix” then, because it is basically aural wind chimes. But I don’t want to shunt Moran into the easy-listening New Age corner, nor do I want to say this song is fully in the stuffy modern classical world. Instead, this track builds an entire buzzing world of organic human emotion that sounds vital and surprising for its entire run time. —SH-S

Amber Mark ft. DRAM, “Put You On”
So many new artists crop up and rarely can I place where they’re from. Such is the side effect of this borderless internet generation of musicians. But Amber Mark is so New York City, even though the R&B newcomer had a nomadic upbringing. Not all of her music feels New York, but “Put You On,” with DRAM, sounds like summer on my block in Harlem, when the fire hydrants get cracked open, everyone’s ACs (if you have one) are whirring and raining on passersby, and old city throwback jams ring out from car stereos and stoop guys’ speakers throughout the streets. Mark rap-sings of coming back home feeling slightly changed by sudden small-time fame — “Shit, you might not recognize me dripping in these diamonds and wrapped all in this Gucci” — but still grounded and filled with comfort in her hood. It’s a love letter to the city that’s framed as her trying to reconnect with a dude from her past whom she always saw a future with, life just had to happen before they could. DRAM represents him, which means she’s got a Virginia guy singing about Harlem and Bed-Stuy with that same fondness, and it’s all very cute and warmly nostalgic. —DL

Wiki, “In the Park”
Anytime you read anything about Wiki, you’re almost guaranteed to read at least one line about how he’s able to bottle up the very essence of New York City in every song (I’m guilty of doing this). It’s worth repeating because it’s true: his voice is harsh, and often ragged, and his lyrics are tangled, dense, and evocative. So when the guy releases a song called “In the Park,” you can be sure that it’s not really about some bucolic suburban park, but instead a snapshot of a New York park, which is basically like its own little village, populated with recurring characters, weird situations, and the occasional shady dealing too. —SH-S

Best New Songs of the Week