9 BEST NEW SONGS OF THE WEEK
Every week, members of the Vulture staff highlight the best new music of 2015. 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 2015 Playlist for a comprehensive guide to the year's best music.
- •Justin Bieber, “What Do You Mean?"2015 Bieber is so sweetly sad. This was already apparent from his great, wrenching Skrillex-and-Diplo collab “Where Are Ü Now,” but now, after his tearstained VMA performance this weekend, we have the meme to prove it. His new single “What Do You Mean?” is also quintessential Sad Bieber — he sings it as though he’s muttering into his shoelaces rather than into the eyes of the girl who’s confusing him so, and yet it still somehow works as a slice of beautifully breezy, late-summer pop.
- •Car Seat Headrest, “Something Soon”Car Seat Headrest is the sometimes–full band, sometimes–solo project from Virginia lo-fi rocker Will Toledo. Although he’s only 22, he’s already put out 11 (yes, 11) albums through Bandcamp, and his devoted cult audience has eaten them right up. This stomping song is the first single from his forthcoming Matador Records debut, Teens of Style (out on October 30), and it’s a fitting introduction to his weird, slightly macabre world.
- •Alessia Cara, “Seventeen”Rising R&B-pop star (and Vulture favorite) Alessia Cara wasn’t the first person to think of the antisocial pop anthem, but that doesn’t make “Here” any less classic. The same adage applies to Cara’s “Seventeen,” an obvious follow-up that leads off her solid new Four Pink Walls EP: The ode to youth is as common a pop trope as it gets. Even with its obvious tricks (the hand-clap beat, the sing-along vocal run, the warnings against fame’s perils), “Seventeen” simply sounds like a hit.
- •Miley Cyrus feat. the Flaming Lips, "Something About Space Dude”“Something About Space Dude” is a gorgeous, understated fantasia that recalls some of the Lips' more romantic work during the Yoshimi era. It’s no “Party in the USA” or “Do You Realize,” but it’s a treat.
- •Empress Of, "Hot N Cold"You can hate on Katy Perry all you want, but there's no denying she's responsible for some of the greatest songs of the decade. In the lead-up to Empress Of's debut album, the young Grimes in the making has covered one of Katy's older gems, the synth-heavy "Hot N Cold," for Rookie's theme song this month. Unbelievably, the magazine says it's the first cover she's ever recorded.
- •Kacy Hill, "Foreign Fields"Admit it, you thought Kacy Hill's career was DOA, too. The 21-year-old signed with Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music late last year, and then was never heard from again ... until a few days ago. Now she's back with "Foreign Fields," an airy cut from her forthcoming EP that she made after Rick Rubin introduced her to Zane Lowe fave Jack Garratt. This song's all over the place: It builds in texture as it unfolds, blasting a rush of bass on top of splashes of synth on top of a piano arrangement.
- •Little Mix, "Hair"Fans will insist "Hair" is a Zayn diss track — with lines like, "Cause he was just a dick and I knew it," who can blame them? — and it's possible that's true. Whichever lame ex the song's about, it really doesn't matter. "Hair" is somewhat of a risky single to send to pop radio in that its hook includes a steel-drum breakdown, but it works! Little Mix have a banger on their hands, and if I were Fifth Harmony, I'd get to work on that sophomore album, ASAP.
- •Rick Ross feat. The-Dream, “Money Dance”Ricky! The-Dream! Together! Thank you, September. Thank you, pears. Thank you, racks and bands and stacks of money that I do not have but enjoy thinking about when I put items in my Amazon shopping cart. Yasssssss. (This song was produced by Jake One. Rick Ross, king of pink wine, has a new album out on Thursday titled Black Dollar.)
- •The Weeknd, "In the Night"There will never be another Michael Jackson, try as any hologram might to resurrect him. It's a blessing, then, that we have dudes like the Weeknd to bank on his legacy with songs like "Can't Feel My Face" and, even more so, "In the Night." Both songs were produced by pop genius Max Martin, and for the latter, the Weeknd borrows from MJ's "The Way You Make Me Feel" for the song's underlying melody.