The 8 Best New Songs of the Week: Drake, Radiohead, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, and More
Looking for new tunes? We’ve got you covered.
So much new music is released each week that it’s impossible to hear it all. Not that you’d want to; a lot of it isn’t so hot. But let us help simplify your search for new sounds with a roundup of the week’s 8 best new songs. Trust us. We have good taste. (And check out last week’s collection if your hunger has still not been sated.)
NOTE: Drake’s Views remains an iTunes and Apple Music exclusive, so if you would like to listen to the songs we mention below, you’re going to have to submit to the Apple gods.
Drake – “Controlla”
The evidence of a fire song lies in a gratuitous air horn blow somewhere within the track. Drake gives his own mix three toots, and I happen to agree with this breezy summer hit from Views. It’s a great transition track into the album for fans of “One Dance” who are here to wine with his more melodic beats, plus it features a visit from Beanie Man at the very end, so make sure to listen all the way through for a treat. – Mia
Radiohead – “Burn the Witch”
Radiohead’s first single from their upcoming ninth album — their first since 2011’s polarizing The King of Limbs — is the most immediate and accessible song produced by the band or any of the members’ side projects since at least 2007’s masterpiece In Rainbows. It’s good to have these legends back. Over strings that start out buoyant and joyful — initially they recall Kate Bush’s “The Hounds of Love” and Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” — but quickly become ominous and dread-inducing, Thom Yorke spins a tale of modern paranoia that fits in well among the band’s catalog. The claymation video is similarly disturbing (but stunning). – Matt
Calvin Harris x Rihanna – “This Is What You Came For”
I called this song The Song of the Summer (despite the fact that it’s not yet summertime), and I still think it has a spot in the running for a couple reasons, one being that the beat is just so infectious, everytime I play it I immediately put it on repeat. I also think they’re great collaborators, with her amazing voice paired with his consistently dance-worthy sound. It’s definitley going to have a spot on my playlist for a long while, accompanying both on my commute and the summer days at the beach. – Kaitlyn
Given all the legal turmoil that Kesha has gone through in the past year, it’s great to finally hear her voice again and know that she’s putting out music she’s proud of. This version of Zedd’s “True Colors” is actually a departure from the singer’s past poppier hits, bringing a surprisingly moody element to the song that’s both exciting and refreshing to hear. – Gabi
Mitski – “Happy”
“Your Best American Girl,” the first single from Mitski’s forthcoming Puberty 2, was like a sister track to Bury Me at Makeout Creek’s “First Love / Late Spring,” all soaring melody, swelling crescendo, noise swallowing life. Her new single, “Happy” is sparer, harsher, and more abrasive. Over a drum machine beat that sounds like the breakdown we know is coming, Mitski recounts a visit from Happy, both a feeling and a man, neither of which, it seems, plans to stay long. It’s the least happy song about happiness you’ll hear in 2016, but also probably the best. – Matt
Alicia Keys – “In Common”
This is not your ordinary Alicia Keys song. Gone is the piano, as she ushers in a Justin Bieber breezy dance vibe. “In Common” sets aside her powerful vocals for a much more quieter vocal this time around. She sings, “We got way too much in common if I’m being honest with you. If you could love somebody like me, you must be messed up too.” Ain’t that the truth. If you like Justin Bieber’s latest album, you’re going to love this song. – Michael
Drake – “Weston Road Flows”
As someone — like Drake — who was raised in Toronto, I too will always have a special place in my heart for the 6. When I cracked open Views, particularly “Weston Road Flows,” I was almost immediately caught up in a hurricane of nostalgia and homesickness. Not only do Torontonian references like the TTC and the Screwface Capital get me a little teary-eyed with some sort of swelling pride, but the throwback sampling Mary J. Blige’s “Mary’s Joint” just transports me back to my own upbringing in T-Dot during the ‘90s. BRB booking my flight to Canada right now. In the words of Drizzy, “Just hold on we’re going home.” - Gabi
Marissa Nadler – “Katie I Know”
“Katie I Know,” the third song taken from Marissa Nadler’s forthcoming Strangers, continues to make the argument that the album has the potential to be one of the best of the year. If you’re looking for something orchestral, dreamy, haunting, and flat-out gorgeous, this is the song (and likely the album) for you. – Matt
Come back next week (and not a moment before then! JK!) for another batch of fresh music.