The 7 Best New Songs of the Week: Bat for Lashes, Fergie, the ‘Hands’ Charity Single, and More

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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 seven best new songs. Trust us. We have good taste. (And check out last week’s collection if your hunger has still not been sated.)

Bat For Lashes – “Close Encounters”

Bat For Lashes’ concept album, The Bride, finally saw release last week, and as usual, Natasha Kahn (the woman behind the BFL moniker) has delivered with her unique vision. “Close Encounters” comes at the point in the album’s narrative in which our Bride, still mourning the death of her husband-to-be, “goes to the other side” with her “pale green light” of a lover to enjoy some supernatural sexin’. In other words: this is a song about boning a ghost. I, for one, think the world needs more songs on this topic. (Kesha probably agrees.) Musically, “Close Encounters” is perhaps the most melodically beautiful and bittersweet moment on the album, and that’s saying something. – Matt

Fergie – “M.I.L.F. $”

If a week ago you told me I’d be into a new Fergie song called “M.I.L.F. $”, I would’ve laughed in your face. However, despite all my attempts to hate this song, I found myself humming to the chorus even hours after watching the video only once. What can I say? It’s catchy AF. - Gabi

Wild Beasts – “Big Cat”

 

I have a friend who I jokingly, lovingly call Big Cat, even though he hates it. So yes, part of my joy over the release of “Big Cat,” the second single from Wild Beasts’ forthcoming Boy King, is that I now can sing “Big cat on top, better show me what you got / Big cat top of the food chain, big cat top of the food chain” whenever I see him. Fortunately (for you), “Big Cat” delivers as more than a personal novelty. Like Boy King’s first single, “Get My Bang,” “Big Cat” pushes Wild Beasts’ sound into funkier dance terrain, though it maintains a ferocious ominousness despite its listener-friendly hooks. – Matt

Demi Lovato – “Body Say”

For being a Demi Lovato song, it’s not her worst. Some of the lyrics in particular make me feel awkward and uncomfortable (particularly anytime she says “sex”), but like I said it’s not her worst, so good for you, Demi. – Kaitlyn

Maxwell – “Lake by the Ocean”

Not to be confused with “Cake By the Ocean” by Joe Jonas’s jam band DNCE, “Lake By the Ocean” is Maxwell intoxicating us with his signature cloud of soul, ’80s R&B, and falsetto. blackSUMMERS’night is a welcome return for the artist since his last album in 2009, and it’s just the antidote to keep us calm until Frank Ocean stops playing. – Mia

Various artists including Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Jason Derulo, Meghan Trainor, Juanes, Pink, Mary J. Blige, Selena Gomez and Britney Spears  – “Hands”

Based on the cause alone I have nothing but praise for “Hands.” Everyone from Britney Spears to Jennifer Lopez gives a solid vocal performance, and I can absolutely see this being performed at the next major award show. – Jelani

Ryan Hemsworth – “Wait” (Feat. Keaton Henson and Mitski)

My obsession with Mitski in the year 2016 is well-documented, so of course I was compelled to add this new collaboration to this week’s list without a second thought. But “Wait” is gorgeous independent of my Mitski love, though her involvement is, of course, a highlight. On “Wait,” Mitski and Keaton Henson sing together over Ryan Hemsworth’s dreamy, glitchy electronics and melancholy instrumentals, their voices melting into an increasingly complex alien soundscape. It’s beautiful, and there’s not much more to say than that. – Matt