Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Summer Walker, SZA, and Cardi B heat things up with an extended version of “No Love.”
We still have a ways to go before Season 2 of Hot Vaxxed Summer is officially here, but it’s never too early to start planning. Summer Walker, SZA, and Cardi B are thankfully here to provide some inspo and light the path in the meantime with their simmering new extended version of Walker’s “No Love.”
The original version of the song, which also features SZA, has already proven itself to be a hit, racking up more than 70 million streams on Spotify alone. The extended track now features a more rare moment of singing from Cardi B as a lead-in to her new verse, and all the new additions expand the song to nearly five minutes.
Often, collaborations like this feel like an easy grab for streams and views, but no one feels like they phoned it in here. The accompanying music video also features some striking visuals and sultry choreography — give us Summer Walker laying in a bed of roses! Give us a dreamy tennis match!
Thematically, the track still revolves around the ladies giving us a checklist of wants and needs: Yes to hopping planes, drinking, and being free of attachments. Still a no to love. Write it down, study it, memorize it, and let Summer, SZA, and Cardi lead the way.
— Mary Siroky
Jensen McRae – “Machines”
In 2021, Jensen McRae burst onto the music scene with a Phoebe Bridgers parody song that takes place at a vaccine site. The single went viral on Twitter, and eventually garnered attention from Bridgers herself. Shortly after, McRae put out an EP called Who Hurt You? followed by her newest release, a studio-length album called Are You Happy Now?
Are You Happy Now? revisits McRae’s funny, tongue-in-cheek tone, while remaining true to serious themes, such as trauma, abuse, and grief. In the song “Machines,” her skills effortlessly culminate with oddly specific lines like “my brother has basketball practice” that work in beautiful, haunting tandem with gut-punching lines such as “I can’t sleep this one off,” all encased in a haunting, raspy melody. — Aurora Amidon
Christina Perri – “evergone”
Christina Perri’s first studio single in eight years carries a special weight to it. It is about her infant daughter Rosie, who died in November of 2020.
Last year, Perri released a lullaby album called songs for rosie, but now she is putting clearer words to her loss. The melodic tune, which is somber yet hopeful, emphasizes the importance of keeping a person’s memory alive, centering around a chorus that repeats “no one is ever gone.”
Perri believes that it’s important to talk about grief. Regarding Rosie’s death, she explained that the track “is so much more than another release. It is a story about grief and loss and choosing to believe the person you lost isn’t really gone. Writing this song helped me heal from the recent loss of my daughter, Rosie. I hope my words help others through their own grief and healing.” — A.A.
NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS – “lava”
Gabi Gotts, Perrin Xthona, and Tammy Gonzalez are just “a couple sad bitches in a bad bitch world,” which is perhaps just a little too relatable. Thankfully, the revelation is wrapped up in an indisputable bop, the group’s latest ahead of their debut EP, due in May. “I swear I don’t want to be famous,” comes the introductory line to a track revolving around the anxieties and pressures of never wanting to make a mistake, God forbid a public one. If this pulsing, electric beat and earworm chorus of “lava” is the listener’s first introduction to the group, it’s a good one. — M.S.
Seori – “Can’t Stop This Party”
It’s a bait-and-switch title from Seori, whose latest is a dreamy — but indisputably gloomy — offering. The all-English track from the South Korean singer-songwriter speaks from the perspective of someone who is untethered, floating in the ether — there are multiple lines referencing feeling like being on another planet or stranded in outer space. It’s almost reminiscent of early Billie Eilish, with breathy vocals, glitchy production, and the need to hit the replay button. — M.S.
Adia Victoria — “Ain’t Killed Me Yet”
Never count Adia Victoria out. That’s the lesson the singer’s imparting on her swaggering new single; on the follow-up to 2021’s A Southern Gothic, the singer quietly tosses off a stark and unblinking confession about her ability to keep up with the best of them when it comes to embracing her vices. “So pour me one last drink/ And give me one last smoke/ And let the jukebox play ‘til we both go broke/ Know it’s a hard way of livin’, but the livin’ ain’t killed me yet,” she coos on the chorus, and by the time she effortlessly repeats the admission, the listener’s just about been lured into joining her. — Glenn Rowley
Camp Cope – “Jealous”
Just prior to the release of their third album, Australian trio Camp Cope have shared “Jealous,” a layered, anthemic tale of unrequited love. Frontwoman Georgia Maq stays reserved as she unapologetically places herself in the powerless situation of feeling stronger about someone than they do about you. Meanwhile, Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich’s bass, an established staple of Camp Cope’s sound, dominates as a melancholic melodic presence reminiscent of Lonesome Crowded West-era Modest Mouse.
“Jealous” reminds the listener of why they fell in love with the group’s excellent How to Socialize and Make Friends, and promises that Camp Cope has yet to run out of steam. –– Jonah Krueger
The Bobby Lees – “Hollywood Junkyard”
The Bobby Lees’ music, with its Sonic Youthian freakouts and barebones grit, is kind of like the best bad trip ever. It’s fitting, in that case, that the wonderfully cynical video for “Hollywood Junkyard” — which marks the band’s debut release on Ipecac Recordings — finds the four-piece getting drugged by their manager. The song is angry, angular, and finds the band ready to burn the building down if they don’t get their way.
Ipecac Recordings houses bands like Melvins and is run by Mike Patton of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle. Reportedly, the label became aware of The Bobby Lees thanks to “A&R guy” Henry Rollins (who, I guess, has one or two side projects?). The pairing seems ideal for the group. “The label is run by honest, no bullshit people,” the band stated in a recent press release. Which is good, because with their exhilarating live show and ever-refined sound, The Bobby Lees are anything but bullshit. — J.K.
Wednesday – “Feast of Snakes”
“Feast of Snakes” is one of those non-album tracks destined to carve out a cult following within the Wednesday fanbase. Released for Secretly Canadian’s 25th-anniversary series, the song’s strong tone, eclectic instrumentation, and ear-catching vocal performance place it among Wednesday’s best.
Frontwoman Karly Hartzman admitted to stealing the chords to “Feast of Snakes” from a Jason Molina tune — and it’s incredibly welcome. Contrasting with the shoegazy, mouthwatering guitar tones found on 2021’s Twin Plagues and their recent covers LP, the song never hits the loud, bombastic crescendo one might expect. Instead, the banjo-backed “Feast of Snakes” revels in its darkness, content to offer no answers, no catharsis. Hartzman’s voice serves as the song’s build, as she cries “did it mean you didn’t love me/ Did it mean you never loved me?” as the song dies out. — J.K.
Louis the Child, Aluna – “Cry”
Aluna Francis of AlunaGeorge is no stranger to dance collaborations, from excellent tracks with Disclosure and SG Lewis to her new feature on production duo Louis the Child’s new track “Cry” — and, unsurprisingly, each time she hops on a producer’s track, it’s a hundred times more irresistible. Louis the Child have evolved heavily since their future bass-leaning origins, and with “Cry,” they pick up from where they left off on their 2021 banger, “So What (feat. A R I Z O N A).”
The inclusion of Aluna further cements their fascination with thumping, UK Garage-oriented club anthems, introducing the percussive romp of artists like Disclosure to the big room sensibilities of artists like Flume and Dillon Francis. With each evolution of Louis the Child, they become more developed and specific — and luckily, they’ll never stop making us dance. — Paolo Ragusa
Dehd – “Stars”
Chicago trio Dehd recently announced their fourth album Blue Skies, and along with the announcement, they shared a new single, the effervescent and freeing “Stars.” On “Stars,” Dehd sound refreshed and renewed, but they haven’t lost any of the melodic urgency that characterized 2020’s excellent Flower of Devotion. However, rather than the bedroom-oriented haze of their previous record, there’s a much more direct and immediate sound — especially when it comes to Jason Balla’s twangy, punk-adjacent vocals.
And instead of ending the song with a blistering explosion, Dehd slow it down to a meditative trot, exercising control and restraint, but simultaneously letting the phrase “my heart ain’t strong enough” have even more weight — almost giving the impression of failure and retreat. It’s a powerful and unique slice of the new era of Dehd, and one that promises to advance upon the striking shoegaze of Flower of Devotion but with a newfound immediacy. — P.R.
CRAVITY – “Adrenaline”
K-pop group CRAVITY launched in 2020 through Starship Entertainment, and they’re kicking things up a notch with their latest release, “Adrenaline.” It’s a perfect name for the high-energy track, an absurdly catchy explosion of energy and color. It’s a fresh and dynamic take from the relatively new group, and a song that shows a different side to the act. Many K-pop groups tend to come out of the gates with edgier concepts — CRAVITY was no exception — and this track makes the argument that brighter tracks like “Adrenaline” are absolutely where they excel. — M.S.
flipturn – “Playground”
Their first new release since their 2020 EP Something You Needed, flipturn’s new single “Playground” is an effortlessly cool bop tailor-made for summer. “Playground” is a joyous, carefree anthem that calls back to the fearlessness of childhood. As lead guitarist Tristan Duncan says, “There was beauty and invincibility to everything you did [in childhood]. The sun kissed your skin a little softer while the days ticked on forever.” — Rachael Crouch
Disclosure, Raye – “Waterfall”
Sibling electronic duo Disclosure is back with another smooth-rolling banger, this time with fellow English musician RAYE. “Waterfall” features glistening house synths, with RAYE’s distinctive vocals gliding atop the instrumental. The result is a vivid, glistening sonic texture. Prepare to hear this all over the dance floor this summer. — R.C.
FINNEAS – “Naked”
FINNEAS’ first release since his acclaimed debut, Optimist, shows that the Grammy-winning producer continues to blaze a trail all of his own, creating a sound wholly separated from the one he crafts with his sister. “Naked” is a confident, slow-burning track where FINNEAS leaves a good-for-nothing lover in the dust — with some help from his skyscraping, festival-ready electric guitar. — R.C.
Patricia Manion – “New Shoes Blues”
“New Shoes Blues,” which appears on Patricia Manion’s excellent new EP The Blues Loves Everybody, is a remarkable example of how rock and blues can sound in the modern age. Manion’s expertise as a songwriter is on display, and her heartfelt lyrics are rounded out by a passionate backing band. — Gab Ginsberg
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