The Five Best Songs Of This Week

We’ve had a short week, and we’re about to have another one – so there’s a weird kind of jet-lagged feeling in the air right now, stuck in that confusing space between work mode and weekend mode. As always, it’s been a stellar week for new music, and though it’s been dominated by the great Kendrick Lamar and his tremendous new release DAMN., we can’t forget about all the other fresh new tunes out this week. Here are five of our favourites.

#1 Paramore — Hard Times

Nostalgia in music is more prevalent than ever, with more and more artists coming back after lengthy breaks, giving contemporary music an indefinable, all-inclusive feel. This week, the Hayley Williams-fronted Paramore, who were at the top of the music game about 10 years ago, have returned with their first new music in four years.

‘Hard Times’ is a playful, tropics-inspired pop banger, timeless in the sense that it draws on sounds that would’ve felt just as new and relevant 10, 20, or probably even 30 years ago. It’s the first single from Paramore’s forthcoming album After Laughter, set for release on May 12.

#2 Lana Del Rey — Lust for Life’ Ft. The Weeknd

Following on from her recent single ‘Love’, the wispy enigma that is Lana Del Rey has now released the title track for her massively anticipated new album, Lust For Life. Having mastered a sound that is immediately recognisable and undeniably hers, Lana has once again released a feathery, wistful, seductive pop tune, marrying delicate, airy vocals with big, spacious percussion and sweeping chords.

She’s recruited Canadian crooner The Weeknd for the new track, and the gorgeous video clip features the pair arm in arm atop the Hollywood sign, overlooking a city with a gigantic moon and vivid starry sky behind.

#3 Perfume Genius — ‘Go Ahead’

Three years after his breakthrough album, the super talented Perfume Genius (AKA Mike Hadreas) has released his second new track this year. It’s rare that you find an artist who simultaneously sounds so unique and so perfectly on-trend, but Perfume Genius has once again managed to defy expectations.

‘Go Ahead’ is lush and emotional in spite of its overall minimalism. It’s brilliantly well-produced, with sparse layers of off-beat rhythms, plucky synths, watery percussion and warm vocal harmonies slowly creeping in, one a time, filling small sonic pockets to create an immersive and really fascinating soundscape.

#4 Bleachers — ‘Hate That You Know Me’ Ft. Carly Rae Jepsen

Jack Antonoff, AKA Bleachers, has also announced his first new album since 2014. Ahead of the release of Gone Now on June 2, we’ve been blessed with this spritely, understated pop number, featuring pop princess Carly Rae Jepsen.

It’s a cutesy coming-of-age romance track all about young love and getting to know your partner so well that you always know exactly what they’re thinking. Considering the attention Antonoff is receiving right now, having co-produced Lorde’s upcoming album in its entirety, it’s a wise move to strike while the iron’s hot with his own new tunes.

#5 Ásgeir — ‘Stardust’

Ahead of his new album Afterglow and an appearance at Splendour in the Grass, angel-voiced Icelandic artist Ásgeir has released the visuals for his new single ‘Stardust’. The chirpy track is lighter and more pop-centric than many of his songs, which tend toward serious, emotional depth.

The video is accordingly bright and colourful, paying homage to the ‘golden age’ of televised entertainment through a series of vintage-style scenes, including Ásgeir performing with a full band as if on a variety show, a family sitcom and synchronised swimming – but it grows more surreal, weird and wonderful throughout, so be sure to watch until the end.