Best Songs We Heard This Week: Grace Potter, FKA twigs, City and Colour & More
Happy #NewMusicFriday! This week brings a fresh batch of ear candy on the new, internationally-agreed-upon global release date — but before we sift through that rich bounty, let's take time to spotlight nine tracks the PopCrush Staff had on repeat in the last seven days.
Dig into this week’s round-up from our editors (in no particular order), and add your favorites to your weekend playlist. Speaking of playlists, Apple Music users now have another way to connect with PopCrush — you can stay up to date with all of our mixes here.
And now, on to your new favorite songs...
Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique, “Tell You (Today)”
I’ve always been furious about the fact that I was born too late to thrive in the golden-era disco scene, since I would’ve been so good at it (love the music, enjoy bacchanalian debauchery, look great in forgiving polyester outfits). When I listen to this song I’m transported — and that’s the artists’ intent, as the track is a cover of Loose Joints’ vintage stomper. Robyn's collaborative Love Is Free EP with keyboardist Markus Jägerstedt and the late Christian Falk is just wall-to-wall jams, and this remake features some of the most transcendent whistle-work I’ve heard in years (sorry, Hilary). - Samantha Vincenty
Grace Potter, "Hot To The Touch"
Grace Potter’s new album, Midnight, is a concerted step away from the Nocturnals’ folksy stadium rock and toward a pop paradigm—nowhere is the shift more evident than “Hot to the Touch.” The brazen, sexy tune is the best of Potter’s showy guitar and gravelly tone, but one that could—for the first time—earn her entry into Ryan Seacrest’s regular rotation. - Matthew Scott Donnelly
Ivy Levan, "27 Club"
Ivy Levan’s smoky, powerhouse vocals pair well with the overt doo-wop influence on “27 Club.” And while there’s no official definition for her self-ascribed “swamp-hop” sound, we imagine it’s music that’s equal parts dirty, dark and catchy — something her 2015 debut album No Good is loaded with. Levan teamed up with Diplo for the track, though with none of his signature electronica sound present, you wouldn’t know it. It’s an ode to those long-idolized icons of music’s most exclusive, tragic club — the one where its members (Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, etc.) all died at the age of 27. When Levan declares with a wink, “Everybody’s gonna know me when I die / So I don’t give a damn if I survive,” it sounds like a manifesto. - Ali Szubiak
Lana Del Rey, "High By The Beach"
All Lana wants to do is get high by the beach, and no one — not even an overly eager paparazzo — is going to stop her. (Surely you've seen what she can do with a cartoonishly large gun by now?) "High" is a bit one-note, yet strangely hypnotic, just like everything Lana's ever done. She's had a lot of drama with her bad baby, but it's refreshing to hear she can do just fine on her own. - Bradley Stern
Half Moon Run, "Trust"
Canadian indie rock band Half Moon Run delve into electro pop territory for their first single since last year's folk-leaning Dark Eyes album. The quartet packs a lot of harmony (and a lot of angst) into the track, and if this new sound indicates a full-on lane shift for the band I'm all for it. - Samantha Vincenty
City and Colour’s latest single continues to move firmly away from Dallas Green's acoustic-driven solo work of years past, recalling more mid-tempo, rock-driven tracks like 2011’s “Fragile Bird." With its staccato guitar licks and heavy blues-inflection, “Wasted Love” has a more urgent feel than we’re used to from City and Colour, sounding like something straight out of a Bond movie. Maybe they should’ve let Green write the Spectre theme song. - Ali Szubiak
iLL BLU, "Lonely People" ft. James Morrison
Jess Glynne has done it for Clean Bandit. Sam Smith has done it for Disclosure. But when English soul singer James Morrison lends his voice to iLL BLU’s dance track, “Lonely People,” it seems, somehow, inventive. His first three albums have centered exclusively on bluesy pop, but another trip to the club might be worth his time. - Matthew Scott Donnelly
FKA twigs, "figure 8"
FKA twigs unceremoniously dropped her long-awaited third EP M3LL155X yesterday afternoon, conveniently packaging the 5-track set into one captivatingly odd visual. "Figure 8" kicks off the collection, supplying creepy, trickling shivers as twigs pays tribute to both the vogue legends of the ball scene and her newfound femininity. (The EP as a whole is about embracing her "personal female energy.") The sonic shape-shifter isn't for everyone, but her dissectible audio is nothing if not intriguing — and packed with meaning. - Bradley Stern
Night Terrors of 1927, "Always Take You Back"
This track’s actually been out for a while now, but it’s worth a revisit. Since their days with Rilo Kiley and The Honorary Title, band members Blake Sennett and Jarrod Gorbel, respectively, have always had a knack for turning pleading expressions of longing and desperation into pop hits with mass appeal. With his raw, brooding vocals propelled above an insistent, percussive beat, Gorbel yearns for a long-ago love, declaring with tender honesty, “I’ll always, always take you back.” It’s that second “always” that really underlines the agony here — there’s always that one person, right? - Ali Szubiak