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Best Songs We Heard This Week: Miike Snow, Gallant, Foxes + More

Instagram: @jheneaiko / Atlantic / RCA
Instagram: @jheneaiko / Atlantic / RCA

Another Friday, another round of playlist-worthy songs for your selection.

This week, ahead of the Super Bowl (we’ve got you covered with a playlist for that, too!), we’re bringing you everything from a teary-eyed big pop ballad to a smooth and dreamy Motown-inspired duet.

Check out our picks for this New Music Friday, and for more, make sure to subscribe to us on Apple Music.

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Miike Snow, “I Feel The Weight”

On the heels of the spunky full-sprint “Genghis Khan” comes something so measured and arresting it could stop any listener in his tracks. From the forthcoming iii — the Swedish indie-pop group’s third LP — “I Feel The Weight” captivates as effortlessly as 2009’s “Sans Soleil,” and secretly snatches attention through even, pulsing tones, delicate bubble-wrap percussion and pockets of pure sonic bliss. So depressing it’s joyful; so jubilant it’s devastating, Miike Snow will make you smile through tears and urge you to question why. — Matthew Donnelly

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Foxes, “If You Leave Me Now”

Foxes’ new album, All I Need, is full of big, bright catchy pop records. Naturally, I’m smitten with one of the album’s biggest downers. “If You Leave Me Now,” penned with Jim Eliot, finds the singer in a painfully desperate state of mind, swept up in a sea of strings and a sad, striding piano melody. “Just answer me the question: Are you going to stay or go? / Oh, please don’t go / If you leave me now,” she quivers. Foxes never quite finishes that ominous thought, making it all the more crucial that you definitely not go. — Bradley Stern

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Allie X, “Old Habits Die Hard”

Anyone who’s ever been unable to let a toxic, co-dependent relationship die the fiery death it so often deserves should be able to relate to Allie X’s latest. The track is warmer than you might expect, with pulsating synths and an electric, kinetic energy that flows seamlessly from the Canadian singer’s polished vocal melody. It’s all a little too real when she sings, “Ooh, and the sugar turned bitter / Ooh, and the summer turned to winter / But I still want your love.” But we’ve all been there, right? — Ali Szubiak

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Gina Kushka, “Hurtproof”

Emotionally resonant electro songs are not easy to craft — it’s part of why LCD Soundsystem is so revered, and Sia is so well-paid — but South African-born, London-based Kushka gets it done on “Hurtproof.” It’s an anti-love song with soaring, intermittently-manipulated vocals buoyed by equally evocative, trap-adjacent production. Songs like this make falling down SoundCloud exploration rabbit holes worth it. – Samantha Vincenty

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The Chainsmokers feat. Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”

Consider itthe perfect storm of talent and timing: The Chainsmokers are currently killing it on the Billboard Hot 100 charts with “Roses,” which is why Daya — one of our 16 to Watch in ’16 — couldn’t have picked a better moment to supply her hypnotic, radio-ready vocals on a club-shaker with the “#Selfie” duo. The track begins moodily enough (almost The XX-ish, really!), but soon snaps into action with a tight, noisy drop. Like “Roses,” it’s an intriguingly moody blend of beats and atmosphere. And with any luck, the track will enjoy the very same success. — Bradley Stern

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Tori Kelly, “Something Beautiful”

A standout from the re-release of 2015’s Unbreakable Smile, the song plays like the rising of a finely groomed pop-Frankenstein: It’s got “Heard ‘Em Say” piano jangles, ping-ponging intonations straight from Justin Timberlake’s “Senorita” and a minor-to-major chorus progression that any early-aughts pop princess would dream of. And though it sort of sounds like Kelly’s first single, “Nobody Love,” played in reverse, there’s still a freshness — of course, she could sing a sampling of The Federalist Papers and still leave fans satisfied. — Matthew Donnelly

Gallant feat. Jhene Aiko, “Skipping Stones”

L.A. singer Gallant enjoyed a viral hit with 2015’s “Weight In Gold,” and he’s posed to do it again on his latest, in which fellow Angelino Jhene Aiko lends a vocal assist. Not that he needs it; while her icy-cool interlude is welcome, he comes out of the gate swinging with a jaw-dropping falsetto at the top of the track, and keeps things swoon-worthy for the duration of the dreamy Motown-influenced number. – Samantha Vincenty

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Tigertown, “Lonely Cities”

Kicking things off with low-key finger snaps, a buzzing bass line and soft vocals, Aussie outfit Tigertown’s “Lonely Cities” slowly builds before it hits the listener full-throttle with a chorus stacked with upbeat percussion and an indelible vocal melody. There’s just enough bubble and pep there to mask lead singer Charlie’s lament on the loneliness of long-distance love: “Is this how it’s gotta be? / Your love away from me.” And she’s not wrong — long-distance sucks, and it hardly ever works out, like the universe is playing one long, drawn-out practical joke on you before ultimately piercing you through the heart with a rusty, sharp dose of reality. But if the tragedy of perpetual pining (for something that likely has an end-date, no less) inspires a pop song this infectious, maybe the cruelty is worth it. — Ali Szubiak

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