Best Songs We Heard This Week: Maggie Rogers, BoA, Mitski + More
Happy Friday, PopCrush readers.
Today, as with every week, we've rounded up the best of the best releases of the week on this #NewMusicFriday.
Check out the PopCrush editorial staff's picks to fill out your weekend playlists — and for more, be sure to follow us on Apple Music.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Feasting on the Flowers”
The Red Hot Chili Peppers have failed to stand on solid sonic footing ever since parting ways with supreme-being and virtuoso guitar hero John Frusciante back in 2009. But where their 2011 release I’m With You was a disappointing attempt at reinvention, 2016’s The Getaway is far more successful. Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer steps out of Frusciante’s enormous shadow to offer his own nuanced, textured riffs, and no where is it more apparent than on standout track “Feasting on the Flowers.” Lead singer Anthony Kiedis is the most tolerable he’s been in years here, sacrificing the white-boy rapping that gave RHCP their edge in the early ‘90s and opting for more understated vocals instead. The track’s melody really shines during its syncopated chorus and again on its bridge, when a piano riff takes center stage to send the song hurtling toward another musical dimension. — Ali Szubiak
Kero Kero Bonito, "Break"
If you, like me, are enthusiastic about and confident in your abilities to be utterly slothish and useless to those around you, then Kero Kero Bonito's latest video is basically your new anthem for, like, existing. A semi-tropical ode to slowing down and taking a "Break," the bouncy track from the London indie-pop band sounds like something that could have easily been on the eccentric Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack, featuring retro synths and sleepy beats as lazy as the title suggests. In the cute video, vocalist Sarah literally lounges around London, surprising rushed passersby as she interrupts their daily commutes and chores. "Just move very slowly to the beat / Now get down and put up your feet," she demands in kawaii monotone. And who am I to not oblige? - Erica Russell
BoA featuring Beenzino, "No Matter What"
BoA, Queen of K-Pop, can do no wrong, musically — it's an objective, scientific fact. (Seriously. Ask your local scientist.) She continues to shape-shift through the years, effortlessly twirling through genres. And right now? Much like labelmate Tiffany, she just wants to dance. With Beenzino on board, BoA's sweet voice navigates us through Major Lazer-esque, summery, shimmering EDM territory on "No Matter What," the latest release on SM's new digital channel, STATION. It's very "What Do You Mean?" with its tropical flourishes and stuttering beat breaks — and frankly, the sound suits her just as well as Biebs. — Bradley Stern
The New York singer-songwriter’s latest release, Puberty 2, more than lives up to its shower of early critical praise. Album opener “Happy” begins with an almost alienating drum machine rattle before Mitski’s sweet, distorted vocals enter, describing happiness as a magnetic but fickle lover. Like previous Best Songs pick “American Girl,” it’s a cathartic work of loud-quiet-loud, and sets the pace for the LP’s fresh take on ‘90s alt-indie. That saxophone rips, too. –Samantha Vincenty
Band of Horses, “Country Teen”
All sweet harmonies, dreamy vocals and jangling guitars, “Country Teen” is the closest call-back to ‘60s California pop as Band of Horses get on their latest release Why Are You OK. Invoking the best of the Beach Boys, the track offers up a kind of wistful sentimentality, tinged with just enough sorrow to dampen even the sunniest summer day. — Ali Szubiak
Maggie Rogers, "Alaska"
After blowing Pharrell's mind back in Mach during an NYU music MasterClass that went viral, emerging student musician Maggie Rogers has finally released "Alaska," the melodic track that so enamored her mentor. The verdict? Yeah, it's damn good. The frosty, atmospheric folktronica tune gets a rooted touch thanks to the singer-producer's earthy vocals as she sings about wanderlust. Blending airy electronica, folk music and modern pop sensibilities, Maggie sits somewhere between the lush, fairy-like electro ballads of Oh Land and the experimental Nordic pop of Bjork's Volta album — and that's not a bad place to be. - Erica Russell
Grace, “Hope You Understand”
The opening notes of “Hope You Understand” immediately roused the part of me who still rides for Nikka Costa’s “Like A Feather,” and that percussive one-two-three-four count on the blues guitar at the beginning is shades of Pharrell Williams. But Grace’s voice is, of course, unparalleled, and the Australian singer’s chops save the soulful pop track from what could’ve been finger-waggling sass-jam posturing in less capable hands. – Samantha Vincenty