By Madison VainWill RobinsonDana Rose Falcone and Ariana Bacle
February 12, 2016 at 01:13 PM EST

Maybe you thought Coldplay was great at the Super Bowl. Maybe you thought it was the Bruno Mars show. Maybe you know it was the Beyoncé show. Wherever you stand, here are the best songs that dropped while you were too busy debating. 

Beyoncé, “Formation”

Where were you when “Formation” dropped? For a few minutes last Saturday afternoon, as Beyoncé floated across screens on top of a sinking, New Orleans police car, the world stopped. After four minutes and 52 seconds (to be exact) of micro braids, hot sauce swag, a quick lesson on the word “bama,” the promise that “when he f— me good I take him to Red Lobster” — and a young boy, in a hoodie, dancing in front of police officers, the world didn’t just resume spinning, it erupted. People were positive, negative, racist, inflammatory, infuriating, and inspired. That “Formation” arrived at the start of Black History Month, what would have been Trayvon Martin’s 21st birthday, and the day before Sandra Bland’s birthday, was, as all things are in the Beyoncé universe, intentional. The results were profound, political, vital — just as she wanted: “You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation.” —Madison Vain

Sturgill Simpson, “Sugar Daddy”

In his first act since he dropped Metamodern Sounds in Country Music and was hailed as the savior of Music City, Sturgill released “Sugar Daddy,” a fuzzy, scuzzy, bluesy, howling rock song. It’s not country — and not even for an album, but for HBO’s new music-biz drama Vinyl — but it flat out cooks. —MV

Future, “Xanny Family”

“Xanny Family” is the low point on Future’s newest album EVOL. Even relative to his other work, the low humming cut is subdued despite talking about a foreign life for most: having three women at his beck and call, addled by prescription drugs. The Atlanta MC cuts through the haze, and the Atlanta MC sounds at his clearest. What does that mean? Not sure. But Future continues his uncanny ability to produce melodies about the darkest places one can be. And it remains compelling. —WR

Bon Iver, “Haven, Mass”

This B-side didn’t make the cut on 2012’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver, frontman Justin Vernon revealed on Twitter, but that’s not a dig at its quality: “Haven, Mass” is a gorgeous track that features Vernon’s wistful, wonderful voice sharing the spotlight with a piano that sounds like it’s coming straight from your own living room. It’s the kind of intimate, layered sound fans have come to expect from the Wisconsin-born musician, and a welcome addition to the impressive but much too small Bon Iver oeuvre. —Ariana Bacle

Sia ft. Sean Paul, “Cheap Thrills”

The Jamaica native adds flavor to Sia’s This Is Acting track with dance beats and upbeat reggae verses. The lyric video features a ’50s televised dance party remeniscent of American Bandstand, and subtitles so you can actually understand what Paul is saying. It won’t be long before the new version lands in the hands of DJs and finds itself spun in dance clubs nationwide. —Dana Rose Falcone

Advertisement

Comments



EDIT POST