Best Songs of the Week: Margo Price, Sturgill Simpson, Courtney Barnett, and more
Each week EW's music staffers share their favorite brand new tunes. See our picks below and sound off about your picks in the comments.
Margo Price, "Four Years of Chances"
After years of struggle, 32-year-old country journeywoman Margo Price releases her debut, Midwest Farmer's Daughter, on Jack White's Third Man Records today. And the album proves she's got some serious star potential, like on glorious kiss-off to an ex-lover "Four Years of Chances." Throbbing keyboards and slide guitars underscore the show, but the spotlight stays on Price, who wields the number "1,461 days" like a deadly weapon. —Eric Renner Brown
Sturgill Simpson, "In Bloom"
Simpson shared the second single off his upcoming A Sailor's Guide to Earth this week and it was a warm, entrancing rumination by a musician on his community and fandom, in general. He pairs down the amps of Nirvana's original take in 1991, but you won't find yourself missing them much here. —Madison Vain
Courtney Barnett, "New Speedway Boogie"
When the tracklist for upcoming Grateful Dead tribute album Day of the Dead emerged last week, some of the artists seemed like foregone conclusions. Wilco, Phosphorescent, the War on Drugs? Each of these artists carry on the Dead's tradition of jammed-out country-rock in fairly obvious ways. The first batch of tunes from the sprawling collection hit the web Thursday, and Courtney Barnett — the slack-rocker who dominated indie music in 2015 — was the left-field artist of the bunch. Turns out, the cynical vibes of "New Speedway Boogie" — which the Dead wrote after the maligned events of 1969's Altamont Festival — fits the Aussie musician's aesthetic perfectly. —ERB
Corinne Bailey Rae, "Stop Where You Are"
The British singer-songwriter emerges again just in time for spring with a fresh, ethereal melody off her forthcoming album, The Heart Speaks in Whispers, due out in May. The track's tenderness and simplicity will help fight off even the most stubborn winter blues, with its positive vibes and imagery of new life. —Dana Rose Falcone
Glass Gang, "Outside Your Love"
The elusive Brooklyn trio make their first appearance since their 2014 mixtape Lower with a shoegaze-y guitar anthem offset by heavily distorted atmospherics and a stomping beat. It doesn't just rock, it rules. —MV
Zayn Malik, "sHe"
One year since leaving One Direction, Zayn Malik's solo album is here, with 18 sultry slugs that take aim at anyone who thought his career would end when he departed the boy band. On "sHe," the 23-year-old Brit keeps the sexy at bay in favor of slick R&B beats, strong vocals, and a standout falsetto. The closest Mind of Mine has to a dance track makes it seem like Malik might even be interested in more than "f—ing and fighting," as he eloquently puts it on lead single "Pillowtalk." —DRF
Parquet Courts, "Outside"
The third track from the Brooklyn indie-rock outfit's upcoming album Human Performance may be the best yet. Parquet Courts has already trotted out "Outside" on various radio performances, but the studio version is a revelation: Just under two minutes of jangling guitar bursting like a quasar as Andrew Savage dishes out signature witticisms like "I saw a name in the graveyard that I knew / Glowing, like the neon in a lounge light." Later he adds "taking is mostly what it sounds like," but when it comes to Parquet Courts, we'll take whatever we can get. —ERB
Elliphant ft. Azealia Banks, "Everybody"
Elliphant flaunts anthemic allure on "Everybody," an Azealia Banks-assisted bouncer that masks industry ire in a bubblegum beat. "Ain't nobody gonna leave this sh–? Ain't nobody wanna say?" the Swedish pop star opines before breaking into a soaring, sing-your-heart-out hook. —Dana Getz
Whitney, "Golden Days"
Chicago-based Whitney are about to release their first full-length album, and their new single "Golden Days" gets at the sunny beauty of newness: horns, high-pitched vocals, and repeated "na-na-na-na-na-nas" are a solid introduction to the group whose buzz has been vast since releasing their first single "No Woman." —Jessica Goodman