EW's staff sizes up the biggest new music of the week

By Madison VainEric Renner BrownDana GetzDerek LawrenceNolan Feeney and Christian Holub
August 10, 2016 at 03:25 PM EDT
Mark Davis/DCNYRE2016/Getty Images; Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic; C Flanigan/WireImage

Every week, EW’s music staff takes a hard listen to the biggest new tracks and offers up our unfiltered opinions. Read on for reviews of new tracks by Tove Lo, Melissa Etheridge, Miguel, and more.

Melissa Etheridge, “Hold On, I’m Coming”

This 1966 soul classic was originally written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter, and recorded by legendary soul-R&B duo Sam & Dave, but Melissa Etheridge chose to tackle the tune solo for her upcoming tribute to Stax Records, MEmphis Rock And Soul, out Oct. 7, and it turns out her kerosene vocals are more than enough on their own. Her version of this track doesn’t just singe, it scorches. A –Madison Vain

Tove Lo, “Cool Girl”

When it comes to staying cool for the summer with hot pop songs, there’s no one better than the Swedes. The latest evidence? The new single from “Habits (Stay High)” singer Tove Lo. “Let’s not put a label on it,” she sings on this friends-with-benefits anthem, “let’s keep it fun.” And whoo boy, does Tove Lo deliver on the fun part: with the track’s icy ambiance and those twisted synths, Tove wields a club banger so steely you’ll forget all about how the trope of the “cool girl” is actually one big lie. (Did we learn nothing from Gone Girl?!) A- –Nolan Feeney

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam, “In a Black Out”

On their second collaborative single, Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij and the Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser depart from the celebratory jangle of “A 1000 Times.” Gently picked acoustic guitars set the scene on “In a Black Out,” but Leithauser steals the show with a reserved yet intense vocal performance. The stylistic range displayed between the duo’s first two cuts bodes well for their debut album I Had A Dream That You Were Mine, due out next monthA- –Eric Renner Brown

Miguel, “Cadillac”

Miguel’s sultry tenor might be built for the bedroom, but he polished off his dancing shoes for “Cadillac,” his soundtrack entry for upcoming ‘70s drama The Get Down. Teasing a hot-blooded backseat romp, the retro jam recalls many of the era’s signature grooves without going full-blown re-run. Soaring disco strings and funky horns give way to seductive psychedelics, proving his slinky tunes sound sexy in any decade. B+ –Dana Getz

Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, “Wildflowers”

In anticipation of their long-awaited collaborative box set The Complete Trio Collection, out in September, Parton, Harris, and Ronstadt have shared a new version of their delicate 1987 anthem “Wildflowers.” Parton penned the tune and originally sang it alone over traditional instrumentation from her Appalachian Mountains hometown of Locust Ridge, Tenn., but this alternate take has more modern production and accompaniment, while Harris takes over the second verse. The changes mean that the track loses some of Parton’s immediacy, and certainly some of its pluck, but there’s no denying the three-part harmonies still demand a sing-along. B –MV

of Montreal, “Let’s Relate”

of Montreal have delved into almost every genre across their decade-long career, but they’ve rarely drawn from the contemporary. For Innocence Reaches, the Georgia band’s impending 14th record, frontman Kevin Barnes announced they’d unveil a sound fit for the 21st century. Third single “Let’s Relate” is their most modern to date, blending pulsating bass, glitched out echoes, and Barnes’ robotic monotone. The production isn’t earth shattering, but its bouncy electronics are enough to make your head bob. B- –DG

E-40 ft. Kamaiyah, “Petty”

For his latest single, the legendary Bay Area rapper recruited one of the region’s buzziest newcomers, Kamaiyah. The 21-year-old MC doesn’t reach the dizzying heights of her impressive debut mixtape A Good Night In The Ghetto on “Petty,” but she easily holds her own — no small feat when your verse is slotted next to one of the most charismatic rappers around. And as the main attraction, E-40 delivers with lines like “They pockets is pennies, my pockets a check.” B+ –ERB

DJ Snake feat. Justin Bieber, “Let Me Love You”

Bieber continues his string of EDM-inspired guest appearances, this time as a feature on DJ Snake’s debut full-length album Encore. On “Let Me Love You,” Bieber continues the more mature pop sound that he mastered on 2015’s Purpose, and delivers a pulsing love letter that gets the party started with electrifying distortion and elevated peaks.  A –DL

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