Friday Five
Credit: Craig Barritt/Getty Images; Mariano Regidor/Redferns; Lorne Thomson/Redferns; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images; Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Every Friday, EW’s music team runs down the five best songs of the week. In today’s edition, Hayley Williams goes solo, Megan Thee Stallion samples Tupac, Pearl Jam take a page from David Byrne, and Rosalía dives back into flamenco.

Hayley Williams — “Simmer”

As Hayley Williams strikes out on her own for the first time without her band Paramore, she’s also leaving behind the manic, headbanging, give-no-f—cks signature sound fans have come to expect from her. Instead, the first single off her upcoming solo project Petals for Armor sees her taking a more raw, honest, and stripped-down approach. “Simmer” is about learning to control your rage instead of giving in, while understanding that the emotion can’t be tamed — even when you think you’ve got it handled. —Sydney Bucksbaum

Rosalía – “Juro Que”

After dropping a string of flashy, pop-leaning singles like “Aute Cuture” and “Millionària,” Spanish songstress Rosalía returns to her flamenco roots with the stark, stringy firecracker “Juro Que.” The 26-year-old’s dynamism comes alive over the traditionally inspired arrangement of finger-snaps, plucky guitars, and choral chants — all tied together by a versatile vocal performance that blurs the line between old-school charm and modern flair. And listeners who don’t speak Spanish won’t have any trouble digesting the song; with Rosalía, the passionate bravura in her voice is all that’s necessary to let the tune’s emotions wash over you. To quote RuPaul’s Drag Race legend Trinity The Tuck: “I don’t know what the f—k she’s saying, but, girl, I am living.” — Joey Nolfi

Megan Thee Stallion — “B.I.T.C.H.”

One may say it’s bold to flip a track off Tupac’s iconic All Eyez On Me album, especially one that samples “I’d Rather Be With You” by Bootsy Collins (itself having also been flipped by N.W.A., Beyoncé, and Childish Gambino). But if there’s any newcomer ready to go toe to toe with the greats on a beat, it’s Megan Thee Stallion. The first single off her new project Suga is genuinely empowering, providing language for women keen to prevent a partner from making them feel small, or trap them in useless arguments about twerking. —Marcus Jones

Pearl Jam — “Dance of the Clairvoyants”

Just when we thought we knew what to expect from a Pearl Jam song, Eddie Vedder and company hit us with “Dance of the Clairvoyants,” the experimental first single off upcoming album Gigaton. The song has a funky electronic vibe that feels reminiscent of Talking Heads. Vedder’s powerful baritone here sounds so similar to David Byrne’s signature monotone the song would be right at home on a Heads tribute album. (Perhaps Pearl Jam watched The Sack Lunch Bunch while working on the new record?) But “Dance” stands on its own as more ode than imitation. —Jillian Sederholm

Jhene Aiko — “P*$$Y Fairy (OTW)”

There’s no need to wince at the title, Aiko’s disarming delivery of this erotic R&B song is utterly rapturous, bypassing any inclination to clutch one’s pearls. After the first two singles off her upcoming album CHILOMBO, “Trigger (Freestyle)” and “None of Your Concern,” had fans ready to burn all their pictures with their exes, Aiko returns in the new year with this siren call hypnotizing lovers into sauntering right back into the bedroom for an extended holiday break. —MJ

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