The five best things we heard this week.

By Marcus JonesEli Enis and Alex Suskind
January 08, 2021 at 08:52 PM EST
Advertisement
Credit: Scott Legato/FilmMagic; Erika Goldring/Getty Images; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic; Zachary Mazur/WireImage; Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Every Friday, EW's music team runs down the five best songs of the week. In today's edition, Zayn gets back to business, Duran Duran pay tribute to an icon, Alice Glass has revenge fantasies on the mind, Mod Sun keeps the recent pop-punk revival going, and Jazmine Sullivan can't avoid a bad thing.

"Vibez" — Zayn

May we all say a collective thank-you to the Hadid siblings, the unsung heroes of pop music in the age of COVID, who have each inspired necessary bops from their musically talented on-again, off-again lovers. Here, new father Zayn Malik makes his long-awaited comeback, slinking right back into a silky-smooth R&B-inflected jam about providing the right pleasure to a partner. —Marcus Jones

"Suffer and Swallow" — Alice Glass

Alice Glass' songs have always been righteously confrontational. In 2017, the Crystal Castles cofounder opened up about the horrific abuse she allegedly endured from her former bandmate Ethan Kath, and the pool of impressive solo material she's dripped out since 2015 has served two main purposes: to reclaim her voice as an industrial pop auteur, and to process the agony of her past. On her latest single, "Suffer and Swallow," Glass' voice oscillates between measured and menacing as she dangles Hannibal Lecter-esque revenge fantasies with a dead-eyed singsong. "I'll cut your tongue out of your mouth/And wear your fingers," she coos with an intense coolness before breaking into piercing shrieks during the titular chorus. She never loosens the tension of her clenched-fist composure, but the spliced screams are her artful way of saying, "Don't test me."  —Eli Enis

"Five Years" — Duran Duran

We've seen David Bowie tributes go horribly wrong, but Duran Duran thankfully strike the right chord with their take on the Ziggy Stardust cut "Five Years." Timed to Just for One Day, an all-star (virtual) tribute to the late singer, the new-wave icons use a crystal-clean drum loop, backing choir, and glistening synthesizer to showcase what made the original so good in the first place. —Alex Suskind

"Put It Down" — Jazmine Sullivan

The singer's new project Heaux Tales is a punchy concept album that tackles blissful romance, sexual freedom — and the complex moments that arise between. Those feelings are exemplified on "Put It Down," which sees Sullivan trying but failing to pull away from a lustful affair. "When he be askin' me for money, I can never tell him no/And when he say he wanna see me, I drop everything to go," she sings over a hiccuping hi-hat and intricately layered backing vocals. The singsong hook ("I can't help it, it's a shame what he do to me") shows she's in for the long haul. —A.S.

"Flames" — Mod Sun feat. Avril Lavigne

Different quarantine bubbles have different ways of connecting. Some hold Zoom happy hours, others play Among Us. Meanwhile for Mod Sun and collaborators like Machine Gun Kelly, their shared activity seems to be ushering in a pop-punk revival. "Flames," in all its new-found glory, exemplifies this creative approach, using just a wisp of fresh rap production while still sitting right at home among the 2007 emo catalog millennials would blast alone in their bedroom if they needed an emotional release. Having the queen of the genre, Avril Lavigne  back (and sounding like herself again) is certainly a big help as well in capturing the right vibe. —M.J.

Related content:

Comments