Best Songs We Heard This Week: Dua Lipa, Yuna, Kaytranada + More
Happy Friday, PopCrush readers — and what a glorious #NewMusicFriday it is.
This Friday, in particular, has provided an embarrassment of pop riches from some of our favorite rising acts. As always, the PopCrush editors have sorted through the best releases of the week and picked out our very faves.
Take a look through the list below to add some new essentials to your playlists, and for more, be sure to follow PopCrush on Apple Music.
Dua Lipa, "Hotter Than Hell"
Behold: there's a superstar in our midst. We picked Dua Lipa as one of our first PopCrush Presents picks, and "Hotter Than Hell" is a shining example of the kind of potential we saw in the fast-rising pop princess. Dua's brand new single hits harder and hotter than anything the singer's served up before, pairing the singer's full-bodied voice against pulsating, on-trend Caribbean vibrations. Production aside, it's that howl of a chorus that erases all doubt (and breaks the thermostat). She could be the one? She is the one. Burn, baby, burn... — Bradley Stern
The release of Yuna's fifth international studio album is mere weeks away (May 20), and her latest offering off the LP is a shimmery mid-tempo R&B jam with light Sade vibes that makes the wait all the more bittersweet. With her smooth, honey-like flow, the Malaysian singer-songwriter sings of a lover with derailed priorities and its effect on their relationship: "Why do keep tellin' me you're self-destructing? / I'm gettin' tired of your lies and your excuses / Cause I see your photos in the club / Havin' fun and litted up... / If this is love, I don't want it." — Erica Russell
Kaytranada featuring Craig David, “Got It Good”
23-year-old Kaytranada’s output reflects a music taste more expected of someone 10-20 years his senior, having produced (incredible) remixes of classic tracks from Janet Jackson, Teedra Moses and Missy Elliott. The Haitian-Canadian’s range and those wide influences come into full bloom on his debut studio album 99.9%, on which he taps another late ‘90s/early ‘00s radio god, British singer Craig David, for the butter-smooth “Got It Good.” As Craig’s voice soars above a backing track from an unidentified female vocalist, Kaytranada’s own distinctive sound successfully fuses with “7 Days”-era classic R&B vibes. – Samantha Vincenty
Radiohead, "Burn The Witch"
Entertainment’s latest venture has settled on a single question: What goes on inside the mind of a killer? The sane may never understand, but Radiohead’s latest – an early look at the band’s forthcoming ninth studio album – successfully exacts a feeling I can only think to label as the joy of slaughter. “Burn the Witch” bucks and settles like a spooked horse as Thom Yorke vacillates between the false comfort of major keys and mania firmly rooted in the minor. “This is a low flying panic attack / Sing a song of sixpence that goes / Burn the witch / Burn the witch,” he warns. Oh, and the accompanying stop-motion video will leave you more sleepless than The Ring. — Matthew Donnelly
Leslie Grace featuring Maluma, "Aire"
Leslie Grace has already made waves across the Latin and Tropical charts in past years (and even broke the record for youngest female singer to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Airplay Chart at age 17), but it seems she's gearing up to impact the charts harder than ever with her sublime new hand-clapping, hip-twerking "Aire," featuring mega-hottie Colombian reggaeton maestro, Maluma. Everything Maluma touches already turns to gold, but with Leslie's airy (eh heh) melodies, the track serves up double the fire. — Bradley Stern
New Pharaohs, "Nothing Without You"
New Pharaohs, singer-songwriter Maya Von Doll's latest music project, takes the very best of new wave — gleaming melodies, swirling synths, and a contagious hook — but leaves the '80s cheese behind on "Nothing Without You," the band's newest single. A little early No Doubt meets Missing Persons, a surfy guitar riff drives the relaxed pop ballad forward, Von Doll's saccharine vocals hovering breezily above the soundbed. The track wouldn't feel out of place on Gwen Stefani's new solo LP, and while she has written for other pop stars before (Nicola Roberts included), the artist deserves to keep this one all to herself. — Erica Russell
James Blake, “Radio Silence”
James Blake — singer-songwriter-producer, Grammy nominee and collaborator with the likes of Beyoncé and Chance the Rapper — released The Colour in Anything today (May 6). Like “Retrograde,” Blake’s biggest hit to date, album opener “Radio Silence” begins as a lushly layered address to a(n evidently former) lover. Unlike “Retrograde,” this one gets a little weird sonically, and it’s a welcome return to the experimental production that made him one to watch on 2010’s CMYK EP. “We lived in love with each other so long / I can't believe this, you don't wanna see me /I don't know how you feel.” This is Blake’s “Hello,” and even if his song’s subject doesn’t miss him, I sure did. – Samantha Vincenty
Ofelia K., "Bad Boys"
The singer takes buoyant, quirky notes from her Plastic Flowers EP and melts them into a lifeless garden unfit for harvest – for the first time, the Los Angeles-based artist goes dark. By pairing sullen, digressive chords with strings fit for a weepy funeral, Ofelia tells the story of a toxic relationship so damaging, she’s left with little more than the strength to whisper it. “To me this song is about suffering in silence,” Ofelia told PopCrush amid “Bad Boys”’ May 3 premiere. Rest assured, she’s since garnered some company. — Matthew Donnelly