The 5 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Nicki Minaj, Drake, Vampire Weekend


New year, new music. This week, a surprising number of artists released new material despite the holiday and ensuing recovery. Ryan Hemsworth unearthed an entire mixtape of previously unreleased remixes, Nicki Minaj and Drake posted some excellent one-off tracks, and Vampire Weekend refreshed a months-old song. Listen to all of them for free after the jump.

Drake — “Trophies”

A leftover from the Nothing Was the Same sessions, “Trophies” served as a New Year’s surprise for Drake diehards. In keeping with the occasion, it’s a celebratory track; feel free to put it in heavy rotation on your early 2014 party playlists.

Nicki Minaj — “Boss Ass Bitch”

It’s technically a remix of PTAF’s original, but Nicki makes “Boss Ass Bitch” all her own — not surprising, since the song’s title could double as her mission statement. The first new material from the female MC in an age and a half, it’s a great way to whet fans’ appetites for her next album, due out sometime this year.

Vampire Weekend — “Step (Remix)”

VW follow up on their Pitchfork-anointed Album of the Year with a beefed-up version of Modern Vampires of the City‘s first single, boasting no fewer than three features: Danny Brown, Heems, and Despot. It is predictably excellent, and successfully modifies the collegiate indie crowd’s Song of the Summer into a great midwinter pick-me-up.

Beyoncé — “Mine (feat. Drake) [Ryan Hemsworth Remix]”

Among the first in the coming onslaught of Beyoncé remixes, this track off of the Canadian beatmaker’s just-released ☺RYANPACKv.1☺ (emoticons included) mixtape is a solid rendition of one of the surprise album’s highlights. It joins retooled versions of Lorde’s “Ribs” and Danny Brown’s “Kush Coma,” among others, on the free compilation, available for download here.

The Flaming Lips — “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”

Because what else would Wayne Coyne and company cover?