The 6 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Weezer, M.I.A. & Partysquad


Weezer is back! M.I.A. gets pissed with ass-shaking EDM! Diplo spells Andre Agassi’s name wrong! A great week for upbeat music (and if you’re looking for something more chill, consider Slow Magic’s “Hold Still” or the new Jessie Ware song.) Let’s dig in.

Weezer — “Back to the Shack”

It has been a long, long, long time since Weezer put out a new single that did not suck. (Fine, “Pork and Beans” was super catchy, I’ll admit it.) Lyrically, Everything Will Be Alright in the End lead single “Back to the Shack” is as self-aware as Weezer’s first two albums, even if the result is a bit rockist and pandering to the diehard fans who’ve felt alienated for a decade (the title is an ode to the house where Weezer lived and wrote Blue Album, dubbed affectionately “the shack”). Musically, it’s a step in the right direction, even if Weezer would be better off simply returning to their old style instead of talking about returning to their old style. It’s basically a song off 2004’s Maladroit, not Blue or Pinkerton (like fans want). And I will gladly take it.

Courtney Barnett — “Pickles From a Jar”

In a new song from a new Milk! Records compilation, Barnett applies her humor to an ode to opposites attracting. The Aussie singer-songwriter’s silliness goes off the rails at times (“you say Hugh/ I say Grant”), but the sentiment set to start-stop guitar jangle is quintessential Barnett: charming, clever, candid, even crucial.

M.I.A. & Partysquad — “Gold”

Maya joins her Matangi co-producers the Partysquad for a brief new one on their summer mixtape, proving that the two should do an entire album together. In less than two minutes, M.I.A. and Partysquad successfully pull off an EDM-trap banger that criticizes privileged Westerners who “read about [world problems] on their Kindle.” I’m lucky if I can get my mom to read anything but Nora Roberts novels on hers.

Ex Cops — “Black Soap”

Pop-friendly ’90s alternative — think “1979,” or Garbage at their least industrial — is what I hear all over New York duo Ex Cops’ new single, “Black Soap.” So it makes a whole lotta sense that Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan executive-produced Ex Cops’ forthcoming second album, Daggers (out October 28). “Black Soap” is a catchy first taste of the record that takes Ex Cops’ sound to the next level.

Diplo’s “Andre Agassi” remix of Lorde’s “Tennis Court”

My favorite part of this remix is that Diplo (or more likely, someone in his camp) spelled tennis pro Andre Agassi’s name wrong (“Andrew Agassi”) upon first posting. Obviously the remix is also aces, twisting Lorde’s chilled-out pop into something a little more chopped and screwed, not to mention superbass-ed.

Twin Peaks — “Strawberry Smoothie”

Do you like the Replacements and bratty power-pop? Cuz I do. (Twin Peaks’ second record, Wild Onion, is out August 5.)

Bonus: White Panda mashed up Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” with Flume’s “Insane.” You can’t tell me this isn’t insane. (Sorry, had to.)