The 5 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Janet Jackson, Peaches, Low


Perhaps, like me, you’ve spent this week alternating your listening between the new Miguel album and the new Vince Staples album, both of which are currently streaming in their respective glory via NPR First Listen. Perhaps you want to hear something else now. Here are some options.

Janet Jackson — “No Sleeep”

On her first single this decade, Janet Jackson heeds Beyonce’s words: “Radio say, ‘Speed it up,’ I just go slower.” “No Sleeep” needs none of R&B-pop’s new production tricks, instead opting for a classic sound and an understated naughtiness that evokes Jackson’s sultry hits throughout the 1990s. Welcome back, Janet.

Low — “No Comprende”

OG indie rockers Low have a new single out this week that is quite possibly the tensest song I’ve heard this year. As per usual, the vocal layering and harmonization that the band’s Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker achieve here is really something special.

Peaches — “Light In Places”

Pop’s most shocking cult figure, Peaches, returned this week with the first single off her forthcoming album, Rub. Kim Gordon, Feist, and others appear on this raunchy LP, but Peaches went for the song she wrote for the world’s only ass laser acrobat, Empress Stah, as the first single — and put Stah in the video doing her thang. Also, “Light In Places” is a total banger about class warfare. This is precisely why you gotta love Peaches.


Bully — “Too Tough”

Bully’s debut, Feels Like, came out just this week, but that didn’t stop us from putting the LP of infectious distortion on our Best Albums of 2015 So Far list. My favorite track, “Too Tough,” features one of singer Alicia Bognanno’s most defeated punk screams, on an album that redefines defeated punk screams. Once you know it’s there, you will never not be waiting for that scream, from the moment the track starts.

Kacey Musgraves — “Pageant Material”

I’ve already detailed the ways in which Musgraves’ entire “in-between country” thing is really doing it for me, but allow me to highlight the twangtastic real talk of the album’s title track: “It ain’t that I don’t care about world peace, but I don’t see how I can solve it in a swimsuit on a stage.” Girl, preach.