Entertainment

The 5 New Songs You Need to Hear Right Now

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chloe x halle
Chloe x Halle | Rich Polk/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Chloe x Halle | Rich Polk/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

As music listening habits become more specialized, it's easier than ever to miss a new song. Unless it gets put in constant rotation on the radio, earns a coveted spot on your favorite playlist, or pops up on the soundtrack to that hot new TV show, most tracks -- even from big artists -- fly under the radar for the casual music fan. Thankfully, we've got you covered. Below, you'll find five new songs of the moment that are worth taking time out of your busy day for. It doesn't matter what genre the song comes from or how popular the artist is. If it's good, we want you to hear it -- and then listen again.

"The Bigger Picture," Lil Baby

Lil Baby is not backing down. After taking to the streets with Atlanta city councilman Antonio Brown to protest the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the 25-year-old rap sensation has released a mournful track that channels his pain, frustration, and anger into a song that attempts to capture the emotional complexity of the moment. Appropriately titled "The Bigger Picture," the song opens with a piano loop and snippets of newscasters describing the recent demonstrations before switching to a more personal, confessional mode. "It’s too many mothers that’s grieving/They killing us for no reason," he raps in his distinctively melodic style, delivering a moving explanation of what's driven him to take action. -- Dan Jackson

"Forgive Me," Chloe x Halle

Sister duo Chloe x Halle are young phenoms. Beyoncé discovered them on YouTube, promptly signed them to her Parkwood Entertainment management company, and has been collaborating with them since. In their young careers, the Bailey sisters have already garnered Grammy nominations, roles on popular teen series, and Halle is set to play Ariel in Disney's live-action version of The Little Mermaid. So, yeah, the hype -- and the talent -- is real. Don't let the House of Mouse association fool you, though: This is no Hollywood Records-generated bubblegum pop, especially on their recent sophomore album Ungodly Hour. Album track "Forgive Me" is a luscious R&B song about taking your power back. Over dominating synths, they're not pleading for forgiveness -- the two are grimacing that a lover couldn't hurt them more ("So forgive me 'cause I'm not teary / Best believe I'll move onto better things"). It's like the sound of two dark angels sent down from the heavens to offer some much-needed empowerment. -- Sadie Bell

"Where to Start," Bully

The first single off of Bully's upcoming third record, SUGAREGG (out via Sub Pop on August 21), kicks off with a crunchy bassline, and it's soon joined by Alicia Bognanno's unmistakable growl calling out the song's title: "I don't know where to start with you." Then the Nashville-based leader of the consistently solid rambunctious rock band picks up a Stratocaster, and the jangly rhythm guitar shifts "Where to Start" into a dancey rock anthem about throwing your hands up in frustration. Both talking to herself and another in the "you" she calls out, Bognanno's exasperation ("I live for you to tear me apart / Relics of a dream survived by you") is masked by the song's rollicking spirit. You can hear Bognanna's alleged "Tubthumping" inspiration in her barking chorus ("Turn me back into a child / Instantaneously riled"), and in spite of her mental block, you can sense the catharsis she finds in her loud rock tunes. -- Leanne Butkovic

"On My Own," Shamir

"I don't mind to live all on my own / And I don't care to feel like I belong / But you always did," singer-songwriter Shamir shouts in the face of fear of abandonment on his independence anthem "On My Own." About reminding yourself that you can and will survive after a relationship ends -- this single's for self-sufficient, solitude-loving introverts everywhere, and a bit of inspiration for those who may not trust themselves on their own. The Las Vegas-raised, Philly-based queer artist's leaping voice and the way he turns his guitar into a fit of personal paradise is more than enough to do it. The song is a bit more indie rock-focused than his early dance music, but there's enough clanky, fun pop thrown into the mix that'll make this one perfect when you're in need of a solo bash. -- SB

"End of Daze," Spillage Village

It's really felt like the end of world lately. As humanity is reeling with what feels like the looming apocalypse, it's also the "End of Daze" on the lead single off Atlanta rap supergroup Spillage Village's upcoming album, Spiligion. Last year the collective's founders, experimental duo EARTHGANG, released their great, official debut Mirrorland, but now they're headed back to their roots by working with their 2010-founded group again. Spillage Village also features the likes of J.I.D, 6LACK, Mereba, Jurdan Bryant, Hollywood JB, and Benji, and they recently landed a spot on J. Cole's Dreamville imprint. The song is an ambitious return, sounding freakish as each member imagines what their final days on Earth might look like. It ends with producer Johnny Venus imagining a more pure utopia, though, and throughout verses insinuate this world has never been a great one. It may sound menacing, but like in reality, maybe it's good everything is up in flames: Sometimes things that never worked have to burn down in order to be rebuilt anew. -- SB

Up next: Listen to our Spotify playlist of the Best New Songs of 2019 below.

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Sadie Bell is the entertainment editorial assistant at Thrillist. She tweets about music at @mssadiebell
Dan Jackson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He's on Twitter @danielvjackson.
Leanne Butkovic is an entertainment editor for Thrillist, on Twitter @leanbutk.