Y.E.S.: Megan Thee Stallion, “B.I.T.C.H.” - Megan Thee Stallion and her bionic knees have been unstoppable ever since her video “Big Ole Freak” went viral nearly a year ago. Since then, she’s released a critically acclaimed mixtape, collaborated with artists like Nicki Minaj and Normani, and launched last year’s Hot Girl Summer mantra. All of this, on top of going to college and dealing with the sudden death of her mother and grandmother. And now, Meg is here with the first single of her debut album, and just like everything else she’s done thus far in her career, she delivered. “B.I.T.C.H.” samples Tupac’s “Ratha Be Ya Nigga” and features an ever-confident Megan laying down the law, asserting, “I’d rather be a B-I-T-C-H/’Cause that’s what you gon’ call me when I’m trippin’ anyway.” There’s a lot to like here, especially the smooth, updated homage to ’90s West Coast hip-hop beats. But what stands out the most to me is Megan’s sense of humor: “It’s 2020, I ain’t finna argue ’bout twerkin.’” I mean, true! Don’t waste time on a man who wants to stifle your twerking, or anyone else’s. —Ashley Reese
Y: Hayley Williams, “Simmer” - And just like that, the era of solo Hayley Williams is upon us. The Paramore frontwoman (and only original member of the group) has lent her vocals for a few solo singles here and there (with Zedd, B.o.B., Chvrches, American Football, some other artists of note I am no doubt failing to mention here), but “Simmer” is something different, built from pieces of the past. Unlike anything in Paramore’s pop-punk repertoire (save for momentary blips of ’80s synth-pop syncopation), this is scary, and dark, and weird, and raw—things Williams has always been, cloaked in anthemic bridges. Now, instead, she’s leaning into her weariness. All of the comparisons to Radiohead are not wrong. —Maria Sherman
N: Blake Shelton feat. Gwen Stefani, “Nobody But You” - If you’ve ever wanted to see popular music’s most grotesque couple make out for three minutes, boy, is this the video for you. For the rest of the world—it’s no from me, dog. —MS
Fuck yes: Soakie, “Boys On Stage” - Every minute that passes where the identity of the members of Soakie goes undisclosed to me is a minute of pure torture. Here’s what I know: the hardcore band is made up of both New York and Melbourne-based members. In the La Vida Es Un Mus Records descriptions, the vocalist are compared to “Nick Blinko (Rudimentary Peni) and Part Vi Subversa (Poison Girls).” The first song I heard from them, “Boys on Stage,” begins with the declaration, “There are too many fucking boys on stage.” The song deconstructs the idea from there, attacking the performative masculinity that plagues most men in hardcore. It’s both excellent and completely on the nose, and I haven’t listened to one song more this week. (That’s saying a lot. Hayley Williams just dropped a solo single.) —MS
Hell yeah, but I’m not seeing the movie it’s featured in: Mitski, “Cop Car” - So, it’s cool to have songs featured prominently in movie soundtracks again, I guess? Mitski re-released her song “Cop Car” for the official motion picture soundtrack of The Turning, a horror movie that I can sum up from the commercials as such: That curly-haired kid from Stranger Things says really spooky shit to Mackenzie Davis for about 90 minutes straight, people probably die, the end. I have no interest in seeing The Turning, because it looks really bad, and even the dark, grungey deliciousness of “Cop Car” can’t change my mind on that front. But “Cop Car” really does check all the boxes for me: Distorted instrumentals, creepy-crawly vocals, and Mitski’s unique brand of weirdness that never feels hokey or put on. But maybe I can’t be trusted. Mitski could have just said “I get mean when I’m nervous, like a bad dog” with that eerie tremor in her voice for two minutes straight and I probably would have still said, “Wowee, this slaps.” —AR
It’s nice: Chromatics, “Toy” - So, I don’t actually have much to say about this Chromatics track other than I’m so glad there’s new Chromatics! Italians Do It Better have produced a treasure trove of synthpop, and Chromatics is part of that collection. There’s nothing much to call home about with “Toy,” but that doesn’t mean it’s bad or boring. It’s just... the Chromatics doing what they do best. This is their bread and butter. The song didn’t blow me away, but it felt like a comforting old blanket to wrap up in. If you’re a fan of Chromatics already, you’ll be pleased enough. If you’re not, this could act as a suitable intro. —AR
Correction: An earlier version of this article described “Cop Car” as a song made specifically for The Turning’s soundtrack. Mitski has actually performed various versions of “Cop Car” for years, but finally recorded and released the song as a single for The Turning.