Keeping up with the best new music can be exhausting, even impossible. From the weekly album releases to standalone singles dropping on a daily basis, the amount of music is so vast it’s easy for something to slip through the cracks. Even following along with the Uproxx recommendations on a daily basis can be a lot to ask, so every Monday we’re offering up this rundown of the best new music this week.
This week saw a surprise Kanye West drop and some more unexpected material from SZA. Yeah, it was a great week for new music. Check out the highlights below.
Sunday Service — Emmanuel EP
In case you missed it, Kanye West ran for president this year, and that didn’t go all that well. Despite that, his 2020 was peppered with wins: He made a lot of money and released a little bit of music. Before the year came to the end, though, he dropped one more effort, this time with his Sunday Service Choir, who are billed just as Sunday Service on the new Emmanuel EP. Like other material from Sunday Service, this is gospel music, which was fittingly released on Christmas Day.
Playboi Carti — Whole Lotta Red
Kanye actually popped up on a new album from Playboi Carti as well, featuring on “Go2DaMoon.” Kanye is one of a select few guests on Carti’s new effort, Whole Lotta Red, which also features Future and Kanye’s Kids See Ghosts partner Kid Cudi on “M3tamorphosis.” This album comes two years after Carti’s last one (basically an eternity in hip-hop time), so his fans are excited to finally have this one.
Caroline Polachek — “So Cold You’re Hurting My Feelings”
Caroline Polachek turned a dad joke into a delightful holiday tune: “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” is one of her finest songs, and she re-worked her holiday edition of the track by swapping out “Hot” for “Cold.” The lyrics are good fun, too, with new lines like, “You know I live for the tinsel / But damn, I miss you tonight,” as well as “Show me the banana” swapped out for “I’m a good girl, Santa.”
SZA — “Good Days”
It’s not clear when the follow-up to SZA’s Ctrl is coming, but she has given fans a couple things to nibble on in 2020. The latest is “Good Days,” which is just her second new song of the year. If that wasn’t enough, the single art is an adorable childhood photo of SZA (albeit with a tattoo edited in, assuming she didn’t have forehead ink as a toddler).
Darkside — “Liberty Bell”
Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington made a slight comeback as Darkside earlier this year when they dropped a live album from the archives, but now their return is for real: Seven years after their debut album dropped, the duo has announced a second one, Spiral. They also dropped the first bit of music from it, the promising single “Liberty Bell.”
Lil Durk — The Voice
After dropping the title track this summer, Lil Durk decided to expand on it with a full-on mixtape, The Voice. The project serves as a tribute to his fallen friend and label-mate King Von, who makes a posthumous appearance on “Still Trappin’.” Elsewhere on the project, Durk also secured appearances from Young Thug, 6lack, and YNW Melly.
Grandaddy — “The Fox In The Snow” (Belle & Sebastian cover) and “In My Room” (Beach Boys cover)
Grandaddy’s 2020 has been marked by celebrating the 20th anniversary of their seminal album, The Sophtware Slump. Jason Lytle also took some time to perform a pair of songs that have special meaning for him for one reason or another, songs that are originally by Belle & Sebastian and the Beach Boys.
La Dispute — “Fifteen” and “Kinross”
For those who support La Dispute on Patreon, this isn’t news to them, as “Fifteen” and “Kinross” were previously released to just those folks. Now, though, the tracks are available to everybody, and Uproxx’s Caitlin White notes that they “are both slower tempo, eerie songs that reflect some of the uncertainty and chaos that 2020 held for everyone, and particularly for bands and music industry professionals who rely almost completely on touring to support themselves.”
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.