No casual music fan—or even music obsessive—has the time to listen to the thousands of new songs that drop on streaming platforms each week. That’s where I come in. Being tethered to a desk all day, I have the time and access to listen to a healthy percentage of what’s coming out.
So, every Friday, Esquire is going to compile a list of the best songs released within that week. But, we’re not going to stop there. We’ve also partnered with the music app FanLabel to put the power in your hands.
Each week throughout June you can head to the FanLabel app, where you can pick the one song you think will be streamed the most. FanLabel uses real market data to determine streaming performance and which song prevails each week. Depending upon the song you pick, you move up or down on the leaderboard. The challenges begin on Friday at 5 a.m. EDT and end at midnight EDT on Thursdays.
See this week’s best songs below, and participate in the contest over at FanLabel.
Cardi B — “Press”
Cardi B is unstoppable. After pretty much dominating 2018, Cardi has not kept quiet. 2019 has been something of a victory lap as she’s released a smattering of songs that have immediately rocketed up the charts. Now, she returns with “Press,” in which she takes aim at all the blogs and tabloids that keep turning her life into content. The track has some of her sharpest verses yet, and proves that Cardi is never one to be messed with.
Jai Paul — “BTSTU”
Anyone who was plugged into underground producers in the early 2000s knows that Jai Paul’s “BTSTU” isn’t a new song by any means of the word. So what’s it doing here? Well, it’s a long story. But the short version is that after “BTSTU” made rounds on the internet, Jai Paul was signed to XL records and was prepping his debut record, when the whole thing suddenly leaked. It rattled the young artist enough for him to halt his production and the release of the album and back away from the music. Now, this week, XL released the set of songs for the first time, with BTSTU included. So, for all intents and purposes it’s new—and not new—but an incredible track all the same.
Rosalia — “Aute Cuture”
Rosalia is here to own summer 2019. After her “Con Altura” with J Balvin already crushed the early half of the year—and became an early Song of the Summer contender—Rosalia returns with another absolute banger. “Aute Cuture”—a joke on high end fashion—combines her evolved take on flamenco with the reggaeton and Latin trap of her collaboration with J Balvin. It’s exactly the sound that is rapidly taking over Western pop and hip-hop music. Be prepared to hear this song everywhere.
Denzel Curry — “RICKY”
As Denzel Curry told FADER about his new album, ZUU, “It goes from the sounds of where I grew up, to what I was raised around, to the people I was raised around, to the sounds that pretty much shaped the person I am.” That theme of his native Carol City neighborhood in Miami Gardens resonates most clearly on “RICKY.” In a tight two-and-a-half minutes Curry is able to pack a sweeping narrative of his own upbringing.
Japanese Breakfast — “Head Over Heels”
It really seems like all music is coming to us from an ’80s filter in recent years, with the decade influencing everything from pop to hip-hop. Tears For Fears seems to be one of the most popular throwbacks for millennials, as the new wave band has been covered endlessly as of late. But, the latest cover by Japanese Breakfast—for which proceeds go to the ACLU—gives their 1985 song “Head Over Heels” a dreamy, patient filter.
Head over to FanLabel to pick which song will be the top of the week, and be sure to check back next Friday to choose more songs and see the results of this week’s contest.