Oh, buddy: Sam Smith, “Diamonds” - Sam Smith’s best moment, for me, is their guest spot on Disclosure’s “Latch,” a song with a chorus so catchy that I still scream-sing it around the house, even though I do not have the range. This newest effort from Smith is less so; I admire the temerity it takes to do a dance-forward video when you might not be the best dancer. There’s an almost-endearing quality to this choreo, as if Smith made it up themself while bopping around to a song that one might hear in a Lyft, and that is the most generous thing I can say. Otherwise, this is merely fine, and I was focused primarily on the house—those curtains! the light!—and not the song, sorry to them. —Megan Reynolds
Sure: CL, “+POST UP+” - The long awaited return of CL, formerly of the K-pop girl group 2NE1, is here. “+POST UP+” is a ferocious declaration of a comeback, the rapper spitting, “Bet you ain’t ever seen a badass Asian like me/I go by the name of—you already know,” with the implication that she requires no introduction. And while I’d like to believe that’s true, K-pop is firmly in a new generation, and younger listeners would benefit from her education. Nevertheless, this new era of CL appears energetic, and I’m excited to hear more—whatever comes after the introduction is the show, and I’m already on board. —Maria Sherman
Da: Molchat Duma, “Ne Smeshno” - Belarus band Molchat Doma are experts in crafting cold, ’80s-revisionist post-punk as metallic as the brutalist architecture that adorns their visuals, and “Ne Smeshno,” (in English, “Not Funny,”) the first track from their forthcoming album Monument, is no exception. I can only applaud their commitment to doomsday sounds, and their ability to maintain their artistic integrity when much of the world still knows them as the band that went viral on TikTok in memes about Soviet Russia. Keep ’em coming. —MS
Y: Lande Hekt, “Whiskey” - Muncie Girls’ singer Lande Hekt has released a charming solo song, “Whiskey,” that I was going to write off as a devastating acoustic ballad with her voice so loud and crisp and intimate in the mix, its as if she were recording an audio book for a memoir she’s yet to have written (you can feel the contours of her rasp, it’s marvelous). That is, I was going to until I heard the turn the song takes about two minutes in. Honestly, this “Whiskey” could make for a fine drinking song, if you and you friends are into singing about all the things in life you’re not sure about, which happens to be a lot of stuff. I’m on my fifth listen. —MS
Sure, why not: Sunflower Bean, “Moment in the Sun” - I don’t hate this poppy new number from indie-psych band Sunflower Bean, but I can’t lie: It took me by surprise. I’ve long regarded Sunflower Bean as a band that manages to blend contempo-glam rock elements with some gloomy, post-punk basics. Their ventures into more pop-infused tunes were always anchored to this vaguely offbeat je ne sais quoi. Meanwhile, “Moment in the Sun” sounds a bit more generic in comparison. Here, Sunflower Bean is not all that decipherable from... Clario. That’s not necessarily a bad thing! “Moment in the Sun” is a cute, airy song and the video is gorgeous, the perfect sound and aesthetic for summers end. But I do miss a bit of the grit. —Ashley Reese
Yeah: Rico Nasty, “Own It” - The song is nice and all, but it’s the visuals you’ll want to stick around for. I don’t even know where to begin. The nails? The shoes? The jewelry? The outfits? The best part is that the looks don’t make Rico, but rather, Rico’s chaotic energy make the looks. She’s “owning it” all right. She happily owns her own weird-ass lane without it coming across as contrived, and I’m living for it. —AR
Correction: This post has been updated to use Sam Smith’s correct pronouns.