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The 5 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: EMA, HTRK

Yes, there’s a new Beyoncé album, and hey, maybe you’ll even enjoy it more than I did. But there has been other music that’s been released this week, too — a bunch of it, actually, and some of it really good! And so, as ever, here’s our regular Friday round-up of the best songs we heard this week, headlined by the most excellent new EMA single — there’s also a similarly awesome new song from HTRK, along with an unexpected Burial EP, St Vincent’s new single, and Mark Kozelek decking the halls with boughs of holly. See you on Monday.

EMA — “Satellites”

Yes, the most exciting new music of this week appeared out of nowhere, and it was by an artist who’s long been silent and has just announced a new album… no, not Beyoncé, EMA! “Satellites” is the first single from her new album The Future’s Void, which is due out via Matador next year. The song’s very different to the material on Past Life Martyred Saints — there’s a distinct industrial influence to the beat, and the lyric catalogues “the places where everyone has equal access but is also under constant surveillance. A young westerner imagines life in the former Soviet Bloc.” Seriously, why couldn’t it be EMA who released the whole damn record last night?

HTRK — “Give It Up”

It’s been a good week for acronyms, actually, because here’s the new single from HTRK, which is also ace. It definitely takes the 808s-and-soulache sound of Work (work, work) as its starting point, but there are subtle differences — “Give It Up” sounds warmer than the songs on that album, and perhaps more optimistic, too, with Jonnine Standish repeating a pledge that “This time… I’m gonna love you much better.”

St Vincent — “Birth in Reverse”

And new St Vincent, too! This track comes with one of the most attention-grabbing opening lines of the year (“Oh what an ordinary day / Take out the garbage, masturbate”), and it’s one of the most jaggedly awesome pop songs of 2013. Bring on the new record!

Burial — “Come Down to Us”

Winter is the perfect time for listening to Burial, so hurrah for a new Burial EP, right on cue. You can stream all three tracks here — the above is the EP’s last track, and its most oppressively atmospheric.

Mark Kozelek — “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

And finally, a straight-ahead and really rather lovely version of one of the less rage-inducing Christmas carols. And that’s it for the week. Godspeed.

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