The 10 Best New Songs

Featuring Stella Donnelly, Dazy, Ela Minus and DJ Python, and more

Music Lists Best New Songs
The 10 Best New Songs

At Paste Music, we’re listening to so many new tunes on any given day, we barely have any time to listen to each other. Nevertheless, every week we can swing it, we take stock of the previous seven days’ best tracks, delivering a weekly playlist of our favorites. Check out this week’s best new songs below.

The 1975: “Happiness

The one and only 1975 have found “Happiness,” the latest single from their forthcoming album Being Funny in a Foreign Language (Oct. 14, Dirty Hit). “Happiness” is our second preview of Matty Healy and company’s Jack Antonoff-produced Notes on a Conditional Form follow-up after lead single “Part of the Band,” which Paste ranked among July’s best songs. Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, Healy said, “‘Happiness’ is like … there’s literally loads of us in the room on that track. Locked eyes … it doesn’t really have much structure. It came through like jamming. And we haven’t done that in years.” You can feel that rhythm-driven immediacy in the finished product: “Happiness” is five minutes of ebullient dance-pop, a bass- and keys-driven jam—complete with multiple sax solos—in which Healy sounds reborn into his purpose, singing, “I’m happiest when I’m doing something that I know is good / That’s happiness for me.” —Scott Russell

2nd Grade: “Strung Out On You”

“If Big Star had broken through commercially with Radio City and kept pursuing that accessible strain of power pop, I like to imagine they would’ve eventually written ‘Strung Out On You’ and scored a minor nationwide hit in 1979 or so,” theorizes 2nd Grade’s Peter Gill. But you don’t need to inhabit that alternate reality to enjoy the first single from the Philadelphia five-piece’s sophomore album Easy Listening (Sept. 30, Double Double Whammy), a warm, easy-going strummer that feels timeless. Over a classic rock chord progression and handclap-accented beat, Gill delivers memorable couplets like, “I cry like Liv Ullmann / When the camera is trained on me / I call up the Pentagon / To wage war on a memory,” overmatched and regretting his choices even as he makes them. “Strung Out On You” is the slacker-rock equivalent of a Mitch Hedberg classic: “I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re goin’, and hook up with them later.” —Scott Russell

Dazy: “Rollercoaster Ride

Richmond, Virginia-based rocker James Goodson, aka Dazy, signed to Philadelphia indie label Lame-O Records and shared a new two-song single, “Rollercoaster Ride b/w Peel,” with a video for the A-side track. The release follows Dazy’s March collaboration with Militarie Gun, “Pressure Cooker,” which we hailed as one of the year’s best songs (so far). Recorded at home, then mixed and mastered by Justin Pizzoferrato at Sonelab (Dinosaur Jr, Pixies, Wild Pink), “Rollercoaster Ride b/w Peel” finds Goodson up to his usual tricks, packing a hefty checked bag’s worth of noise-pop hooks and guitar fuzz into a pair of compact personal items. Clocking in under two minutes, “Rollercoaster Ride” is as fleetingly exhilarating as its namesake, with bright acoustic guitar- and drum machine-driven verses sandwiching choruses replete with live-wire riffs and cheery mellotron. —Scott Russell

Ela Minus and DJ Python: “Pájaros en Verano”

The backstory goes like this: Brooklyn-via-Bogotá electronic artist Ela Minus released her acclaimed full-length debut acts of rebellion in 2020, and commissioned New York-based DJ and producer DJ Python (Brian Piñyero) for an official remix. The two started texting, discussing life and love; sharing book excerpts, film recs and song links; and bonding over the music of Tricky, Leila, Leslie Winer and others. Thus, a collaborative EP came to be, titled ? (Sept. 16, Smugglers Way), of which “Pájaros en Verano” (“Birds in Summer”) is our first preview. The song is downright idyllic, as Ela Minus looks back on “All the days that never happened / And the nights that didn’t exist” over DJ Python’s ambient reggaeton beat. “Pájaros en Verano” not only conveys the tight-knit bond between its creators, but also radiates unselfconscious joy and gratitude to be alive. —Scott Russell

Koreless: “Droids”

Building upon the delicate, mystical nature of his 2021 album Agor, Welsh producer Koreless returns with his first material of 2022, “Droids.” Like a butterfly emerging out of its cocoon, plucking synths find their footing against a sparse ambient backdrop. Layers of smooth synths build with various blips and glitches. Koreless’ ability to extract such tangible, spine-tingling sounds from electronics is astounding, and “Droids” is a brilliant feat in his constantly innovative production. —Jade Gomez

Meechy Darko feat. Freddie Gibbs & A-Trak: “On GOD”

Meechy Darko has everything it takes to be a star, and his vivid imagery laid out with his deep voice that takes on countless mutations make his forthcoming solo debut Gothic Luxury a must-listen. Over A-Trak’s dark, distinctly New York production, Meechy barks and growls as he faces God and his own psyche with each passing bar. He goes toe-to-toe with Freddie Gibbs’ bleak and cocky lyricism and delivery. With countless quotables, such as Gibbs spitting “Coulda went to school, got a law degree / But instead I got me a bitch and a weapon,” or Meechy proposing the thought-provoking bar “They say that God made us in his image, not his essence,” the two bring out each others’ strengths as Meechy skips the self-discovery part of going from a group member to solo act, instead free falling right into the position as a frontrunner of New York’s rap renaissance. —Jade Gomez

Rachika Nayar: “Our Wretched Fate”

Brooklyn-based guitarist and electronic innovator Rachika Nayar has shared a second collaboration with Maria BC, “Our Wretched Fate.” The euphoric final track of her album Heaven Come Crashing, “Our Wretched Fate” makes Maria one with the sprawling soundscape. Disjointed wails and sparkly guitars creep in and out of consciousness as Nayar builds a hauntingly beautiful rise that explodes into a breakbeat-filled tragedy. Nayar brings out the joy within the scariness of finality, and “Our Wretched Fate” is a stunning bittersweet send-off. —Jade Gomez

Stella Donnelly: “How Was Your Day?”

Perth, Australia’s Stella Donnelly wrote her long-awaited sophomore album Flood (Aug. 26, Secretly Canadian) on the piano, resulting in a more measured set of instrumentals. You would never know it from her latest single “How Was Your Day?,” an upbeat rocker that sounds more like something off Donnelly’s 2019 debut Beware of the Dogs, or from her fellow Aussies in Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. As it happens, the two acts share a drummer, Marcel Tussie, whose insistent beat drives “How Was Your Day?” forward as Donnelly conjures scenes from a looming breakup. “A polite conversation about unclaimed mail / Felt like a deadly lit candle left up in a room,” she sings, the specificity of her songwriting enhancing its emotional weight; later, as the song ramps up into another chorus, she declares, “Levelheadedness has made way for a disastrous love / I know it, you know it,” finally pointing out those fraying ties. Donnelly has only improved at turning murky feelings into inviting music over the past few years, as Flood will soon show. —Scott Russell

Teen Suicide: “death wish

Philadelphia indie mainstay Teen Suicide recently reemerged with their first single in five years, “coyote (2015-2021).” It’s now August, and they’re finally releasing their first new album in six years at the end of the month, honeybee table at the butterfly feast (Aug. 26, Run For Cover). The album’s latest single “death wish” will appeal to longtime fans of the band, echoing their early, chaotic sound. “death wish” immediately opens with distorted guitars and crashing drums. Frontman Sam Ray’s muffled vocals sound straight out of a dream, fighting to reach the surface. He lets out cathartic screams that make way for a serene outro that glimmers and soothes. —Jade Gomez

Young Jesus feat. Tomberlin: “Ocean

John Rossiter’s rock project Young Jesus has risen again, announcing a new album, Shepherd Head (Sept. 16, Saddle Creek). Our first preview of the album is the mesmerizing “Ocean,” in which the band’s past and present collide: Former Young Jesus members Marcel Borbón Peréz and Peter Martinez (their original drummer) perform the song’s harmonic bass line and programmed percussion, respectively, while Sarah Beth Tomberlin lends her voice to Rossiter’s. The pair consider Shepherd Head’s core themes over this understated, yet rich instrumental, as Rossiter contemplates, “God is just the ocean where I’m lost / ‘What is loss?’ a moon responds / Love is of the questions I ask God.” There’s a sense of cosmic scope to the track, as well as everyday earthliness (Rossiter layers footsteps and leaves crunching into the track as texture), but what ultimately pervades it most is a sense of preternatural calm. “Go / Give your life unto the weave / To the fabric and the seam / To the drift of what you’ll be,” Rossiter and Tomberlin urge, as if in worship of the unseen forces that govern all, not in spite of their unknowability, but because of it. The track’s climactic lyric accepts all of life’s highs and lows—”the grip and the release”—and condenses them into a single instruction: “Walk a fragile path to peace.” —Scott Russell

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