The 10 Best New Songs

Featuring Caroline Polachek, Sunflower Bean, Sadurn and more

Music Lists Best New Songs
The 10 Best New Songs

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and your friends at Paste decided to give you an early gift. Hide the name though, just in case there are some people in your life who might get jealous. As our way of showing our love, we have a delicious selection of the week’s best tracks for you to sink your teeth into, such as Real Lies’ gorgeous retelling of a precious romantic moment and Caroline Polachek’s infectious new single. This week’s selection is like a box of chocolates without the nuts (unless you like them). Whatever you’re into, your secret admirers at Paste know exactly what you’d enjoy. Dig in.

Allegories: “Constant”

After almost eight years of complete inactivity, electro-pop duo Allegories are gearing up to release a new album consisting of the best songs of the 35 they wrote over their extended hiatus. “Constant” is the third single from the forthcoming as-yet-unnamed project, and it lives up to that image of a release of sheer energy after so much time in the dark. While it works as a straightforward dance single, the track crackles with electricity, not only in the sense that there are sound effects that literally crackle, but that the vocals are delivered with such passion and earnestness that it begs you to stop dancing and listen hard. Building into a soaring finale that you rarely hear the likes of within the genre, “Constant” sets a high bar for what we can expect from Allegories next as they proceed with their album rollout. —Elise Soutar

The Beths: “A Real Thing”

New Zealand quartet The Beths are back with their first new material since their 2020 album Jump Rope Gazers, “A Real Thing.” The standalone single and video, out now on Carpark Records & Ivy League, marks the beginning of the band’s long-awaited, twice-rescheduled North American headlining tour. “A Real Thing” is a bold power-pop tune that marries bright instrumentation to murky lyrics, as lead singer Liz Stokes ponders climate catastrophe (“Wake me up when the world is fried”) and systemic oppression (“You’ve got one hand over your heart while you’re holding me down”). The explosive instrumental bridge is one of the hardest-rocking moments in The Beths’ discography, and its fever only breaks for the song to snap back into the chorus’ unlikely hope: “Getting rhyme over reason / It’s a sinister silly season / Maybe we can end up meaning a real thing.” —Scott Russell

Caroline Polachek: “Billions”

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Caroline Polachek, who last popped up on our radar in July with “Bunny is a Rider,” one of our favorite 2021 tracks, and the first follow-up to 2019’s Pang. Now, she’s returned to show us that our patience was worth it with new single “Billions,” The track begins as what seems like a return to the dreamier electro-pop moments on Pang, but steps apart from what’s expected as it progresses and reaches its final, otherworldly crescendo with the chant of “I never felt so close to you,” sung in a stilted round by a children’s choir. “Billions” sees Polachek attempting to transcend anything that’s tethered her to earth on previous releases, hinting that the view from up there isn’t as perfect as she would’ve expected: “Headless angel / Body upgraded / But it’s dead on arrival,” she sings on the song’s bridge. Each piece of the song adds up something addictive and ethereal in equal measure. —Elise Soutar

Erasers: “Constant Connection”

Perth, Australia’s Erasers, i.e., Rebecca Orchard and Rupert Thomas, have announced their new album Constant Connection, coming April 22 on Fire Talk Records. The record’s entrancing title track, “Constant Connection,” finds a compelling tension between luminous synths and Thomas’ shuffling drum loop—if the latter is the repeated heartbeat that enables life, the former is the vivid variety that makes it worth living. Meanwhile, Orchard considers what the duo describe as “the delicate nature of existing in the world and the strength in connection,” her droning vocals eventually falling away, as if superseded by something beyond words—perhaps the very “sense of the silence” she sings about. Orchard and Thomas star in the “Constant Connection” video, as well, standing still before a pier in one shot, then train tracks in another, as if quietly calling attention to civilization’s precious connective tissue—here and there, including at the end, they fade entirely from the frame. —Scott Russell

Helena Deland: “Swimmer”

Montreal singer/songwriter, Hildegard member and Paste Best of What’s Next pick Helena Deland has shared her new single “Swimmer,” her first solo release since her acclaimed 2020 debut album Someone New. The stunning track is dedicated to the memory of Deland’s mother, who passed away last year. Its instrumentation is as spare as its emotions are abundant: Deland’s porcelain vocals rest on a bed of fingerpicked acoustic guitar and atmospheric synth accents, foregrounding lyrics (inspired by poet Mary Oliver’s “Clamming”) that are both heartbreaking and beautiful. “If I could make this last / Take more of this moment, trade in some of my past,” she wishes, clinging to an irreplaceable time she knows is fleeting. —Scott Russell

Real Lies feat. Zoee: “An Oral History of My First Kiss”

“An Oral History of My First Kiss,” the fifth single from Real Lies’ forthcoming sophomore album Lad Ash (April 22), is far from the first to appear on a Paste list like this one. The London dance-pop duo—vocalist Kevin Lee Kharas and producer Patrick King—have been on a roll, reeling off singles capable of transforming any room into a packed club at peak hours. Their latest finds Kharas and London pop artist Zoee tapping into what Kharas calls “that sense of being young and stuck somewhere, waiting for something to happen” over a bouncy King beat, busy drums and claps colliding with synths both ethereal and staccato. Halfway through, the song gets pulled apart and Kharas steps into the silence, speak-singing his way back into that moment with “that girl with the hot pink clipper and the stolen cigarettes, ’round the back of a perfume shop in the rain.” It’s a transportive combination of intimate lyricism and escapist instrumentation, like dancing through the middle of someone else’s cherished memory. “Now I don’t know where you are and I heard you’re digging for the dent / But I still write your name whenever I see wet cement,” Zoee concludes, still channeling that sense of youthful wonder and romance that struck Kharas like lightning. —Scott Russell

Sadurn: “Snake”

The lead track from Philadelphia four-piece Sadurn’s forthcoming full-length debut Radiator, due May 6 on Run For Cover Records, “snake” is a rustic love song whose knots are a delight to untangle. Vocalist, guitarist and bandleader Genevieve DeGroot’s poignant lyrics trace the ins and outs of a troubled relationship, candidly confronting its accompanying shame and temptation, as well as the ever-looming existential threats that render all of the above a moot point: “I looked the snake right in his face, I’ve seen the way he blinks that eye at me / But I am not afraid, I’ve heard we’re all gonna die / In a cascade of system failure or in the blink of an eye,” they sing over loping folk-rock instrumentation, warm guitars intertwined like vines growing together in the sun. DeGroot concludes the song with an eternal oath, repeating, “But my idea of love is that it’s lasting.” Sadurn’s sound, too, is built to last, with a beauty to move anyone left standing. —Scott Russell

Shamir: “Caught Up”

Shamir, the multi-hyphenate artist unafraid to push his boundaries, is gearing up to release his forthcoming album Heterosexuality this Friday, Feb. 11. The album’s final preview, “Caught Up,” shines another light on the album, exploring the ‘90s blend of electronic and rock with Shamir’s take on trip-hop. His voice soars into gorgeous highs over the lush drums that ease in and out of distortion. It’s a chilling ode to the genres less explored, and Shamir pays homage with care. —Jade Gomez

Sharon Van Etten: “Porta”

Following the 2019 release of Remind Me Tomorrow, Sharon Van Etten has kept busy throughout the pandemic, most recently announcing the exciting Wild Hearts Tour with Angel Olsen and Julien Baker. Van Etten finally offers a new single, “Porta,” which showcases the singer’s love for electronic music, first introduced on Remind Me Tomorrow. ‘80s synths and drums build the song up into a thrilling climax that ushers in Van Etten’s warm guitar playing. “Porta” is a reflection on the fear of losing herself, as she repeats, “Want to hear myself, wanna be there/ Wanna stay but I don’t want to leave it.” —Jade Gomez

Sunflower Bean: “Who Put You Up To This?”

New York City’s Sunflower Bean have announced their third studio album, Headful of Sugar, coming May 6 on Mom + Pop. It’s the first full-length from the trio—vocalist and bassist Julia Cumming, guitarist and vocalist Nick Kivlen and drummer Olive Faber—in four years, following 2018’s Twentytwo in Blue. Second single “Who Put You Up to This?” is a glossy rock track that leads with Cumming’s cooed vocals and a cheery acoustic guitar before upshifting into a slinky psych-rock riff, its midtempo groove punctuated by sledgehammer piano chords. “In another life I was a bitch / In another life I was your bitch / Here’s how it turned out,” sings Cumming, considering the cosmic forces pulling life’s strings, but from a cool, confident remove. —Scott Russell

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