The 10 Best New Songs

Featuring Mitski, Arca, Big Thief and more

Music Lists Best New Songs
The 10 Best New Songs

I hope you used that Facebook and Instagram outage to get work done, or maybe discover some new music. Let’s be real, you probably didn’t do any of that. It’s okay, because at least some people do their jobs, like your buddies here at Paste. Enjoy our finest selection of fresh picks of the week, like the bone-chilling new Arca track or the righteous return of Mitski. As the weather gets colder, you can warm yourself up by raging in your living room to Paris Texas, or curling up with a blanket and the new Big Thief track. We don’t judge. Just make sure to take some time to unplug, relax and find a new song to sit with this weekend, courtesy of your friends at Paste.

Arca: “Born Yesterday”

Venezuelan artist Arca has been one of the most sought-after producers and collaborators around since 2014’s Xen. Her erratic and abstract compositions have taken on lives of their own, resulting in production credits with everyone from Kanye West to Björk. Today (Oct. 4), she announces the follow-up to 2020’s KiCk i titled KICK ii (Dec. 3, XL Recordings). The albums are part of Arca’s ongoing KiCk series. Alongside the album announcement comes the new single “Born Yesterday,” featuring Sia. Sia’s instantly recognizable vocals shapeshift over Arca’s textured production, which ebbs and flows, mimicking the flicks of insect wings with house-inspired drums. It manages to capture the euphoria of ‘90s diva house with an eccentric palette, utilizing each others’ vision to create something magical. —Jade Gomez

Big Thief: “Change”

Though Big Thief have yet to announce a new album, their current string of singles, which also includes “Little Things,” “Sparrow” and “Certainty,” suggests that the follow-up to 2019’s U.F.O.F. and Two Hands is somewhere up Big Thief’s sleeves. Previewed during the band’s September Pitchfork Music Festival set, “Change” radiates wisdom and inner peace, gently suggesting (without insisting) that life’s evanescence is essential to its meaning. “Would you live forever, never die / While everything around passes? / Would you smile forever, never cry / While everything you know passes?” Lenker asks over acoustic strums and minimalist low end, with Meek’s electric guitar and hardly noticeable synths sneaking occasionally into the mix. The band’s unassuming instrumentation only amplifies the song’s core concept, which manages to imbue even death itself with a sense of wondrous possibility: “Death / Like a door / To a place / We’ve never been before.” —Scott Russell

Eartheater: “Scripture”

Rising art-pop star Eartheater (born Alexandra Drewchin) has a way of making otherworldly music, but her latest single “Scripture” is built on an emotion that will hit you wherever you live. Drewchin says the track is about “the feeling that I had surmounted some kind of huge mountain in my life that I’d been climbing for years … feeling very validated and rewarded in trusting my ‘stars’ after following my heart, for years, down my very unorthodox and uncertain, risky path.” The song doesn’t lord this triumph over you, but rather invites you in to share it: “How did you find me? / Yes, I’ve been hiding,” Drewchin begins, her singular vocals splayed across a celestial synth figure that’s later joined by a deep-impact bass drum thump. “Scripture / I’m painting my own picture,” she repeats in the chorus, adding a dozen-odd syllables to the end of each line, as if basking in the fulfillment of her destiny. You best believe in Eartheater. —Scott Russell

Gang of Youths: “the man himself”

Following the passing of Gang of Youths frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s father, the Australian rockers have taken their time to craft a heartwarming tribute to his legacy with “the man himself,” a soaring, feel-good track that takes cues from the anthemic grandeur of Bruce Springsteen and arena rock. Le’aupepe grapples with the pressure of navigating life on his own, uncertain about his future without his beloved father. It’s honest and playful, a fitting reflection on grief and adulthood. —Jade Gomez

Lily Konigsberg: “Proud Home”

Indie-pop singer/songwriter Lily Konigsberg has shared “Proud Home,” another single from her forthcoming album Lily We Need To Talk Now, out Oct. 29 via Wharf Cat Records. “Proud Home” finds Konigsberg sounding more punk than on her pop-leaning singles already released from the album, “Sweat Forever” and “That’s the Way I Like It.” Almost an ode to Fountain’s of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom,” written as if Stacy’s mom was Konigsberg’s own, the song finds her voice saturated with a gentle sass, the lyrics slyly humorous, with lines memorable enough to be charmingly catchy. “This song was inspired by a fictional story I made up in my dreams about my mom being Stacy’s mom,” Konigsberg explains in a statement. “It’s a song dedicated to Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, who passed away from Covid at the very beginning of the pandemic. I have always loved Stacy’s Mom so much and after his death, realized he wrote a ton of his songs that I really love. Appreciation for a pop ghostwriter.” —Ana Cubas

Mitski: “Working for the Knife”

Mitski Miyawaki, the singer/songwriter mononymously known as Mitski, is back with her first proper new material in over three years. Produced by Mitski’s longtime collaborator Patrick Hyland, “Working for the Knife” is a striking track that’s reminiscent of David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire),” beginning with a dark synth and drum machine drone that eventually gives way to an outpouring of glossy, carefully layered rock. Mitski’s distinctive tenor vocals sit at the nexus of porcelain keys, whammied waves of electric guitar distortion and jangling acoustic chords, but it’s her soul-baring lyricism that stands out from it all. She recounts a creative journey filled with disappointment and frustration, closely examining her relationship with “the knife”—perhaps a symbolic means of opening herself up to show the world what’s inside, turning pain into art. She looks back on aspirations her life has since upended, and even seems to acknowledge her hiatus from music (“I always knew the world moves on / I just didn’t know it would go without me”), but it’s the song’s final lines that hit the hardest: “I start the day lying and end with the truth / That I’m dying for the knife.” And isn’t that one of the hardest truths of all, that it’s what we love that kills us? —Scott Russell

Paris Texas: “Dr. Aco’s Miracle Bullets”

Los Angeles art-rap duo Paris Texas haven’t been on radar long, but they’ve already made it plain they’re not interesting in moving predictably. Case in point: their new EP Red Hand Akimbo, which they only just hinted at earlier this week. The five-track release features their recent single “girls like drugs,” and follows their debut project BOY ANONYMOUS, which dropped in May. The duo’s shapeshifting combination of hip-hop and rock, as well as their tongue-in-cheek world-building, shine throughout “Dr. Aco’s Miracle Bullets” (“N***as can’t tell if it’s rock, can’t tell if it’s rap, I walk in between”) and the record as a whole. —Scott Russell

SEB: “god of the sunsets”

Rising pop artist SEB refuses to be a one-hit wonder after achieving incredible success with his viral hit “seaside_demo.” The infectious melody of his latest offering “god of the sunsets” is a testament to his talent, with the rough charm of his bedroom-pop sensibilities adding to the whimsical jam. Partially inspired by the tropical backdrop of his Florida upbringing, the summery track, sprinkled with wistful guitar plucks and hi-hats, digs into his relationship with his mental health as he captures the momentary beauty of a sunset. SEB’s sound feels like a neverending sunset, and he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. —Jade Gomez

Silverbacks: “Archive Material”

Our latest preview of Silverbacks’ Fad follow-up is playful and idiosyncratic art-rock, deliberately bucking expectation where previous single “Wear My Medals” went for the throat. Gary Wickham’s rollicking drumbeat and Emma Hanlon’s tightly focused bass line propel the track forward as vocalist and guitarist Daniel O’Kelly delivers ominous lines like “I saw death in a necktie,” singing in both English and French. Daniel’s brother Kilian O’Kelly and Peadar Kearney are more thoughtful with their guitars, lingering around the edges of the song and helping it in and out of its surprising pitstops. Jammy riffs and group vocals bring the track to a satisfying conclusion, as if to remind listeners that Silverbacks are always in control as a unit, even at their most whimsical. —Scott Russell

Wye Oak: “Half a Double Man”

“Half a Double Man” is a track that sits heavy in the head, deep in drums and a tender, lavish bass. The track pulsates and shakes, as if it were recorded with everything turned up to 11. Previously unreleased from the duo’s breakthrough album Civilian, “Half a Double Man” finds the balance between Wye Oak’s brash rock and feathery folk. In the midst of an abundance of percussion, Jenn Wasner’s voice is lush, the kind of voice exuding a kind of mystique only found in folk or shoegaze. “Half a Double Man” is as glorious as Civilian’s other tracks, and serves as a reminder of just how immaculate the album is as it approaches its 10th anniversary and reissue. —Ana Cubas

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