The 10 Best New Songs

Featuring Tyler, The Creator, Yves Tumor, Wet Leg and more

Music Lists Best New Songs
The 10 Best New Songs

It’s been a big, busy week for Paste Music: Tuesday, we published our list of 2021’s best albums (so far), and our picks for the year’s best songs are also in the works. But we’ve also had an ear on all this week’s new music, whittling it down into a stellar 10-song stack that features the lead singles from Tyler, The Creator and Yves Tumor’s newly announced albums, the impressive debut tune from Domino Record signees Wet Leg, a comeback track from Gang of Youths and more. Give them all a spin below.

Alien Boy: “The Way I Feel”

On “The Way I Feel,” the opening track on Portland emo group Alien Boy’s forthcoming album Don’t Know What I Am, the band strikes a particular balance of gentle sensitivity and wild emotionality. Inspired by groups like Jawbreaker and My Bloody Valentine, Alien Boy embody, if only for moments at a time, some of the traits that made those groups so legendary. Passionate songwriting and consummate performances from the band bring “The Way I Feel” to lively and energetic heights. —Jason Friedman

Gang of Youths: “the angel of 8th ave.”

Australian rock band Gang of Youths have been away for a while, with their most recent full-length album Go Farther In Lightness being from 2017. However, on new single “the angel of 8th ave.,” the band sounds more electrified and alive than ever. Conjuring the same cathartic 2000s indie-rock sound that made artists like Interpol and LCD Soundsystem, Gang of Youths reach soaring heights through the roaring guitars, guiding bass and vocalist David Le’aupepe’s smooth but emotive vocals. As the singer cries “there is heaven in you now” amidst the swelling instrumental, Gang of Youths prove themselves masterful rock songwriters who haven’t missed a beat. —Jason Friedman

Indigo De Souza: “Kill Me”

Indigo De Souza’s second album is officially on its way, and if lead single and closing cut “Kill Me” is any indication at all, Any Shape You Take is going to be a stunner. “Kill Me” arrived Tuesday alongside a music video and the details of De Souza’s forthcoming album, the North Carolina singer/songwriter’s first for Saddle Creek, coming Aug. 27. At first blush, “Kill Me” seems strangely sweet—”Kill me slowly, take me with you / Down to the garden where magnolias bloom,” De Souza sings, her vocals lilting over a single electric guitar. A forceful low end propels the song higher and higher into gear, with De Souza outright howling in its choruses—over that dynamic pop-rock framework, she layers lyrics that are at turns harrowing, funny, horny, relatable, or all of the above at once. Even the outro’s explosively cathartic refrain is cleverly understated: “Tell them that I wasn’t having much fun,” De Souza sings, as if making a polite excuse to head home early. It’s a glorious, gut-spilling mess, rendered as an irresistible rock track. —Scott Russell


Classically trained multi-instrumentalist and performance artist Kristen Hayter, best known as Lingua Ignota, has announced her forthcoming album SINNER GET READY, out Aug. 6 via Sargent House. The album, which marks Hayter’s debut on the label, comes after her acclaimed 2019 album CALIGULA that introduced a wider audience to her captivating and intense lyricism that blends classical music with metal. With the announcement of SINNER GET READY comes the album’s first single “PENNSYLVANIA FURNACE.” Compared to the brutality of CALIGULA, “PENNSYLVANIA FURNACE” is delicate, with Hayter forgoing her cathartic shrieks in favor of a gentler operatic delivery. The track calls upon Hayter’s fascination with religious iconography and the unrelenting nature of God’s judgement, as inspired by the legend of an 18th-century iron master whose dogs return to drag him down to hell after he throws them into his furnace in a rage. Hayter self-directed, edited and filmed the accompanying visual, set in the dense landscape of rural Pennsylvania that she inhabited during the album’s recording process. —Jade Gomez

Little Simz: “Rollin Stone”

If you don’t know what to expect from Little Simz’s forthcoming album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, it’s okay, because we don’t either. The London rapper’s kaleidoscope of singles only becomes more colorful with her latest offering, “Rollin Stone.” Her confidence is magnetic as her spitfire bars confront those who doubt her prowess (although we’d advise against that). The pounding percussion is no match for Simz’s larger-than-life performance that evokes auditory whiplash. Moving from grime-influenced hip-hop heavyweight to 808-laced cool girl R&B in under four minutes, Little Simz defies all expectations on “Rollin Stone” and wonders why you even had any in the first place. —Jade Gomez

Provoker: “Bugs & Humans”

Following the news of signing with their label in May, Los Angeles’ own Provoker has announced their debut album Body Jumper, out Aug. 13 via YEAR0001. The band’s post-punk and industrial leanings make for another exciting act on the eclectic YEAR0001 roster, accompanied by the likes of Yung Lean, Bladee and Ecco2k. The announcement was accompanied by the band’s newest single “Bugs & Humans,” an ode to the optimistic sound of new wave with their darker, R&B-influenced twist. Vocalist Christian Petty structured the song to be from a child’s perspective, eventually shifting into the darker lens of an adult who feels alienated. The accompanying Alexis Gross-directed video captures the track’s descent into madness as it becomes clear that childlike innocence is fleeting. —Jade Gomez

TORRES: “Hug from a Dinosaur”

Mackenzie Scott’s rock project TORRES has shared another new song ahead of her forthcoming album Thirstier, coming July 30 on Merge Records. Her fifth studio LP and second for Merge, as evidenced by both lead single “Don’t Go Puttin Wishes in My Head” and June 16’s “Hug from a Dinosaur,” is shaping up to be the boldest and brightest entry in Scott’s catalog. “Hug from a Dinosaur” is an impressive feat of songwriting, connecting epochs-old metaphysical phenomena to a simple act of domestic love: “The title emerged from a dream I had. The song’s theme is that truth is eternal, and it’s also about never stopping,” Scott explains in a statement. “To bring it back down to earth, the song’s also about being ready to drop everything to do something essential for someone you love. In this instance, it’s bringing my girlfriend [visual artist Jenna Gribbon] lunch so she can keep painting.” Scott juggles these seemingly disparate ideas over brawny power chords and a deviously catchy synth line, making space for intimacy and extravagance alike. “What comprises all this joy I feel and where was it before?” she sings with wonder. “Ancient and eternal and surreal as a hug from a dinosaur.” It’s a radically joyful rocker brimming with earnest affection, as well as a deceptively thoughtful examination of what matters most on this mortal coil (“Time and money aren’t real and empathy is God,” Scott prophesies over the buzzy, drum machine-driven breakdown). —Scott Russell

Tyler, The Creator: “LUMBERJACK”

After broadcasting the message “Call Me If You Get Lost” across Los Angeles billboards and releasing his “SIDE STREET” teaser trailer, rapper and producer Tyler, The Creator has released a new single, “LUMBERJACK.” Following his most recent studio album IGOR, Tyler develops his singular artistic vision further on a raunchy, reliably witty track that feels absolutely massive behind Tyler’s haunting flow. Alongside the track is a visual that continues the recent trend of artists evoking ‘70s aesthetics, with director Wolf Haley (Tyler’s alias) incorporating almost fantastical imagery in a way that feels fresh and exciting. A day after its release, Tyler announced his new album Call Me If You Get Lost, coming June 25. —Jason Friedman

Wet Leg: “Chaise Longue”

The debut single from U.K. rock duo Wet Leg is a doozy, immediately affirming what Domino Records saw in their new signees. Hailing from England’s Isle of Wight, Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers decided to start Wet Leg while at the top of a Ferris wheel—an origin story that actually vastly undersells a thrill ride like “Chaise Longue.” The band’s tongue-in-cheek humor is one thing (“Is your mother worried? / Would you like us to assign someone to worry your mother?” is one of several chuckle-worthy lyrics), but their propulsive, danceable indie rock is entirely another, with guitar riffs as sticky as (if not more so than) their mock-bourgeois insistence on whiling away the hours “on the chaise longue / on the chaise longue / on the chaise longue / all day long / on the chaise longue.” Produced by Jon McMullen and mixed by Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys, Beach House, Foals), the ear-grabbing track is an undeniable introduction to Wet Leg, who also self-directed its video. —Scott Russell

Yves Tumor: “Jackie”

The next era of Yves Tumor is upon us. The boundary-smashing artist behind 2020 Paste-favorite album Heaven to a Tortured Mind released a new single and video, “Jackie,” and announced a 2021/22 tour of the U.S., U.K. and Europe. “Jackie” sounds like Prince’s emo fever dream, with psych-rock guitar squalls, a massive pop drum track and neon synths swirling around Tumor’s brooding vocals. Even its standard-issue breakup song lyrics manage a certain dreamy depth, with Tumor hoping to see themselves in a lost love’s subconscious: “I said, ‘Hey, Jackie baby’ / When you rest your mind, do you think of me?” The “Jackie” video makes the song’s romantic battlefield (sur)real, setting Tumor’s struggle on an alien world absolutely saturated with the kind of hallucinatory color you’d find in a Panos Cosmatos film. —Scott Russell

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