The 10 Best New Songs

Featuring Wye Oak, Yola, Turnstile and more

Music Lists Best New Songs
The 10 Best New Songs

With May winding down and June only days away, we’re mind-boggled by how fast 2021 is moving, but thankful for the music it’s produced, particularly because sometime soon, we may just be able to see it live. Right now, though, we’re focused on the best tracks of the past seven days, including the first of two new singles on the way from North Carolina duo Wye Oak, the title track from Americana powerhouse Yola’s forthcoming album, and the first new music from Baltimore hardcore band Turnstile in three years, to name a select few. Get your ears on it all below.

Anne Freeman: “When I’m a Wreck”

The centerpiece of Oxford, Mississippi-based singer/songwriter Anne Freeman’s debut album Keep It Close (June 25, Muscle Beach Records), “When I’m a Wreck” melds the timeless twang of her native Mississippi Delta with Molly Rankin-esque (of Alvvays) vocals, clean indie-rock guitars and abundant strings that draw the emotion out of Freeman’s vulnerable lyrics. “You get me more than myself / You protect me from myself / You love me when I’m a wreck,” she croons in its choruses, radiating gratitude for the helping hand and crying shoulder offered even when she’s at her worst. The track blends rock, Americana and orchestral pop sounds, a lovely mixture that only heightens your connection to its affectionate emotional core. —Scott Russell

Cola Boyy: “Don’t Forget Your Neighborhood” (feat. The Avalanches)

Southern California multi-instrumentalist and producer Matthew Urango, aka Cola Boyy, announced his debut album Prosthetic Boombox, due out June 18 on Record Makers/MGMT Records. The album, which follows years of EP and single releases, touches on Urango’s experience as a disabled person of color, and the way the dance floor can act as a sacred place of community for those disenfranchised under late-stage capitalism. Prosthetic Boombox features contributions from The Avalanches, MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden, John Carroll Kirby, Nicolas Godin of Air, Chairlift’s Patrick Wimberly, and Corentin “nit” Kerdraon. Cola Boyy also shared a music video for new single “Don’t Forget Your Neighborhood,” a cut featuring The Avalanches from the forthcoming album. Serving as an ode to the communities that lift us up, Cola Boyy says of the track, “This is one of my favorite jams on the record. I wanted a mix of the Beach Boys, French disco, house keys and a hint of the Cheers soundtrack for good measure! It’s a message to everyone: Don’t get lost in the petty capitalist dream that has us abandon the people & places that shaped us. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the masses of Oxnard, and no flashing lights can outweigh that.” —Jason Friedman

Gone to Color: “The 606” (feat. Jessie Stein)

Marrying smooth, laidback vocals with stuttering beats, electronic-rock duo Gone to Color debut with “The 606,” featuring Jessie Stein of The Luyas. Building a diverse sonic terrain, the artists weave various textures throughout each bar. Clearly taking influence from bands like Radiohead and Stereolab, Gone to Color’s meticulous sonic palette and Stein’s psychedelic lyrics recall the best qualities of each. —Jason Friedman

Japanese Wallpaper: “Leave a Light On”

Melbourne-based producer Japanese Wallpaper first appeared on people’s radars thanks to his vibrant, lo-fi electronic production, rooted in indie rock. For his first single in two years, “Leave a Light On” is a departure from those roots that instead embraces a lush, vibrant indie-pop sound that comes so naturally to the producer, whose real name is Gabe Strum. Co-produced by Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla, the song grounds Strum’s artistry in something tangible with its guitars and drums, signaling a new chapter in his book of sounds. —Jade Gomez

Park Hye Jin: “Y DON’T U” (feat. Clams Casino and Take A Daytrip)

Park Hye Jin is a superstar in the making. The Korean multi-hyphenate is not content with sticking to one genre, instead building her own universe full of influences ranging from hip-hop to house. On her latest single “Y DON’T U,” which enlists the help of renowned producers Clams Casino and Take A Daytrip, the stuttering, cloud rap-inspired single is a minimalist exploration into the Korean star’s magnetic nonchalance that effortlessly captures her talent. —Jade Gomez

Sigrid: “Mirror”

Norwegian pop star Sigrid uncorks an intoxicating self-love smash with “Mirror,” her first new music since her acclaimed 2019 debut Sucker Punch. Part throwback jam and part modern-day club thumper, the song was designed for fans and festivalgoers to “feel the bass in their chest,” Sigrid says, with “a big chorus” she cooked up alongside songwriter Caroline Ailin (Dua Lipa, Julia Michaels) and producer Sly (Jonas Brothers, Dua Lipa). “I love who I see / Looking at me / In the mirror,” Sigrid sings over piano stabs and glossy disco strings, giving listeners permission to feel not only the beat, but also themselves. If you’d forgotten how bright Sigrid’s star can shine, you need only glance in the “Mirror” to remember. —Scott Russell

Squirrel Flower: “Flames and Flat Tires”

Like everything we’ve heard so far from Ella Williams’ latest album as Squirrel Flower, Planet (i) (June 25, Polyvinyl), “Flames and Flat Tires” finds the rock singer/songwriter turning her insides out, addressing universal threats with sage wisdom and fearless vulnerability. While previous singles “Hurt a Fly” and “I’ll Go Running” dealt with “gaslighting, narcissistic soft-boy type shit” and “the darker side of being an artist,” respectively, “Flames and Flat Tires” cuts closest to the core of Planet (i), reckoning with a world in ruin on figurative and literal levels alike. Over darkly evocative guitars, Williams uses a banged-up car as a symbol for herself (“Busted engine or busted lung”), falling apart on its way to the finish line. The world around that road is broken, too, beset by “drought” and “firestorms”—”Trying to recall how the rain felt on my skin / And scream to anyone who’ll listen!” she repeats as the song crescendos, clinging to a time before climate catastrophe loomed at the edges of all our everyday disasters. —Scott Russell

Turnstile: “Mystery”

Baltimore-based Turnstile exists within a class of fellow hardcore bands that push the genre to its limits, blending atmospheric harmonies and electronic elements to test the audience’s expectations. Their first new single since 2018, “Mystery” is a gorgeous exploration of the band’s sonic tool belt, juxtaposing rough and soft textures to give the song a sense of immediacy and hopefulness. Three years on from the breathtaking Time & Space, Turnstile still finds ways to innovate and advance their sound. —Jade Gomez

Wye Oak: “TNT”

Indie-rock duo Wye Oak are returning with their first taste of new music since last year’s No Horizon, a collaborative EP with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Tuesday, the band shared new single “TNT,” a serenely hypnotic ode to, per the band, “the changing of the seasons, and using the passing of time as a means of reflecting on your own growth.” Wye Oak has also announced a follow-up single, “Its Way With Me,” due June 22 on Merge Records. Accompanying “TNT” is a video that complements the single by similarly capturing simple objects and enriching them until they become lush, elegant textures. Of the video, the band says, “We wanted the visuals to capture the cyclical and disorienting qualities of time that come up in the song. We played with some spatial and time effects, and left the camera running on the mirrors which were fabricated by our friend Jason at Night Owl Creations.” —Jason Friedman

Yola: “Stand for Myself”

Yola’s voice is a sharp and powerful weapon on her new track “Stand For Myself.” On her latest track before the release of her new album of the same name, Yola finds catharsis in singing about the newfound appreciation for herself she’s uncovered. Produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, the track’s stadium-sized grandeur is matched by Yola’s anthemic message of self-love and determination on the path to happiness. —Jason Friedman

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