The 10 Best New Songs

Featuring Bonny Light Horseman, Young Fathers, The Mountain Goats 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.

??Alien Boy: “Wondering Still”

Alien Boy tap into the false clarity you find after a few beers on their latest single, “Wondering Still.” A song that “only exists after 2 a.m.,” according to the band, it’s an epiphany you’ll probably second-guess the next morning. The fuzzy riffs give way to a breakthrough of a chorus, like the sudden rush of realization that songwriter Sonia Weber experiences about the “love delusions” and the “steady hands that hold me down.” Achieving an alcohol-induced form of enlightenment, Alien Boy might have to revise some of the conclusions they come to after last call, but that doesn’t make them all wrong. —Samantha Sullivan

black midi: “Sugar/Tzu”

Black midi’s lead vocalist and guitarist Geordie Greep has been flirting with calamity since the band’s beginning, but never before Hellfire have his lyrics been quite so pointed towards devastation. His gift for injecting spellbinding narratives into his tracks—delivered with an inimitable voice that wavers between full-bodied shouts and devious purring—is reminiscent of Tolkien’s desire to create worlds simply for the sake of having a place for the many characters in his head to reside. On “Sugar/Tzu,” he portrays a crafty, egotistical boxer with devious intent, as speedy arpeggios, elevated by Morgan Simpson’s incomparable drumming and the blaring saxophone of frequent collaborator Kaidi Akinnibi, punctuate the terrible tale. Boxing arenas serve as a very logical setting for a black midi track: a room full of piss, vigor, aggression and diametrically opposed characters who force a visceral reaction from the listener. By the time the narrator violently executes his opponent in the ring, the deep frenzy of the instrumental has provided something close to a justification for the fighter’s actions—an impressive feat for a track that weighs in at under four minutes long. —Jason Friedman

Bonny Light Horseman: “Summer Dream”

“Summer Dream” is the second single from Rolling Golden Holy (Oct. 7, 37d03d Records), folk-pop supergroup Bonny Light Horseman’s follow-up to their acclaimed 2020 debut album. The trio of Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson and Josh Kaufman draw inspiration from what Mitchell calls the “ghost of a summer’s past,” resulting in the audio equivalent of a lonely golden hour just before sunset. Shuffling drums lend a supremely sway-worthy groove to the acoustic guitar-driven tune, which wields not only a wistful, warm-toned nostalgia, but also an immersive degree of sensory detail—“Smell of rolled cigarette / And your hair when it was wet,” Mitchell sings over harmonica wheeze—that gives its bittersweetness gravity. “Tupelo honey sweet,” Mitchell and Johnson (of Fruit Bats fame) call and respond as the song gently crescendos, describing their music even as they enact it. —Scott Russell

Doll Spirit Vessel: “Something Small”

In roughly a month, Philadelphia trio Doll Spirit Vessel will release their debut album, What Stays (Aug. 12, Disposable America). Our second preview of the record, following June rocker “Train Brain Rot,” is the dreamier “Something Small,” which finds bandleader and songwriter Kati Malison—who’s backed by Max Holbrook (Math the Band) and Lewis Brown—searching for meaning, both in life and the song itself. Over drum machine and daydreamy electric guitar, Malison finds the confidence to live in the now, crooning, “I won’t reach into the past / Instead I’ll let what may fall into my lap / Fall afternoon, that’s my best friend’s laugh in the next room.” There’s wisdom in presence—in letting life bloom before you, rather than wearing yourself out in search of it. Doll Spirit Vessel understand that, and the road to What Stays is all the richer for it. —Scott Russell

The Mountain Goats: “Wage Wars, Get Rich, Die Handsome

The Mountain Goats have taken concept albums to a new level, letting their imagination run free. There was the wrestling-inspired 2015 album Beat the Champ, and 2019 saw the release of In League with Dragons, the band’s epic ode to tabletop gaming. Now they’re gearing up for the release of their 21st album Bleed Out (Aug. 19, Merge Records), inspired by action films of the ‘60s to the ‘90s, in which frontman John Darnielle took solace at the beginning of the pandemic. The Mountain Goats have now shared the album’s second single, “Wage Wars Get Rich Die Handsome.” Soaring power-pop guitars and jangly drums sound like a victorious free-fall from a plane with a single parachute. Darnielle belts out the song’s titular chorus that begs for a singalong. He offers sound advice that sounds right out of the mouth of a handsome action star, reminding the listener to “Live once, you get to pay twice / Keep your nose clean / Keep your wheels nice.” —Jade Gomez

Paris Texas feat. Cryogeyser: “cyanide”

Alternative hip-hop duo Paris Texas have continued to blur the lines between punk, new wave, pop and rap after 2021’s Red Hand Akimbo and BOY ANONYMOUS with their first offering of 2022, “cyanide.” Scratchy guitars and punchy drums provided by Los Angeles shoegazers Cryogeyser color the single with a nostalgia for the early-‘00s post-punk wave. Paris Texas’ moody and expressive delivery pays homage to the duo’s wide range of influences, bringing a new meaning to rock-rap. —Jade Gomez

Sorry: “Let The Lights On”

Sorry continue to encapsulate the intoxicating magic of flashing lights and half-slurred introductions that can turn a total stranger into the love of your life for a night on their latest single, “Let The Lights On.” The track is lifted from their forthcoming LP, Anywhere But Here, out Oct. 7 via Domino. Previewing an album that pays homage to some of the great songwriters of the ’70s, the song already sports the same rock ‘n’ roll, live fast die young mentality. As Asha Lorenz begs, “Leave the love that you had on the dance floor,” the swift percussion and smoldering bassline have the same swept-up, slightly breathless sheen as the sudden romance she’s wrapped up in. With the buzz of the club in the background, even stone-cold sober, you can’t help but feel a little bit drunk from the shot of pure serotonin Sorry serve up. —Samantha Sullivan

Steve Lacy feat. Fousheé: “Sunshine”

Steve Lacy’s Gemini Rights is one of Paste’s most-anticipated albums of July, and here we have another gorgeous preview. “Sunshine” is another one of Lacy’s uncomfortably confessional slow jams, this time aided by soul singer Foushée. Her buttery-smooth vocals croon, “I’m always going to be where you are,” as she pines for Lacy’s love. The two play the roles of confused exes, entangled in the messiness of sex, sadness and toxicity. Lacy’s fuzzy guitar wobbles in the back as they repeat “I still love you” to each other, and the song dissolves into a jazzy jam with no end in sight as the lovers realize that old feelings don’t always die. —Jade Gomez

Wunderhorse: “Leader of the Pack

After releasing one of Paste’s favorite songs of April, Wunderhorse, led by former Dead Pretties frontman Jacob Slater, are back with another new track. The latest single from Wunderhorse’s forthcoming debut album Cub is another impressive display of their versatility—where lead track “Butterflies” was dripping with ‘90s alt-rock influence, “Leader of the Pack” is tinged with blues and Americana, its scuffed-up guitars practically crashing through your headphones. Meanwhile, a jaded Slater points out the other shoe: “Some people have a special kinda knack / Getting what they wanted just to stab you in the back / Nine times out of ten, it’s the leader of the pack.” His cynical wisdom meshes well with the rough-and-tumble track itself—both feel like they got knocked around and learned hard lessons in the process. “‘Leader of the Pack’ is a song about betrayal,” Slater explains in a statement. “About not being able to escape the thing that eats away at you, it’s a song written as a means of getting even.” —Scott Russell

Young Fathers: “Geronimo”

If Young Fathers have released a forgettable record, we haven’t heard it. That includes this week’s “Geronimo,” the Scottish trio’s first new material in over four years, after 2018’s Cocoa Sugar and their subsequent hiatus. The atmospheric track finds Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and G. Hastings on a precipice—”I’m on the verge of something divine that’s gonna keep me in line / Most of my life I’ve been thinking, got the feeling that I’m caught in a bind,” they sing, weighing creative fulfillment against everyday life’s demands. Young Fathers take a leap of faith into a soulful free-fall and holler “Geronimo” all the way down, their reverent vocals eventually ceding the spotlight to ethereal keys and bass before the song fades into the ether from whence it came. —Scott Russell

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