The 10 Best New Songs

Featuring Enumclaw, Dry Cleaning, Greentea Peng 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.

The Beths: “Silence Is Golden

It’s an exciting time for The Beths. The New Zealand-based quartet have announced their third album, Expert in a Dying Field, which will be out Sept. 16 via Carpark Records. They also dropped the zippy lead single from the forthcoming LP, “Silence Is Golden,” along with a music video. Our first preview of the follow-up to 2020’s Jump Rope Gazers (unless you count February one-off “A Real Thing,” though that track doesn’t appear on the new record), “Silence Is Golden” maintains The Beths’ bright power-pop and guitar-driven song structures. There’s a palpable tension throughout the track, reinforced by the tight percussion and Elizabeth Stokes’ rapid repetition of “The sound, the sound, the sound, the sound, the sound, the sound, the sound, the sound.” The unbearable level of noise getting under her skin, she compares it to a “building to a jet plane engine / Building to 6 a.m. construction / It’s building and building and building until I can’t function at all.” —Samantha Sullivan

Drugdealer: “Madison”

This week, Drugdealer (Michael Collins) returned with “Madison,” his first release since 2019’s Raw Honey. The breezy single is a balmy homage to his transient dream girl who can party like a debutante and never seems to stick around. The ultimate femme fatale, Collins captures her allure with a ‘70s flair and smooth pedal steel as he admires her from afar. Over the perfect background track for sunkissed summer crushes, his vocals melt as he marvels, “She’s always trying to find another place to go / Cruising to the music on the radio / And they’ll try to understand her but they’ll never know / My Madison.” —Samantha Sullivan

Dry Cleaning: “Don’t Press Me

After breaking out on the strength of one of 2021’s best albums—their electric full-length debut New Long Leg—London’s Dry Cleaning are back to make their mark on 2022. The four-piece have announced their second record Stumpwork, coming Oct. 21 on 4AD, and released the video for its lead single, “Don’t Press Me.” After New Long Leg was met with universal acclaim, a newly confident Dry Cleaning—that is, Nick Buxton (drums), Tom Dowse (guitar), Lewis Maynard (bass) and Florence Shaw (vocals)—didn’t fix what wasn’t broken. They returned to rural Wales and reunited with their trusted team of producer John Parish and engineer Joe Jones to record their LP2 (and play some table tennis, too) over an extended period in the studio. “Don’t Press Me” is an exciting first preview of Stumpwork, with enough sonic similarity to the band’s New Long Leg era to feel familiar, as well as subtle signs of Dry Cleaning pushing boundaries. The quartet wield a crunchy guitar-rock groove, with Dowse’s guitar, Maynard’s bass and Buxton’s drums in a tense lockstep alongside Shaw’s signature Sprechesang. “Just don’t touch my gaming mouse,” she commands in the verses, only to take a more conciliatory tack in the chorus, crooning (!) “Don’t press me” over keys and whistles, as if pleading for relief—wrenching the blood of pathos from a stone of deadpanned non sequiturs. She repeats this feat only once, as the space where the song’s second chorus should go is occupied instead by a washed-out Dowse solo, all the more satisfying for being so unexpected. All this takes place in the span of less than two minutes, Exhibit A in support of Dry Cleaning’s newfound self-assurance. —Scott Russell

Enumclaw: “Jimmy Neutron

Tacoma, Washington, rockers Enumclaw have announced their long-awaited debut album, Save the Baby, coming Oct. 14 on Luminelle Recordings. Details of the band’s Gabe Wax-produced (Soccer Mommy, Adrianne Lenker, Fleet Foxes) first full-length, the follow-up to their universally acclaimed 2021 EP Jimbo Demo, arrived Tuesday alongside the video for new single “Jimmy Neutron.” “This song is about getting so close to love that you can almost taste it,” frontman Aramis Johnson explains in a statement. “All the highs of being in love and how ridiculously unlike yourself it can make you act. All the day dreaming you do about what things could be and how they might go. There’s always a catch, though, and in this story as soon as you reach out to grab ‘love’ and have it in your hands, you drop it.” “Jimmy Neutron” opens with some convivial band chatter before Ladaniel Gipson’s drumbeat cues Johnson and Nathan Cornell’s dialed-in guitars, with Eli Edwards’ (Johnson’s younger brother) thrumming bass completing a pretty sonic picture. The song’s central riff is as hooky as Johnson’s vocal performance, his smoothest and most self-assured to date: “I want to fall in love / But I don’t think I can have it / Every time I get close to you / I start to panic,” he sings, steadfast despite being trapped in that emotional liminal space. The track confirms what we’ve believed since Enumclaw first burst onto the scene with “Fast N All” last year: The self-described “Best Band Since Oasis” can walk that walk with ease. —Scott Russell

Greentea Peng: “Stuck in the Middle”

Greentea Peng’s music always leads back to healing and self-care. Her molasses-like vocals evoke the edge of the late Amy Winehouse with a neo-soul twist. “Stuck in the Middle” is a funky R&B bop that Greentea effortlessly bounces on. Horns sneak in and out on top of a deep bassline that reaches into the soul. Greentea’s voice and her lyrics go down like much-needed medicine, and each beat takes you closer to clarity. —Jade Gomez

High Vis: “Fever Dream”

Fever dreams are characterized in part by the blurring of reality and imagination they engender. Your overheating mind conjures (overwhelmingly negative) experiences, and it’s up to you to discern whether it’s all in your head, or if your actual life has taken a turn for the worst. Nowadays, you hardly need a fever to feel this way—”brain fog” is an all-too-familiar term in the Covid era. London quintet High Vis tap into that feeling of detachment and unreality on their latest single, released this week ahead of their second album Blending (Dais Records, Sept. 9). Sonically, the track lands somewhere between TURNSTILE and Fontaines D.C., enfolding pop hooks and punk muscle in an anthemic Britpop sheen. “Fever Dream” may revolve around the times in life when we’re the most unsure of our own existence—”Days in the tall grass / And nights spent walking through sheets of glass”—but the music itself is utterly life-affirming. —Scott Russell

JayWood feat. McKinley Dixon: “Shine”

Winnipeg singer/songwriter Jeremy Haywood-Smith, aka JayWood, has a clear vision on his latest single off Slingshot (July 15, Captured Tracks): “With the sun up high and the rain never lettin’ up / In the end, just let my people shine.” JayWood and Richmond, Virginia, rapper McKinley Dixon trade verses to that end over a contemplative hip-hop instrumental evocative of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Electric Relaxation,” cataloging the dark clouds of pain and injustice that are always looming over Black Americans. Elaborate synth flourishes take the track in and out of its choruses, which, by the end of the song, sound more like prayers. Written the night George Floyd was murdered, “Shine” combines horror and beauty, just like everyday life these days, presenting a complete picture and trusting the listener to take it all in with a spirit of both hope and urgency. —Scott Russell

Julia Jacklin: “I Was Neon

Julia Jacklin yearns for a version of herself long gone on her latest single, “I Was Neon.” Our second preview of her new album, PRE PLEASURE, out Aug. 26 via Polyvinyl, it’s a fitting follow-up to the religious ambivalence of “Lydia Wears a Cross.” Jacklin has a knack for turning anxiety-ridden subjects (see “Pressure to Party”) into exuberant pop songs that make you forget the underlying crisis at the core. She realizes the unsettling distance she has put between herself and the person she used to be, yet “I Was Neon” still feels fluorescent. The propulsive percussion pushes a reluctant Jacklin forward as she asks, “Am I gonna lose myself again? I quite like the person that I am.” As the glow of her past self grows dimmer, the steadfast song pushes forward with the same invariability as time. —Samantha Sullivan

Pool Kids: “I Hope You’re Right”

Pool Kids give listeners another glimpse at their forthcoming album on their latest single, “I Hope You’re Right.” Incorporating math-rock-inspired riffs and a hook that epitomizes power pop, the song is a frank look at how frustrating it can be when someone always wants to play devil’s advocate. Christine Goodwyne’s vocals bristle with annoyance in the track she dedicated to “men who think they have perfect politics and nothing left to work on.” Refusing to participate in another baseless fight, she laughs it off and sees through the fake apologies, finding the perfect revenge in the song she penned instead. —Samantha Sullivan

Twen: “Feeling in Love (From the Waist Down)”

It’s difficult to put Twen in any one box. Glimpses of their DIY punk roots come through glimmering indie guitar melodies and Jane Fitzsimmons’ subtle droning vocals reminiscent of ‘80s new wave heroes. “Feeling In Love (From The Waist Down)” is a display of the band’s sly humor. Fitzsimmons slinks between spoken word and a slight twang as she realizes that she is the master of her own world and pleasure. “I decide the ways in which / The tides will turn and if I wish / My gravity will pull you in,” she asserts. Twen are quickly emerging as another promising presence in guitar music, and the many forms they take prove it. —Jade Gomez

Share Tweet Submit Pin