The 10 Best New Songs

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 Thursday we can swing it, we take stock of the previous seven days’ best tracks, delivering a weekly playlist of our favorites while keeping Fridays free to focus on new albums. Check out this week’s best new songs below.

Cola: “Water Table”

When it comes to Deep in View, the debut album from Cola—a new trio featuring former Ought members Tim Darcy and Ben Stidworthy, and U.S. Girls/The Weather Station drummer Evan Cartwright—second single “So Excited” said it best. Third single “Water Table” only adds to that excitement: Born of Stidworthy experimenting with the bass chords that form its foundation, the song considers what a time it is to be alive—how the human race’s end is so close, and yet so far. “Last long enough to go extinct, just long enough to overthink / Don’t worry about losing our way home, I have that technology, right?” Darcy deadpans over Cartwright’s locked-in drumbeat, slashing through the mix every so often with guitar chords that will make any Ought fan feel right at home. Incandescent synth hum adds a quiet sense of reverence to the tune, as if in recognition of how miraculous it is that Cola are alive and making noise at all. Listening to it feels the same. —Scott Russell

Father John Misty: “The Next 20th Century”

Father John Misty’s fifth album, the elaborate orchestral-pop effort Chloë and The Next 20th Century (April 8), is perhaps the artist’s most unexpected statement yet. Its singles, including “Funny Girl,” “Q4“and “Goodbye Mr. Blue,” have found the singer/songwriter staying his melodic motormouth, focusing instead on widescreen, string-forward scope, and lyrical vignettes from which Father John Misty himself is largely absent. “The Next 20th Century” is the first Chloë preview to link this new approach to the Father John Misty that we know, evoking the apocalypse a la Pure Comedy and name-checking Val Kilmer like Jason Isbell on God’s Favorite Customer. Minimal percussion, bass and organ support cinematic strings as the artist details a world in which “things keep getting worse while staying so eerily the same,” accepting our dark times, but protecting hope’s small spark: I don’t know ‘bout you / But I’ll take the love songs / If this century’s here to stay.” —Scott Russell

Floating Points: “Grammar”

Floating Points (also known as Sam Shepherd), whose March dance floor single “Vocoder” graced our songs of the month list, offers “Grammar” with similar intentions. Shepherd leaves little room for the characteristic airy ambience of his other works, choosing to expand on his previous single’s groove with steady drum beats and wiry synths. Breakbeats and muffled vocal loops float into focus, building momentum into a breathtaking and sophisticated club-filler that refuses to settle in any one place throughout its seven-minute runtime. Following the sparse, emotional touches Shepherd added to the acclaimed 2021 album Promises in collaboration with Pharaoh Sanders, his new work breathes life into his endless reevaluation of dance music, dabbling in the extremes of both silence and noise. —Jade Gomez

Florist: “Red Bird Pt. 2 (Morning)

Florist, the New York quartet of Emily Sprague, Jonnie Baker, Rick Spataro and Felix Walworth, have announced their self-titled, fourth full-length album, coming July 29 on Double Double Whammy, and shared a video for its lead single, the tender and reflective “Red Bird Pt. 2 (Morning).” Over soft acoustic fingerpicking, blurred electric guitar and the occasional synth bloop, Sprague reflects on the loss of her late mother, imagining her own birth from her perspective, and reconciling herself to the vagaries of memory and the absolute power of time. “How can it be that the days go on / And the red bird sings its red bird song? / It happened to us and it’s happened before / And it happens all the same,” she sings, at one with nature even as she resents its ceaseless rhythm. Distorted bent notes and delicate saxophone enter as Sprague reaches a stunning moment of peace and acceptance: “I can hear you singing still / Wake up in the morning, let the morning come / She’s in the birdsong, she won’t be gone.” —Scott Russell

Hercules & Love Affair feat. ANOHNI: “Poisonous Storytelling

Andy Butler, the brains behind dance music project Hercules & Love Affair, recently announced the project’s first album in five years, In Amber (June 17, Skint/BMG). It marks a reunion between Butler and English-born singer ANOHNI, who sang on the band’s biggest hit “Blind” in 2008. After co-producing In Amber’s lead single “Grace,” ANOHNI takes the lead on “Poisonous Storytelling.” Ominous, echoed drums set a thunderous backdrop for ANOHNI’s airy tenor-contralto. She calls out dangerous misinformation with a captivating urgency, propelled by atmospheric synths and the simplistic drum palette. Butler revisits dance music as a political space, and ANOHNI warns that “we must be careful with new narratives, because everyone is rotted out from poisonous storytelling.” —Jade Gomez

Horsegirl: “World of Pots and Pans

After an impressive South by Southwest where they won the Grulke Prize for Developing U.S. Act, Chicago’s Horsegirl have shared a second single from their forthcoming debut album Versions of Modern Performance ahead of its June 3 release on Matador. “World of Pots and Pans” follows lead track “Anti-glory,” and is accompanied by a clever video in which the trio—Penelope Lowenstein (guitar, vocals), Nora Cheng (guitar, vocals) and Gigi Reece (drums)—hand-animate the lyrics on an old-school overhead projector. “‘World of Pots and Pans’ is the first love song Horsegirl has ever written—or the closest thing to it,” Horsegirl explain in a statement. “We wrote it in Penelope’s basement while preparing to leave for our first-ever tour. The lyrics, inspired by the misinterpretation of a Television Personalities lyric, imagine a (possibly unrequited) romance unfolding through references to Tall Dwarfs, Belle & Sebastian, and The Pastels.” Indeed, the track’s lyrics are littered with nods to rock bands in whose traditions Horsegirl work. Cheng’s lead vocals and a rush of fuzzy guitars kick in simultaneously, as sudden as her narrator’s feelings: “Emma was my brand new friend / Fun to see how this one ends / Lovelee Sweet, she walks like she can’t see,” she sings, rueful, romantic and amused all at once. Reece’s surging drums speed the track toward its inevitable conclusion, while Lowenstein lends her voice to Cheng’s only sparingly. “Emma was / Emma was / Emma was my brand new friend,” Cheng repeats over the song’s explosive crescendo, begging the question, “What is she now?” —Scott Russell

Hovvdy: “Town”

Hovvdy’s Charlie Martin noted that there was “catharsis in almost every layer” of their newest single in a press release for the track, saying in a statement, “the song’s meaning isn’t terribly specific, but for me it’s about missing your friends and hoping they miss you.” “Town” is the first song Martin and bandmate Will Taylor have shared that was recorded after the sessions for 2021’s True Love, but it bears the hallmarks of the cozy DIY twang they’ve pretty much mastered since their 2016 debut. Mellotron strings and differing melodies sung like a round wash over the outro, letting each new sonic texture communicate the catharsis Martin and Taylor wanted to convey. It’s proof that the duo still have a knack for capturing intimate moments within scenes that are universal, making it seem like you’re tuned into a familiar conversation between friends that you could fall asleep to because of how comfortable it all feels. —Elise Soutar

POLIÇA: “Alive”

Singer Channy Leaneagh, producer Ryan Olson, bassist Chris Bierden and drummers Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson make up the Minneapolis-based band POLIÇA, who’ve recently announced Madness (June 3, Memphis Industries), the companion record to their previous full-length When We Stay Alive. Speaking about “Alive,” the album’s first single, in a statement, Leaneagh cryptically suggested, “Bad things happen, the fire goes out; even with the best flammables it stays dark until ‘nothing matters’ becomes the fire itself.” The track finds the band fighting to keep the fire burning with dense layers of pulsing percussion and synths, largely created with a production tool called “AllOvers(c),” co-created by Olson. “I’m not alive / Oh, I’ll be alive,” Leaneagh decides on the song’s outro as her voice eventually breaks up into barely audible static, leaving us hopeful that whatever album preview we get next will stun us just as much as this one does. —Elise Soutar

Porridge Radio: “The Rip

After making a triumphant return following their acclaimed sophomore effort Every Bad with “Back to the Radio,” U.K. quartet Porridge Radio have shared another new single, “The Rip.” The penultimate track on the group’s forthcoming album Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky (out May 20 on Secretly Canadian) arrives with a video directed by frontperson Dana Margolin’s sister, Ella Margolin. The brash, anthemic rush of “The Rip” carries over the raw emotion heard on “Back to the Radio,” blowing all feelings of desire and frustration up to be larger than life. “I pulled it apart / Sick at the seams / Hot day in August / You’re all that I need,” Margolin asserts, fighting to hold her place next to the song’s subject even as she feels any grip she had on the situation slip. When she repeats, “And now my heart aches,” over and over again during the song’s climax, she does so with enough force to topple whoever stands in her path, demanding they acknowledge the pain she feels. There’s catharsis in the sheer force of the band’s delivery that feels universal enough that you could jump around to it with headphones on just as easily as you could yell the words at the top of your lungs in the middle of a stadium crowd. —Elise Soutar

Wet Leg: “Ur Mum

Few albums coming out this month are as highly anticipated as British duo Wet Leg’s self-titled debut, and the pair have shared a sixth and final single from the record before it finally comes out in full this Friday, April 8. “Ur Mum” slots perfectly into place with the stellar singles Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers have delivered so far, arriving with a delightful video directed by Lava La Rue. “Ur Mum” is a bitter kiss-off to an immature ex that blends the band’s signature wit with a hooky chorus begging the subject to make their exit from Teasdale’s life as soon as possible. The track also sees the band yearning to escape their small-town life on their native Isle of Wight, expressing their frustration with having outgrown everything trapping them there. If the second verse lines, “You’re always so full of it / Why don’t you just suck my dick?” don’t make the message clear enough, the inclusion of Teasdale’s “longest and loudest scream” (lasting 11 seconds) will probably do the trick. In a statement, Teasdale said of the breakup that inspired the song, “I was pretty angry at the way things had gone in this particular dynamic. It’s just a diss song I wrote to make myself feel better. It worked.” —Elise Soutar

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