The 10 Best New Songs

Featuring Regina Spektor, JayWood, Camp Trash 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.

Blood: “Luck”

Following the loud-quiet-really loud complexity of “Money Worries,” the first single from Philadelphia-based post-punk sextet Blood’s Bye Bye EP (July 8, Permanent Creeps), new single “Luck” not only doubles that track’s runtime, but reveals new dimension to what the band is capable of. With the aim to “get down into the caverns of the conspiracy-driven psyche,” according to a press release, the unsettling, slow-burning song sees Blood squirm through an imagined character’s paranoid reality. Though the music initially limps along, leaning against off-kilter bass, occasional razor-sharp guitar hits and wild saxophone noodling in order to keep itself from collapsing into shambles. Then, in the song’s final minute, the sincere portrait of questionable skepticism erupts into a solid, melodic charge to the finish line, lifting lead singer Tim O’Brien’s voice to force its way in front of the chaos accelerating around it. —Elise Soutar

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Camp Trash: “Let It Ride

Florida rockers Camp Trash first made waves in 2021 with their acclaimed debut EP Downtiming, and now the wait for their first full-length is nearly over. The Long Way, The Slow Way is coming this summer, out July 1 on Count Your Lucky Stars. Lead single “Let It Ride” feels like a statement of intent: Camp Trash are going their own way, however long and slow it may be, and they’re not looking back. “My best, I guess, ‘no excuses and no regrets’ / Keep no record of wrong or the money I spent,” sings vocalist and guitarist Bryan Gorman. Crunching power chords from Gorman and guitarist (and Paste contributor) Keegan Bradford move in lockstep with Levi Bradford and Alex Roberts’ low end, with backing harmonies and searing riffs seeing the track through its anthemic crescendo. Camp Trash couch their all-too-relatable struggles “to feel less insane” in relentlessly hooky guitar-rock that feels nostalgic and new at the same time. —Scott Russell

CHAI: “Surprise”

Japanese quartet CHAI-comprising twins MANA (vocals and keyboards) and KANA (guitar), YUNA (drums), and YUUKI (bass)-work almost exclusively in color, having long embraced hyperpop and power-pop to create exuberant auditory portraits of optimism in the face of darkness. “SURPRISE” is no different, celebrating their connection with their fans in the lyrics and the song’s music video. As the parade of a track turns its final corner and warm horns add to the joyous feeling, it’s difficult to not get swept up in just how bright the band’s worldview is, even when the world is, well, the way it is at the moment. “We all have that precious ‘something’ that we can’t express in words,” the band said of the song in a statement. “But sometimes those things happen to make it out as words, and we want to feel and love that ‘surprise.’ Those become the surprises of our lives, and I become a brand new me. That’s what we had in mind when we wrote ‘SURPRISE.’” —Elise Soutar

Cola: “Degree”

On the fourth single from their much-anticipated debut Deep in View (May 20, Fire Talk), Cola continue to carry Ought’s sound forward, introducing new and exciting permutations. Tim Darcy describes “Degree” as evoking “what it feels like running to catch the bus when you’re in a daze and suddenly have to sprint,” his lyrics dancing artfully around that concept of incomplete presence, divided attention. “Have you been to the movies lately? / Did you read the marquee? / It’s not even started and there is a push to leave,” the vocalist matter-of-factly observes. Meanwhile, drummer Evan Cartwright regulates Darcy and Ben Stidworthy’s strumming post-punk guitar and bass, the song galloping ahead despite its uncertain destination, like an empty car with a cinderblock on the gas pedal. —Scott Russell

Emily Yacina: “DB Cooper”

This summer, Long Beach-based Emily Yacina will release All The Things, a compilation spanning the past decade of her career. One of three previously unreleased songs featured on the record, “DB Cooper” is the kind of track that will charm you at a glance, but knock you flat upon further examination. Co-produced by Jay Som’s Melina Duterte, the track is a dream-pop-tinged tribute to Yacina’s late friend and collaborator Eric Littman, who died in July 2021: “He was a master story-teller, and the last time I saw him in L.A. he told me the story of D.B. Cooper with such life and vivaciousness,” Yacina recalls. The song enmeshes her aching grief with the verve that defined her fallen friend: “I wore my backpack to your funeral / In case I had to escape / You were just telling me about DB Cooper / Jumping out of the plane,” Yacina sings over fuzzy guitars and Gia Margaret’s pumping bass, repeating the chorus over and over, as if fighting to keep her friend’s memory and his stories alive. —Scott Russell

JayWood: “Just Sayin’”

Winnipeg singer/songwriter Jeremy Haywood-Smith, aka JayWood, impressed us with the quiet confidence of his 2021 EP Some Days, a guitar-forward psych-pop collection with the potential to resonate far beyond the bedroom in which it began. “Just Sayin’,” the first single from JayWood’s forthcoming album Slingshot (July 15, Captured Tracks), finds him realizing that potential, though not in the way you may have expected: Originally written for another artist, the song finds Haywood-Smith pushing himself into glossy electro-pop territory, stepping out of his comfort zone while, in his songwriting, urging others to do the same. “Just Sayin’” is equal parts dance-floor jam and wake-up call: “Just because you grew up in a dream / Don’t mean, no harm no foul / People don’t go out of their way / To see the world on fire,” he sings over a springy synth bass line and Chic-like guitar chug, beckoning the privileged out of their bubbles and into a world in which they have the power to make a difference. —Scott Russell

Mall Grab feat. Brendan Yates: “Understand”

Australian dance producer Mall Grab formed an unlikely pair with hardcore outfit TURNSTILE, culminating in the excellent 2020 EP Share A View, which consisted of moody remixes of the band’s material. They’ve reunited, this time with TURNSTILE frontman Brendan Yates contributing vocals that ebb and flow between his signature scream and silky croon. Mall Grab’s gentle, spacey production softens Yates’ edge, allowing each artist to shine, and showing the brilliant and unlikely pairing of two genres. —Jade Gomez

Mykki Blanco: “Your Love Was a Gift”

Mykki Blanco has embodied various genres and styles over the years, from New York hip-hop to dance. On their latest “Your Love Was A Gift,” they take a backseat and allow Diana Gordon and Sam Buck to shine, blending alternative pop and emotional country with Blanco’s heart-wrenching spoken word. Across the four-minute-long track, the three decide against existing in harmony. Each pocket of the song feels like an act in a play, morphing around Blanco’s lyrics of love and yearning as it takes on different forms. Blanco’s vision has evolved beyond that of a musician, blending their unique artistic edge and creating music that lives and breathes. “Your Love Was A Gift” is no exception. —Jade Gomez

Regina Spektor: “Up The Mountain”

Expectations are high for Russian-born, New York-based singer/songwriter Regina Spektor’s first new album in six years, Home, before and after (June 24, Warner Records), but Spektor’s always been one to sidestep expectations, consistently delivering work that never bows to what people think she’s going to do next. First single “Becoming All Alone” was one of our favorite songs of February, but even that track from the same project couldn’t have prepared us for the kinetic, hip-hop-influenced climb of “Up the Mountain.” “In the flower, there’s a nectar / In the nectar, there’s an answer / In that answer, there’s another,” she chants over swooping strings that descend over booming brass and drums before the song grinds to a sudden halt of pitch-shifted vocals. An exercise in perfectly constructed chaos like this can only be pulled off by an artist with the vision to execute it, and it’s fascinating to hear Spektor befuddle and awe in a way we’ve never heard from her before. By the time she’s insisting that, “Like it or not / I’m coming up the mountain,” you want to run up the steep incline and catch up, just to make sure you don’t miss what she’ll do next. —Elise Soutar

Sheridan Riley: “Embody”

Alvvays drummer Sheridan Riley is hard to place. “Embody” is the closest thing they have to a thesis statement, composed of voice memos over eerie keys and haphazard jazz drumming. Underlying tones of religious guilt and confusion foster a morbid connection between each disembodied character, not constrained by the chaos underneath. Riley channels a human-like energy into each song, transforming them into more than songs, but rather experiences that can be interacted with beyond listening. Like a conceptual art piece or performance art, “Embody” taps into the universality of human connection and the discomfort of vulnerability. —Jade Gomez

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