The 10 Best New Songs

Featuring Julia Jacklin, Enumclaw, Skullcrusher 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.

Disq: “Cujo Kiddies

The Wisconsin-based band Disq has announced their sophomore album, Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet, will be out Oct. 7 via Saddle Creek. The band also shared lead single “Cujo Kiddies,” along with North American tour dates and a limited-edition run of 200 glow-in-the-dark LPs. Hot on the heels of Collector, their 2020 debut album, Disq reaffirms their ability to craft eccentric art rock. The pitch-shifted vocals drift over playful riffs and flittering percussion as bassist/vocalist/songwriter Raina Bock inflects, “I finally hooked up with the metal machine / I’m finding comfort in the metal machine.” A looping track that feels like being stuck in a trance, Bock set out to write a song that “sounded like a freight train full of clowns and silly toys, barreling through the dark, observing and taking note of the various gloomy landscapes of my brain (without dwelling too long or taking any of it too seriously).” —Samantha Sullivan

Enumclaw: “Cowboy Bepop

Tacoma, Washington’s own rising rock stars Enumclaw are back with another single from their debut album Save the Baby, coming Oct. 14 on Luminelle Recordings. “Cowboy Bepop” follows June’s “Jimmy Neutron,” which Paste hailed as one of the year’s best songs (so far). Over his and Nathan Cornell’s warm guitars, Aramis Johnson’s narrator finds himself happy with his life, yet longing for more control as it flies by. ”’Cause if you had to choose, would you / Wanna be brand new? / Well, joke’s on you, nothing’s new / I’m just the same as you,” he sings, finding peace in helplessness—like throwing your arms in the air on a rollercoaster. When a volcanic guitar solo punctuates his contemplation (“If you had to choose / What would you do?”), it hits like all of life’s possibilities manifesting at once. —Scott Russell

Field Medic: “i had a dream that you died”

Field Medic, also known as Kevin Patrick Sullivan, dresses up some of the bleakest concepts in beautiful and poppy folk clothing. Sullivan sings, “I had a dream that you died / Somehow made it about me,” over subtle electronic drum jitters and twangy guitar chords. Sullivan is unafraid to reflect on some of life’s most annoying intrusive thoughts, including the narcissistic take on dreaming about tragedy upon another person. Sullivan is uncomfortably honest at times, and it’s offset by his darkly charming humor that can make even the toughest of truths easier to swallow. —Jade Gomez

Jessie Ware: “Free Yourself

British dance-pop star Jessie Ware is back with her first proper offering since 2020’s What’s Your Pleasure?, hedonistic dance anthem “Free Yourself,” out now via PMR / Interscope. Co-written and produced by Clarence Coffee Jr. and Grammy winner Stuart Price, the track is described as “a taster session to Jessie’s fifth studio album,” which she is “busy back in the studio to finish,” a press release reveals. A classic dance track in every sense of the word, “Free Yourself” is built around Price’s piano and percussion, which loop hypnotically as Ware urges, “Don’t stand there waiting all of your life / For the night to come and find you.” Guitar and bass bolster the track’s irresistible, disco-ish groove, making Ware’s lyrics land less like suggestions and more edicts from on high, compelling you to find your own dance-floor euphoria. “’Free Yourself’ is the beginning of a new era for me,” says Ware in a statement. “I’m so excited for people to have this song for the end of their summer; to dance, to feel no inhibitions & to feel joyful because that’s how I’ve been feeling recently being able to tour again and being able to sing again. Enjoy yourself, Free Yourself!” —Scott Russell

Julia Jacklin: “Love, Try Not to Let Go”

This week Julia Jacklin dropped a third stunning single, “Love, Try Not To Let Go,” ahead of her forthcoming album, Pre Pleasure out Aug. 26. The Australian singer-songwriter juxtaposes delicate keys with a breathless build-up as she urges “try not to let go.” Jacklin’s silky vocals retrace her steps through hazy parties and scattered memories of “the night I lost my voice” in a way that makes everything except the love she’s wishing for seem like a static buzz or distant background noise. A graceful rumination on endurance and what you’re willing to withstand for a shot at true love, the single pushes the anticipation for her third album to an all-time high. —Samantha Sullivan

Mamalarky: “Mythical Bonds

Mamalarky radiates a wholesome optimism that is absolutely infectious. From the second the band hopped on Zoom to discuss their forthcoming album, Pocket Fantasy, out Sept. 30 via Fire Talk Records, they exuded a certain glow like there was nowhere in the world they would rather be than with each other. On July 20, the band shared their new single from the record, “Mythical Bonds.” “It’s a song about friendship and appreciating my bandmates. I feel like there’s not enough out there talking about how important those bonds are,” guitarist-vocalist Livvy Bennett told Paste. “I really like writing love songs and writing introspective songs, too. But I was like, ‘Why have I never made an ode to how important my bandmates are to me?’” A bite-size moment of bliss, the single sports a whimsical bassline and carefree “la la la”’s sprinkled throughout that feel like the friendships that make the rest of the world melt away. “I think our approach is to lead with something that can bring happiness,” Bennett says of the single. Rounded out with some impromptu cowbell on the bridge, the track evokes the sun-soaked afternoons the band spent swimming in between recording. —Samantha Sullivan

Pretty Sick: “Human Condition

After forming Pretty Sick when she was just 13 years old, Sabrina Fuentes is finally ready to release the band’s debut album, Makes Me Sick Makes Me Smile, on Sept. 30. The London-based and New York City-rooted outfit announced the album with lead single “Human Condition,” along with a music video directed by Frank Lebon. Pretty Sick expands on the ‘90s nostalgia of their previous EPs, Come Down and Deep Divine, with heavy-handed basslines and Fuentes’s dark, yet razor-sharp vocals. Rife with discontentment and a density due in part to the opaque swirl of guitars, Fuentes sounds the alarm on society as she proclaims, “The freedom you’re being sold is just submission / They wanna keep you content and under supervision / They got you convinced that ignorance is bliss.” Introducing you to a cast of characters ranging from the fangirl/assassin in the music video to the bad-guy gangster redeemed by Fuentes’ belief in forgiveness, the song shows you the seedy side of the human condition. —Samantha Sullivan

PVA: “Hero Man”

With “Hero Man,” South London’s PVA provide the latest preview of their much-anticipated debut album Blush, out Oct. 14 on Ninja Tune. The Grammy-nominated Toner trio’s new tune continues the sonic growth they displayed on May’s “Untethered,” with exhilarating synth lines and percussion crafted to make your heart beat faster. Whether that intensity of feeling is the product of excitement or anger depends on how closely you listen: Ella Harris (who shares lead vocal, synth, guitar and production duties with Josh Baxter) fixates on a kind of anti-catharsis, as pent-up and tense as the instrumental is liquid and free-flowing. “Can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t go to work, I can’t leave,” she chants over Louis Satchell’s electronic drums, bringing sprechgesang post-punk disillusionment (with would-be white knights) to what is otherwise a feverish disco-house dance-floor-filler. —Scott Russell

Skullcrusher: “Whatever Fits Together

Skullcrusher, aka singer/songwriter Helen Ballentine, has announced her long-awaited debut album, Quiet the Room, coming Oct. 14 on Secretly Canadian. Lead single “Whatever Fits Together,” out now alongside a music video, is Ballentine’s first release since her acclaimed 2021 EP Storm in Summer. “Whatever Fits Together” embeds Ballentine’s introspective, aching songwriting in sonic depth and atmosphere, her delicate voice and bright acoustic chords awash in humming reverb. As a banjo arpeggio uplifts the instrumental, Ballentine reflects on choices forgone that therefore became choices made: “Went along with whatever / Thought I knew what I wanted / Never knew what I wanted.” Her plaintive delivery conveys all of the emotion wrapped up in the act of this accounting, as if she’s indicting and forgiving herself at once, simply through the act of attempting to understand. As the song finally falls to pieces, Ballentine chooses the present moment above all else, asking amid ethereal fragments of sound, “If we’re here, does it matter?” —Scott Russell

Sour Widows: “Witness

Bay Area rock trio Sour Widows are back with their first new material of the year, “Witness.” Produced by Maryam Qudus (Toro y Moi, SASAMI), the song follows the band’s acclaimed Crossing Over, one of Paste’s favorite EPs of 2021. “Witness” is a patient, poignant slowcore track that explores the murky depths of loss and pain. Sour Widows—Maia Sinaiko, Susanna Thomson and Max Edelman—move through grief’s disparate emotional spaces, from steely resolve (“I’ve had practice / I can let things die”) to overwhelming heartache (“My heart beating / Like a fist against the veil”) and a sense of insignificance—as if dwarfed by the enormity of life and death, and the inexorability of time (“The moments repeat / and feedback into and endlessly”). All the while, their dynamic rock fortifies these feelings, peaking as Sinaiko and Thomson vocalize together, then finding a gentler form in its home stretch, like the clear skies after a storm has blown through. “This is the first song we finished since I lost my mom in June 2021,” Thomson says of the song in a statement. “Monumental loss creates a very clear divide between those in your life who can understand the depth of that kind of pain and those who can’t. ‘Witness’ speaks to that experience.” —Scott Russell

Share Tweet Submit Pin