The 10 Best New Songs

Featuring The National feat. Bon Iver, Palm, Wild Pink feat. Julien Baker 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.

Babehoven: “I’m on Your Team”

Maya Bon and her Hudson, New York-based band Babehoven have announced their debut album and shared the video for its lead single. The follow-up to Babehoven’s 2022 Sunk EP, Light Moving Time is due out Oct. 28 via Double Double Whammy. In “I’m on Your Team,” singer/songwriter Bon and her bandmate and producer Ryan Albert deliver wholesome moral support via patiently paced Americana-rock balladry. Bon sings of kindness and belonging over warm-toned acoustic guitar and slow-rolling percussion, with light synth accents elevating choruses about finding one’s “team” and “Learning how to be angry / But not be mean.” It’s the kind of song that can break your emotional shell wide open if it finds you at the right time—and is a safe bet to win you over even if not. —Scott Russell

Botch: ”One Twenty Two”

After breaking up in 2002, then signing to Sargent House last fall to revive their coveted catalog, Tacoma, Washington, math-metal-core institution Botch have shared their first new song in 20 years, “One Twenty Two.” The track will appear on the forthcoming reissue of their second album, 1999’s We Are the Romans, coming Nov. 4 on double LP and CD. To hear Botch guitarist David Knudson tell it, Botch had no plans to reunite—it just happened. “One Twenty Two” started as a particularly heavy song Knudson had written for his debut solo album, but somewhere along the way, it led him back to his former bandmates. Dave Verellen’s visceral screams draw on “seven years of tears into pillows,” with a “black widow” as the song’s central symbol of creeping malevolence. Tim Latona and Brian Cook maintain the track’s pulsing low end as Verellen interlocks his howls with Knudson’s barbed-wire guitars, blending math and metal the same way that made Botch’s music so resonant to begin with. —Scott Russell

Future Teens feat. Dan Campbell: “Team Sports”

Boston’s Future Teens teamed up with Dan Campbell of The Wonder Years for the latest single from Self Help (Sept. 23, Triple Crown Records), their forthcoming third full-length. The song’s central tension is exemplified by the two questions Campbell poses as the track crescendos: “Are you doing okay? / Are you really okay?” As Future Teens consider throughout the song, there’s a long, hard road between identifying emotional problems and working to manage them. Vocalist/guitarist Amy Hoffman sings about counting down to therapy appointments and walling off well-meaning friends, but as the band’s anthemic, hyper-hooky “bummer pop” song ramps up—just before Campbell lends his voice to theirs—they have an epiphany: “We’re all just looking for a safe place to spiral / Why not make a team sport out of survival?” The song’s home stretch is pure pop-rock catharsis, as Future Teens harness the power of leaning on one another both lyrically and instrumentally. —Scott Russell

Julia Jacklin: “Be Careful with Yourself”

Australian singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin has shared one last single ahead of her third album PRE PLEASURE, coming this Friday (Aug. 26) on Polyvinyl Record Co. “Be Careful with Yourself” is out now alongside a visualizer shot by Rick Clifford, and edited by Clifford and Jacklin herself. There’s been quite a bit of buzz around Jacklin’s new album, and the effortlessly lovely “Be Careful with Yourself” will only toss more fuel on the fire. Electric guitars softly sway back and forth between two chords, like two people who simply can’t quit each other, while a steady low end and bright, yet unassuming riffs maintain the chorus-less track’s insistent momentum. Jacklin’s heartfelt singing and songwriting are the show’s true stars: “Please stop smoking, want your life to last a long time / If you don’t stop smoking, I’ll have to start, shorten mine,” she croons, depicting a love she’d choose over life itself. There’s a warmth and generosity to the song that feeds the soul—Jacklin’s narrator so can’t imagine a future without their lover in it, she’s prepared to micro-manage their life if it means they get to spend it together, and she conveys that all-encompassing care in such a way that even you, the listener, feel loved. —Scott Russell

Louis Cole: “I’m Tight”

When art-funk virtuoso Thundercat hails you as “one of Los Angeles’ greatest musicians,” you must be doing something right. The Grammy winner was talking about singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Louis Cole, whose new single “I’m Tight” is “something right,” indeed. The seven-minute second single from Cole’s forthcoming Quality Over Opinion (Oct. 14, Brainfeeder Records) is a psych-funk mosaic that “comes from me recording about 100 different cells of funk, choosing my favorite ones and quilting them together into a song,” as Cole explains, adding, “I had to practice the bass part a lot for this one.” Propelled by that racing bassline, Cole lets his stream-of-consciousness lyrics (“Thoughts like this, they come to me / I like these thoughts, I let them be”) flow through him, occasionally slipping into an Angelo de Augustine-esque falsetto. Keys and guitars flit across the composition like shooting stars, but Cole keeps it tight until he finally rides the groove off into the sunset. —Scott Russell

Magdalena Bay: ”All You Do”

Ahead of a new deluxe reissue of their acclaimed debut album Mercurial World, Los Angeles-based duo Magdalena Bay are back with their first new material of 2022. “All You Do” is a few degrees removed from Mica Tenenbaum and Matthew Lewin’s usual electro-pop sound, with acoustic guitar, live drums and nimble bass leading the way, and sweeping, film score-worthy strings elevating its choruses. Over cheery strums, Tenenbaum depicts a never-ending quest for fulfillment, cooing, “I only drink when I’m drunk / Can’t fall asleep on my own / I only wanna have some fun / Let the party never end.” It’s only late in the game that the danceable synth-scapes we associate with Magdalena Bay make their way into the song’s spotlight—and only after you push “replay” that you realize they were there all along. —Scott Russell

Mamalarky: ”It Hurts”

Los Angeles-based four-piece Mamalarky are back with another preview of their forthcoming sophomore album Pocket Fantasy, coming Sept. 30 on Fire Talk. The latest single from the band’s follow-up to their 2020 self-titled debut, “It Hurts” follows “Mythical Bonds” (which found a fan in David Byrne) and “You Know I Know.” Where its predecessors were bright and electric guitar-driven, “It Hurts” is more gentle and contemplative, with flowery keys and finger-plucked acoustic guitar adorning its placid percussion. Livvy Bennett is caught between romantic longing and self-conscious meta-criticism, crooning, “I know it’s bad timing but I need you very badly / And it seems that you can’t give that much,” only to catch herself: “I’m capitalizing off of my own emotion / It’s something that I do too well.” Amid the song’s soft psychedelia, Bennett finally confronts the reality of having suspended her heartache in amber—the thought that “It Hurts” will outlive the breaking bond that inspired it—singing, “I will exist only as sound to you.” —Scott Russell

The National feat. Bon Iver: “Weird Goodbyes”

The National are back with “Weird Goodbyes,” a new single featuring vocals by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and strings by the London Contemporary Orchestra (arranged by the band’s Bryce Dessner). It’s just the second new song they’ve shared since the release of their 2019 album I Am Easy to Find, following “Somebody Desperate,” their contribution to the Cyrano (2021) soundtrack. “It’s about letting go of the past and moving on, then later being overwhelmed by second thoughts,” vocalist Matt Berninger explains of “Weird Goodbyes” in a statement. Built on an Aaron Dessner drum machine beat played live by Bryan Devendorf, the song centers minimalist piano and Berninger’s mournful vocals, which are joined by Vernon’s in its choruses. “Memorize the bathwater, memorize the air / There’ll come a time I’ll wanna know I was here,” Berninger sings, his baleful baritone conveying a sense of shattered domestic bliss—”I’m feelin’ sacred, my soul is stripped,” he and Vernon sing in the aftermath. Slow, sad and spare, “Weird Goodbyes” may seem an odd choice as a first preview of The National’s next album, but its emotional texture and deceptively powerful hooks are undeniable. —Scott Russell

Palm: “Parable Lickers”

It’s good to have Palm back. The Philly-based art-rock four-piece released their first new song in four years last month upon announcing their new album Nicks and Grazes (Oct. 14, Saddle Creek), and this week’s “Feathers” follow-up, “Parable Lickers,” is stronger still. Like a confetti cannon of rhythm and melody, the track explodes with hooky, percussive psychedelic energy right out of the gate, as Palm loop a sample of a high school drumline, then layer steelpan and timpani atop it. Vocalists and guitarists Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt bounce their vocals back and forth like ping-pong balls, aptly opening, “You tap in / As I tap out,” before their lyrics venture into abstraction: “Even I know solitude / Summoned by a rectangle.” MIDI guitar and staccato synth keep “Parable Lickers” in a state of continuous transformation, yet Alpert and Kurt do just enough to see its melodic core through. The song is a thrilling psych-pop balancing act of the kind Palm are uniquely equipped to pull off. —Scott Russell

Wild Pink feat. Julien Baker: “Hold My Hand”

Wild Pink are back with another preview of their forthcoming fourth full-length ILYSM, coming Oct. 14 on Royal Mountain Records. The album’s tender, twangy second single “Hold My Hand,” featuring Julien Baker, was inspired by an experience Wild Pink bandleader John Ross had while battling cancer—an ordeal the band reckon with at length on the follow-up to their acclaimed 2021 LP A Billion Little Lights. “I wrote that song right after my first surgery, about lying on the operating table where a member of the surgical team held my hand right before I went under,” Ross recalls of the heartfelt “Hold My Hand” in a statement. “It sounds kind of arbitrary, and like it shouldn’t have been as impactful as it was, but I felt very comforted and wanted to capture that loving feeling in the song.” The finished product is a quiet storm of emotion, with Moore’s arpeggiated piano figure and Dan Keegan’s brushed drums as its slow, but steady heartbeat. Ross strums an acoustic guitar and sings at just above a whisper, wondering, “Wherever I go when I go down / Will you be there when I come around again?” It’s only then that Baker joins her voice to his (on “To hold my hand”), a musical representation of the simple, but beautiful act of human togetherness that saw Ross through such fraught uncertainty. Moore’s piano and sustained lap steel eventually come to the forefront, like morning’s first rays of sunshine. —Scott Russell

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