The 10 Best New Songs

Featuring Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Alvvays, Duckwrth feat. Syd 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.

Alvvays: “Easy on Your Own?

The long-awaited return of Alvvays continues to be one of this summer’s most pleasant surprises. Their latest single “Easy on Your Own?” is our second preview of Blue Rev (Oct. 7, Polyvinyl), the band’s first new album in five years. Alvvays shared Blue Rev’s opener “Pharmacist” upon its announcement last month, and now follow up with the album’s second track, “Easy on Your Own?” It’s another brisk blast of the band’s signature dream-pop sound, with complex textures not previously found in their discography. Molly Rankin’s vocals sit lower in the mix than usual, entering alongside synth buzz and forceful low end before buzzing glide guitar envelops her voice a la My Bloody Valentine. When her singing does burst through in the choruses, it hits like a ray of sunshine through the clouds, even though her lyrics (where discernible) describe a long-term relationship so damaged, it might not be worth saving. The song shudders to a stop in under three minutes, another concise stunner seemingly designed to reward repeat listens. —Scott Russell

Danger Mouse & Black Thought feat. A$AP Rocky and Run the Jewels: “Strangers

We are approaching the final days until Cheat Codes, the collaborative album between Danger Mouse and Black Thought, is finally released this Friday, Aug. 12. On Aug. 9, they shared one of the most exciting collaborations on the tracklist, and it’s none other than an unrelenting banger featuring A$AP Rocky and Run the Jewels. Danger Mouse’s fuzzy drums and clacks tickle the ears and the brain, standing strong as they loop underneath Black Thought’s sharp and cocky verse. A$AP Rocky channels the infectious charm and braggadocio of his older work to make way for Run the Jewels’ dizzying wordplay. Together, four of the best lyricists of our time team up to bring back the true essence of hip-hop: great beats and even better bars. Muffled gangster movie samples help a lot, too. —Jade Gomez

Disq: “If Only

Disq dip into the past on their ‘90s-nostalgic new single “If Only.” The latest release from their forthcoming album, Desperately Imaginingg Someplace Quiet, out Oct. 7 via Saddle Creek, the song stands in stark contrast to its predecessor “Cujo Kiddies.” From trilling art-rock to the guitar-centric new single, the Wisconsin-based band issues an unofficial warning to buckle up as they tear through new sonic terrain. Offering up unparalleled authenticity, “If Only” sounds like a long-lost Pablo Honey b-side, not simply a song drawing inspiration from the era, but a relic of it. The gritty brightness of the guitars channel early-2000s alternative as Isaac deBroux-Slone confesses, “I would rewind and fix it all, but if I had the chance to / I’d probably still hurt you, and you me.” The culmination of spinning in constant circles, Disq switches into overdrive with a wailing synth guitar solo and deBroux-Slone’s frustrated screams as he struggles to sleep alone. As if the song itself is worn out from waiting around, the breakdown at the bridge elicits the distant dream of shaking off someone who’s already under your skin. —Samantha Sullivan

Duckwrth feat. Syd: “Ce Soir”

A recurring theme of dance music released during the pandemic is a yearning to experience touch and fleeting intimacy found on the dancefloor. On “Ce Soir” (which translates to “tonight” in French), Duckwrth, the multi-hyphenate genre-bender, blends together a compelling mix of R&B and house music for a gorgeous, sexy club thumper. Pounding drums, his soft vocals and funky horns paint a detailed picture of a warm city night, using the vast expanse of the night sky to represent the endless possibilities of where he could take you. If his boyish croon and breathless raps weren’t enough to make you blush, he enlists Syd’s spine-chilling whisper to lay out the rules of the night. Together, the two extend very different—but very tempting—invitations. In the words of the iconic Old El Paso taco commercials, “por que no los dos?” —Jade Gomez

Four Tet: “Mango Feedback”

Kieran Hebden, who releases electronic music under a variety of aliases, returned this week with two new Four Tet tunes, “Mango Feedback” and “Watersynth,” featuring artwork by Jason Evans. Make sure not to miss the latter, either, but the former track is our favorite of the two, an upbeat dance jam that grabs you with bright immediacy. A shuffling club beat underpins a resonant mandolin (or something like it) riff, as Hebden juxtaposes electronic and organic sounds in unlikely harmony, while squelching bass notes and regally sustained synths create more meditative pockets in the music. Later, screeching feedback builds, then releases pressure, slingshotting the listener right back into that mando hook. “Mango Feedback” is engaging all the way through, yet mutates in subtle ways as it progresses, like the sonic representation of someone following a train of thought and surprising even themselves with the twists and turns they take. —Scott Russell

High Vis: “Trauma Bonds

London’s High Vis reject comfortable numbness on the latest single from their forthcoming sophomore album Blending (Sept. 9, Dais), “Trauma Bonds.” The powerful song is our fourth preview of Blending after “Talk for Hours,” “Fever Dream” and the title track. ”‘Trauma Bonds’ was written after the news of another tragic suicide of one of our friends during lockdown,” frontperson Graham Sayle explains in a statement. “It forced us to reflect on how the death of young people had become so normalized within our group of friends that we had become numb to it. Friendships became Trauma Bonds and the gravity of these situations suppressed through toxic coping mechanisms. The song is a hopeful exploration into these feelings in an attempt to support each other through better communication and collective empathy.” High Vis—Sayle (vocals), Martin Macnamara (guitar), Rob Hammeren (guitar), Rob Moss (bass) and Edward “Ski” Harper (drums)—deliver that call to emotional arms through anthemic, deceptively complex rock, with hints of shoegaze, post-punk and jangle-pop in its mix. The force of their performances batters down your inner barriers and lets the feeling flow out, but Sayle’s hooky vocal is more circumspect about what it takes to defeat apathy: “I wish I could say / Something sane to wash away / And annihilate the trauma that we save,” he laments before spotting a light at the end of that tunnel: “It might just take just one / Reason inside to carry on / Or something sharp to cut these trauma bonds.” —Scott Russell

julie: “pg.4 a picture of three hedges

The Los Angeles-based three-piece band and design collective julie has shared two new singles, “pg.4 a picture of three hedges” and “through your window.” The tracks mark the first official release from the shoegaze group since their independently released 2021 EP pushing daisies. Despite the band’s DIY ethos, they have garnered a bit of a cult following, with standouts like “flutter” amassing thousands of streams. Julie seems to exist on the edge of a knife, the threat of ferocity laying dormant until the moment comes for them to cut deep. There’s a sustained tension on “pg.4 a picture of three hedges” that crescendos after the should-be-sweet confession, “I like it when you smile.” Instead, the song cliff-jumps into an abyss of blistering, overdrive-drenched guitars and razor-sharp basslines. —Samantha Sullivan

serpentwithfeet feat. Moby: “On Air

The unlikely pairing of serpentwithfeet and Moby present “On Air,” the former’s new song released via the latter’s new label. Only the second release on Moby’s Always Centered at Night, the ethereal “On Air” is accompanied by a video co-directed by Moby and Mike Formanski. The song plays to the strengths of both artists, pairing serpentwithfeet’s singular voice with Moby’s lush production. Luminous piano lays the foundation for “On Air” before handclaps and serpentwithfeet’s scene-setting vocal (“7 a.m. and the sun is hidden”) propel the song forward. Distant, dragging percussion maintains its momentum into its swelling, string-accented choruses, in which serpentwithfeet declares, “It’s been a minute since I’ve seen you smile / But I believe in us, somehow,” his vocal hook amplified as rhythmic echoes. —Scott Russell

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: “Burning

Back in June, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs announced their first album in nearly a decade, Cool It Down (Sept. 30, Secretly Canadian). The announcement was joined by the gorgeous and somber single “Spitting Off the Edge of the World” in collaboration with Perfume Genius. On Aug. 10, the band shared their latest single, “Burning,” a magnetic dance-rock jam. A simple piano loop grows into a disco-inspired explosion with tambourines, thumping bass and the band’s signature distorted guitars. Karen O’s vocals reach into yelps and settle into tantalizing whispers. According to press materials, “Burning” is inspired by The Four Seasons’ “Beggin,” and it shows in the flamboyant layers of the song. —Jade Gomez

Ylayali: “He Needs Me”

Ylayali, the Philadelphia-based project of Francis Lyons (Free Cake For Every Creature, 2nd Grade, 22º Halo), have shared “He Needs Me,” the second single from their forthcoming album Separation, out via Dear Life Records on Sept. 2. A graceful follow-up to “Circle Change,” the song’s warm violin and delicate harp accompaniment gives it a gentle glow underscored by Lyons wispy vocals. Tagged as “devotional” on Bandcamp, the song’s steady repetition of “he needs me, he needs me” that Lyons melts into at the end has the same sacred complexion as a prayer. —Samantha Sullivan

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