10 Best New Songs (Feb 2, 2023)

Music Lists Best Songs
10 Best New Songs (Feb 2, 2023)

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’s10 best new songs, in alphabetical order.

For the latest list of best songs, click here

Alex Lahey: “Good Time”
Australian singer/songwriter Alex Lahey announced her third album, The Answer Is Always Yes, coming out May 19th on her new label, Liberation, with a new single “Good Time.” The track is a post-pandemic celebration that’s a little reminiscent of her country-mate Courtney Barnett on the verses before breaking out into a catchy pop song on the chorus. Co-written with the ubiquitous Jackknife Lee (who appears to be having his own good time, these days), the song’s refrain is met with a tasty little guitar lick. “This song was inspired by a night out I had at the pub with my friend soon after Melbourne came out of lengthy lockdowns,” Lahey explains in the release. “We were watching all these strangers around us have this ‘whatever it takes’ attitude towards making the most of the night (aka getting lit). It was a bit of a shock after being cooped up for so long, but also kind of invigorating.” —Josh Jackson

Blake Ruby: “Our Bed”
With “Our Bed,” Nashville indie-pop artist/writer/producer Blake Ruby delivers a classic pop song by way of piano-driven ballad. With a tasteful touch of reverb, Ruby’s vocals at the front of the mix. The chorus reels you in with a catchy chorus and smooth piano runs. Light synths help fill out the sound, but the tune is mostly backed by guitar and piano. The song envelops you like a warm comforter that keeps you from wanting to leave your bed—especially when the person you love is lying right next to you. “Our Bed” is a well-written, cozy pop song. —Rayne Antrim

Cheekface: “The Fringe”
Cheekface found plenty of critical acclaim since forming in 2017—at least as far as this publication is concerned. Paste named their 2021 album Emphatically No one of the best rock albums of that year, and their follow-up Too Much To Ask was one of our Best Albums of 2022. Now the Los Angeles band returns with a new single, “The Fringe,” that questions, in that tongue-in-Cheekface way, what success really means. “Success is cringe,” Greg Katz sings, “I want to be on the fringe.” The frontman for a trio that calls itself “America’s Local Band” goes on to talk-sing about “carving massive nudes out of cold mayonnaise” and an art gallery showing of the “personal history of my runny nose,” skewering the more ridiculous elements of avant garde and the band’s own striving for success, all while he and his bandmates Amanda Tannen (bass) and Mark Edwards (drums) play catchy power-pop-punk that begs for repeat listens. —Josh Jackson

Jana Horn: “After All This Time”
The first single from Horn’s sophomore record The Window Is The Dream, “After All This Time” is a serene and plucky take on tropicália. The instrumental features a cello arrangement from Jared Samuel Elioseff, while Horn’s vocals are a jazz club resplendent. The track is colorful, abstract, delicate and patient. “After All This Time,” much like Horn’s wide breadth of compositions and influences (which range from Tim Buckley to Aldous Harding), is soft like a romcom yet alluring and mysterious like a noir. On her anticipated follow-up to 2021’s Optimism, Horn is expanding and shapeshifting. “After All This Time” is the perfect teaser, as it showcases her obliteration of the indie-folk status quo. —Matt Mitchell

Mudhoney: “Almost Everything”
Underpinning even the grungiest tunes from Seattle rock mainstays Mudoney was the band’s deep love for psychedelic music. It’s an influence the quartet has only leaned into harder as they’ve gotten older. Case in point is this new jam from the group’s forthcoming album Plastic Eternity, Steve Turner and Mark Arm’s guitars melt together like pools of hot lava lamp wax and an insistent conga rhythm sets the song’s controls for the heart of the infinite. —Robert Ham

The Boo Radleys: “Seeker”
Keep On With Falling, last year’s reunion album from Britpop group The Boo Radleys, suffered slightly from the absence of founding member Martin Carr and the caustic elements he brought to the group via his forward-thinking production techniques and guitar wizardry. The first single from the group’s forthcoming album sounds as though the current members of the group took some of that criticism to heart. It opens with the song’s reggae-inspired rhythm track filtered as though through a hydraulic press, before sliding into a perfect pop tune anchored by distorted guitar, a chirpy horn section and frontman Sice Rowbottom’s romantic longing. —Robert Ham

Unknown Mortal Orchestra: “Layla”
The New Zealand psych rock outfit’s latest single has a decidedly laid-back vibe, as if frontman Ruban Nelson was listening to a steady diet of yacht rock to prepare for the band’s upcoming double album, V, due out March 17 on Jagjaguwar, and filtering it through UMO’s singularly trippy sound. Neiland to Palm Springs, Calif., to write the record, and then to visit his uncle in Hilo, Hawaii, and there’s a definite surf-and-tiki vibe to the song that has me curious to hear V’s other 13 tracks. —Josh Jackson

Whitney: “For a While”
It hasn’t been long since Chicago outfit Whitney released their fourth LP, SPARK last fall. Even so, in the wake of that record’s singularity, color and intimacy, the band bring forward “For A While,” a track they’ve been playing live for over seven years. They’d written it around the time of their 2016 debut, Light Upon the Lake, but had never given it a proper studio recording. The song, in its purest form, is an emblem of the first two Whitney records: sun-soaked and brimming with clean, airy guitars that contort delicately. Drummer and vocalist Julien Ehrlich’s singing is in peak form, as he races across the octaves of a lush falsetto, while Max Kakacek plucks richly beside him. Though SPARK took big swings at electronic glory, here we get Whitney going back to the basics. It’s not a signal that they’re retreating back to their old sound for good; rather, it’s them giving a beloved live tune its day in the sun. And how lucky we are to watch “For A While” swallow it whole. —Matt Mitchell

Xylouris White: “Latin White”
The first release from the new album by Xylouris White, the ongoing collaboration between drummer Jim White (Dirty Three, Cat Power) and Giorgos Xylouris, feels as frantic and jumbled as the world right now. Recorded separately under the watchful eye of producer Guy Picciotto, the piece is a pure collage of guitar and traditional Greek instruments around which a whirling drum beat spins. What ballast there is to keep listeners rooted to the Earth is found in the drones that wend through the track like steel cables. —Robert Ham

Yves Tumor: “ Echolalia”
The announcement of a fifth album from Yves Tumor, aptly titled Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds), came with a second single: “Echolalia.” The track skates through inter-dimensional electronica, house and psychedelia. The accompanying video even culls inspo from Gulliver’s Travels. Tumor is a visionary, and their ability to weave together such orgasmic, delicious hooks through a choir of pulsing synths and perfectly choreographed percussion is immaculate and singular. “You look so magical / I don’t know how to act when I’m on my own,” they sing. 2023 demanded light and an audience; Tumor has already heeded the call. —Matt Mitchell

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