This Week’s Best New Songs

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This Week’s 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, in alphabetical order. (You can check out an ongoing playlist of our favorite songs of 2024 here.)

Belle and Sebastian: “What Happened to You, Son?”

Belle and Sebastian’s latest single was originally supposed to be released on their 2023 album Late Developers. The track is a slick, fast-paced romp detailing an obsessive music fan. A driving, urgent bass pulses through the track over subdued, accented electric guitar riffs. Delicate, ringing percussion and breezy vocal harmonies decorate the track. Stuart Lee Murdoch sings, “Printer was my sympathy / I was so obsessed with doing things my own way / Then one day you realize / I don’t stand for anything, I’m fading away.” Belle and Sebastian’s penchant for whimsy feels strong and fresh on “What Happened to You, Son” —Grace Ann Natanawan

Been Stellar: “Sweet”

NYC quintet Been Stellar have brought us the latest slice of their grime-coated debut Scream From New York, NY on the fuzzy post-punk track “Sweet.” Here, the group expresses how letting the quiet moments simmer in a relationship is often the best way to cherish the feeling, as “Sweet” details how filling the uncomfortable silence can feel overbearing when vocalist Sam Slocum sings, “Speaking when we don’t know what to say / It’s all the words I give and take from you each day.” Been Steller bring their endearing magnetism to this track about wrestling with stagnation in a relationship through their voracious looping riffs and unwavering drum lines—and “Sweet” is a gritty distorted trip. —Olivia Abercrombie

Ben Seretan: “New Air”

Ben Seretan is the kind of musician who isn’t afraid to keep you on your toes. The music he makes, it flutters between genres and tones and colors—shapeshifting between indie rock and experimental and instrumental and, even gauzy, metallic, piercing noise. The New York singer-songwriter is chameleonic in that way, never resting for a second. On his new album Allora, which was recorded way back in 2019 in Italy with Nico Hedley and Adeline Hotel’s Dan Knishkowy, is taking a harder, more riotous avenue. Lead single “New Air” is a sensory overload in all of the best ways, as Seretan plugs an onslaught of imagery into an eight-minute, heat-seeking missile of rock ‘n’ roll. “Cough drops and bumblebees in syrup / Bare feet resting on the window / When we drove to San Diego / We swam in every flooded valley,” he sings. “Oh, we breathe new air for the first time / Build a stone wall in my rib cage / So long, glad I got to know ya / Burn your postcards in the kitchen sink.” This is what I want rock ‘n’ roll to be, with circuit-breaking guitar jams that’ll split your head clean down the middle and never apologize for it. —Matt Mitchell

Bloomsday: “Virtual Hug”

“Virtual Hug,” the latest single from Bloomsday’s forthcoming LP Heart of the Artichoke, arrives through the guidance of a propulsive, shimmering acoustic guitar and Garrison’s lead vocal, which tenderly paints a picture of long-distance companionship told through the eyes of someone else. Iris James Garrison’s lyricism is the shining armor of the song, existing as pensive and full of grace—all while building its own world of ache and yearning in just three minute’s time. On a who’s-who album full of Paste favorites, like Babehoven and h. pruz, “Virtual Hug” is an exceptional, standout centerpiece of gravitational togetherness that beckons the collaborative environment it was conceptualized in. —MM

Body Meat: “High Beams”

Not to be confused with the band called Meatbodies, Philadelphia genre-evader Chris Taylor’s alias Body Meat stands in a league of its own. Taylor’s forthcoming LP Starchris, his latest with Partisan Records, aims to stand the test of time through the sheer will of being so chameleonic. New single “High Beams” illustrates that defiance perfectly, flirting with everything from glitch to rage to trap. But the song is not merely a bunch of descriptions, it’s a full mirage of Taylor’s interests—which arrive as danceable as they do menacing and ferocious. To know and love “High Beams” is to relish in the same chaos as Body Meat does. Taylor himself has said that the track is about a “programmer anxiously creating a game from within a cave,” and those conceptual origins illuminates everything else around it. The digitization sounds like coding, the soaring transitions sounds like physics. “High Beams” will twist you up. —MM

Cassandra Jenkins: “Only One”

When I saw that Cassandra Jenkins has a new album on the way, I embarrassingly fist-pumped into the air in my apartment alone. It’s hard to quantify just how crucial Jenkins’ perspective is to the current state of music, as her 2021 track “Hard Drive” remains, in my opinion, the best song of the decade so far. Now, Jenkins’ next chapter—My Light, My Destroyer—finds the Brooklyn singer-songwriter reveling in a very subdued and sublime melody that boasts my favorite chorus of 2024 so far (“You’re the only one I’ve ever loved, the only one that I know how love,” delivered through a cadence that reminds me of 1990s R&B chart-toppers, oddly enough). What makes “Only One” so transformative, to me, is that it pairs Jenkins’ never-disappointing grasp on language with a vibrant sense of pop minimalism. For every “Everywhere I turn, everything adds up to your number,” there is a verse like “Stick figure Sisyphus behind mass parlor window glass—how long will this pain in my chest last? How long will it last?” waiting to emerge right after. —MM

DEBBY FRIDAY: “To the Dancefloor”

Last year, DEBBY FRIDAY wowed us all with her debut album, Good Luck—which went on to win the Polaris Music Prize and grace our best debut albums of 2023 list in December. Now, the Toronto electronic musician is back with her first offering of 2024—the hard-nosed, glitchy euphoria of “To the Dancefloor,” which revels in its own technicolor digitization. “I need the girls all to the dance floor” is one of few lines on the song, but it doesn’t need to say very much to get the point across: It’s time to get your ass up and work. In all of its allure, “To the Dancefloor” has something macabre and apocalyptic about it, as a certain tone of doom rubs up against FRIDAY’s glittery, syncopated pop talents. The song is as colorful and demanding as it is replayable and one-of-a-kind. —MM

Ekko Astral: “on brand”

DC punk band Ekko Astral released their raucous debut album pink balloons this week, and final single “on brand” is a sharp, twisting track submerged in a gut-wrenching intensity. Thick layers of guitar, bass and percussion are smeared across the song. Jael Holzman’s wailing vocals reign across the track with a demanding physicality, as she sings of capitalism in relation to women and materialism: “She’s got a pair of cheetah print pink pumps made by federal prisoners / She likes to wear ‘em to the seventies club / wax nostalgic about racism and sexual listeners.” The track masterfully navigates the transition between tumultuous passages of dark, condensed noise and moments of brief cavernous and sparse sound. Ekko Astral are creating a forward-thinking blend of fierce noise rock that revels in its own destruction. —GN

Fontaines D.C.: “Starburster”

Primed to make their XL debut later this summer, Fontaines D.C. have returned with “Starburster”—the lead single from their forthcoming fourth LP, Romance. Ditching their snarling post-punk familiars, the five-piece breaks open new ground on the track—flirting with dance territory under the thumb of Grian Chatten’s unwavering vocal grit. “I wanna bite the phone, I wanna bleed the one, I wanna see you alone, alone,” he sings. The Dubliners unleash a laundry list of imagery, mentioning everything from striking with the SAG to the pig on a Chinese calendar—until all of it is tied up into a bow by Chatten: “It’s moral tyranny keeping it from me.” When a soft-spoken interlude hits, it becomes clear that Fontaines D.C. are firmly planted in a new era, catalyzed likely by producer James Ford. The quintet continue to be harbingers of a refined, delectable chaos. —MM

Good Looks: “Self-destructor”

Beloved Austin quartet Good Looks dropped “Self-destructor,” the second song off their upcoming record Lived Here For A While, this week—and it’s a different kind of break-up tune. The melodic rocker dives into frontman Tyler Jordan’s breakup with a former bandmate and the complicated emotions about having to part ways. “Didn’t like your ideas / I like you just fine,” he sings, bemoaning the frustrations around his conflicting feelings—over trying to separate his care for his friend and their ultimate creative differences. Painted by silky guitar tones, rhythmic lyrical breakdowns and a buoyant drumline, “Self-destructor” is textbook Good Looks—a great band unflinchingly wearing their heart on their sleeve. —OA

Hana Vu: “22”

We’re back, getting melancholic with Hana Vu once again—and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. Not to be confused with Taylor Swift’s pop classic, Vu’s “22” is a gloomy reflection of how the spark of curiosity and nativity slowly starts to decay as you experience fewer firsts. With her brand of fuzzy indie-pop warmth, Vu explores the ephemeral nature of youth: “I’m at the house / That we grew up in, it falls down / Without you here / And in the car / I scream so loud / Because I don’t exist no more,” she sings, lamenting feeling paralyzed by the fact that she still feels so young at the same moment she is the oldest she has ever been. “22” captures that sting of losing childhood wonder while desperately wanting to cling to its goodness. —OA

jessica boudreaux: “Be Somebody Else”

Portland singer-songwriter (and former bandleader of Summer Cannibals) jessica boudreaux has released her first non-soundtrack song since “Truce” in March 2023. “Be Somebody Else” is kinetic, roaring alt-rock done up in a beautiful bouquet of melodic pop gusto. boudreaux lets herself fall all the way into the track’s intensity—delivering catchy verses through distorted guitar tones and, in her words, “personal epiphanies.” “I play my fear back on repeat to find the spaces I don’t need,” she sings. “Discarded names I couldn’t keep, I tried ‘em on but I’m still me. Yeah, sure, I try to change my clothes! Pretend I care, strike a model’s pose. They sniff me out, that’s how it goes. That’s how it goes, they always know.” It’s a terrific perspective on envy and grace, with boudreaux’s striking commentary on what’s “normal” steering the ship of avalanching rock ‘n’ roll into a euphoric, raucous mirage. —MM

Lava La Rue: “Humanity”

Lava La Rue opens their heart to us on “Humanity,” the second offering off of their debut album STARFACE. In the narrative track, they detail the loss of a close friend to addiction as well as reflecting on the current socio-political global climate. In the moving, accompanying music video, Lava weaves clips of them performing the track at Biig Piig’s Gaza Aid Benefit through clips from global protests and montages of fan-submitted-home videos detailing what humanity looks like to them. Over a slick groove, they passionately sing, “So many humans / And where’s the humanity? / Sometimes, we are scared / But sometimes we love,” as a call for people to aid each other during this humanitarian crisis. “Humanity” is a gorgeous track about love and the impact people can have on the world just by coming together. —OA

Pillow Queens: “Heavy Pour”

Ahead of their third album Name Your Sorrow releasing tomorrow, Irish rockers Pillow Queens are giving us one last taste—and it’s as sweet as ever. “Heavy Pour” explores insecurity, compulsion and gender dynamics over four minutes. The chorus sinks into your skin, as vocalist Pamela Connolly sings, “Empty your empathy / The middle daughter / Let me feel everything / I want more / But I’m not man enough.” The punk-flavored track builds tension before its cathartic release of chaotic guitars and headbanging drum breakdown takes over. “Heavy Pour” plays with ‘90s grunge while still keeping a poppier energy, a concoction as ecstatic as it is unforgettable. —OA

This Is Lorelei: “I’m All Fucked Up”

Nate Amos of Water from Your Eyes has released another new single under the solo moniker This is Lorelei from his upcoming album Box For Buddy, Box For Star. “I’m All Fucked Up” is a jangly, forthright track guided by Amos reflecting upon his younger self. The cluttered fragments of lyrics form a visceral collage of youth. He sings to his bygone ways, “I wanna steal every happy thought you have / Fucking nick fucking dime trade them back to you for mine / Put my own inside my bad and fly back to New York City again.” The track is cohesive and smooth, with clear melodic vocals and stripped-down guitar and percussion. Amos observes his own life with jarring humor and sincerity. Following “Dancing in the Club,” “I’m All Fucked Up” is yet another bright and charismatic single from Amos that should make you even more excited to hear the full LP this summer. —GN

Other Notable Songs: Agriculture: “In the House of Angel Flesh”; American Culture: “Body Double”; Bill MacKay: “Keeping In Time”; Blue Hawaii: “Belly Ring”; Broadcast: “The Games We Play”; Cold Cave: “Shadow Dance”; Hot Joy: “Head Out of the Window”; King Hannah: “Davey Says”; Loma: “How It Starts”; Mister Goblin: “Run, Hide, Fight”; Perennial: “Action Painting”; RJD2 ft. Jamie Lidell: “Through It All”; Sex Week: “Angel Blessings”; Spiritual Cramp ft. White Reaper: “Whatever You Say Man”; Strand of Oaks: “Party At Monster Lake”; The Bird Calls: “Old Faithful”; Twen: “Stunts”; Winter: “Sallow”

Check out a playlist of these great songs below.

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