The 10 Best New Songs (April 6, 2023)

Don't miss this week's best new tracks from Indigo De Souza, superviolet, Youth Lagoon, SABIWA and more

Music Lists Best Songs
The 10 Best New Songs (April 6, 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’s 10 best new songs, in alphabetical order. (You can check out last week’s songs here).

BCUC: “The Woods”
The name of this septet from Soweto, South Africa expands out to Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness, a moniker that speaks to the larger goal of the group’s music to fuel the continued liberation of native Africans and the worldwide diaspora. How that translates musically is as an expansive cosmic sound that contains strains of hip-hop, funk, spiritual jazz and dub reggae. “The Woods,” the new single taken from their album Millions of Us (out on June 2), starts off pleasantly enough with a lyrical reminder that “You can’t stop this train / it always makes a way” while a battery of hand percussion sets the scene. As each minute passes, that musical locomotive starts to gain momentum with more instruments and voices slipping into the mix. For the last half of the track, BCUC are at a cruising speed, red hot with rage at the state of the world and ready to plow through the center of the earth. —Robert Ham

Beach Fossils: “Dare Me”
The second single from Beach Fossils’ first album in six years, “Dare Me,” is a glowy, sleek indie rock track that taps into the sound that made the band a household name in the genre 10 years ago. “I’ll be your contender / If we can live forever / Caught in this landslide / Are we gonna be running till the end of our lives?” frontman Dustin Payseur sings. The song chronicles romance, partying and friendship, all while the band plays up their effortlessly cool chemistry. “Dare Me” is something of a wonder, especially for how it doesn’t try to figure everything out. Beach Fossils are, refreshingly, comfortable with being young, vulnerable and unafraid of fucking up. As long as there’s a spark of newfound joy lingering, it’ll all be fine. The band has never been stronger, and “Dare Me” is a tactile slice of perfect, jangled-out dream pop architecture. —Matt Mitchell

Charlotte Cornfield: “Cut and Dry”
Cornfield’s fifth album, Could Have Done Anything, arrives in May. It’s her clearest-eyed assemblage of songs yet, and second single “Cut and Dry” is such a perfect example of why she is one of our best living songwriters. She paints a beautiful portrait around the melancholy of leaving. The story she tells, it’s emotional and poised and alive. “Sometimes we think that we know everything but / Then get surprised when the whole world comes crashing down / It’s hard to picture the city without you around,” she sings atop a combination of breezy guitars, vocalizations and horns. “Cut and Dry” is akin to many of Cornfield’s songs: Her taking the smallest moments and finding everlasting beauty within the margins. “I think I’m scared of you but that’s all in my head / Your messy hair, your day-old clothes, your unmade bed / I see myself in you and that’s the source of my dread,” she laments. “Cut and Dry” is a perfect coming-of-age folk song. —Matt Mitchell

Ekiti Sound: “Chairman”

The video for “Chairman,” the lead single from Nigerian electro-pop artist Ekiti Sound’s new album Drum Money, feels like liberation. It was filmed in the first skyscraper to be built in Lagos and is primarily set in a boardroom where the artist (born Leke Awoyinka) is joined by a cadre of female executives. And just as the song’s juju-inspired rhythms are picking up momentum, Awoyinka cedes the spotlight to Aunty Rayzor to add her Yoruban flow to the mix. According to the artist, the song is all about imposter syndrome, or as he puts it “affirmations and brainwashing bravado.” While I appreciate the sentiment, this clip and this song puts these African artists right where they belong: at the head of the table and commanding the attention of all in their sphere. —Robert Ham

feeble little horse: “Steamroller”
Earlier this year, feeble little horse announced their sophomore LP Girl with Fish, which was accompanied by the ferocious lead single “Tin Man.” Luckily for us, our friendly, neighborhood noise harbingers are back, again, with the face-melting “Steamroller,” where vocalist Lydia Slocum marauds atop a cascade of distortion and wrestles with a mountain of shame she’s hoping to let go of. “Steamroller, you / Fuck like you’re eating / Your smile’s like / Lines in the concrete / Threw the towel in / I’m tired of baking / I’m the only one / Who sees me naked,” Slocum sings, patiently. Beyond the static wall and gnarly textures, there’s a poppy guitar solo from Ryan Walchonski dancing. “Steamroller” is one of feeble little horse’s best tracks yet. —Matt Mitchell

Indigo De Souza: “You Can Be Mean”
It’s going to be an All of This Will End summer, as we all begin tumbling in and out of the throes of wondrous and reckless love. If lead singles “Younger & Dumber” and “Smog” haven’t already convinced you that De Souza’s forthcoming LP is going to be stuck in your ear for months, then perhaps the final single, “You Can Be Mean,” will get you across the finish line. “You Can Be Mean” is a distorted, woozy rock cut where she takes aim at a brief fling she had with a “manipulative and abusive LA model fuckboy.” What transpired between them has had, as De Souza calls it, With her third record coming on April 28, Indigo De Souza has released “You Can Be Mean,” “a life-long impact on my understanding of self.” In turn, the lyrics pull no punches, as she unleashes a call for accountability without letting generational trauma serve as an excuse for someone else’s toxicity. “I’d like to think you got a good heart, and your dad was just an asshole growing up / But I don’t see you trying that hard to be better than he is,” she sings. “You Can Be Mean” is a demand for autonomy and respect. —Matt Mitchell

Niia: “Idk what to tell my friends”
Working with producer Jonathan Wilson, LA-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Niia’s first single after her 2022 ambient album OFFAIR: Mouthful of Salt, “Idk what to tell my friends,” is a dainty, soulful indie pop song. Niia’s vocals are airy and beguiling. The arrangements go through a metamorphosis: A hypnotic, minimalistic, acoustic strum turns into an atmospheric harmony atop a subtle riff and slick drum beat. “My skin on the curb / When will I learn / Too fast on the turns, yeah yeah,” she sings. With Wilson’s production forming a tactile, bubbly base, Niia finds herself in a space where she can write about racing motifs, movie stars, drugs and sex. “Idk what to tell my friends” melts like a pair of velvet sheets as Niia dares to become a pop starlet. —Matt Mitchell

SABIWA – “Pupa”

The Berlin-based experimental artist SABIWA begins the songwriting process using only her voice, often recording melodies and lyrics inspired by the work of indigenous tribes in her native Taiwan. That raw material is then processed, stretched and pulled apart or chopped into fragments that she then reconstructs into fascinating and ominous compositions. “Pupa,” the latest single from SABIWA’s forthcoming release, No. 16 — Memories of Future Landscapes, is a perfect example of the devastating effect her music can have. It’s a slow burn that starts like a gentle insect hum before growing into an enveloping swarm and then receding again into a denatured daze. I’ve listened to this track on multiple occasions and in various settings and, no matter where or when I hear it, I’m convinced that it will swallow me whole. —Robert Ham

superviolet: “Big Songbirds Don’t Cry”
The face of beloved Ohio pop-punk wailers the Sidekicks for over a decade, Steve Ciolek has shifted his gaze towards something a bit more lowkey. After calling up Saintseneca’s Zac Little to help out with the production, Ciolek, now under the name superviolet, has found something calm and catchy. With his upcoming album Infinite Spring out later this month, a second single, “Big Songbirds Don’t Cry,” has perfectly set the stage for Ciolek’s next big move. The track is a relaxed acoustic guitar coupled with perfect harmonies and focused percussion. “Night owls don’t get green / They just get even / Jealousy’s a kickstart to an evening / Tell Trevor or whatever that his time is up / And if he walks through that door / I’m sure I’ll clean his clock,” Ciolek sings. Though the name of his main project has changed, Ciolek’s vision is as full and splendid as it was when he was penning Sidekicks tracks. In all of its glorious wordplay and thoughtfulness, “Big Songbirds Don’t Cry” is a wave of wholehearted songwriting that will stick with you. —Matt Mitchell

Youth Lagoon: “Prizefighter”
New single “Prizefighter” doubles down on Trevor Powers’ incredible vocal performance from “Idaho Alien” earlier this year, as he floats above a clear-eyed piano, drum machine and subtle, almost missable, vocal samples. Through emotional boxing imagery, Powers fashions a story that aches over how little closure the story has for its protagonist. “Tommy left for war with no goodbye. / I never got a chance to ask him why. / But since Tommy always was a tough guy, / I know it’s cuz he thought I’d see him cry. / He had knuckles that could make the devil shy. / Knuckles of a prizefighter held high,” Powers sings. Like on “Idaho Alien,” Powers is assembling a portrait of his surroundings, all while blurring the line between fact and fiction. With his comeback album Heaven Is a Junkyard on the near horizon, his beloved Youth Lagoon project is becoming a soulful, piano-driven triumph. —Matt Mitchell

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