Best New Songs (June 8, 2023)

Don't miss this week's best tracks.

Music Lists Best Songs
Best New Songs (June 8, 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 best new songs, in alphabetical order. (You can check out last week’s songs here.)

Chris Farren: “Bluish”
Bring forth all your splendors, the greatest artist of our time—Chris Farren—is back with another roaring single (maybe the only single that’s ever been released?) called “Bluish.” Farren’s blue period is one of masterful hooks and energetic, unrelenting melodies, in which he is excavating the questions of his world without being too concerned about wrapping the story up in a bow. “I don’t belong anywhere without / You on my arm,” he sings. A narrative that devotes itself to the light of love after a period of exhaustion, Farren is of our best romantic transators—offering such a grand and gentle generosity to whom he sings about that you will start to believe you’ve known and loved them for a long, long time, too. —Matt Mitchell

Deeper: “Build a Bridge”
With their third album—Careful!—on the near horizon, Chicago post-punk aficionados Deeper are back with a new single. “Build a Bridge” arrives as what you might expect a Cars album thrown into a woodchipper to sound like. “Everyone is sleeping, I’m sold out on sound / Ominous music, no it won’t let you down / It’s the right kind of music,” vocalist Nic Gohl sings. The quartet deliver a cheeky ode to constructing a song as a way of finding a purpose in the grander scheme of creativity and meaningfulness. With a steadfast rhythm guitar swarmed by Televsion-esque riffs, “Build a Bridge” is a majestic, dark and massive rock song. —Matt Mitchell

Self-proclaimed ghettofuturist GAIKA continues to establish his permanent residence ahead of the creative curve with the first single from forthcoming full-length Drift (out September 8). Building off the dark, overdriven tone of last year’s soundtrack to his multimedia installation War Island, the London artist digs into a zone that emphasizes the influence of industrial artists on the trip-hop sound complete with fuzzed up guitars and a beat that grinds away like a belt sander. Only a guest verse from rapper bbymutha cuts briefly through the murk. —Robert Ham

Julie Byrne: “Moonless”
The third single from The Greater Wings, Julie Byrne’s first LP in six years, is a solemn, orchestral piano ballad that fixtures her haunted, compelling voice front and center. Written while at an artist residency in Portugal, Byrne found inspiration in soundscapes of creaking docks and tidal flats. Though “Moonless” is a breakup song at its core, it’s also a coastal proclamation of queerness and autonomy. “I’d been learning you by heart / Voices rising through the smoke / Tables caving in / I found it there in the room with you / Whatever eternity is,” she sings, deftly and beautifully. —Matt Mitchell

Laura Misch: “Portals”
The first single from London artist Laura Misch’s debut album Sample The Sky pays homage to her grandfather, who passed away during the pandemic. A sad turn of events, to be sure, but one that Misch finds the beauty in. As she recalls in the press notes for this release, “The moment he left his body, it was like he went from being there to being everywhere.” Misch evokes that feeling with a minimalist electronic tune that floats and envelops the senses like being slowly consumed by the petals of an aromatic flower. —Robert Ham

L’Rain: “New Year’s UnResolution”
L’Rain’s first new release since her terrific 2021 LP Fatigue, “New Year’s UnResolution” explores her poppier side, as she dances through the aftermath of a breakup. Her compositional skills come through in thoughtful additions to the backing track, as sparkling electronic textures arise. The song is a gorgeous run-through of the turmoil of what uncertainty comes after a period of fierce intimacy; a rich sonic landscape that rings with a sense of devotional, self-assured hope. —Miranda Wollen

Madeline Kenney: “I Drew a Line”
The second single from her forthcoming LP A New Reality Mind, “I Drew a Line” weaves deftly between swinging saxophone riffs, bouncy electronic arcs and trippy, self-harmonizing vocals. It’s a swift celebration of the forward-motion Kenny has taken personally and professionally since her last EP, 2021’s Summer Quarter. Her energy is palpable, and the creative propulsion of a breakup and subsequent self-reckoning glide Kenney into a new musical era. —Miranda Wollen

Mapache: “What a Summer”
Clay Finch, one of the founders of Cali folk-pop ensemble Mapache, describes the conditions that the band undertook to record fifth album Swinging Stars in ominous terms. The quartet hunkered down in Panoramic House, an artist’s retreat in Marin County, seeing no one but themselves for a week as they worked. “We were all captive,” Finch said. “No one could escape.” Okay, so he was joking, but for a few minutes, I relished the contrast between those bleak sentiments and the laidback warmth that the band exudes on this first single. Something about the idea that no matter how dire the circumstances, Mapache couldn’t escape who they are at heart: acolytes of the ’60s Haight-Ashbury scene as filtered through the more recent desert psych sound. —Robert Ham

Paul Cherry & Kate Bollinger: “O.B.O / Playroom”
Two flavorful and sparkly indie-jazz collaborations between Paul Cherry and Kate Bollinger have arrived under the label Los Angeles Story. Cherry and Bollinger shine on “O.B.O” and “Playroom” and, seamlessly, bubbling into one another before coalescing into a whimsical dream. Featuring Bollinger’s shiny vocals atop a sophisticated, soothing melody, the songs carry the listener on a cloud and into the enchanting project. —Brittany Deitch

Pardoner: “Rosemary’s Gone”
Refining their normal blend of heavy harmonies, slacker indie and hardcore punk, Pardoner squeal with precision and distorted rock romance on “Rosemary’s Gone.” The song is a delight of undying and off-handed joy, beginning with a moment of stillness before jagged guitar melodies grab the listener and pour into reverberation. “You’re the one for me / It’s up to you / It’s up to you,” vocalist Max Freedland sings roughly and urgently. —Brittany Deitch

Ratboys: “It’s Alive”
With their fourth (or fifth, depending on how you categorize Happy Birthday, Ratboy) album, The Window, on the way, Chicago quartet Ratboys have unveiled “It’s Alive,” the tight, catchy successor to the haunted, roaring, nine-minute stunner “Black Earth, Wi.” With frontwoman Julia Steiner’s mountain-moving vocals front-and-center, guitarist Dave Sagan flaunts a brief, perfect and coiling guitar solo amid a top-drawer rhythmic, percussive combo from drummer Marcus Nuccio and bassist Sean Neumann. A dossier on isolation, Steiner croons: “So I pass the time, look to the side / I feel it all, frozen in my house / All around, it’s in the stars / It’s speeding toward the sign.” If “Black Earth, Wi” was Ratboys’ opus, then “It’s Alive” is proof they are at their undisputabe best. —Matt Mitchell

Summer Pearl: “Green Eyes”
Surely most everyone can relate to what UK R&B artist Summer Pearl is singing about on her latest single. The bouncing, flickering track is all about coming to the stark realization that a romantic relationship is poisonous and threatening to stifle the good parts of oneself. Blessedly, the bubbly energy of the track lets us know that she was able to remove herself from the situation. She sounds lighter than air here, happily floating free and letting her fluid voice go through a giggly metamorphosis from one line to the next. She contains multitudes and wants us to hear them all. —Robert Ham

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