Best New Songs (March 16, 2023)

Music Lists Best Songs
Best New Songs (March 16, 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 11 best new songs, in alphabetical order. (You can check out last week’s songs here).

Fenne Lily: “In My Own Time”
Fenne Lily’s third LP, Big Picture, is set to be one of the best records of the year. To commemorate the upcoming occasion, Lily has gifted us “In My Own Time,” a low-key but breathtaking acoustic triumph about mutual affection and reliance on others. “Write me a love song, make it all rhyme / Hold me up sometimes, we’ll be just fine,” she sings. There are romantic undertones lingering, but “In My Own Time” is much more than that. It’s—as the title of the record might suggest—a small ecosystem gazing out at the big picture, one where Lily is reckoning with how to co-opt a space when there’s no place left to turn but into the arms of who’s closest to you. If “let’s make this house a home” was a song, look toward the lighthouse that is “In My Own Time,” one of the tenderest ballads of 2023 so far. —Matt Mitchell


The Lemon Twigs: “In My Head”
The Lemon Twigs’ forthcoming record, Everything Harmony, is their best—and most ambitious—offering of music yet. Gone are the days of amber-colored retro, as the D’Addario brothers—Brian and Michael—are enveloping themselves in a song cycle caked in their own unforgettable style. In turn, third single “In My Head” is an impossibly glamorous decadence of pop rock. When Michael gives a hypnotizing, McCartney-style “Ooo” that contorts and bends like a boa constrictor, it is immediately evident that this band, these brothers, have found their stride. When you spend your whole life growing up together, the chemistry is already in place. But somehow, Brian and Michael have transcended even that. —Matt Mitchell


Island of Love: “Fed Rock”
2023 so far has been the year of debut records, and London trio Island of Love’s self-titled LP is one to watch out for. New single “Fed Rock” is a machine gun of post-punk grandiosity. Frontman Karim Newble’s vocals carry the track with riotous glory. It’s a coming-of-age track; a lament of innocence lost. There’s a brotherhood at stake, faces that have come and gone. Few bands come out of the gate with such immense, untapped and delirious energy. Even less do so with songs that tell stories we can latch onto. Thankfully, Island of Love has more than seized their moment. —Matt Mitchell


Spencer Doran: “The Seaside”
May 5 sees the release of SEASON: a letter to the future, the soundtrack to an open world video game of the same name. The music was created by Spencer Doran, a member of the electronic ensemble Visible Cloaks, an artist and the person responsible for the brilliant compilation Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990. If any of his previous work strikes a familiar chord, you already have some inkling of what is in store with this wonderful soundtrack. Or if you’ve played the meditative game that the music scores. Either way, this piece was written for, as the press release states, “a beach at golden hour where the player meets a fellow traveler for a moment of intercultural communication.” The slowly unfurling melodies are delicate and shimmering, suggesting colorful sunsets or vast expanses of land that have been reclaimed by wild animals. —Robert Ham


Katie Gately: “Cleave”
Fawn/Brute, the forthcoming album from American future pop artist Katie Gately, is an exploration of motherhood; the joys and agonies of carrying a child to term that are only compounded once the kid is here and goes through the various stages of growth and maturity. The heady themes of the record are reflected beautifully in the music which cycles through moods of giddy abandon and dark fury. The latest single from the LP, “Cleave,” sits somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. “I wrote it as I was mustering up the courage to extricate myself from a friendship that was becoming increasingly and perplexingly hostile,” Gately says. That may account for the rather nasty tone of the music, driven by a thudding beat and synthesized horn lines that feel borrowed from J.G. Thirlwell’s hard drive. —Robert Ham


Cafuné: “Perspective”
Indiepop duo Cafuné leveled up considerably in the past few years thanks to a viral TikTok hit and a summer tour in 2022 opening for Chvrches. The pair is doing their part to capitalize on this wave of acclaim and fan love by spending some time on the road this summer for a short headlining tour and by dropping some new music on us in the form of “Perspective.” The fresh single rides a comfortable line, tracking the end of a particularly fraught relationship but keeps singer Sedona Schat’s momentum moving forward with a skittering beat and a looped guitar line, neither of which ever seem to settle into anything steady. It’s a song meant to put listeners on their heels a bit, or at least encouraging them to lean in a little closer to try and keep up. —Robert Ham


Share Tweet Submit Pin