Things keep getting worse here in the States, but the great new tunes keep coming. Cloud Nothings announced a Steve Albini-produced new album, Julie Byrne teamed up with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma for an otherworldly new song and Made Kuti, grandson of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, released his debut single. Listen to those tracks and more of our favorite songs from the past week below.
Cloud Nothings announced their new album The Shadow I Remember, out on Feb. 26 via Carpark Records. The album was produced by Steve Albini, who worked on their exceptional 2012 album Attack On Memory. Their album’s lead single “Am I Something?” blends existentialism with killer guitar lines, and its music video, directed by Lu Yang, looks straight from a Dalí painting. —Lexi Lane
Julia Jacklin shared a new 7” for the Sub Pop Singles Club, Vol. 5. On the A-side is “to Perth, before the border closes” and on the B-side is “CRY.” Jacklin says of the A-side track: “I’ve moved around a lot the last five years; chasing things, love, work, something new, whatever and there’s always this fear that I’m leaving good things behind just to go somewhere else and be lonely. Whispering ‘everything changes’ to myself helps get me to sleep at night. I started writing this song in Melbourne and finished it in Perth. It was like a little song bridge between the two cities to make the change easier.” —Paris Rosenthal
Singer/songwriter Julie Byrne and multi-instrumentalist Jefre Cantu-Ledesma shared a collaborative track “Love’s Refrain” for Mexican Summer’s Looking Glass series. “Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s original version of love’s refrain is a song that always felt limitless to me,” Byrne says. “When I first started writing the lyrics for the collaborative version, I would walk and listen to the song at dusk, sometimes I would walk for hours, playing it over and over again on headphones like I did with music I loved when I was a teenager.” —Paris Rosenthal
Made Kuti, grandson of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, recently signed to Partisan Records for a new album out next year. Made shared his debut single, “Free Your Mind,” this week alongside a music video directed and animated by Olly Frostie. Its energetic groove unspools around animated horns and his warm vocals—it’s a giddy and transcendent tune. “‘Free Your Mind’ is very much inspired by the teachings I received from my father and his efforts to make me understand exactly what the black man and woman’s situation is in Nigeria, Africa, and around the world,” Made says. —Lizzie Manno
Chicago duo Ohmme have nailed the art of balancing the off-kilter with the absolutely killer. The band’s latest album, Fantasize Your Ghost, arrived earlier this year, and it’s an essential listen for guitar music fans in 2020. Earlier this week, the band released a single for volume five of Sub Pop’s Singles Club titled “Mine,” backed with b-side “Miasma.” “Mine” is endlessly intriguing with their rapid fire vocal interplay and guitar licks, and it has a steamy guitar solo to cap things off. —Lizzie Manno
Open Mike Eagle dropped “Death Parade,” the opening song from his forthcoming album Anime, Trauma and Divorce, out on Oct. 16 via AutoReverse Records. “This song is about the cycle of trauma,” OME shared. “The personal trauma that’s been a throughline in my life and how traumatized people tend to inflict more trauma on themselves and others.” —Lexi Lane
Sharon Van Etten shared a new song “Let Go,” which was written for a documentary titled Feels Good Man, out on Oct. 19 via PBS. The film, directed by Arthur Jones, is about the Internet meme Pepe the Frog. “After watching the documentary, I just followed the feeling of coming to terms with something and tried to evoke peace through my melody and words,” Van Etten says. “The song and film’s producer, Giorgio [Angelini], was a great collaborator and communicator and I was given a lot of freedom. That says a lot about the film and the people who made it.” —Paris Rosenthal