The 8 Best Songs of The Week

Featuring Cloud Nothings, Tierra Whack, Shame and more

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The 8 Best Songs of The Week

Music releases are back at full throttle after that Election Eternity, resulting in a week just littered with new material. Familiar Paste favorites like Cloud Nothings, Tierra Whack and Shame wheeled out characteristically compelling singles, while up-and-coming acts including Dry Cleaning, Katy Kirby and Romero made their presences felt, as well. Here are our picks for the 8 best tracks of the week.

Cloud Nothings: “The Spirit Of”

Cloud Nothings dropped a new song “The Spirit Of,” and it’s the latest glimpse of their forthcoming album The Shadow I Remember, out on Feb. 26 via Carpark Records. “The Spirit Of,” the follow-up single to “Am I Something?,” is a fast-paced track propelled by ascendent guitars, and Dylan Baldi’s punk vocals reach a mighty peak by the end. —Lexi Lane

Dry Cleaning: “Scratchcard Lanyard”

Making their debut on their new label 4AD, London-based rising post-punk quartet Dry Cleaning shared “Scratchcard Lanyard,” a single and music video that stand out even on this busy release week. Like a less dreary descendent of “Fitter Happier,” “Scratchcard Lanyard” finds Dry Cleaning delighting in the mundane, with lead vocalist Florence Shaw deadpanning lines like “I’ve come to hand-weave my own bunk bed ladder in a few short sessions” over jangly guitars and an eminently danceable bassline. Through its cool detachment, the song suggests some value embedded in everyday nonsense while still maintaining an ironic distance. Meanwhile, the song’s must-see visual, the directorial debut of one Rottingdean Bazaar (that is, artist duo James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks, who also saw to its set design), centers on Shaw, whose speak-singing face appears larger than life thanks to the tiny nightclub constructed around it. —Scott Russell

Katy Kirby: “Traffic!”

Texas-based indie rocker Katy Kirby announced her debut album, Cool Dry Place, arriving on Feb. 19, 2021, via Keeled Scales. Kirby also shared the album’s lead single “Traffic!” alongside its music video. “I can hear myself fighting that deeply internalized impulse to make things that are super pleasant or approachable,” Kirby says of the album. —Paris Rosenthal

October and The Eyes: “Dark Dog”

New Zealand-born, London-based singer/songwriter and producer October and The Eyes has shared her new single “Dark Dog,” alongside its music video. It’s the first track she wrote for her forthcoming debut EP, Dogs and Gods, out now through KRO Records. “Dark Dog” follows two previously released singles, “Playing God” and “All My Love.” October and The Eyes says of the new song, “It’s about the uneasy feeling of being watched, that at any moment something bad could happen. There’s an anecdotal malformed dog who’s always near—limping, snarling, growling and drooling. It’s one you feel equally sorry for as you do fear it. You cannot outrun this dark dog, so you decide to make peace.” —Paris Rosenthal

Romero: “Troublemaker”

Melbourne’s rising power-pop group Romero have shared their new single, “Troublemaker.” The band—made up of Alanna Oliver, Fergus Sinclair (formerly of Eyesores), Justin “Murry” Tawil (formerly of Summer Blood), and Adam and Dave Johnstone—released their debut double A-side 7” “Honey” b/w “Neapolitan” back in February. Lead vocalist Oliver told DIY of the new track: “‘Troublemaker’ was born after a conversation I was having with my mum about a girl I knew … we both came to the conclusion that she was in love with my boyfriend and my mother called her a troublemaker hah! I was like ‘Yesssss mum!’ I hung up the phone immediately, pulled over my car and started writing these lyrics. I was on my way to rehearsal and when I arrived Ferg was playing this new riff he had just written and it all fell into place that afternoon. It felt very serendipitous.“ —Paris Rosenthal

Shame: “Water in the Well”

U.K. post-punks Shame have announced their second album Drunk Tank Pink, out on Jan. 15 via Dead Oceans. The album was produced by James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz, Florence and the Machine), and it’s the follow-up to their acclaimed 2018 debut LP Songs of Praise. To coincide with the album announcement, the band also shared the Pedro Takahashi-directed video for their new track “Water in the Well,” which follows their previous single “Alphabet.” “Water in the Well” has the exact kind of youthful, unbridled giddiness that makes Shame’s music feel so urgent and essential. Complete with shakers, funky percussion and life-affirming backing vocals, the song leaves an impression via sheer energy and conviction. —Lizzie Manno

Tierra Whack: “Peppers and Onions”

Tierra Whack shared two new singles, “feel good” and “Peppers and Onions.” They follow the release of “Dora,” which she dropped last month alongside its Alex Da Corte-directed video. “Dora” was included in Paste’s list of the 15 best songs of October. Whack released her acclaimed debut album Whack World back in 2018. —Paris Rosenthal

The Weather Station: “Tried to Tell You”

The Weather Station, the project of Tamara Lindeman, announced her new album, Ignorance, out on Feb. 5, 2021, via Fat Possum. Lindeman also unveiled a new single, “Tried To Tell You,” which follows the release of “Robber.” According to Lindeman, “Tried To Tell You” is about “reaching out to someone; a specific person, or maybe every person, who is tamping down their wildest and most passionate self in service of some self (and world?) destructive order.” —Paris Rosenthal

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