The 8 Best Songs of The Week

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The 8 Best Songs of The Week

Here we are—another Friday, another end to another week of 2020, the year that will probably last forever. Not much has changed since last Friday, except Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his running mate, and it’s about one thousand degrees hotter outside than it was before. In other, more music-focused news, Sufjan Stevens released another single from this forthcoming album The Ascension, Justin Vernon was busy again and Future Islands announced a new LP. This is all good news! We rounded up the best songs from the week that was, and we listed them for you below. Stay cool, and enjoy.

Bartees Strange: “Boomer”

Bartees Strange announced his debut album, Live Forever, out on Oct. 2 via Memory Music. The announcement follows the release of the D.C.-based artist’s single “Mustang” from back in July along with his March EP, Say Goodbye to Pretty Boy, which landed on Paste’s list of best EPs of 2020 so far. Strange released the album’s new single, “Boomer,” a tight indie rock track driven by jangly guitars and accompanied by a music video showing Strange performing all the song’s instruments from his home studio. —Jack Meyer

Brothertiger: “Shelter Cove”

Electronic/chillwave artist Brothertiger, aka John Jagos, has shared a new single from his forthcoming album Paradise Lost, out on Sept. 11 via Satanic Panic Recordings. His new single “Shelter Cove” follows his previous single “Livin.’” Characterized by glazed vocals, a downtempo beat and a heady wash of synths, “Shelter Cove” is rather contemplative. While “Livin’” veered into spirited electro-psychedelia, “Shelter Cove” echoes with icy electronica, slowly melting with ambient touches and a sense of limitless freedom. —Lizzie Manno

Future Islands: “Thrill”

As Long As You Are will be Future Islands’ sixth full-length LP and will arrive on Oct. 9 via 4AD. The band will also perform a live-streamed concert on the day of release. This news comes in tandem with a new single, “Thrill,” and its music video starring and created by frontman Samuel T. Herring, which you can check out below. The new single follows previously released single “For Sure,” which will also appear on the album. “Thrill” is slower and sparkling, a true synth ballad delivered by an emotional Herring. Future Islands’ most recent album was 2017’s The Far Field. —Ellen Johnson

Helena Deland: “Someone New”

Montreal singer/songwriter Helena Deland has announced her debut album, Someone New. The record is set for release on Oct. 16 via Luminelle Recordings. While this is Deland’s first album, she’s already carved out a name for herself with a well-received series of EPs in 2018, collectively titled Altogether Unaccompanied, alongside her collaborations with artists such as Weyes Blood, Connan Mockasin and JPEGMAFIA. Deland shared the LP’s title track to accompany the announcement. Opening to an ominous swell of synths, the song slowly unfolds, with one musical element building on top of another to create a rich arrangement of understated melancholia. —Jack Meyer

The Japanese House (feat. Justin Vernon): “Dionne”

Justin Vernon has been busy this year. The Bon Iver frontman was featured on Taylor Swift’s song “exile,” from her surprise-released album folklore, and also shared two new songs, “PDLIF” and “AUATC,” benefitting charity. Vernon’s latest appearance is on The Japanese House’s (aka electro-pop artist Amber Bain) riveting new song “Dionne,” released Wednesday as part of Bain’s new EP Chewing Cotton Wool, which follows the release of 2019’s Good At Falling LP. Bain’s dreamy style pairs well with Vernon’s glitchy, hyper-layered vocals, which float in and out of the synths and drum machines (plus a Genesis-style drum breakdown). —Ellen Johnson

Mint Field: “Delicadeza”

Sentimiento Mundial, Mexican outfit Mint Field’s their forthcoming second album, is a dynamic psych-dream pop record, with Estrella del Sol’s voice providing angelic reverie and her guitars offering occasional bursts of compressed clangor. “Delicadeza” is rather minimal, centering on her vocal airiness while the unsuspecting guitars ache with dejected tones and sinister background feedback. It’s hushed, gloomy pop with an underlying sense of wonder. The band says of their new single, “This song is about how delicacy can be really intimate, a place where feelings are connected. When this moment happens we learn how to guide ourselves with our own feelings.” —Lizzie Manno

Sufjan Stevens: “Video Game”

Stevens has unveiled the second single from his new album The Ascension, “Video Game,” with a clip directed by Nicole Ginelli. The video was choreographed by and stars Jalaiah Harmon—the teen behind the viral “Renegade” dance. Much like “America,” “Video Game” relies on electronic instrumentation, but it’s less atmospheric and centers more on compressed ’80s pop and contemporary synthwave. Stevens’ vocals are heavily filtered as he sings about rejecting the desire for validation: “I don’t wanna be the center of the universe / I don’t wanna be a part of that shame / In a way I wanna be my own redeemer / I don’t wanna play your video game.” —Lizzie Manno

TRAAMS: “The Greyhound”

U.K. post-punk trio TRAAMS are back with their first new material in nearly five years. The band have shared a new single called “The Greyhound,” which follows their 2015 album Modern Dancing. It’s the first track from a collection of three new songs, which will be released later this year. Throughout their career, they’ve traversed spasmodic post-punk, noise punk à la Women and hypnotic krautrock. On “The Greyhound,” their near-10-minute new track, they fold all those sounds into one. It’s got a monochromatic drive, vocals that range from bleak to spirited and a fuse that might blow at any second. It also features Lewis Evans of Black Country, New Road on saxophone. —Lizzie Manno

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