Dec 09, 2022
By Mark Redfern (with Joey Arnone and Caleb Campbell)
Welcome to the 42nd Songs of the Week of 2022. Despite things starting to wind down a bit for the holidays, there were plenty of contenders this week.
In the last week we reviewed a bunch of albums.
We also recently announced our new print issue, the My Favorite Movie Issue (which is out now).
Covers of Covers, our first album, came out at the beginning of March on CD and digitally via American Laundromat. You can stream it here. You can also buy it directly from American Laundromat, via Bandcamp, or on Amazon.
To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last week, we have picked the 10 best the last week had to offer, along with highlighting other notable new tracks shared in the last seven days. Check out the full list below.
1. Paramore: “The News”
Yesterday, Paramore shared a video for their new song, “The News,” a song about feeling anxiety about the 24-hour news cycle and faraway wars regular people can do nothing about. It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, This Is Why, which will be out on February 10, 2023 via Atlantic.
In a press release, the band’s singer Hayley Williams states: “‘The News’ is one of those songs that came together pretty quickly and felt exciting from the start. It feels like a happy medium between classic Paramore angst and bringing in some influences we’ve always had but never exploited. Watching Zac track drums for this one was one of my favorite memories from the studio. Lyrically, it probably explains itself. The 24-hr news cycle is just impossible to comprehend. And I feel a pang of guilt when I unplug to protect my headspace. The common reaction, or non-reaction, seems to be dissociation. Not one of us is innocent of that and who could blame us?”
2. Caroline Polachek: “Welcome to My Island”
On Monday, Caroline Polachek (formerly of Chairlift) announced the release of a new album, Desire, I Want To Turn Into You, which will be out on February 14, 2023. Polachek also shared a new single from the album, “Welcome to My Island.” View the album’s tracklist/cover art here.
“Welcome to My Island” was produced by Polachek alongside Dan Nigro, Dan Harle, and Jim-E Stack.
Polachek’s last album, Pang, came out in 2019. By Joey Arnone
3. H. Hawkline: “Suppression Street”
Yesterday, H. Hawkline (Huw Evans) shared a new song, “Suppression Street.” The track, produced by Cate Le Bon, is the latest release from Evans’ forthcoming album, Milk For Flowers, which will be out on March 10, 2023 via Heavenly and also produced by Le Bon.
In a press release, Evans states: “I’ve known myself twice. I’ve learnt a new language and know everyone who speaks it. It’s a dead language and you only need a few words. I’m an ice-skating cowboy and a little boy in the bank, we both press against the glass of a filthy French window, sliding it in opposite directions. This one fell into my lap.” By Joey Arnone
4. Young Fathers: “Tell Somebody”
On Tuesday, Scottish hip-hop trio Young Fathers shared a video for their new single, “Tell Somebody.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, Heavy Heavy, which will be out on February 3, 2023 via Ninja Tune.
In July, Young Fathers shared the album track “Geronimo,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. Upon announcement of the album in October, they shared the single, “I Saw,” which was one of our Songs of the Week.
5. Samia: “Sea Lions”
On Tuesday, Samia shared videos for two new singles: “Pink Balloon” and “Sea Lions.” They are the latest releases from her forthcoming album, Honey, which will be out on January 27, 2023 via Grand Jury. While we liked both tracks, “Sea Lions” impressed us the most and makes Songs of the Week.
In a press release, Samia states: “‘Pink Balloon’ is trying to make amends by looking at it from a bird’s eye after everything got too complicated. ‘Sea Lions’ is not zoomed out…stewing in it, too angry to work it out or let it go, finding old voicemails and trying to decide where it went wrong on a loop until you have to run it off, running until you were never angry in the first place.” By Joey Arnone
6. Floral Image: “Babe & The Devil”
UK psych pop outfit Floral Image have been releasing a string of new singles this year, crafting a sound full of sunburnt psychedelic guitars and hazy vintage melodies. Late last month, the band returned with their latest effort, “Babe & The Devil,” and on Tuesday they shared the single’s accompanying music video, premiering with Under the Radar. Since the band is fairly new to us and we didn’t report on the song when it was first released a couple of weeks back, we’re going to cheat a little and include it in this week’s Songs of the Week.
“Babe & The Devil” tears into the band’s rollicking rock side, recalling the classics of the late ’60s and ’70s psychedelic boom. The lush instrumental haze the band have cultivated in previous efforts drops away in favor of a galloping rhythm section, striking guitar melodies, and psychedelic vocal harmonies. The band lock into a tremendously catchy groove, steadily building until they hit the track’s whirling and wild climax, delivering a potent dose of avant-garde psych rock ecstasy.
Meanwhile, the band’s accompanying video dives into the mystical imagery the track’s title evokes, filling the track with visual references to both fantasy and horror. The band says of the track, “The genesis of the movie came in both my fascination with mystical English folk-horror and a vision I had when we were touring of our Jack garbed in a sort of druid’s cloak, questing towards something out of its own time. Babe seemed like the perfect track to explore it on—one part nostalgic, one part referential, but also definitely contemporary.” By Caleb Campbell
7. Pure Adult: “Hot Crusade”
For a few years, Brooklyn-based experimental rock duo, Pure Adult, have been drawing accolades from the corners of the DIY underground for their explosive and dissonant musical style and strident leftist political ethos. The band, founded by Jeremy Snyder and Bianca Abarca, debuted in 2019 with their EP, simply titled Pure Adult I, and is back early next year with their debut album, Pure Adult II, out January 27th via FatCat Records.
The band have already shared a pair of singles from the record, “The Power of Incredible Violence, Pt. III” and “A Big Surprise,” and this week they were back with their latest taste of the album, “Hot Crusade,” premiering on Wednesday with Under the Radar.
Described by the band as “a jaded look at the luxury and privilege of living in oblivion,” “Hot Crusade” finds Pure Adult once again delivering their brand of pummeling post-punk polemics. The band indicts political fence-sitters, enlacing biting, sarcastic, and instantly quotable one liners within searing industrial guitars and gnarled distorted basslines. It’s music full of equal parts raging fury and for unshackled dancing, all weaved together into ecstatic punk thunder. By Caleb Campbell
8. Amber Arcades: “Odd to Even”
On Tuesday, Amber Arcades, the project of Dutch musician Annelotte de Graaf, shared a new single, “Odd to Even.” It is the latest release from her forthcoming album, Barefoot on Diamond Road, which will be out on February 10, 2023 via Fire.
In a press release, de Graaf elaborates on the new single: “I love how this song musically feels very light and playful but powerful at the same time, which I think matches the lyrics very well. It’s about that peak new love energy where you’re almost creepily obsessed with someone and just want to feel connected to them on every possible physical and mental level.”
De Graaf released her previous album, European Heartbreak, in 2018 via Heavenly.
9. Gorillaz: “Skinny Ape”
Yesterday, Damon Albarn’s virtual band Gorillaz shared a new single, “Skinny Ape.” The song will be performed live by the band at 2:30 pm ET on December 17th in Times Square and 14:00 GMT on December 18th in Piccadilly Circus. Directed by Jamie Hewlett and Fx Goby, the “Skinny Ape” performances are created by Nexus Studios and utilize Google’s ARCore Geospatial API, using AR to transform public spaces.
Gorillaz’s virtual bass player, Murdoc Niccals, states in a press release: “To all our followers, get ready for the biggest Times Square takeover since that other gorilla smashed the place up. Bigger in fact cos there’s four of us. Thanks to the techies at Google, we’ve created the music video event of the century, so don your pink robes and come see Gorillaz like you’ve never seen us before. The future is nigh!”
Cracker Island features musical contributions from Stevie Nicks, Adeleye Omotayo, Thundercat, Bad Bunny and Beck. It was produced by the band alongside Greg Kurstin and Remi Kabaka Jr.
In June, Gorillaz shared the album’s title track, “Cracker Island,” featuring Thundercat. Upon announcement of the album in August, they shared the single “New Gold,” featuring Tame Impala and Bootie Brown. It was also one of our Songs of the Week.
10. Ladytron: “Faces”
A press release describes the song like so: “Over an echoing disco soundscape, ‘Faces’ with title taken from the Cassavetes film of the same name, evokes bittersweet longing and euphoric escape, with expansive synth heavy production recalling 1970s euro diva Amanda Lear.”
Previously Ladytron shared Time’s Arrow’s first single, “City of Angels.” “City of Angels” is the album’s opening track and was one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared a cinematic video for “City of Angels.” Then Ladytron have shared its second single, “Misery Remember Me,” and announced some new U.S. tour dates. “Misery Remember Me” also landed on our Songs of the Week list.
Time’s Arrow is the follow-up to 2019’s Ladytron. Since then the band have celebrated the 20th anniversary of their second album, 2002’s Light & Magic, and in 2021 the album’s “Seventeen” went viral again thanks to TikTok. In August we premiered a previously unreleased video for “Light & Magic.”
The Liverpool-formed band features Helen Marnie, Daniel Hunt, Mira Aroyo, and Reuben Wu.
Read our First Issue Revisited interview with Ladytron on their debut album, 604, from our 20th Anniversary Issue. By Mark Redfern
These songs almost made the Top 10.
The Arcs: “Eyez”
Lana Del Rey: “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd.”
Fran: “Palm Trees”
Free Range: “Want to Know”
Philip Selway: “Check For Signs of Life”
Sparklehorse: “It Will Never Stop”
Paige Su: “Involuntary Adventures”
Superorganism: “Woofin’ and Meowin’”
Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 10 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions: