The 10 Best New Songs

It’s New Music Friday (and Bandcamp Friday!) once again, but before we get to today’s new releases, we’re taking a moment to look back at the past seven days, specifically their top 10 tracks. A glittering club-crying anthem from Charli XCX, some very pretty synth-pop courtesy of a resurgent Wet, and a remarkable track by New York City rapper Wiki all spent quite a bit of time in our play queues this week, and now we’re passing them along into yours. Listen to the best new tracks of the week below and thank us later.

Baby Keem ft. Kendrick Lamar: “family ties”

Although never officially confirmed, Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar are cousins, and they are absolute magic together. Their new track “family ties” adds another layer to the mystery, also ushering in a new chapter for Kendrick Lamar after he announced his next album with his label Top Dawg Entertainment would be his last with them. Splitting rapping duties equally, Keem’s energetic and limber rapping sounds like a victory lap on the first half before switching into a darker, more introspective Kendrick who raps with a ferocity. Like two sides of the coin, the duo share an electric chemistry that transcends blood relation. —Jade Gomez

Bachelor: “I See It Now”

Coming as it did, not long after the May release of Bachelor’s debut album, you’d expect “I See It Now” to be a b-side from the Doomin’ Sun sessions. You’d be wrong: Melina Duterte (Jay Som) and Ellen Kempner (Palehound) recorded their new single during a break from shooting music videos for their album, mainly to put Kempner’s basement studio in Poughkeepsie through its paces. The result, which the duo describe as “a kind of lethargic muse on sexual regret and insecurity,” is rife with tension in spite of—or perhaps because of—its hushed instrumentation, with Duterte and Kempner trading anxious verses over unsettling keys and a lightly industrial drum machine. “You were salt in a sugar shaker / But I couldn’t tell with all that creamer / I taste it now,” Kempner sings, bitter but better off with eyes wide open. —Scott Russell

Charli XCX: “Good Ones”

The pandemic is beginning to wear on us all. After the release of her introspective, yet danceable pandemic album how i’m feeling now, Charli XCX is ready to head back into the club as she trades her pajamas for several stunning ensembles (just watch the video, trust me). Channeling the poppier sound that was prominent in the beginning of her career as opposed to the more experimental electronic production that has made her an icon amongst hyperpop and PC music scenes, Charli arrives with a spectacular club banger that still carries the sharp wit and quirks that have made her an innovator.—Jade Gomez

Injury Reserve: “Superman That”

Injury Reserve’s forthcoming album By the Time I Get to Phoenix (Sept. 15) is shaping up to be a much-anticipated fall release. Now operating as a duo following the passing of member Stepa J. Groggs in 2020, Injury Reserve emerged from their silence to announce the long-awaited follow-up to their 2019 debut. By the Time I Get to Phoenix was largely completed before Groggs’ passing, and his contributions were preserved. After the jarring stylistic departure of their first single “Knees,” “Superman That” turns the dial to 11. Cloaked in distortion and heavy glitches, Ritchie With a T brushes up on his singing chops. Syncopated drums clash with the vocal effects for their claustrophobic collage of glitch-hop, harsh noise and hip-hop soaked in an unshakeable feeling of melancholia. —Jade Gomez

Little Simz ft. Obongjayar: “Point and Kill”

The fifth and final single from London rapper and singer Little Simz’s exceptional new album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, out now, “Point and Kill” sets Nigeria-born, London-based singer Obongjayar’s soothing vocals and Simz’s coolly triumphant rhymes to an irresistible Afrobeat groove. The duo interweave their voices throughout the track, a united front in asserting their greatness not through threats, but through promises: “I do as I want, I do as I like / I no watch face, I no fear nobody.” Obongjayar’s contributions constitute one of just two features on Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, another matter-of-fact flex in and of itself. As Simz muses on “Point and Kill,” “Can’t stop greatness, what’s the point in tryin’?” —Scott Russell

Silverbacks: “Wear My Medals”

Irish rockers Silverbacks shared a new single Thursday to mark their signing to Full Time Hobby (Squirrel Flower, Esther Rose), the quintet’s first new material since their 2020 debut album Fad. “Wear My Medals” comes out of the gate hard, with the band’s triple-guitar arsenal—courtesy of Kilian O’Kelly, his brother Daniel, and Peadar Kearney—overwhelming your eardrums, only to split apart on a dime, making space for bassist Emma Hanlon’s soft-sung vocals and Gary Wickham’s racing drums. An exhilarating blend of sleek post-punk and light-touch indie-pop that feels restless, yet purposeful, “Wear My Medals” has us champing at the bit for the band’s currently in-progress next record, for which Fad producer Daniel Fox (Girl Band) has returned. —Scott Russell

Sitcom: “Brain Freeze”

Jake Lazovick has been wearing different hats for a few years now, but be it through his indie-rock group Foozle, his alt-pop, Jonathan Richman-inspired music as Sitcom, or as a member of the video production group Powered By Wind, he always manages to express his quirky aesthetic sensibility that lies somewhere between ‘90s cartoon dad and coked-out ‘80s pop star. Following the single and self-directed video for “Gutter,” Sitcom has announced his new album Smoothie, out Nov. 5 on Terrible Records. Born from a desire to quit over-analyzing his work after the release of his debut album Be The One You Love, Sitcom worked to find self-acceptance in the ragged-pop edges of Smoothie. Arriving with the album announcement is the album’s second single “Brain Freeze,” which marries Sitcom’s wiry, melodic pop-punk sensibilities with his often jagged style of production, making the track feel simultaneously laid-back and dizzyingly cathartic. “I wrote this song while running errands in south Philly,” said Lazovick about the track. “I saw a butterfly die right by Geno’s and Pat’s. Then I bought a smoothie and walked by CVS.” —Jason Friedman

The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die: “Queen Sophie for President”

The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die have become legends in the indie/emo community for not only their imposing name, but for writing some of the most thoughtful and engaging music that scene has to offer. The latest single from their forthcoming album Illusory Walls, “Queen Sophie for President,” born from an injury vocalist/synth player Katie Dvorak sustained that rendered her unable to sing for a few months, is a stark reminder of the melodic sensibilities and dynamic instrumentation that make the band great. Brighter than previous single “Invading the World of the Guilty as a Spirit of Vengeance,” the track kicks off sounding like a more ragged version of The Cure before concluding in an ecstatic burst of synths and guitars. Despite being born out of hard times, “Queen Sophie for President” is arguably the the most euphoric the band have ever sounded. —Jason Friedman

Wet: “Clementine”

Singer/songwriter Kelly Zutrau and producer Joe Valle are going back to basics on Letter Blue, releasing their third LP as Wet on Oct. 22 via AWAL after Columbia Records put out their first two albums, and welcoming founding guitarist Marty Sulkow back into the fold. Our third preview of the trio’s new record following “On Your Side” and “Larabar,” “Clementine” is lovely, with Sulkow’s gentle guitar riff and Valle’s synth loop laid so close together, they’re nearly indistinguishable from one another. Rapid-fire drums lend propulsion to Zutrau’s dreamy vocals, which lilt this way and that, yet never lose touch with the instrumental. Despite its mixed emotions, there’s a rosy, grateful glow to “Clementine,” as if Wet found something they had lost. —Scott Russell

Wiki: “Remarkably”

New York City rapper Wiki has announced his second new album of 2021, Half God, a collaboration with rapper/producer Navy Blue, and shared its first two singles, “Roof” and “Remarkably.” Due Oct. 1 via Wiki’s own Wikset Enterprise, Half God follows Wiki’s Nah-produced album Telephonebooth, which came out in May. Produced entirely by Navy Blue (who also raps on “Can’t Do This Alone”), Half God features Earl Sweatshirt, MIKE, Duendita, Remy Banks and Jesse James Solomon. “Remarkably” is a slow-paced, drum- and bass-driven boom-bap track, covered in slick, yet dense Wiki raps (“When I make a remark, remark ‘remarkably’!”). The song’s combination of confidence and playfulness sums up exactly what makes Half God such a tantalizing project, with Navy Blue lending a timeless backdrop to Wiki’s charismatic bars. —Scott Russell

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