The 10 Best New Songs

Yes, we ran our best albums and songs of 2021 so far lists recently. Yes, it may be overwhelming. Do we care? No, because good music doesn’t stop for anyone and it is our duty to bestow upon you the week’s best tracks. Some old friends have returned with bangers in hand, such as Quicksand’s “Missile Command,” or Majid Jordan’s righteous return with “Been Through That.” There’s some newcomers, too, like Geese’s explosive debut single “Disco” that has the Paste staff buzzing with excitement. Sit back and relax for your regularly scheduled programming, and enjoy our picks for our favorite songs of the week.

Evan Wright: “IDM”

The second single from California-born, New Jersey-bred, New York-based singer/songwriter Evan Wright’s full-length debut—Sound From Out the Window, out Aug. 25—“IDM” doesn’t stand for “intelligent dance music,” but rather “I don’t mind.” That peacefully accepting sentiment colors everything about the track, from its cozy, tape hiss-haunted mix to its pillowy, tuneful blend of Whitney-esque “country soul” and bedroom psych-pop. Wright’s breathy, unbothered vocals are joined by Alyssa McDoom’s on the sweeping choruses, where shimmering keys punctuate the song’s sense of blissful transcendence and inner peace. Wright’s confidence as an up-and-coming songwriter shines through on “IDM,” from his incorporation of meandering guitars and tinkling chimes to his insistence that “I can’t be late if I’m waiting on me”—he’s on his way, and he’ll move at his own pace. —Scott Russell

Faye Webster:

“A Dream With A Baseball Player”

Ahead of her new record I Know I’m Funny haha, Atlanta singer/songwriter Faye Webster has shared a third and final single before the album arrives this Friday, June 25, via Secretly Canadian. “A Dream with a Baseball Player,” inspired by her hometown MLB team’s star player, Ronald Acuña Jr., finds Webster stuck on both Acuña and the nature of that infatuation: “How did I fall in love with someone / I don’t know?” she wonders again and again. Her murmurs are backed by slinky throwback R&B instrumentation, including spare but purposeful low end and saxophone accents, and her vocals are smoothly layered in all the right places. Webster brings genuine emotion to the track, but also deadpan humor: “There’s so much going on / My grandmother’s dead / And I can’t sleep ‘cause this isn’t my bed / He doesn’t even know those things exist,” she sings, poking fun at the absurdity of her affection for a total stranger, yet refusing to minimize or dismiss it at the same time. —Scott Russell

Geese: “Disco”

There are debut singles and then there are debut singles. Brooklyn five-piece Geese released the latter on Tuesday to mark their signing to Partisan Records, as well as in an apparent effort to make us 30-somethings feel unaccomplished: The band’s oldest member only just turned 19. Their youthful fearlessness explodes through your speakers on “Disco,” which ping-pongs between rock ‘n’ roll touchpoints so fast and frequently, you can never quite get a bead on it. As the song stretches towards the seven-minute mark, it transforms from post-punk slasher a la Omni (its most prominent mode) into dark, synth-forward stomper, psych-rock wave pool, and noise-rock rattle and hum, with flashes of Dove-esque piano-pop and even twee jangle in the mixture. That the band can shape all of these far-flung forms into a song whose vise-grip on you never for a moment loosens is a testament to their preternatural skills and vision. Consider Geese’s concept proven. —Scott Russell

Helado Negro: “Gemini and Leo”

Roberto Carlos Lange, aka songwriter/producer Helado Negro, has announced his new album Far In, out Oct. 22 on 4AD. His first release on the acclaimed label, Far In follows 2019’s deservingly acclaimed This Is How You Smile, a spellbinding and serene record that tracks Lange’s experiences as a Latinx individual reckoning with spiritual awakening. Far In embraces that mysticism, with Lange saying it ”’celebrates the ghosts,’ embracing pleasure and freedom to follow the metaphysical further.” His newest single “Gemini and Leo,” in which “the titular pair stay indoors to discover each other anew with music recalling Roberto’s youth growing up in South Florida listening to ‘80s club songs, and their return sampled in ‘90s hip-hop,” features energetic drums, kaleidoscopic synths and an undeniably funky bass. Helado Negro’s new song guides the listener towards euphoria. —Jason Friedman

Low: “Days Like These”

Low has shared the first single from Hey What, their forthcoming album due Sept. 10 via Sub Pop Records, entitled “Days Like These,” a striking, sparse, and at times unrelenting track that continues the band’s streak of using noise to strike through the heart of the familiar and propel emotion forward. The space between Alan Sparhawk’s crisp vocals and the light guitar chords feels drastic, especially when livened by the thick layers of disintegration that often characterizes the band’s music. Alongside the single is a video directed by longtime friend Karlos Rene Ayala that references the divine imagery the band brings to life. —Jason Friedman

Majid Jordan: “Been Through That”

It has been four long, painful years without Majid Jordan’s club-friendly, downtempo R&B that paints simple pictures of powerful moments such as lingering glances on the dance floor, or maybe warm night drives on a summer weekend. The duo is back with “Been Through That,” their second single since April’s “Waves of Blue,” both off their forthcoming untitled album. The song finds the two reflecting on being both the sender and receiver of late-night drunk calls, mind games and empty relationships over breezy ‘80s synths and drums. It’s a perfect song to reflect on those nights you wish to forget, with all the self-awareness to do better after a good night’s rest. —Jade Gomez

Mick Jenkins: “Truffles”

Mick Jenkins has quietly risen to become one of the rap game’s most exciting acts with his lackadaisical delivery containing lifetimes of wisdom that he captures with each track. His newest single “Truffles” is no different, with Jenkins sharing that the song attempts “to address the idea that Blackness, no matter what, can always be weaponized. From a young man actually committing a crime, to being somewhere we aren’t ‘supposed’ to be, to even being an agent of change in our own and other communities. It’s a statement that can be heard about Black people of all walks especially when doing something unconventional in white spaces.” Jenkins’ sleepy flow rises into a powerful, passionate sermon that twists and turns between syllables enunciated precisely over the thumping bass. The sparse production is a mere soundtrack to Jenkins’ powerful display of vulnerability. —Jade Gomez

Quicksand: “Missile Command”

‘90s post-hardcore kings Quicksand have announced their fourth album Distant Populations, the follow-up to 2017’s Interiors. The album’s first single, “Missile Command,” is another chapter in the sonic departure the band took from their grunge-tinged sound, instead layering lush, fuzzy guitars and drums over frontman Walter Schreifels’ croon that jumps into exciting highs, with their signature groove exploding in the chorus. Nearly 30 years have passed since Quicksand’s inception, and they still find ways to please fans both old and new. —Jade Gomez

Soul Glo: “YERRRNIN”

Everything about “YERRRNIN,” one of the new tracks available from Philly punk band Soul Glo, absolutely rips. The noisy, electrifying group has been releasing music for a while now, but have never sounded this heavy. Harsh and frantic vocals from singer Pierce Jordan battle with the massive drums and shredding guitar, burying the listener underneath an avalanche of sound. The track itself is only a little over a minute and a half long, but that’s all the time it will need to leave you breathless. —Jason Friedman

Vince Staples: “Law of Averages”

California rapper Vince Staples has announced his first new album since 2018’s FM!, produced by Kenny Beats and simply titled Vince Staples. Ahead of the 10-track LP’s July 9 release via Blacksmith Recordings / Motown Records, Staples has shared lead single “Law of Averages.” Both the track itself and its unnerving video (directed by Kid. Studio and shot in Staples’ native Long Beach, California) finds Staples surrounded by people, yet apart from them—many in his circle aren’t trustworthy (“Everyone that I’ve ever known asked me for a loan,” he raps over a sparse beat that sounds vaguely like a conversation happening in your next-door neighbor’s place), as evidenced by their creepy fake smiles in the video. “You will never catch me slippin’ out in traffic,” Staples insists, able to rely on no one but himself. —Scott Russell

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