I mostly talk about albums, and almost never new singles, so I would like to dedicate this week’s column to documenting some of the best new releases from emerging artists and established titans alike. These songs are the first tastes from their respective upcoming releases, mostly out this spring – so devour them.
Iceage: “Catch It” & “Pain Killer”
The Danish outfit is back after a four-year hiatus, with a sleek and refined selection of two rock songs that point to a new direction for the band. Both are amazingly textured, with clear emotive lyrics and detailed instrumental climaxes. “Pain Killer” features Sky Ferreira in one of her brilliant backing vocal performances. Their fourth album, “Beyondless,” will be out on May 4.
Years & Years: “Sanctify”
The UK indietronica band has returned with the lead singer from their upcoming, currently untitled, new album, and it is a gorgeous banger fit for ridiculous dancing.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra: “Not in Love We’re Just High”
After their last album, “Multi-Love,” Unknown Mortal Orchestra enjoyed a certain critical success that was well deserved. They are back with a new single that feels reminiscent of their last work, but still forward-looking. The song is a comic reflection on the ever-so-changing nature of love, dwelling on the impossibility of identifying our emotions. Their new album, “Sex & Food,” is due out April 6.
Beach House: “Lemon Glow” & “Dive”
When Beach House surprise-released two albums with just three months between them (“Depression Cherry” and “Thank Your Lucky Stars”), it felt like 2015 was the year of extreme emotional experiences. Their curated sound offers an unlimited extent of feelings, and they are back with two new songs that promise the listener a certain kind of world – the joyfully lonely soundscape of Beach House. Their new album, “7,” will be out
Nilüfer Yanya: “Thanks 4 Nothing”
The London indie darling and BBC Sound of 2018 nominee Nilüfer Yanya is continuing to release a string of songs that are spot on. It is so rare that an emerging singer-songwriter is so definite in their vision that their songs can be experienced through the sensation of not just sound, but sight as well. Yanya’s songs have a certain filmic quality, nostalgic for a past never experienced, breathing and defining our contemporaneity.
Natalie Prass: “Short Court Style”
Natalie Prass’s debut album was one of my favorites of 2015 – an unexpected album full of sensual jazz and R&B-influenced songs. Her songwriting this time is more simplistic, perhaps trying to accompany the instrumentals and not override them. The first single from her upcoming album is a perfect effort to capture an instance of love. “The Future and the Past” is due out June 1.
Parquet Courts: “Almost Had to Start a Fight / In and Out of Patience”
The first single from Parquet Courts’ upcoming album is even more submerged in their comic approach to music, dwelling in the depths of dark humor and ridiculousness, but still coming across as a serious and enjoyable release. It moves back and forth between the two titles that make up the song, so effortlessly that it is a musical revelation. “Wide Awake!” will be out May 18.
Anderson Paak: “Till It’s Over”
“Till It’s Over” emerged out of the blue from an Apple Music commercial directed by Spike Jonze and starring FKA twigs as a contemporary New Yorker finding solace in dancing to the song. Its groove lines will force you to dance as well, and you will have the song on repeat till it feels like your heartbeat. Anderson Paak’s new album is currently in the works.