10 Best Songs of the Week: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Young Husband, and More

Plus Anderson .Paak, Marble Arch, Kirin J Callinan, Jenny Lewis, and a Wrap-up of the Week's Other Notable New Tracks

Mar 15, 2019
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With most of the music industry at SXSW this week it was a slow week for new tracks. We considered just having a Top 5 for this week's Songs of the Week, but dug deep enough to come up with a Top 10.

Elsewhere on the website this week we posted a new interview with Glen Hansard about his new album, which is due out next month, and also premiered his new video for "Fool's Game."

We also posted Artist Survey interviews with Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, Hop Along, and Xiu Xiu. Plus there was an interview with Kris Bowers, the composer of the Oscar winning film Green Book. And today there was a The End interview with Methyl Ethel

In the last week we also reviewed a bunch of albums, including the latest by Foals, The ExBats, SPELLLING, Malibu Ken, and Delicate Steve. Plus we posted reviews of various DVDs, Blu-rays, films, concerts, and TV shows.

Don't forget that two weeks ago we announced our new print issue. The issue features Mitski on the front cover and boygenius (Julien Baker + Phoebe Bridgers + Lucy Dacus) on the back cover.

To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last week, we have picked the 10 best the last seven days had to offer, along with highlighting other notable new tracks shared in the last week. Check out the full list below.

1. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: "Fishing for Fishies"

This week prolific Melbourne psych-rock adventurers King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard announced a new album, Fishing for Fishies, and shared a Jason Galea-directed video for its title track. It's a bit of a silly song and certainly a ridiculous video, but it's also a whole lot of fun. Fishing for Fishies is due out April 27 via ATO/Flightless. Check out the album's tracklist and cover art, as well as their upcoming tour dates, here.

The album includes "Cyboogie," which was shared back in January via a retro-looking video and was one of our Songs of the Week. The band released five albums in 2017, so who can blame them for taking 2018 off in terms of putting out new albums (although they did reissue some earlier records). Fishing for Fishies is the band's fifteenth album (and keep in mind that's over the course of only seven years).

Frontman Stu Mackenzie had this to say about the album in a press release: "We tried to make a blues record. A blues-boogie-shuffle-kinda-thing, but the songs kept fighting it - or maybe it was us fighting them. Ultimately though we let the songs guide us this time; we let them have their own personalities and forge their own path. Paths of light, paths of darkness. This is a collection of songs that went on wild journeys of transformation."

Mackenzie also commented on what it was like to release five albums in 2017, the last one being released on New Years Eve 2017: "I didn't really know who I was by the end of 2017. It was a good kind of spent feeling though, as I like being busy. For most of the holiday period I was in the studio doing the last of the recording and mixing on Gumboot Soup. And as soon as it clicked over to 2018 I stopped worrying about recording for a while and started living instead." 

2. Younghusband: "Translation"

This week British trio Younghusband announced a new album, Swimmers, and shared its first single, the relaxed and dreamy "Translation." Swimmers is due out June 7 via Opposite Number. Check out the album's tracklist and cover art here.

Swimmers is the band's third album, the follow-up to 2015's Dissolver. Frontman and songwriter Euan Hinshelwood set up a studio in a barn in Greenwich, England, which is where Swimmers was recorded.

Hinshelwood had this to say in a press statement: "I didn't play the songs to the guys before. For the majority of the record the band had only heard the songs on the day of recording them. We then went over the top of those bare bones but at the core of it I wanted to get something loose and gritty."

Read our 2013 interview with Younghusband, as well as our 2015 interview with them.

3. Anderson .Paak: "King James"

Anderson .Paak (aka California musician/producer Brandon Paak Anderson) is releasing a new album, Ventura, on April 12 via Aftermath Entertainment/12 Tone Music, LLC. Today he shared its first single, the jazzy "King James." He has also confirmed the album's tracklist, which includes a slew of special guests such as André 3000, Smokey Robinson, Brandy, and more. Ventura is the follow-up to Oxnard, which was only just released last November. Check out the album's tracklist and cover art, as well as upcoming tour dates, here.

Anderson grew up in Oxnard, California, but then moved to Ventura, California, hence the titles of the two albums. He had this to say in a press release: "Growing up in Oxnard gave me the grit and the church to find this voice of mine. One town over I went further and found my depth. The duality of each place inspired me greatly and from that I made two albums at the exact same time but held one back because that would have been too many songs to perform live for you all! I like ending things on an even number so welcome to Ventura."

4. Marble Arch: "Gold"

This week Marble Arch, the French guitar-pop band fronted by Yann Le Ravazet, shared their pensive and breezy new video for their new single "Gold" and we were pleased to premiere it. The video follows the group as they wander around the shops and apartments around Ravazet's home, finding some pleasure in the everyday glow of human company. The song is a tightly knit, "contemplative pop" track that breathes with fragility and determination.  "Gold" is the second single from the band's upcoming new album, Children of the Slump, which is due out March 22 via Géographie.

The band had this to say about the video in a statement to Under the Radar: "A moment with the band Marble arch. The clip was shot in the Paris district where Yann Le Razavet lives and composed the album Children of the Slump. Despite the grey sky and architecture we can feel that the band will find a golden light with this song."

Children of the Slump follows Marble Arch's 2014 album The Bloom of Division, which was more of a bedroom-pop album than its successor. The album features Barthelemy Bouveret (Good Morning TV, Brace! Brace) on mastering duties. A press release for the album reads: "[Ravazet] didn't want [Children of the Slump] to be labeled shoegaze nor dream pop. As a matter of fact, we'd be more likely to hear reverberated pop ('Remeniscence'), saturated pop (the infectious song 'I am on My Way'), nostalgic pop ('Moonstruck'), synthetic pop ('Instant Love'), or even contemplative pop ('Gold'). 'I think of Children of the Slump as being my real first album as opposed to the former one which was more like a collection of demo,' the thirty-year-old artist confessed." By Stephen Axeman

5. Kirin J Callinan: "The Whole of the Moon" (The Waterboys Cover)

This week Australian experimental musician Kirin J Callinan shared a video for a new track, "The Whole of the Moon," which is a cover of a 1985 song by Scotland's The Waterboys. We don't usually include covers in our main Songs of the Week list, but Callinan brought enough new energy and drama to the song and the original isn't overly known beyond fans of The Waterboys, so here it is.

Michael Hili directed the video, which was shot in one day in New York City and is very theatrical, featuring Callinan miming. The Francois Tetaz-produced track is said to be the first taste of an upcoming new album on Terrible Records, which would be the follow up to 2017's Bravado. Check it out The Waterboys' original and Callinan's upcoming tour dates here.

A press release announcing the track described the musician this way: "Kirin J Callinan is an apex predator. A butterfly. A grassfire. A beautiful baby boy wandered curiously into trouble. You're listening to something very specific when you're hearing Kirin J express himself. And you're right to be wondering if this mania, this insanity, this total abandon exists within all of us. Makes you wonder if you've just missed out. If you're a coward for never trying. If you were ever on the field in the first place. Out there is a pendulum that swings recklessly between madness and precision."

Check out our 2017 interview with Kirin J Callinan on Bravado and the accompanying photo-shoot we did with him as he was getting a shave and a haircut at a Washington DC barbershop.

6. These New Puritans: "Where the Trees are on Fire"

These New Puritans are releasing a new album, Inside the Rose, on March 22 via BMG. This week they shared another song from the album, "Where the Trees are on Fire," via a video for the song. The British duo is made up of brothers Jack Barnett and George Barnett. George directed the video with Max Luz and the video features Jack, often via a multiple exposure technique.

George had this to say about the song in a press release: "This is our most direct, melodic music yet. I like music that goes straight to your nervous system, not abstract, wanky, gap-year stuff."

Jack says he dreamt the melody and lyrics. "Clichéd as it may seem, that's how it came to me," he says. "I went through a period of dreaming loads of music. Most of it was crap - bad '80s synth pop or pub rock - but this was the best of them. Because I dreamt most of the lyrics, I don't know exactly what it's about, but I think it's got something to do with the extremes of life, whether that's oblivion or ecstasy.... Making music, you always want to make something that is without irony, something that deals with extremes of your experience in life; in a way that's risky, because you expose yourself more. But that's the art I like; art that gets to the heart of things."

Inside the Rose is the band's first new album in six years, since 2013's Field of Reeds. It includes "Into the Fire," a new song the band shared back in November that was one of our Songs of the Week. When the album was announced they then shared a NSFW video for its title track, "Inside the Rose," which was our #1 Song of the Week. Then they shared another song from the album, "Anti-Gravity," via a lyric video (it was also one of our Songs of the Week).

Writing sessions for Inside the Rose began in Essex, England in 2015, but they were completed in Berlin, Germany after they relocated there. The album was recorded in Berlin, London, and Southend-on-Sea, England. Most of the recording was done in a former Soviet broadcasting studio in Berlin's industrial suburbs. It was mixed in Los Angeles. Harley Weir directed the "Inside the Rose" video (which features lots of artful nudity) in collaboration with George Barnett.

Jack Barnett had this to say about the album in a press release: "I want to go beyond myself and my time. That's the art I like. Whether it's Francis Bacon or William Blake. You fail, inevitably, but that's the challenge."

7. Jenny Lewis: "Wasted Youth"

Jenny Lewis is releasing a new album, On the Line, on March 22 via Warner Bros. Today she shared another song from it, "Wasted Youth," which had a bit of a '70s rock vibe. 

Previously Lewis shared On the Line's first single, "Red Bull & Hennessy," which was one of our Songs of the Week. Then she shared another song from the album, "Heads Gonna Roll," which was posted to YouTube via a largely static image of her on a horse in a sparkly Elvis-in-Vegas type outfit. The song featured Ringo Starr on drums and Don Was on bass and was also one of our Songs of the Week.

Then Lewis live-streamed On the Line Online, a telethon/variety show to promote the album and to raise money for Los Angeles' The Downtown Women's Center. The three-and-a-half-hour thing was co-hosted by comedians Tim Heidecker and Vanessa Bayer (of Saturday Night Live) and featured a slew of special guests, including Jeff Goldblum, St. Vincent, Beck, Danielle Haim, Mac DeMarco, Jim James, Jason Schwartzman, Nikki Lane, David Arquette, King Tuff, Natasha Leggero, and more. Watch it here if you missed it.

On the Line is Lewis' first solo album in five years, since 2014's The Voyager. Lewis recorded On the Line at Capitol Records' Studio B with an impressive backing band featuring Beck, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr, and others.

8. Frankie Cosmos: "Dancing" (Plus "Tunnel")

This week Frankie Cosmos, the project of Greta Kline, along with her backing band, announced a new digital-only series, Haunted Items, where she will release new songs each week for the next month. Kline has shared its first two tracks: "Dancing" and "Tunnel." Both songs are short and simple, but we liked the lyrics to "Dancing" ("Tunnel" is more of an honorable mention), with Kline singing: "You've bought more pairs of jeans than you've ever shed tears." Haunted Items will feature new stripped down songs written for the piano. Check out the schedule for all the songs and Frankie Cosmos' upcoming tour dates here.

Kline had this to say about the project in a press release: "Items themselves are harmless unless they are infused with some kind of energy. These items are haunted by fear, consumerism, commitment, love, loss, the list goes on...I had some of these songs stuck inside me, mostly because I wrote a lot of them for piano and didn't know how to record them, even as demos. My friend Elia gifted me with 10 hours of recording time with Mark Yoshizumi, and this winter felt like the perfect opportunity to get these out of my system and haunt you with them instead. I have always been afraid of items being haunted, but when you think about it, every item is, right?"

Frankie Cosmos released their last album album, Vessel, back in March 2018 via Sub Pop, the band's first for the iconic Seattle label.

Read our 2018 interview with Frankie Cosmos on Vessel.

Also read our 2016 interview with Frankie Cosmos.

9. Joan As Police Woman: "What a World"

This week Joan As Police Woman (aka Joan Wasser) announced JOANTHOLOGY, her first-ever career retrospective. It is due out May 24 on Play It Again Sam and this week she shared one of its tracks "What a World," which is a brand new song. It is a three-disc set that includes two discs of studio recordings and a third disc, Live At the BBC, which is a collection of songs recorded in session for BBC 6Music. JOANTHOLOGY also includes one other previously unreleased track, a cover of Prince's "Kiss."

Wasser had this to say about "What a World" in a press release: "I was at the ocean in a tiny house by myself when I wrote this song. I took long walks on the beach singing into the sound of the crashing waves; the surf so big it completely enveloped my voice. The feelings there were overwhelming and multi-faceted. At the time of writing, I couldn't get over that the pain, which felt like it would tear me apart, was part of a larger feeling that made staying alive in this world so inexplicably joyful. The lyrics were difficult to write and raw in a way that made me shiver. When I finished the song, I played it live just a few times at shows, then I put it away. Over the years, I continued to get asked about 'What a World', so I rewrote and recorded it this year. I combined the initial wild spark with the clarity of years of waves crashing on the shore. Pain and joy. Longing and equanimity. Infinite questions surrounded by endless movement. I'm looking forward to finally sharing it with the world."

10. Shura: "BKLYNLDN"

This week Shura (aka British electro-pop singer/songwriter/producer Alexandra Lilah Denton) shared a new song, "BKLYNLDN." It is said to be the first single from her forthcoming yet-to-be-announced second album. "BKLYNLDN" is out now via Secretly Canadian and was shared via a video for the song directed by Woman's Hour frontwoman Fiona Jane Burgess.
 
Shura had this to say about the song in a press release: "With 'BKLYNLDN' I wanted to explore having both a sonic and lyrical evolution. It's about desire - playing with the idea of it being all consuming and at times overwhelming. It begins with the immediacy of physical desire - 'this isn't love' and yet as the song unfolds that sentiment begins to unravel; I am clearly in love and instead of my girlfriend coming to London, I end up moving to Brooklyn. I wanted to capture that reversal musically and the final section of the track encapsulates my summer, that feeling of skipping through Brooklyn, holding hands with my girlfriend and singing out loud, without caring about how ridiculous you might look to the rest of the world."

Honorable Mentions:

These three songs almost made the Top 10.

Mini Dresses: "Heaven Sent"

Karen O and Danger Mouse: "Turn the Light"

OLSSON: "Parasol"

Other notable new tracks in the last week include:

Lydia Ainsworth: "Tell Me I Exist"

Arcade Fire: "Baby Mine" (Betty Noyes Cover)

Baroness: "Borderlines"

Bedouin Soundclash: "Clockwork"

 

Citizen Bravo: "Limbs and Bones"

 

The Faint: "Quench the Flame"

Grimes: "Pretty Dark (Demo)"

 

Holly Herndon: "Eternal" 

Lamb: "Moonshine" (Feat Cian Finn) 

 

Bill MacKay: "Welcome" 

 Billie Marten: "Betsy"

Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky: "For The Sun"

Nasty Cherry: "Win"

Tierra Whack: "Wasteland"

Twin Shadow: "Truly"

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happy wheels
March 15th 2019
8:16pm

I didn’t know how many times I listened to these songs, I didn’t feel bored

Jacob Rigin
March 15th 2019
11:49pm

Thanks, they are gonna be on repeat on my phone.