12 Best Songs of the Week: Steve Gunn, Thom Yorke, Hatchie, Julia Holter, and More

Plus The Good, The Bad, & The Queen; boygenius; Beirut; Beach House; and a Wrap-up of the Week's Other Notable New Tracks

Oct 26, 2018
Bookmark and Share


This week's Songs of the Week list is a supersized edition, with a Top 12 rather than our regular Top 10. Various new album announcements this week, as well as some excellent albums being released today, resulted in the need to make room for two extra tracks. 

Elsewhere on the website in the last week we posted interviews with Ryley Walker, Let's Eat Grandma, Stephen Malkmus, and Helena Deland.

Julia Holter was our Album of the Week.

In the last week we also reviewed a bunch of albums, including the latest by R.E.M., Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Julia Holter, John Carpenter, and Thom Yorke. Plus we posted reviews of various DVDs, Blu-rays, films, and TV shows, including a recap/review of the latest episode of The Good Place and reviews of the new films Burning and Blaze.

Don't forget that our current print issue, which features Kamasi Washington on the cover, is still out now.

To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last week, we have picked the 12 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. Steve Gunn: "New Moon"

This week Steve Gunn announced a new album, The Unseen In Between, and shared its first single, "New Moon." The Unseen In Between is due out January 18, 2019 via Matador. "New Moon" has a 1960s vibe, like something akin to Harry Nilsson's iconic version of "Everybody's Talkin'." It has a timeless quality to it.

The Unseen In Between is the follow-up to 2016's Eyes on the Lines, which was his debut for Matador. Two weeks after the release of Eyes on the Lines, Gunn's father died after a two-year battle with cancer. His passing influenced the new album, in particular "Stonehurst Cowboy." A press release says the song "distills the lessons Gunn learned from his father and it is a solemn but tender remembrance, a tribute to his father's reputation as a tough, wise, and witty guy from far west Philadelphia." 

James Elkington produced The Unseen In Between, which was engineered by Daniel Schlett. Gunn has also announced some tour dates, which are here.

2. Thom Yorke: "Unmade"

Thom Yorke of Radiohead has scored his first feature film, Suspiria, and the soundtrack, Suspiria (Music for the Luca Guadagnino Film), was released today via XL. This week he shared one more pre-release song from it, "Unmade," which features his vocals. The terms "haunting" and "beautiful" don't do it justice. He also performed the song in a session for BBC Radio 6 Music.

Also, in an interview this week with Spanish publication El Mundo, Yorke says he is working on a new solo album for a 2019 release. He's working with longtime collaborator Nigel Godrich and it will be an electronic political album.

Previously Yorke shared three songs from the Suspiria soundtrack: "Suspirium," which features his vocals and was our #2 Song of the Week, "Has Ended," which also features his vocals and was also one of our Songs of the Week, the disquieting instrumental track "Volk" (which also made our Songs of the Week list), and "Open Again" (which also made our Songs of the Week list).

Yorke also recently shared another new solo song, "Hands Off the Antarctic." The instrumental track was shared in conjunction with Greenpeace and via a video that shows off images of the Antarctic. Greenpeace is campaigning for a 700,000 square mile sanctuary for penguins, whales, and other Antarctic wildlife and this song is aimed to bring that cause to light.

Suspiria (Music for the Luca Guadagnino Film) includes 25 original compositions by Yorke, including instrumental tracks and ones that are more traditionally song-like and feature vocals. Yorke wrote and arranged the score, which was recorded and produced by Yorke and Sam Petts-Davies. The score also features the London Contemporary Orchestra and Choir, as well as Yorke's son Noah Yorke on drums on "Has Ended" and "Volk," and Pasha Mansurov on solo flute on "Suspirium."  

Suspiria is a remake of Dario Argento's 1977 Italian horror film of the same name. Suspiria's first teaser trailer debuted in June and last month a new, longer trailer for the film was shared (watch the creepiness below again). Luca Guadgnino (Call Me By Your Name) has directed the new version, which stars Dakota Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, and Jessica Harper (the star of the 1977 original). It's due out nationwide November 2 via Amazon Studios, with New York and Los Angeles showings starting today.

3. Hatchie: "Adored"

Hatchie is the dream pop project of Australian musician Harriette Pilbeam. Back in May she released her debut EP under the Hatchie name, Sugar & Spice, via Double Double Whammy. This week she shared a brand new song, "Adored." It was shared via the Adult Swim Singles Program.

Previously we posted Hatchie's "Sleep" (which was our #2 Song of the Week). We also posted the video for Sugar & Spice's title track (which was also one of our Songs of the Week) and the audio for "Bad Guy" (which was also one of our Songs of the Week), as well as a video for "Bad Guy." Hatchie has a shoegazer/dream-pop vibe, so it makes sense that in February Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie remixed previous single "Sure." Hatchie also previously shared videos for "Try" and "Sure."

Pick up our current print issue (Issue 65) to read our interview with Hatchie.

4. The Good, The Bad, & The Queen: "Merrie Land"

This week The Good, The Bad, & The Queen announced their long-awaited sophomore album, Merrie Land, and shared its title track. The band features Damon Albarn (of Blur and Gorillaz), Afrobeat legend Tony Allen, Paul Simonon (of The Clash), and Simon Tong (of The Verve). The band released their debut album way back in 2007 and have long been teasing its follow-up (of course Albarn has kept very busy in the last 11 years). Merrie Land is finally due out November 16.

Merrie Land was produced by the band with Tony Visconti (David Bowie). A press release says the songs were written as Brexit was being negotiated and the UK is attempting to leave the European Union, which creates "a reluctant good-bye letter, a series of observations and reflections on Britishness in 2018." 

The press release further describes the album: "Merrie Land's focus moves beyond GBQ's London-themed first album to a wider land, with a beautiful and hopeful paean to the Britain of today, an inclusive Britain, currently in an Anglo-Saxostentialist crises at the end of a relationship, wondering what might be salvaged. Could there be a more perfect band - with their creative symbiosis of pasts and present and shared acclaimed music histories - to reflect on the anticipation, disorientation and confusion of current life."

5. Julia Holter: "I Shall Love 1" 

Julia Holter released a new album, Aviary, today via Domino and it's our Album of the Week. Previously Holter shared a video for Aviary's first single, "I Shall Love 2" (which was our #1 Song of the Week). Then she shared another new song from the album, "Words I Heard," also via a video (and it was also our #1 Song of the Week). Now that the album is out, there were several songs we considered adding to this week's Songs of the Week list: "I Shall Love 1," "Underneath the Moon," and "Les Jeux to You." We settled on "I Shall Love 1," one of the first Aviary songs we gravitated to when we were first sent the album a couple of months ago. "Underneath the Moon" and "Les Jeux to You" are on the honorable mentions list below.

Aviary was initially inspired by a line from a 2009 short story by writer Etel Adnan: "I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds." A previous press release pointed out that it's a good metaphor for the daily bad news cycle we currently find ourselves in, especially in the modern political climate. "Amidst all the internal and external babble we experience daily, it's hard to find one's foundation," Holter elaborated in the press release. "I think this album is reflecting that feeling of cacophony and how one responds to it as a person-how one behaves, how one looks for love, for solace. Maybe it's a matter of listening to and gathering the seeming madness, of forming something out of it and envisioning a future."

Holter later added: "In a lot of the songs, when I mention love, it's about a seeking for compassion and humility in a world where it feels like empathy is always being tested."

Read out rave 8.5/10 review of Aviary.

The Los Angeles-based artist released her fantastic fourth full-length album, Have You in My Wilderness, in 2015 via Domino (it made it to #4 on our Top 100 Albums of 2015 list). Since then she released the 2016 score for boxing drama Bleed For This, 2017's In the Same Room, featuring her previous songs re-recorded live in the studio, and in January shared a new song, "So Humble the Afternoon," as part of the Adult Swim Singles Program (it isn't featured on the new album, but was one of our Songs of the Week).

Cole MGN executive produced Aviary, which was produced by Holter and Kenny Gilmore. The album also features Corey Fogel (percussion), Devin Hoff (bass), Dina Maccabee (violin, viola, vocals), Sarah Belle Reid (trumpet), Andrew Tholl (violin), and Tashi Wada (synth, bagpipes). Dicky Bahto directed the "I Shall Love 2" video and took Holter's press photos. When describing Aviary, the press release says the album "combines Holter's slyly theatrical vocals and Blade Runner-inspired synth work with an enveloping palette of strings and percussion that reveals itself, and the boundless scope of her vision, over the course of 15 songs."

6. boygenius: "Ketchum, ID"

Boygenius is a new supergroup featuring three amazing singer/songwriters: Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers. Their self-titled debut EP was due out November 9 via Matador and while the physical release is still scheduled for that day, today they released the EP digitally two weeks early.

When the EP was announced they shared three of its six tracks: "Bite the Hand," "Me & My Dog," and "Stay Down." "Me & My Dog" was our #1 Song of the Week and the other two songs also made our Songs of the Week list.

Since the EP is out, there is one more song from it worthy of the Songs of the Week list, the EP's closing track "Ketchum, ID." The song features all three singers and feels like a true collaboration, whereas the original singles felt closer to the solo work of each artist.

Los Angeles' Phoebe Bridgers released her debut album, Stranger in the Alps, back in September via Dead Oceans. Memphis' Julien Baker released her new album, Turn Out the Lights, back in October via Matador, her first for the label. It was our Album of the Week and more importantly it was #2 on our Top 100 Albums of 2017 list. Richmond's Lucy Dacus released a new album, Historian, back in March via Matador. It was also our Album of the Week.

The trio met via tours together and mutual festival appearances. They hatched the idea of their November tour together and thought they should record some collaborative music to perform on the tour.

"It seemed obvious to record a 7-inch for tour, although many adult men will try to take credit for the idea," explained Bridgers in a previous press release. "When we got together, we had way more songs than we expected and worked so well together, that we decided to make a full EP."

Dacus added: "A long time ago, before I even met Phoebe, Julien mentioned that she had a pipe dream of starting a band with both of us. Then we booked this tour and decided the time was right."

Baker agreed that it was also down to good timing. "When we met, Lucy and Phoebe and I were in similar places in our lives and our musical endeavors, but also had similar attitudes toward music that engendered an immediate affinity," Baker said in the previous press release. "Lucy and Phoebe are incredibly gifted performers, and I am a fan of their art outside of being their friends, but they are also both very wise, discerning and kind people whom I look up to in character as much as in talent." 

Of recording the EP, Baker added: "Everyone seemed both confident enough to present ideas and fight for their individual vision, but considerate and humble enough to make decisions which ultimately served the song. It was a process that required a balance of determination and forthrightness with graciousness and pliability, and I think that we all did a good job of enacting that."

7. Westerman: "Outside Sublime"

Will Westerman, who releases music simply under his last name, has already garnered attention for a series of singles and his 2017-released Call and Response EP. The West London musician is releasing a new 4-song EP, Ark, on November 9 via Blue Flowers. Previously its first single, "Albatross," was one of our Songs of the Week. This week he shared another song from the EP, "Outside Sublime."

Westerman had this to say about the song in a press release: "I wanted to write a note to a struggling friend. I hoped it would be an arm on the shoulder for anyone finding things difficult. I wanted to be really direct with this, and for it to feel joyful and powerful in an unobtrusive sort of way."

8. Beirut: "Gallipoli" (Plus "Corfu")

On Monday Beirut (aka Zach Condon and his band) announced a new album, Gallipoli, and shared its title track, "Gallipoli." Gallipoli is due out February 1 via 4AD. Then today he also shared another song from the album, the appealing and brief instrumental track "Corfu." It is probably a track that makes the most sense in the context of the album, but it still makes for a pleasing standalone listen. Corfu is also the name of Greek island, by the way. "Gallipoli" officially makes the list, with "Corfu" more of an honorable mention.

Condon started work on Gallipoli in 2016, with him writing on the old Farfisa organ he used to write the first two Beirut albums (2006's Gulag Orkestar and 2017's The Flying Club Cup). Initial recording sessions happened in New York and Condon's current home of Berlin. Then the rest of the album was recorded in Sudestudio, a studio complex in rural Puglia, southern Italy. The album is Beirut's fifth and the follow-up to 2015's No No No.

Condon had this to say about "Gallipoli" in a previous press release: "We stumbled into the medieval-fortressed island town of Gallipoli one night and followed a brass band procession fronted by priests carrying a statue of the town's saint through the winding narrow streets behind what seemed like the entire town. The next day I wrote the song entirely in one sitting, pausing only to eat." 

Before the album was announced Beirut live streamed to YouTube a looped image and a snippet of new instrumental music. Then the next day Condon released a lengthy statement about the album that revealed its title (read it at the band's website).

Also read our 2015 interview with Beirut about No No No.

9. Beach House: "Alien"

Baltimore duo Beach House (Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally) released a new album, 7 (titled as such because it's their seventh album), back in May via Sub Pop. It was our Album of the Week. This week they officially shared the non-album track "Alien." The song briefly leaked on YouTube last week, before being taken down quickly, and was previously available as a B-side on a limited-edition tour-only 7-inch, but now it has been officially released online.

Read our recent exclusive interview with Beach House on 7.

Previously Beach House shared the album's "Lemon Glow" (which was one of our Songs of the Week) and "Dive" (which was also one of our Songs of the Week), as well as a video for "Dive." (They also released a lengthy statement about the album.) Then they shared the album's third single, "Dark Spring," via a visually arresting video for the song. "Dark Spring" was our #1 Song of the Week. Then they shared "Black Car," which was also our #1 Song of the Week. The band also stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to perform "Drunk in LA."  Then they shared a video for "Black Car," a video for "Drunk in LA" directed by Sonic Boom (aka Pete Kember, formerly of Spacemen 3), and a remix of "Black Car" by Sonic Boom.

10. Toro Y Moi: "Freelance"

This week Toro Y Moi (aka Chaz Bear) announced a new album, Outer Peace, and shared its first single, "Freelance," via a video for the song. Outer Peace is due out January 19, 2019 via Carpark.

Outer Peace is the follow-up to 2017's Boo Boo. The album was written and recorded in the Bay Area after Bear spent a year in Portland. Harry Israelson directed the "Freelance" video.

Bear had this to say about the album in a press release: "This record is a response to how disposable culture has become and how it affects creativity. While listening, you might pay attention or ignore -- either way that's ok, this is music for a creative mind."

11. HÆLOS: "Buried in the Sand"

London-based band HÆLOS released their debut full-length, Full Circle, back in 2016 via Matador. This week they returned with a new song, "Buried in the Sand." It was shared via a video for the song directed by The Sacred Egg. The single is out now via Infectious.

HÆLOS were originally a trio (Arthur Delaney, Dom Goldsmith, and Lotti Benardout), but have now added touring member Daniel Vildósola. On their debut the band pulled from '90s trip-hop sounds originated by Massive Attack and Portishead for inspiration. There's no word on their sophomore album, but more music is promised soon.

HÆLOS had this to say about the song in a press release: "When we came back to work on the music that would become our new album we decided to explore different ways of writing to challenge and push ourselves in a new direction. We set about trying to write one song an hour for a week and 'Buried in the Sand' came from one of those jams. Dom working a beat and bass line from his modular set up and Daniel, Lotti and Arthur jamming licks and vocals over the top. Our passion for throwing together odd genres meant we all dove deep into our record collections for inspiration which lead us to interesting places like the bluesy undertones in Arthur's vocal. Daniel, who toured with us from the beginning, was really involved in the writing and has joined us as a full member of HÆLOS. His musicality is all over this track. 
 
"The song title was an accident and came serendipitously from the phonetics of the melody, but the rest of the lyrics were born from a strange dinner party where everyone ended up Snapchatting each other and no one was talking face to face. It perfectly summed up how jarring and unnatural our disappearance into a digital world could be. Lotti's verses sound almost like a poem a computer would write if requested -- a synthetic perfection that holds a certain tension against the emotion of the music."

Read our 2015 article on HÆLOS.

12. Swervedriver: "Mary Winter"

This week Swervedriver announced a new album, Future Ruins, and shared its first single, "Mary Winter." Future Ruins is due out January 25, 2019 via Dangerbird.

The British band made their mark in the 1990s as part of the original shoegazing movement, but returned in 2015 with I Wasn't Born to Lose You, which was their first new album in 17 years.

The album was started in October 2017, just after finishing a U.S. tour performing their classic albums Raise and Mezcal Head in their entirety. "That's a good way to record," says frontman Adam Franklin in a press release, "because you've literally just seen the whites of the audience's eyes and you're thinking, 'If that audience from last night were here now...' You can't get too mellow. We came home with 30 different songs."

Franklin also had this to say about the album in the press release: "There's a lot of foreboding with regard to the future on this album. Space is in there a lot too. In the first song, the character is a spaceman who's trying to remember what life is really like. Also, it could be about somewhere in the world where winter isn't like the winter here. A sunny place, but its December or January and you're trying to remember winter. Something's going on."

Honorable Mentions:

These 9 songs almost made the Top 10.

boygenius: "Salt in the Wound"

Julia Holter: "Les Jeux to You" and "Underneath the Moon"

Interpol: "If You Really Love Nothing (Reimaged by Pêtr Aleksänder)"

Mike Krol: "Little Drama"

Jason Lytle: "Color of Dirt"

Moonface: "Minotaur Forgiving Knossos"

Jessica Pratt: "This Time Around"

TOY: "Sequence One" 

Other notable new tracks in the last week include:

AFI: "Get Dark"

Thomas Bangalter: "Riga Take 5"

Cake: "Sinking Ship"

Capital Punishment: "Confusion (2018)"

Cardi B: "Money"

Club Night: "Mute" and "Trance"

The Faint: "Chameleon Nights"

Miya Folick: "Cost Your Love"

The Glands: "Atmosphere" and "Every Time I Listen to a Stranger" 

Hinds: "British Mind"

Jim James: "Over and Over" (Feat. Angel Olsen)

The Menzingers: "The Freaks"

Bob Mould: "Sunshine Rock"

Oneohtrix Point Never: "Love In The Time of Lexapro"

Protomartyr: "Forbidden" (Preoccupations Cover)

Robyn: "Human Being" (Feat. Zhala)

Royal Trux: "Every Day Swan" and "Get Used to This"

William Shatner: "Silent Night" (Feat. Iggy Pop) 

Store Front: "Go For Broke"

Trentemøller: "Transformer Man" (Neil Young Cover)

Twin Shadow: "Hollow Days"

Ryley Walker: "Diggin' a Ditch" (Dave Matthews Band Cover)

Dean Wareham and Cheval Sombre: "Grand Canyon" (The Magnetic Fields Cover)

 

Gerard Way: "Baby You're a Haunted House"

Nick Zammuto: "Tonight We'll Go For a Ride"

Support Under the Radar on Patreon.



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Showbox App Alternatives
October 27th 2018
1:30am

For iOS devices, there is an app store namely iTunes store. Likewise, iOS, the Android platform has the Play Store app store marketplace. You can download various movies, music albums, videos, serials, TV shows and other popular programmes on Showbox app. Usually, people call it the way of streaming movies using Showbox.

Freda Berg
October 29th 2018
1:05am

Very interesting!

Freda
Gamer
ttps://games.lol/arcade/