14 Best Songs of the Week: Cate Le Bon, Destroyer, Spoon, Aldous Harding, and More | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, August 12th, 2022  

14 Best Songs of the Week: Cate Le Bon, Destroyer, Spoon, Aldous Harding, and More

Plus Mitski, Guerilla Toss, Methyl Ethyl, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks

Jan 14, 2022
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Welcome to the second Songs of the Week of 2022. It was a spectacular week for new songs, overwhelming almost, with several notable album announcements. So this week we have an oversized Top 14, rather than our regular Top 10. Fourteen songs for January 14! There are also lots of strong honorable mentions, songs that other weeks would’ve made the main Top 10. After a more subdued week last week, it now seems as though the music industry has now shrugged off the holiday break and is raring to go with announcing 2022 projects.

In the last week we posted an interview with Cat Power.

In the last week we also reviewed a bunch of albums.

Don’t forget to pick up our new double print issue, our 20th Anniversary Issue (which is out now) and to preorder our first album, the 20th anniversary compilation Covers of Covers. Also check out our Top 100 Albums of 2021 list.

To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last week, we have picked the 14 best the last week had to offer, along with highlighting other notable new tracks shared in the last seven days. Check out the full list below.

1. Cate Le Bon: “Remembering Me”

Welsh singer/songwriter/guitarist Cate Le Bon is releasing a new album, Pompeii, on February 4 via Mexican Summer. On Tuesday, she shared its third and final pre-release single, “Remembering Me,” via a colorful video for it that features Le Bon in various exaggerated costumes and poses. Juliana Giraffe and Nicola Giraffe of Giraffe Studios directed the video, which features costumes by Monica Adriana Rowlands. It also has a bit of a David Bowie vibe, circa Hunky Dory (the “Remembering Me” video perhaps references the one for “Life on Mars?”).

View the list of Le Bon’s upcoming tour dates here.

“‘Remembering Me’ is a neurotic diary entry that questions notions of legacy and warped sentimentalism in the desperate need to self-mythologize,” says Le Bon in a press release.

Previously Le Bon shared Pompeii’s lead single “Running Away,” which was #1 on our Songs of the Week list. That was followed by its second single, “Moderation,” which was also #1 on our Songs of the Week list. So she’s three for three with #1 Songs of the Week placements!

Pompeii is Le Bon’s sixth album and the follow-up to 2019’s Reward. In 2019, Le Bon also released an EP alongside Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound titled Myths 04. It featured the songs “Secretary” (one of our Songs of the Week) and “Canto!” (another one of our Songs of the Week).

Pick up our current print issue (the 20th Anniversary Issue) to read our interview with Le Bon about Pompeii and to check out our photo-shoot with her in the desert in Joshua Tree, CA. By Mark Redfern

2. Destroyer: “Tintoretto, It’s for You”

On Tuesday, Destroyer (the project of Dan Bejar) announced a new album, LABYRINTHITIS, and shared its first single, “Tintoretto, It’s for You,” via an atmospheric video for it. LABYRINTHITIS is due out March 25 via Merge. David Galloway directed the “Tintoretto, It’s for You” video. View the album’s cover art and Destroyer’s previously announced upcoming tour dates here.

LABYRINTHITIS is the follow-up to 2020’s Have We Met. It was written mainly in 2020 and recorded in spring 2021. Bejar once again worked with regular collaborator John Collins, this time under lockdown conditions, with Bejar in Vancouver and Collins on the nearby remote Galiano Island. The Destroyer band then came in to flesh out some of the songs prior to mixing. The Books, Art of Noise, New Order, and disco are all cited as reference points in a press release announcing the album.

Bejar had a bigger hand than usual in the creation of the video for “Tintoretto, It’s for You” and had this to say about the song and video in the press release: “I had an idea of writing a couple lines on the idea of ‘mystery’ and ‘goin nowhere,’ as they are two of my favorite themes. That and the Grim Reaper and being pursued by some silent, unnamable thing that constantly lurks one foot to the left of you. Especially as the world’s decay becomes increasingly less abstract. Also wanted to write on the romance of terror. The song ‘Tintoretto, It’s for You’ speaks to all these things, oddly enough so does the video…”

Director Galloway adds: “It hopefully presents some loose giallo vibes despite the fact that it clearly isn’t a giallo at all. Nobody dies, nothing is explored at length, and it’s ultimately a collection of neighbourhood red herrings. All leads that go nowhere. But that’s the mystery. That’s the mystery about music videos.”

Read our interview with Destroyer on Have We Met. By Mark Redfern

3. Spoon: “Wild”

On Tuesday, Spoon have shared a video for their new song “Wild.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, Lucifer on the Sofa, which will be out on February 11 via Matador. The song finds Spoon sounding a bit like mid-period U2.

Co-directed Linder states in a press release: “We were mid putting this video together and my friend Ben asked ‘Is Spoon the best band?’ Yes. Yep. Probably. There’s always something unexpected in the familiar with Spoon. They are mythic to me somehow, and ‘WILD’ needed to feel like a myth, or at least illustrate the myth-making process in some odd way. We used the old ways—crude in-camera techniques—to hit this uncanny western film note. Britt is the quintessential western hero. Had a blast 10/10 would do again.”

Upon announcement of the new album back in October, the band shared its lead single “The Hardest Cut,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. By Joey Arnone

4. Aldous Harding: “Lawn”

On Wednesday, New Zealand singer/songwriter and singular talent Aldous Harding announced a new album, Warm Chris, and shared its first single, “Lawn,” via a video for it. Warm Chris is due out March 25 via 4AD. Harding directed the “Lawn” video with Martin Sagadin. View the album’s tracklist and cover art, as well as her previously announced upcoming tour dates, here.

Warm Chris is the follow-up to 2019’s Designer. Harding once again partnered with producer John Parish, who also worked on Designer and 2017’s Party. The album was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales. Warm Chris also features H. Hawkline, Seb Rochford, Gavin Fitzjohn, John and Hopey Parish, and Jason Williamson (Sleaford Mods).

Last June Harding shared the new song, “Old Peel,” via a video for it. That song is not featured on Warm Chris.

Read our interview with Aldous Harding on Designer. By Mark Redfern

5. Mitski: “Love Me More”

Mitski is releasing a new album, Laurel Hell, on February 4 via Dead Oceans. On Wednesday, she shared the album’s fourth single, “Love Me More,” via a surreal video for it featuring a puppet version of Mitski and more.

Mitski had this to say about the song in a press release: “As ‘Love Me More’ was written pre-pandemic, lyrics like ‘If I keep myself at home’ had different meanings than what they would now, but I kept them on the album because I found that some of the sentiments not only remained the same, but were accentuated by the lockdown.

“‘Love Me More’ went through the most iterations out of all the songs on the album. It’s been too fast, too slow, and at some point, it was even an old style country song. Finally, I think because we had watched The Exorcist, we thought of Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ and experimented with floating an ostinato over the chorus. As we steadily evolved the ostinato to fit over the chord progressions, we began to hear how the track was meant to sound.”

Christopher Good directed the “Love Me More” video, which was filmed in Kansas City in December 2021. He previously directed Mitski’s “Nobody” video.

Previously released singles from Laurel Hell are “Working For the Knife” (which topped our Songs of the Week list), “The Only Heartbreaker” (also featured on our Songs of the Week list), and “Heat Lightning” (which again was on our Songs of the Week list).

Many of the songs on Laurel Hell were written during or before 2018. The album was finally finished being mixed in May 2021. Mitski’s longtime producer Patrick Hyland worked with her on the album throughout the pandemic and it’s the longest she has ever worked on an album. Over the course of its creation, Mitski said in a previous press release that the album evolved “to be more uptempo and dance-y. I needed to create something that was also a pep talk.”

Of the lyrical themes on the album, Mitski said: “I needed love songs about real relationships that are not power struggles to be won or lost. I needed songs that could help me forgive both others and myself. I make mistakes all the time. I don’t want to put on a front where I’m a role model, but I’m also not a bad person. I needed to create this space mostly for myself where I sat in that gray area.”

Mitski’s last album, Be the Cowboy, was #2 on our Top 100 Albums of 2018 list and landed her on the cover of our print magazine.

Read our 2019 cover story interview with Mitski on Be the Cowboy. By Mark Redfern

6. Guerilla Toss: “Cannibal Capital”

On Wednesday, Guerilla Toss announced that they have signed to Sub Pop, coinciding with the announcement of a new album and the release of a new single, “Cannibal Capital,” shared via a Lisa Schatz-directed video. The album, titled Famously Alive, will be out on March 25. View the album’s tracklist and cover art, along with a list of tour dates, here.

In June 2020, the band shared the songs “Human Girl” and “Own Zone,” both of which were featured on our Songs of the Week. The band’s most recent music project, the EP What Would the Odd Do?, came out in 2019. By Joey Arnone

7. Methyl Ethyl: “Proof” (Feat. Stella Donnelly)

On Thursday, Australia’s Methyl Ethel, the band led by Jake Webb, announced the release of a new album, Are You Haunted?, which will be out on February 18 via Future Classic. They also shared a video for a new single from the album, “Proof,” which features Australian singer/songwriter Stella Donnelly and was shared via a video directed by Webb. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover art here.

In a press release, Webb states: “Stella is one of the most truth-telling artists I’ve ever heard.”

Donnelly adds: “It made for a perfect match. Working on ‘Proof’ with Jake felt like being invited to the set of your favorite movie, such an insightful and wonderful experience.”

Are You Haunted? was recorded in the same studio where the first ever Methyl Ethyl recordings were made. Webb states: “A dear friend of mine recently passed away, the studio is his. I spent many years of experimentation with him, learning so much looking over his shoulder. It feels special to continue to share the space with his ghost, I’m still learning from him.”

Previously released singles from the upcoming album are “Neon Cheap” and “Matters.” The most recent Methyl Ethyl album, Triage, came out in 2019 via 4AD. By Joey Arnone

8. Ed Schrader’s Music Beat: “Berliner”

On Tuesday, Baltimore-based post-punk duo Ed Schrader’s Music Beat (vocalist Ed Schrader and bassist Devlin Rice) announced a new album, Nightclub Daydreaming, and shared its first two singles, “This Thirst” and “Berliner,” the former via a Gillian Waldo-directed video. “Berliner” was our favorite of the two songs and makes the main list, whereas “This Thirst” can be found further below in the list of songs that also came out this week.

Nightclub Daydreaming is due out March 25 via Carpark. Check out the album’s cover art, as well as the band’s upcoming tour dates here.

Nightclub Daydreaming is the band’s fourth album and the follow-up to 2018’s Dan Deacon-produced Riddles, which was their first album for Carpark. Schrader and Rice began writing the album in 2019 and started playing some of the songs live in February 2020 on tour with Deacon, where they were joined by drummer Kevin O’Meara before COVID-19 stopped all touring. Alas those would be their last shows with O’Meara, who died in October 2020. The album transformed from the upbeat disco record they initially intended it to be to something darker (and deeper), with O’Meara’s death weighing on them during its creation. Nightclub Daydreaming was recorded and mixed with Craig Bowen at Tempo House in Baltimore over a two-week period.

Schrader had this to say about the album in a press release: “The fun thing about this record is that it’s all at once informed by our more recent lush productions with Dan Deacon, yet spartan and boiled-down, exuding a coldness wrapped in ecstasy, following our time honored trend of never giving people what they expect, but hopefully what they want.” By Mark Redfern

9. Imarhan: “Adar Newlan” (Feat. Gruff Rhys)

Tuareg quintet Imarhan are releasing a new album, Aboogi, on January 28 via City Slang. Yesterday, they shared its third single, “Adar Newlan,” which features guest vocals from Gruff Rhys (of Welsh band Super Furry Animals). It was shared via an animated video written and directed by Fantômes (Hugo & Rodolphe Jouxtel). View the band’s upcoming tour dates here.

Rhys, who first met Imarhan in London at an Africa Express event put on by Damon Albarn, had this to say in a press release: “My time at Aboogi with Imarhan was unforgettable. We hid from the sun and drank hot strong tea in the orange tent within the studio’s outdoor compound and exchanged musical ideas. New friends singing in multiple languages; Tamasheq, Welsh, French, English, Arabic drifted on the air from the studio door into the yard. Songs seemed to flow and grow quickly and effortlessly in these conditions. Right where the city meets the mountains, and where you can glimpse both worlds, capped by the ceiling of their gigantic sky—without barely moving your head.“

Rhys had this to add about the band’s self-built Aboogi Studio: “A simple four meter walk to the studio then to document these ideas live and in the moment—[it was] the perfect way to record. To get to visit Tamanrasset in the first place, to receive the warmest welcome possible and to travel into the desert and witness all its beautiful glory by day and its infinite stars at night was life changing enough in itself, but that’s an entirely different story!”

The band collectively had this to say about the video for “Adar Newlan”: “As we delve into their contrasting imaginations, the truth seems to slip like sand between our fingers…finally giving way to a common story, enriched by sharing and begging to be reinterpreted, again and again.”

Imarhan previously shared the album’s lead single “Achinkad,” which was #2 on our Songs of the Week list. Then they shared its second single, “Tamiditin,” which featured Japonais (aka the late poet Mohamed Ag Itlale).

The band’s previous album, Temet, came out in 2018 on City Slang.

Rhys released a new solo album, Seeking New Gods, last year via Rough Trade. It made our Top 100 Albums of 2021 list. By Mark Redfern

10. Spiritualized: “Crazy”

On Monday, Spiritualized (aka Jason Pierce and backing band) shared a video for their new single “Crazy.” The song features backing vocals from country singer Nikki Lane and is the latest release from their forthcoming album Everything Was Beautiful, which will be out on February 25 via Fat Possum.

Upon announcement of the new album in November, Spiritualized shared the song “Always Together With You,” which topped our Songs of the Week list.

Spiritualized’s last album, And Nothing Hurt, came out in 2018 via Fat Possum (and Bella Union in the U.K.). It was our Album of the Week. Read our review of And Nothing Hurt.

Read our 2008 interview with Jason Pierce. By Joey Arnone

11. Lucius: “Next to Normal”

On Tuesday, Lucius announced the release of a new album, Second Nature, which will be out on April 8 via Mom + Pop. They shared a video for the album’s lead single “Next to Normal.” Check out the album’s tracklist and cover art here.

In a press release, band member Jess Wolfe states: “It is a record that begs you not to sit in the difficult moments, but to dance through them. It touches upon all these stages of grief—and some of that is breakthrough, by the way. Being able to have the full spectrum of the experience that we have had, or that I’ve had in my divorce, or that we had in lockdown, having our careers come to a halt, so to speak. I think you can really hear and feel the spectrum of emotion and hopefully find the joy in the darkness. It does exist. That’s why we made Second Nature and why we wanted it to sound the way it did: our focus was on dancing our way through the darkness.

Brandi Carlile, who produced the album alongside Dave Cobb, adds: “Lucius has been one of my favorite bands since their first studio album. I kept running into them at festivals and finding myself mystified by their power. This album feels like home to me and anyone growing up surrounded by ’80s and ’90s pop, but somehow Second Nature is the beginning of a new era—not just for Lucius, but for all of us. We need to get back up on our feet and that’s what this album is insisting we do. This is my first co-production with my dear pal Dave Cobb and I don’t know if I’ve ever been prouder even to witness something let alone get my hands on it. It was an absolute blast.”

Second Nature is the band’s third studio album and their follow-up to 2016’s Good Grief. Last year, they were featured on the song “I Don’t Live Here Anymore” by The War on Drugs. By Joey Arnone

12. Carson McHone: “Still Life”

On Wednesday, Carson McHone announced the release of her third studio album, Still Life, which will be out on February 25 via Merge. In addition to sharing a self-directed video for the album’s title track, McHone also revealed a string of world tour dates for 2022. View the album’s cover art and full list of tour dates here.

Regarding the video for “Still Life,” McHone states in a press release: “We drop in on a body in motion, in and out of the light. When language fails, and there is only the feeling, the body has to keep moving.”

Still Life was written by McHone and recorded with fellow musician and producer Daniel Romano. McHone adds: “Daniel is a perceptive player, and his response was intuitive and organic. Shadows sharpened and came to life as full vignettes that felt familiar in a magical way, a product of keeping things emotionally open. I think we picked up on things that were unwritten.”

After it was announced that McHone signed to Merge in October, she shared the track “Hawks Don’t Share.” Her most recent album, Carousel, came out in 2018. By Joey Arnone

13. Yumi Zouma: “In the Eyes of Our Love”

On Wednesday, New Zealand alt-pop group Yumi Zouma announced the release of a new album, Present Tense, which will be out on March 18 via Polyvinyl. They also shared a video for a new album single, “In the Eyes of Our Love.” View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.

“Recorded at 204 bpm, ‘In the Eyes of Our Love’ is a rip-roaring belter of a track and the fastest song we’ve ever written,” states the band’s Charlie Ryder in a press release. “What started out as an homage to Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift ended up as a love song set against a backdrop of torture and insurrection stoked by the Nixon administration, so if you like songs with two bridges and strong socialist leanings, then ‘In the Eyes of Our Love’ could be the track for you!”

“Agreeing to make three interconnected videos was something I should have thought about for longer than 15 seconds before agreeing to it,” adds director Perry. “The anxiety of conceptualizing a small story, that can be told without dialogue, and set to music, gripped me from the moment my video call with the band ended. Their thoughts were excellent, specific, and unachievable with the time and resources I would be able to pull together. But I began to feel inspired by the concept of taking these vast ideas and situating them within a single location, transforming the aesthetic, visuals, and mood to match the three different songs. My only chance for success was to rely heavily on a great cast and crew to create these spaces and film them in a way that felt consistently alive and unique. Fortunately for me, they all over-delivered.”

Ryder adds, regarding the new album: “This is our fourth album, so we wanted to pivot slightly, create more extreme versions of songs. Working with other artists helped with that and took us far outside of our normal comfort zone.”

The band previously shared album tracks “Give It Hell” and “Mona Lisa,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. Their most recent album, Truth or Consequences, came out in 2020 via Polyvinyl, and was featured on our Top 100 Albums of 2020 list.

Read our COVID-19 Quarantine Artist Check-In interview with the band’s Charlie Ryder.

In March 2020, we posted our My Firsts interview with the band, which can be read here.

Read our 2017 interview with Yumi Zouma on their second album Willowbank. By Joey Arnone

14. Silverbacks: “A Job Worth Something”

Dublin post-punk five-piece Silverbacks are releasing a new album, Archive Material, on January 21 via Full Time Hobby. On Monday, they shared its fourth single, “A Job Worth Something,” via a video for it.

The band features Daniel O’Kelly (vocals/guitar), Kilian O’Kelly (guitar/vocals), Emma Hanlon (bass/vocals), Peadar Kearney (guitar), and Gary Wickham (drums).

Daniel O’Kelly had this to say about “A Job Worth Something” in a press release: ““For most of the pandemic I lived with my sister who is a healthcare worker and was working in the designated COVID hospital in St James’ Dublin. Unfortunately, I was far less heroic, writing copy for a car insurance company.

“This song is about feeling embarrassed about how different our lives were at this time. When it comes to telling my grandchildren what all this was like, I’ll be telling them about my sisters who have more important stories to share.”

Archive Material includes “Wear My Medals,” a new song the band shared in September via a video partially made in claymation. “Wear My Medals” was #1 on our Songs of the Week list. When the album was announced in October the band shared a video for its title track, “Archive Material,” which was filmed in Dunkirk, France. “Archive Material” also made our Songs of the Week list. Then they shared the album’s third single, “Rolodex City,” which once again made our Songs of the Week list.

Archive Material is the band’s sophomore album and follows the 2020 release of their well-received debut album, Fad, which came out on Central Tones.

The album was recorded at Dublin’s Sonic Studios in November 2020. Girl Band (now known as Gilla Band) bassist Daniel Fox produced Fad and also recorded the new album. Reference points/influences mentioned in a previous press release include Neil Young, Weyes Blood, Bradford Cox and Cate Le Bon, Television, and Gang of Four. Some of the songs deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

The press release explained in more detail: “On several songs, the pandemic functions as a particularly effective prism through which to examine ideas of community. ‘A Job Worth Something’ finds Daniel reflecting on his real-life experiences working in insurance while his sister treated patients on a COVID ward, and the feelings of futility and guilt he felt at the time. ‘Different Kind of Holiday’ was inspired by the ways in which previously uncommunicative neighbors bonded with each other during periods of enforced confinement. Throughout, his observations arrived drenched in the same surreal strain of gallow’s humor that many of us were forced to adopt to lighten the toughest moments of the lockdown.”

Daniel O’Kelly further elaborated: “I can’t remember who it was, but I saw a musician who said that they’d be keeping away from writing anything about the pandemic, because who wants to hear about that? But I’d much rather hear about an event via someone who actually lived through it, rather than someone writing about it retrospectively.”

When Fad was announced the band shared a new song from it, “Muted Gold,” via an amusing video for the track. “Muted Gold” was #1 on our Songs of the Week list. The Fad single “Up the Nurses” also made our Songs of the Week.

Read our 2020 The End interview with Silverbacks. By Mark Redfern

Honorable Mentions:

These songs almost made the Top 10.

Arab Strap: “Aphelion”

Andy Bell: “Something Like Love”

Los Bitchos: “Pista (Fresh Start)”

Metronomy: “Things will be fine”

Midlake: “Bethel Woods”

Lael Neale: “Hotline”

Young Prisms: “Honeydew”

Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 14 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions:

Other notable new tracks in the last week include:

Anika: “Planningtochange (Planningtorock Remix)”

Barrie: “Quarry”

Belief: “I Want to Be”

Blue Hawaii: “Butterfly”

Boy Harsher: “Machina” (Feat. Ms. BOAN)

Tyondai Braxton: “Multiplay”

Buke and Gase & RahRah Gabor: “Taste Up”

CHAI: “WHOLE”

Cloakroom: “Fear of Being Fixed”

Colatura: “Team Sport”

Kevin Devine: “Albatross”

Ed Schrader’s Music Beat: “This Thirst”

Empath: “Passing Stranger”

Fontaines D.C.: “Jackie Down the Line”

Robert Glasper: “Black Superhero” (Feat. Killer Mike, Big K.R.I.T., and BJ the Chicago Kid)

Jacques Greene: “Taurus”

PJ Harvey: “The Wheel (Demo)”

Hooray For the Riff Raff: “Pierced Arrows”

Jeremy Ivey: “Someone Else’s Problem”

King Princess: “Little Bother” (Feat. Foushée)

Christian Lee Hutson: “Rubberneckers” (Feat. Phoebe Bridgers)

Johnny Marr: “Night and Day”

Anais Mitchell: “On Your Way (Felix Song)”

Muse: “WON’T STAND DOWN”

Marissa Nadler: “Seabird” (The Alessi Brothers Band Cover)

Molly Nilsson: “Sweet Smell of Success”

Angel Olsen: “Something On Your Mind” (Karen Dalton Cover)

Pavement: “Be the Hook”

Royksopp: “The Ladder”

Shamir: “Reproductive”

Shout Out Louds: “Sky and I (Himlen)”

Sun June: “Reminded”

Susanna: “Alchemy of Suffering”

Talker: “Don’t Want You to Love Me”

Tangerine Dream: “You’re Always on Time”

Tears for Fears: “Break the Man”

Rosie Thomas: “All Is Full of Love” (Feat. Sufjan Stevens, The Shins, Iron & Wine, and Others) (Björk Cover)

Trentemøller: “No More Kissing in the Rain”

Eddie Vedder: “Brother the Cloud”

Charles Watson: “Figure Skater”

Jack White: “Love is Selfish”

Years & Years: “Sooner or Later”

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