7 Best Songs of the Week: Marlon Williams, Chromeo, Morrissey, Superchunk, and More

Plus Elbow, Widowspeak, Mavis Staples, and a Wrap-up of the Week's Other Notable New Tracks

Nov 10, 2017 Bookmark and Share


We haven't done a Songs of the Week post for a few weeks, due to various factors, but now we're back. This week we've got the first singles from the upcoming new albums by Marlon Williams, Chromeo, and Superchunk, as well as two covers (Widowspeak covering Neil Young and Elbow taking on The Beatles).

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

1. Marlon Williams: "Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore" (Feat. Aldous Harding)

New Zealand singer/songwriter/guitarist Marlon Williams released his self-titled debut album in America on Dead Oceans in early 2016 and he shared a video for a brand new standalone single, "Vampire Again," back in August. This week he announced his sophomore album, Make Way For Love, and shared a video for its first single, "Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore," which is a duet with Aldous Harding. Ben Kitnick directed the video, which features Williams as a put upon waiter. Make Way For Love is due out February 16, 2018 via Dead Oceans.

Make Way For Love began with pre-production in Williams' native Lyttelton, New Zealand with regular collaborator Ben Edwards. Then the album was recorded with Williams' backing band, The Yarra Benders and producer Noah Georgeson in North California's Panoramic Studios. "Vampire Again" is not featured on the album.

Read our 2016 interview with Marlon Williams.

2. Chromeo: "Juice"

Canadian electro funk duo Chromeo recently announced a new album, Head Over Heels, via a funny one-minute teaser video that featured part of a new song. This week that full song and video was revealed. The song is titled "Juice" and the video fittingly features the duo in an orange grove, but in a humorous twist (which was revealed at the end of the teaser video), they are wearing short black skirts and red high heels. David Wilson directed the video, in which they ride a four-wheeler, pick and squeeze oranges, and perform the song.

Head Over Heels is the band's fifth album and the band has simply said the album is "Coming Soon." No other info has been given. Chromeo's last album was 2014's White Women.

3. Morrissey: "Jacky's Only Happy When She's Up on the Stage"

Morrissey is releasing a new album, Low in High School, on November 17 via BMG and his own new label, Etienne. This week he shared another song from the album, "Jacky's Only Happy When She's Up on the Stage," via a lyric video. The single's cover art and the lyric video both feature a vintage black & white photo of a topless woman on a street somewhere. The 7-inch version of the single will include a cover of Elvis Presley's "You'll Be Gone" as the B-side (he's been performing it live on his current tour).

Previously Morrissey shared the album's first single, "Spent the Day in Bed," and announced some American tour dates for this fall. He also stopped by the BBC music show Later... with Jools Holland to perform "Spent the Day in Bed" and shared a video for "Spent the Day in Bed" in which he rode in a wheelchair, among other things. Then he shared a lyric video for another song from the album, "I Wish You Lonely."

4. Superchunk: "What a Time to Be Alive"

This week Superchunk announced a new album, What a Time to Be Alive, and shared a lyric video for its title track. As its title suggests, the album is partly inspired by America's current political situation (as we hit the one-year anniversary of the election of President Donald Trump). What a Time to Be Alive is due out February 16, 2018 via Merge.

Frontman Mac McCaughan had this to say about What a Time to Be Alive in a press release: "The album is about a lot of things of course but mainly dealing with anxiety and worse in the face of incipient authoritarianism.... [It's a record] about a pretty dire and depressing situation but hopefully not a record that is dire and depressing to listen to." 

McCaughan later adds: "It would be strange to be in a band, at least our band, and make a record that completely ignored the surrounding circumstances that we live in and that our kids are going to grow up in."  

The album features backing vocals from Sabrina Ellis (A Giant Dog, Sweet Spirit), Katie Crutchfield (Waxahatchee), Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields), Skylar Gudasz, and David Bazan. "Part of that was wanting a feeling of community," McCaughan explains. "I think that's important to not be completely bummed out about everything all the time."

Superchunk also features Jim Wilbur, Jon Wurster, and Laura Balance. The band's last album was 2013's I Hate Music.

5. Elbow: "Golden Slumbers" (The Beatles Cover)

Elbow released a new album (their seventh), Little Fictions, back in February via Concord. This week they announced a new best of compilation, fittingly titled The Best Of, and shared its bonus track, a cover of The Beatles' "Golden Slumbers" (from Abbey Road).

The cover is also featured in a new holiday commercial for the British department store chain John Lewis. Quirky French director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep) directed the ad, which features a friendly monster named Moz who lives under a young boy's bed. It's all a bit strange for a Christmas ad, but can be watched below.

Also read our interview with Elbow's Guy Garvey on Little Fictions.

 

6. Widowspeak: "Harvest Moon (Neil Young Cover)"

Widowspeak released an excellent new album, Expect the Best, back in August via Captured Tracks. This week they have shared a relaxed and slightly hazy cover of the Neil Young classic "Harvest Moon" in honor of their European tour dates, which start next week.

7. Mavis Staples: "Build a Bridge"

Soul legend and civil rights activist Mavis Staples is releasing a new album, If All I Was Was Black, on November 17 via ANTI-. Wilco's Jeff Tweedy produced If All I Was Was Black and also guests on one song. This week Staples stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform "Build a Bridge," with Tweedy on guitar and backing vocals. This week she also shared the studio version of "Build a Bridge."

Previously Staples shared the album's title track, "If All I Was Was Black," as well as "Little Bit."

A previous press release says the album "speaks to our divided times." Staples had this to say in the previous press release about the message of the album: "We're not loving one another the way we should. Some people are saying they want to make the world great again, but we never lost our greatness. We just strayed into division."

 

Other notable new tracks this week include:

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: "Question of Faith"

Elvis Costello: "You Shouldn't Look At Me That Way" 

Eminem: "Walk On Water" (feat. Beyoncé)

 

Charlotte Gainsbourg: "Deadly Valentine (Soulwax Remix)" 

 

Angel Olsen: "Sans"

POLIÇA and s t a r g a z e: "How Is This Happening"

Pussy Riot: "Police State"

 

Johanna Warren: "Here to Tell" 

 

Wilco: "Dynamite My Soul"

 

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