8 Best Songs of the Week: HAIM, Deerhunter, Dan Deacon, and More | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, October 25th, 2020  

8 Best Songs of the Week: HAIM, Deerhunter, Dan Deacon, and More

Plus Cate Le Bon and Bradford Cox, Tindersticks, TORRES, and a Wrap-up of the Week's Other Notable New Tracks

Nov 01, 2019
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Welcome to another Songs of the Week. It was another light week, in terms of compelling new songs this week. Hence, just like last week's list and the week before, we only have a Top 8 again, instead of a Top 10. As we get into the holiday season, a lull in new music is to be expected, although as more and more early 2020 albums are announced there will hopefully be some more exciting new singles to come this year. Bradford Cox shows up on the Top 8 twice this week, with songs from two different projects.

Don't forget to pick up our new print issue, the My Favorite Album Issue. It features Angel Olsen and Sleater-Kinney on the two covers and is a special issue where we speak to musicians and actors about their all-time favorite albums.

In the last week we also reviewed a bunch of albums, including the latest by Jenny Hval, Fascinations Grand Chorus, The Vegan Leather, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and Black Marble. Plus every week we post reviews of various other things (some weeks including DVDs, Blu-rays, films, concerts, and TV shows).

This week we also posted a new interview with Ride.

To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last week, we have picked the eight 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. HAIM: "Now I'm In It"

This week Los Angeles sister trio HAIM shared a brand new song, "Now I'm In It," via a video directed by frequent collaborator Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood). Rostam Batmanglij and Ariel Rechtshaid co-produced the song, which is out now via Columbia. The video features Danielle Haim as an unhappy waitress and has her singing in a car wash, among other things. HAIM are on a roll, as there last single "Summer Girl," was #2 on our Songs of the Week list, beaten only by strong competition from Angel Olsen. If these two songs are advance singles from their next album, which has yet to be announced, then the record is shaping up very nicely.

Este Haim had this to say about the song in a press release: "Even when we're writing about something dark or more serious, we like to tie it up in a bow so that there's a bit of lightness to it. We want our music, and this song especially, to be the thing that helps you get through that rough time."

In July HAIM shared another brand new song, the aforementioned "Summer Girl," also via a video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and also one of our Songs of the Week. HAIM also recently teamed with Charli XCX for "Warm," a new song on her recent album, simply titled Charli.

HAIM's last album, Something to Tell You, was released in 2017 via Columbia. Since then they have collaborated with Twin Shadow and Vampire Weekend, and appeared on Jenny Lewis' telethon.

2. Deerhunter: "Timebends"

Deerhunter released a new album, Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?, back in January via 4AD. This week they shared a near 13-minute long brand new song, "Timebends." The song starts as a more standard track, before turning into an instrumental jam in the latter half and then circling back. It was posted to Spotify with no fanfare and it's unclear if it's part of a new album or EP, or just a standalone single. But then a video for the song was shared yesterday. The song was recorded live, direct to tape in one take and with minimal overdubs.

Deerhunter's frontman Bradford Cox meanwhile has also teamed up with Welsh singer/songwriter/guitarist Cate Le Bon for a new EP, Myths 04. Myths 04 came out today via Mexican Summer and is latest installment in a serious of collaborative EPs connected to the Marfa Myths festival in Mafa, Texas. In September the duo shared its first single, "Secretary," which was one of our Songs of the Week. The EP's "Canto!" also makes this week's Songs of the Week list below.

Deerhunter's Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? was the follow-up to 2015's Fading Frontier, although in May 2017 they released the tour-only limited edition cassette The Double Dream of Spring. Deerhunter are, as always, led by Bradford Cox. The current line-up also features longtime member Lockett Pundt, founding member Moses Archuleta, Josh McKay, and Javier Morales. The album also features Cate Le Bon playing harpsichord on "Death in Midsummer" and singing on "Tarnung," Tim Presley of White Fence playing "abstract lead guitar" on "Futurism," Ben H. Allen III playing a "synthetic bass system" on "Plains," and Ian Horrocks playing contrabass on "Nocturne." Deerhunter produced the album alongside Le Bon, Allen III, and Ben Etter. Cox engineered the album with Etter and Samur Khouja, Cox, Etter, and Allen III all mixed the album. Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? was recorded in various cities at several studios: Marfa Recording in Marfa, Texas, Sonic Ranch in Texas, Seahorse Sound in Los Angeles, Maze Studios in the band's native Atlanta, and in Cox's attic in Grant Park, Atlanta.

Read our interview with Deerhunter's Bradford Cox on Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?, among other things.

3. Dan Deacon: "Sat By a Tree"

This week Dan Deacon announced a new album, Mystic Familiar, and shared its first single, "Sat By a Tree," via a video for the track. He's also announced some new tour dates. Mystic Familiar is due out January 31, 2020 via Domino, which is almost five years after the release of his last album, Gliss Riffer, which came out on February 25, 2015. Check out the album's tracklist and cover art, as well as the tour dates, here.

Since Gliss Riffer, Deacon has kept busy scoring films, TV shows, and ballets. Daren Rabinovitch of Encyclopedia Pictura directed the "Sat By a Tree" video, which stars comedian Aparna Nancherla, 

A press release describes the album as such: "With Mystic Familiar, Dan gives us the result of years of obsessive work, play, and self-discovery. It's at once his most emotionally open record and his most transcendent, 11 kaleidoscopic tracks of majestic synth-pop that exponentially expand his sound with unfettered imagination and newfound vulnerability."

4. Cate Le Bon and Bradford Cox: "Canto!"

Welsh singer/songwriter/guitarist Cate Le Bon has teamed up with Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound for a new EP, Myths 04, which was released today via Mexican Summer. In September the duo shared its first and only advance single, the Le Bon-fronted "Secretary," which was one of our Songs of the Week. Now that the EP is out, we can share another great track from it, EP opener "Canto!," which showcases Cox's vocals.

Myths 04 is the latest installment in a serious of collaborative EPs connected to the Marfa Myths festival in Mafa, Texas. Myths 04 was recorded at 2019's festival earlier this year.

Le Bon had a furniture building residency during Marfa Myths 2019 and Mexican Summer also released a new short documentary about this titled Have a Seat. Eli Welbourne directed the documentary, which also features Cox. Watch that here.

Le Bon had this to say about the EP in a previous press release: "Marfa is an extraordinary town. It feels like nothing else exists when you're in it which is both comforting and unnerving. We committed ourselves to embracing the chaos, surrendering to all moments and moods that travelled through. It's a crude holiday scrapbook shared by all involved, an amalgamation of the changes in mood and light that shaped the days."

Le Bon released a new album, Reward, back in May via Mexican Summer. Deerhunter released a new album, Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?, back in January via 4AD, and Le Bon was one of the producers on that album.

The Myths 04 recording sessions also featured Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Stephen Black of Sweet Baboo, Tim Presley of White Fence, and Samur Khouja.

Previous collaborations in the Myths series include Dev Hynes of Blood Orange and Connan Mockasin, Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood, and Dungen and Woods.

Le Bon also recently covered Wilco's "Company In My Back."

Deerhunter recently released a new near 13-minute long song, "Timebends," which makes our Songs of the Week list above.

5. Tindersticks: "Pinky in the Daylight"

Tindersticks are releasing a new album, No Treasure But Hope, on November 15 via City Slang. This week they shared another song from it, "Pinky in the Daylight," via a video for the track directed by the band's own frontman Stuart A. Staples. It was filmed on Super-8 film on the Greek island of Ithaca and "Pinky in the Daylight" is being called the band's first ever real love song.

Staples had this to say about the song in a press release: "I've always written love songs but they're always, 'I love you - but...'. There are always problems! But I think of 'Pinky' as my first love song, which came as a surprise to me."

Staples had this to say about the video: "The chorus for 'Pinky in the Daylight' came to me through the flapping canvas of the sun shade on the deck of the old blue ferry leaving the island - A rare moment of contentment and calm. A simple love song in complicated times. I wanted to make a film that captured the beauty of the island and the beauty of Suzanne. A love letter in Super 8 film." 

Previously Tindersticks shared No Treasure But Hope's first single, "The Amputees," via a video for the track. It was one of our Songs of the Week.

Tindersticks' last album, The Waiting Room, was released in 2016 via City Slang. Unlike most previous Tindersticks' albums, No Treasure But Hope was recorded fairly quickly. "Five weeks from the first notes recorded to the mastering," said Staples in a previous press release. 

"The last two albums were gradually built to a point of being finished in our studio from moments of playing and recording together," Staples further explained. "When we figured out how to present the songs live, different things happened to them. This time, we wanted to reverse that - to do something that was about being committed to a song together in a moment."

6. TORRES: "Good Scare"

This week TORRES (aka MacKenzie Scott) announced a new album, Silver Tongue, and shared its new single and opening track, "Good Scare." Silver Tongue is due out January 31, 2020 via Merge. Check out the album's tracklist and cover art, as well as her upcoming tour dates, here.

Silver Tongue is her first album for Merge and follows Three Futures, which was released in September 2017 via 4AD. In April 2018, only a few months after Three Futures' release, in a Twitter post Scott announced that 4AD had dropped her for "not being commercially successful enough." In July 2018 she shared the new song "Gracious Day." A version of that song is on Silver Tongue. Scott fully self-produced Silver Tongue, a first for her.

In a press release Scott had this to say about the new single: "Regarding 'Good Scare,' I guess I could say that falling in love is a lot like the Superman crawl," says Scott. "If you're not familiar with Superman's crawl, it's a terrifying maneuver used in spelunking that's only performed when certain passages are too narrow, so a person has to hold one arm against the body and the other above the head, all while trying to crawl forward. When you fall in love with someone, it's scary like the Superman's crawl, but you have no choice but to keep moving forward even though you have no idea what's ahead of you."

The press described the album this way: "Throughout Silver Tongue, Scott wrestles with the highs and lows of what 'being in love' might mean over heady guitars and swirling synths. Even when singing in more subdued tones, her voice is fervent, her lyrics stirring and unyielding as she draws from both the divine and the everyday. While potent vocal hooks punctuate songs, the knottiness lurking underneath reflects Scott's real-time processing of her emotions while making the record. This is immediate in album opener 'Good Scare,' which details the courage one finds when chasing the person of one's dreams."

Read our 2017 interview with TORRES on Three Futures.

Read our 2015 interview with TORRES on Sprinter.

7. Algiers: "Dispossession"

This week Algiers announced a new album, There Is No Year, and shared its first single, "Dispossession," via a video for the track. They have also announced some tour dates. There Is No Year is due out January 17, 2020 via Matador. Check out the album's tracklist and cover art, as well as the tour dates, here.

Algiers' last album was 2017's The Underside of Power. In August they shared a new song, "Can The Sub_Bass Speak?" That song was one of our Songs of the Week, but isn't included on the new album.

Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Earth) and Ben Greenberg (Zs, Uniform) produced the album, which was recorded in New York. The band features childhood friends and Atlanta natives Franklin James Fisher, Ryan Mahan, and Lee Tesche, as well as drummer Matt Tong (formerly of Bloc Party).

A press release describes the album this way: "There Is No Year encompasses future-minded post-punk R&B from the trapped heart of ATL, where they began; to industrial soundscapes à la 4AD-era Scott Walker or Iggy and Bowie's Berlin period; to something like the synthetic son of Marvin Gaye and Fever Ray."

The band's multi-instrumentalist Ryan Mahan had this to say about "Dispossession" in the press release: "The specter of dispossession is haunting us all. Everywhere the imperial world represses the ghoulish histories that sustain our pasts, presents and futures. Franklin's lyrics throughout 'Dispossession' and on our new record, There is No Year, like a neo-Southern Gothic novel with an anti-oppression undercurrent, testify to this modern horror, and chronicle the various ways we all-through living and longing-endure and resist its persistent attacks." 

Sohail Daulatzai directed the "Dispossession" video, which was filmed in the Noisy le Grand commune in the eastern Suburbs of Paris. 

Daulatzai had this to say about the video in a press release: "Amidst the urgency of now, 'Dispossession' sounds the warning about the permanent war against oblivion. The video opens with the sites of colonial massacres of Algerians, moves to the repressive spaces of the banlieues, and includes shots of the Jardin d'Agronomie Tropicale-a park that celebrates the glories of empire. But this is not just about the past or Paris, it is everywhere that the banner of the West is waved, where monuments to our ruin are raised-reminders of the ongoing violence, of the tensions between dream and its discontents, past and present, them and us. I wanted to give visual resonance to these tensions, to our dignified stances amidst the madness, and to our memories of a future foretold."

Read our 2017 interview with Algiers on The Underside of Power.

8. Tame Impala: "It Might Be Time"

Last week Tame Impala (aka Kevin Parker and band) tentatively announced a new album, The Slow Rush. This week Parker shared a new song from it, "It Might Be Time," and confirmed more album details, such as the release date and the cover art. The Slow Rush is due out February 14, 2020 (Valentine's Day!) via Interscope. The cover art for the album and the single have both been shared as well. Parker recorded, produced, and mixed The Slow Rush himself and the album features 12 songs. Check out both the album and single cover here.

A press release describes the new single this way: "'It Might Be Time' is your paranoid shadow snapping at your Achilles heel. It's the horrifying idea that your mojo's gone out for a walk and it may not be coming back. It's second guessing yourself, wondering 'have I still got it? Did I ever??' Your paranoid inner observer taunting you in your own denial, telling you to wake up and accept your salad days are over. A dynamic, bombastic burst of pungent prog-pop, 'It Might Be Time' pulses on an insistent keyboard groove, punctuated by collisions of overblown drums flaying at the edges, the outward expression of a restless internal funk. A heady psych bomb threatening to implode, 'It Might Be Time' is potent Tame Impala 2020."

The press release describes the album like this: "The Slow Rush is Parker's deep dive into the oceans of time, conjuring the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones whizzing by while you're looking at your phone, it's a paean to creation and destruction and the unending cycle of life."

The Slow Rush will be available in four different heavyweight double disc vinyl formats: standard black, forest green (limited edition at all retailers), red/blue (indie retail exclusive), and splatter (Tame Impala webstore exclusive).

Tame Impala released two new songs this past spring: "Patience" (which was one of our Songs of the Week) and the house music-infused "Borderline" (which was also one of our Songs of the Week). Tame Impala also performed both songs on Saturday Night Live. It's presumed they will be on the album, although not confirmed.

It's been four years since his last album, his excellent third album, Currents (which was #2 on Under the Radar's Top 100 Albums of 2015 list).

Read our 2015 cover story article on Tame Impala's Currents and our bonus digital interview with Parker.

Honorable Mentions: 

These two songs almost made the Top 8.

Lucy Dacus: "Last Christmas" (Wham! Cover)

 

Pop. 1280: "Under Duress"

Other notable new tracks in the last week include:

Stef Chura: "How to Rent a Room" (Silver Jews Cover)

 

Clams Casino: "Rune" 

CocoRosie: "Smash My Head"

 

Rivers Cuomo: "Backflip"

Disheveled Cuss: "Wanna Be My Friend"

 

Hannah Diamond: "Invisible"

Duster: "Copernicus Crater"

Empty Country: "Marian"

 

The Innocence Mission: "On Your Side"

Amy Klein: "Winter" 

Lambchop: "So Modern and So Tight"

Dua Lipa: "Don't Start Now"

PBDY: "Tears or Rain" (Feat. Samuel T. Herring)

Pinegrove: "Phase"

Six Organs of Admittance: "Two Forms Moving" 

Sam Smith: "I Feel Love" (Donna Summer Cover)

 

Tacocat: "Retrograde"

 

Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders: "Middle Child" (Feat. Dave Grohl)

Twin Peaks: "Our World"

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