Six Best Songs of the Week: Grizzly Bear, Algiers, Radiohead, HAIM, and More

Plus UNKLE, Madeline Kenney, and a Wrap-up of the Week's Other Notable New Tracks

Jun 23, 2017
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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. It wasn't a particularly busy week for new tracks, but there were some gems.

1. Grizzly Bear: "Four Cypresses"

"Four Cypresses" may not even be the best of the three songs Grizzly Bear have shared from Painted Ruins thus far (that's a toss up between "Three Rings" and "Mourning Sound," with the latter maybe having the edge). But it's a testament to how strong Painted Ruins is shaping up to be that its third best single is still the best song of the week. It was launched via a lyric video featuring footage from the home video collection of the band's Daniel Rossen.

Painted Ruins is due out August 18 via RCA. Grizzly Bear were formerly a New York band, but three members (Chris Bear, Ed Droste, and Chris Taylor) now live in Los Angeles, with Daniel Rossen living in Santa Fe, NM. The band spent two years writing and recording Painted Ruins. Taylor produced the album, which was recorded at Allaire Studios in upstate New York, and at several locations around Los Angeles, including Taylor's own Terrible Studios. Painted Ruins is the follow-up to 2012's Shields.

2. Algiers: "Walk Like a Panther"

Algiers' politically charged new album, The Underside of Power, came out today via Matador. We named it our Album of the Week and interviewed the band about it. They have previously shared the album's title track ("The Underside of Power") and "Cleveland" (which references Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old African American boy who was shot to death by police in Cleveland in 2014 because he was playing with a toy gun in a playground). But earlier this week they shared one more song before the album's release, fierce album opener "Walk Like a Panther." They also shared a remix of the song by New York noise-rock band Uniform. Listen to both the original song and the remix below.

3. Radiohead: "Man of War"

"Man of War" isn't exactly a new song. Radiohead first recorded a version of it in 1998 and have been playing it live for years. But the studio version of the song finally saw the light of day this week, via an off-kilter and disorientating video for the song in which a man is pursued down city streets while the setting continually shifts from day to night and back again, even though the characters are in the same location, doing the same things. Today, Radiohead released a deluxe reissue of their landmark 1997 album OK Computer in honor of its 20th anniversary. It is being dubbed as OKNOTOK and includes a remastered version of the original album, eight B-sides, and three previously unreleased tracks from the era: "Man of War," as well as "I Promise" and "Lift." We were previously treated to the string-backed ballad "I Promise," as well as a strange video for the song featuring an android's head riding a city bus at night. And while "Lift" might be the fan favorite of the three, thanks to be played live since The Bends tours, "Man of War" perhaps sounds best in its recorded form.

4. UNKLE: "Looking For the Rain (feat. Mark Lanegan and ESKA)"

James Lavelle's UNKLE return with a new album, The Road Part 1, on August 18. It's UNKLE's fifth album, and while they have never quite matched the heights of their auspicious debut album, 1998's Psyence Fiction (a collaboration with DJ Shadow that also featured Thom Yorke, Richard Ashcroft, and others), they have certainly released some solid atmospheric electronic cuts over the years, with 2003's Never, Never, Land also being particularly strong. The Road Part 1 is also loaded with special guests, including members of Primal Scream, Queens of the Stone Age, The Duke Spirit, and more. This week UNKLE shared the dramatic string-backed single "Looking For the Rain," which featured the talents of Mark Lanegan and ESKA, with Lanegan's vocals being particularly prominent. It hints at a potential return to form with The Road Part 1.

5. Madeline Kenney: "Rita"

"Rita," like Madeline Kenney's upcoming debut album, may have been produced by Toro Y Moi's Chaz Bear (formerly known as Chaz Bundick), but there's nothing chillwave or dance-y about it. Instead Kenney is more in vein of Angel Olsen or Marika Hackman, with some dream-pop touches thrown in, and "Rita" ends with some strong guitar playing from Kenney. Her debut, Night Night at the First Landing, is due out September 1 via Company Records (an offshoot of Carpark spearheaded by Bear).

6. HAIM: "Little of Your Love"

Los Angeles sister trio HAIM are releasing a new album, Something to Tell You, on July 7 via Columbia. Previously they shared a live in-the-studio Paul Thomas Anderson-directed video for a sparse and crisp brand new song, "Right Now," the first full on single from the album, "Want You Back," and the final studio version of "Right Now." Then they were the musical guest on Saturday Night Live where they performed "Want You Back" and the new song "Little of Your Love." This week they shared the album version of "Little of Your Love," as well as a video for "Want You Back." "Little of Your Love" was a simple and joyous pop song and sometimes that's all you need.

Other notable new songs this week include:

Baio: "Out of Tune"

Fischerspooner: "Have Fun Tonight"

Foxygen: "On Your Own Love Again" (Jessica Pratt Cover)

Hercules & Love Affair: "Omnion (feat. Sharon Van Etten)"

Briana Marela: "Give Me Your Love"

Radiohead: "Lift"

Shabazz Palaces: "When Cats Claw" 

Soccer Mommy: "Allison"

Super Furry Animals: "The Boy With the Thorn in His Side" (The Smiths Cover)

Twin Peaks: "Who It's Gonna Be"

Chad VanGaalen: "Old Heads"

The xx: "Brave For You (Marfa Demo Version)," "Naive," and "Seasons Run"

 

 

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