11 Best Songs of the Week: Cassandra Jenkins, Loma, Tindersticks, Beth Gibbons, John Grant, and More | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, June 25th, 2024  

Songs of the Week

11 Best Songs of the Week: Cassandra Jenkins, Loma, Tindersticks, Beth Gibbons, John Grant, and More

May 17, 2024

Welcome to the 17th Songs of the Week of 2024. This week Andy Von Pip, Matt the Raven, Mark Moody, Scott Dransfield, and Stephen Humphries helped me decide what should make the list. We seriously considered over 25 songs this week and narrowed it down to a Top 11.

Recently we announced our new print issue, The ’90s Issue, featuring The Cardigans and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth on the covers. Buy it from us directly here.

In the past few weeks we posted interviews with Arab Strap, Sarah McLachlan, John Carpenter, Sunday (1994), Sam Evian, and others.

In the last week we reviewed some albums.

To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last week, we have picked the 11 best the last seven days had to offer, followed by some honorable mentions. Check out the full list below.

1. Cassandra Jenkins: “Delphinium Blue”

Cassandra Jenkins is releasing a new album, My Light, My Destroyer, on July 12 via Dead Oceans. This week she shared its second single, “Delphinium Blue,” via a self-directed music video. She’s also announced some new North American tour dates.

Jenkins had this to say about the song’s lyrics in a press release: “Sometimes when I don’t know where to turn, I look for something reliably beautiful. Applying for a job at my local flower shop felt like survival instinct kicking in, and that job got me through one of the bluest periods in my life—being surrounded by flowers didn’t just make the weight easier to bear—it helped me understand it and myself better. I began to dream in Technicolor; flowers became the language of my subconscious. At times I felt like I was surrounded by a Greek Chorus while I went about my menial tasks—they took on an all knowing quality, like they held the keys if I was willing to listen, like they were porters of my grief, and delicate portals to awareness.”

She had this to add about the recording of the song: “The lyrics of ‘Delphinium Blue’ had a solitary residence in the back of my mind for years, and the recording process was very collaborative. The song felt like a crustacean crawling around the ocean floor, trying on different shells, until it finally found a home when I called Isaac [Eiger, of Strange Ranger]. We got together at his home studio and worked together to shape its form, before I sent it to Andrew Lappin and he agreed to sneak it onto the album as the paint was starting to dry. It felt like just the right outlier, so we worked in Andrew’s LA studio to bring it into the world of the album with players like Spencer Zahn on fretless bass, Kosta Galanopolos for some of the more bombastic percussion, and Michael Coleman on synths. It’s my melancholy bi-coastal bop.”

Previously Jenkins shared the album’s first single, “Only One,” via a music video. It was one of our Songs of the Week.

My Light, My Destroyer follows Jenkins’ acclaimed 2021-released breakthrough album, An Overview on Phenomenal Nature, and its companion album, An Overview on (An Overview on Phenomenal Nature), released later in 2021. Both were released via Ba Da Bing.

In a press release announcing the new album, Jenkins says that An Overview on Phenomenal Nature was her “intended swan song,” that she was going to give up touring and releasing new music, but then was taken aback by the positive reception to that album and the attention it garnered her.

“I was channeling what I knew in that moment—feeling lost,” Jenkins says. “When that record came out, and people started to respond to what I had written, my plans to quit were foiled in the most unexpected, heartening, and generous way. Ready or not, it reinvigorated me.”

But when it came time to record a follow-up album, Jenkins initially had difficulty recreating the magic in the studio, saying that after two years of touring she was “running on fumes.”

“I was coming from a place of burn out and depletion, and in the months following the session, I struggled to accept that I didn’t like the record I had just made. It felt uninspired,” she explains, “so I started over.”

She abandoned the original sessions for the new album and with the help of producer, engineer, and mixer Andrew Lappin (L’Rain, Slauson Malone 1), Jenkins began My Light, My Destroyer anew.

“When we listened back in the control room that first day, I could see a space on my record shelf start to open up, because the songs were finding their home in real time,” she says on the second attempt to record the album. “That spark informed the blueprint for the rest of the album, and its completion was propelled by a newfound momentum.”

A press release mentions Tom Petty, Annie Lennox, Neil Young, David Bowie’s final album Blackstar, David Berman, and albums in her “high school CD wallet” (Radiohead’s The Bends, The Breeders, PJ Harvey, and Pavement) as influences on My Light, My Destroyer. And the album also features a large number of collaborators, including: Palehound’s El Kempner, Hand Habits’ Meg Duffy, Isaac Eiger (formerly of Strange Ranger), Katie Von Schleicher, Zoë Brecher (Hushpuppy), Daniel McDowell (Amen Dunes), producer and instrumentalist Josh Kaufman (of Jenkins’ An Overview), producer Stephanie Marziano (Hayley Williams, Bartees Strange), and director/actor/journalist Hailey Benton Gates.

Returning home to New York City after being on the road for so long also inspired the album.

“I feel most energized when I’m out in the world, in the mix of things,” Jenkins says. “Coming back home to New York, being with my close friends and community, riding the subway, and going to live shows made me want to channel the palpable feeling of the electricity in a room full of people—I need to be fully immersed in my environment. New York City is endlessly stimulating, and I’m very impressionable.”

Of My Light, My Destroyer’s album title, Jenkins explains: “Awe is a function of nature that keeps us from losing connection. Staying in touch with awe, that light, is the best antidote to fear, and the powers that try to control us with fear. So in that sense, staying in touch with awe is to keep my light intact, and that is my greatest tool for destroying and dismantling the parts of myself and the world around me that have the potential to cause harm. Frankly, this is what keeps me from quitting—it serves as a reminder to pause and appreciate my time on earth, for all its chaos and its beauty.”

Jenkins was one of the artists who took part in our 20th anniversary Covers of Covers album, where she covered Animal Collective’s “It’s You.”

Read our 2021 interview with Jenkins, where she discusses An Overview on Phenomenal Nature. By Mark Redfern

2. Loma: “Pink Sky”

Loma are releasing a new album, How Will I Live Without a Body, on June 28 via Sub Pop. This week they shared its second single, “Pink Sky,” via an animated video.

Loma consists of Shearwater singer Jonathan Meiburg, alongside Emily Cross (of Cross Record) and Dan Duszynski.

Sabrina Nichols directed and animated the “Pink Sky” video, which features drawings by Cross.

Meiburg had this to say about the song in a press release: “This mischievous little song was a late addition to the album. We recorded it in a chilly, whitewashed room in southern England, and we didn’t have many instruments to work with at first—just a nylon string guitar, a two-piece drum set, a Casio keyboard, and a clarinet. But we liked the challenge.”

How Will I Live Without a Body follows 2020’s Don’t Shy Away. Previously Loma shared the album’s first single, “How It Starts,” via a music video. It was one of our Songs of the Week.

The pandemic found the band living on different continents, with Duszynski in central Texas, Cross in Dorset, England (she’s a UK citizen), and Meiburg in Germany to research a book. Remote sessions didn’t work and an attempt to reconvene in Texas after the pandemic didn’t garner much fruit when it was cut short due to illness.

“We got lost,” says Meiburg in a press release, “and stayed that way.”

“It’s like a demon enters the room whenever we get together,” laments Cross.

Then, at Cross’ suggestion, they gathered in a tiny stone house in England, a house that used to a coffin-maker’s workshop and where Cross works as an end-of-life doula. They turned it into a makeshift studio, with a vocal booth made from a coffin woven from willow branches.

“There was a sense of, well, this is it,” Meiburg says of the stone house sessions. “And when the ice storm swept in I thought: here we go again, even the elements are against us. But sitting in our heavy coats around a little electric radiator, we realized how much we’d missed each other—and that just being together was precious.”

Legendary artist Laurie Anderson offered Loma an opportunity to work with an AI trained on her full body of work. The AI sent the band two poems in the style of Anderson, in response to a photo Meiburg sent from his book-in-progress about Antarctica. “We used parts of them in a few songs,” he says. “And then Dan noticed that one of its lines, ‘How will I live without a body?’ would be a perfect name for the album, since we nearly lost sight of each other in the recording process.”

Anderson gave her blessing for the band to use the title for their new album. “I think she was tickled that her AI doppelganger is running around naming other people’s records,” says Meiburg.

At the end of the day, the band’s resilience paid off.

“Making this record tested us all,” says Duszynski. “I think that feeling was alchemized through the music.”

“Somehow, out of the chaos, we made something that sounds very relaxed,” Cross says.

“I’ve never run a marathon,” she adds. “But I can imagine it’s kind of what that feels like.”

Read our 2018 interview with Loma. By Mark Redfern

3. Tindersticks: “New World”

This week, Tindersticks announced a new album, Soft Tissue, and shared its first single, “New World,” via a music video. The band also announced some EU and UK tour dates. Soft Tissue is due out September 13 via City Slang. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover artwork, plus the tour dates, here.

Sidonie Osborne Staples, daughter of Tindersticks’ frontman Stuart Staples, created the album’s artwork, which influenced the video for “New World.” Stuart Staples had this to say about the video in a press release: “Sid was making these tiny ceramic characters, so I asked her to make some of the band. Later I wrote this song ‘New World’ about somehow trying make sense of this strange world I felt developing around me and these little guys came back into my mind. Let’s take them on a stop motion journey across a strange land, from the barren rocks to the bountiful fruit that is not familiar and maybe poisonous. Sid put the landscapes together and moved the figures, millimeters at a time. Neil Fraser took the photographs, we edited as we went along.”

Soft Tissue is the band’s 14th studio album, not including their soundtrack work, and is the follow-up to 2021’s Distractions and 2016’s The Waiting Room. In 2020, they also shared an EP entitled See My Girls and 2022 they scored Claire Denis’ film The Stars At Noon.

Staples released a solo album, Arrhythmia, in 2018 via City Slang. In 2019 he scored the Claire Denis film High Life, which starred Robert Pattinson. Tindersticks contributed the new song “Willow” to the soundtrack and it featured the vocals of Pattinson.

Staples had this to say about Soft Tissue: “‘Baby I was falling, but the shit that I was falling through. Thought it was just the world rising.’ These are the opening lines of the album, it seems all the songs on Soft Tissue inhabit this confusion somehow—despairing at the destruction, suspecting you are responsible.

“Musically, it seemed that since 2016’s The Waiting Room, the band’s output had been reactionary. The last two tindersticks have been so opposed to each other—2019’s No Treasure But Hope was an extremely naturalistic recording process—due in part as a reaction to the previous few years of experimental projects (High Life, Minute Bodies) and in turn as a reaction to this purity 2021’s Distractions became one of the bands most dense, experimental albums.

“It felt like time to stop lurching to these extremes and to find a way to marry the rigor of the songwriting and the joy of the band playing together with a more hard-nosed experimental approach.”

The album includes “Falling, the Light,” a new song from the album the band shared on Valentine’s Day. By Mark Redfern

4. Beth Gibbons: “Lost Changes”

Beth Gibbons of Portishead released her debut solo album, Lives Outgrown, today via Domino. Earlier this week she shared its third single, “Lost Changes,” via a music video. Juno Calypso directed the video. She also announced some new UK and EU tour dates.

Previously Gibbons shared the album’s first single, “Floating on a Moment,” via a music video. “Floating on a Moment” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then she shared its second single, “Reaching Out,” via an interactive music video. It was again one of our Songs of the Week.

Portishead’s last album was 2008’s Third. In 2002 Gibbons teamed up with Rustin Man (aka Talk Talk’s Paul Webb) for the collaborative record Out of Season. In 2014 Gibbons teamed up with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki, to perform Henryk Górecki’s acclaimed 1977 symphony, Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs). An album and film documenting the performance, simply titled Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs), was released in 2019. In 2022, Gibbons collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the song “Mother I Sober,” from his Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers album.

Despite her decades-long career, Lives Outgrown is her first true solo album. Gibbons produced the album with James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode, The Last Dinner Party), with additional production by Lee Harris (Talk Talk).

The album was inspired by a decade of change, as she entered middle age and the vitality and hope of youth started to fade. As loved ones started to pass away much more regularly than when she was younger.

“I realized what life was like with no hope,” says Gibbons in a press release. “And that was a sadness I’d never felt. Before, I had the ability to change my future, but when you’re up against your body, you can’t make it do something it doesn’t want to do.”

Topics on the album include motherhood, anxiety, menopause, and mortality.

“People started dying,” Gibbons says. “When you’re young, you never know the endings, you don’t know how it’s going to pan out. You think: ‘We’re going to get beyond this. It’s going to get better.’ Some endings are hard to digest.”

Gibbons adds, more hopefully: “Now I’ve come out of the other end, I just think, you’ve got to be brave.”

Read our rave review of Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs). By Mark Redfern

5. John Grant: “All That School For Nothing”

John Grant is releasing a new album, The Art of the Lie, on June 14 via [PIAS]. This week he shared its third single, “All That School For Nothing.”

Grant had this to say about the song in a press release: “This is a song I wrote for Blondie, but they didn’t want it, so I decided to reclaim it for myself. It was much more electronic at first but when I sang it, it became clear that it was much more of a Cameo or Whodini vibe, which I’m all for!”

Previously Grant shared the album’s first single, “It’s a Bitch,” via a music video. “It’s a Bitch” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then he shared its second single, “The Child Catcher,” which has an ominous Blade Runner-like undercurrent and was again one of our Songs of the Week.

The Art of the Lie is the follow-up to 2021’s Boy from Michigan (which was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2021). Grant worked with producer Ivor Guest on the album. The two met when Grant performed at the Meltdown Festival that was curated by Grace Jones and was produced by Guest. Guest produced Jones’ Hurricane and Brigitte Fontaine’s Prohibition. “Grace and Brigitte are two very big artists for me,” explains Grant in a press release. “I love the albums he did for them. Hurricane is an indispensable piece of Grace’s catalogue.”

This led to Grant suggesting to Guest that they work together. “I said, ‘I really think you should do this next record with me.’ He said, ‘I think you’re right,’” says Grant.

The press release compares the album to Laurie Anderson, The Art of Noise, Vangelis’ soundtrack for Blade Runner, and “The Carpenters if John Carpenter were also a member.”

The album’s title and its themes are inspired by the current political climate.

“Trump’s book, The Art of the Deal, is now seen by MAGA disciples as just another book of the Bible and Trump himself as a messiah sent from heaven. Because, God wants you to be rich,” Grant explains. “This album is in part about the lies people espouse and the brokenness it breeds and how we are warped and deformed by these lies. For example, the Christian Nationalist movement has formed an alliance with White Supremacist groups and together they have taken over the Republican party and see LGBTQ+ people and non-whites as genetically and even mentally inferior and believe all undesirables must be forced either to convert to Christianity and adhere to the teachings of the Bible as interpreted by them or they must be removed in order that purity be restored to ‘their’ nation. They now believe Democracy is not the way to achieve these goals. Any sort of pretence of tolerance that may have seemed to develop over the past several decades has all but vanished. It feels like the U.S. in is free-fall mode.”

In 2023, Grant teamed up with Midlake for two new songs: “Roadrunner Blues” and “You Don’t Get To.” He also guested on the CMAT song “Where Are Your Kids Tonight?”

Be sure to read our in-depth 2013 article on Grant, one of the most honest and personal interviews we’ve ever done.

Also read our 2015 interview with John Grant on Grey Tickles, Black Pressure.

Plus read our The End interview with John Grant. By Mark Redfern

6. The Decemberists: “Oh No!”

The Decemberists are releasing a new album, As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again, on June 14 via YABB Records and Thirty Tigers. This week they shared the album’s fourth single, “Oh No!” They also shared a live video for the song.

The Oregon-based band features frontman Colin Meloy, bassist Nate Query, keyboardist Jenny Conlee, guitarist Chris Funk, and drummer John Moen.

Meloy had this to say about the song in a press release: “‘Oh No!’ is the sort of song that just tumbles out of you. It all started with the first line—‘It was on a wedding night / How they danced by the firelight’—and flowed from there. In my mind, the narrator of the song is channeling the two brothers from Emir Kusturica’s immortal film, ‘Underground.’ This song is about causing havoc, causing chaos, its narrator forever followed by an even greater form of chaos, a great darkness. But it’s a darkness you can dance to!”

In February the band shared the album’s opening track, “Burial Ground,” which features backing vocals from James Mercer of The Shins and was one of our Songs of the Week. They also announced some tour dates. When the album was announced, The Decemberists shared the album’s the epic 19-minute closing track, “Joan in the Garden,” which was also one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared the album’s third single, “All I Want Is You.”

As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again is the band’s first album in six years, the follow-up to 2018’s I’ll Be Your Girl. Meloy produced the album with Tucker Martine. The album also features R.E.M.’s Mike Mills. As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again is the band’s longest album and is a double LP featuring four different thematic sides.

Read our interview with Meloy on I’ll Be Your Girl. By Mark Redfern

7. She Drew The Gun: “Howl”

This week, She Drew The Gun, the acclaimed musical project of musician and poet Louisa Roach, dropped a new video for their latest single, “Howl.” This release marks the first new material since their 2021 album, Behave Myself.

Heading to Margate for the recording process, She Drew The Gun collaborated with renowned producer Ash Workman, known for his work with artists like Christine & the Queens and Metronomy. The result is a track that showcases the Roach’s renewed energy and commitment to their craft. “Howl” opens with an undulating bassline, setting the tone for a direct and politically-charged musical journey. Roach’s adept lyricism and diverse musical influences are on full display, reflecting her passion for poetry and wordplay.

Talking about “Howl” Roach reveals in a press release: “The definition of Howl is to utter a loud profound mournful cry and howling has been used across cultures and time periods in a variety of rituals and practices as a way to connect with others and give rise to primal energy, as well as connect with the spiritual world, honor ancestors, invoke protection, and release emotions. “To me my howl is the thing I do to release emotions and connect, the howl as art form, song, poem, it makes the now, the present moment alive when I share that with those present with me. It’s also about the staggering amount of things that led to ones existence, how part of me, the things that make up my body were there at the beginning of time, the atoms, the elements of our bodies were formed in the hearts of long dead stars over billions of years. Then there’s what all of our ancestors lived through, the magic of consciousness, survival, all of the dangers that wired us the way we are, spirituality, respect for the earth, and I see the way life is organized through this historical understanding, how we got to this point, civilizations, feudalism, colonialism, patriarchal power, the witch hunts and how they were instrumental in the transition to capitalism, the crushing of indigenous traditions and knowledge, all of these histories and institutions shape who I am today, and I mourn for the suffering caused in the pursuit of power, but they can’t touch my soul and I have my howl to connect, release and invoke spiritual energy, most potently in the ritual of live performance.”

She Drew The Gun has a handful of festival appearances lined up this summer. By Andy Von Pip

8. Crack Cloud: “Blue Kite”

This week, Canadian art punks Crack Cloud announced a new album, Red Mile, and shared its first single, “Blue Kite,” via a music video. The band also announced some tour dates. Red Mile is due out July 26 via Jagjaguwar, their first for the label. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover artwork, as well as the tour dates, here.

Red Mile follows 2022’s Tough Baby. The band features Zach Choy, Aleem Khan, Bryce Cloghesy, Will Choy, Emma Acs, Eve Adams, and Nathaniel Philips, along with creative director Aidan Pontarini. Crack Cloud recorded the album at the outskirts of Joshua Tree, California and in Calgary, Alberta.

Choy had this to say about the album in a press release statement: “When we were recording the album Red Mile in the Mojave Desert, I spent nights reading about 20th century China. My grandparents migrated to Canada during Mao’s Great Leap Forward, and besides the photo albums and childhood memories, I have little basis for understanding their experience.

Beginning in the late ’80s there came to be a generation of Chinese filmmakers whose main subject was the depiction of life during the Cultural Revolution. The films from this time examine the growing pains of national identity, without the glorification that defined National cinema up until then.

“As the viewer with a degree of generational and cultural separation, I found an unusual sense of reprieve in the nuance of it all. And as our time drifted by in the desert, I continued to look inward.

“The music of Red Mile came naturally, and of its own volition. The Mojave had an elemental effect. The seemingly never-ending labyrinth of touring into exhaustion that characterized preceding years. And the externalization of Crack Cloud’s mythology, displaced and dismantled as we’ve grown out of ourselves, constantly, creatively reborn, by virtue and design. This is how I would describe Red Mile, and more generally, the group’s freefall, nearly a decade in the making.

“So when close friend and collaborator Aidan Pontarini pitched the skydiving punk concept for the album cover, it resonated deeply.

“‘Blue Kite’ was written with a cultural intersection in mind. In Canada in the early ’00s we grew up to Sum 41. Late night YTV. And the spectre of Woodstock 99. From the outside looking in: being in a punk band meant that you could be a jackass. Pick your nose on stage; play the drum like Energizer Bunny. My relationship to punk music as a teenager hinged on self-deprecation; an easy, destructive mode of confronting what I didn’t like about myself. And what I didn’t understand about the world around me.

“There’s a film that came out of China in 1993 and was subsequently banned therein, called The Blue Kite. It’s told from the perspective of a boy growing up in 1950’s Beijing. His environment is one of social conformity and political correctness, and he relishes in escapism when flying his kite. Eventually the boy succumbs to the social climate, and the kite itself is swept away into the branches of a tree. I thought the imagery was striking and wanted to incorporate it into a video with Aidan’s skydiving punk, in a hypnagogic way.

“We filmed the video in and around the Desert where the album was recorded, and the skydiving took place.” By Mark Redfern

9. Nada Surf: “In Front of Me Now”

This week, Nada Surf announced a new album, Moon Mirror, and shared its first single, “In Front of Me Now,” via a music video. The band also announced some new tour dates. Moon Mirror is due out September 13 via New West. Check outthe album’s tracklist and cover artwork, plus the tour dates, here.

Moon Mirror is the band’s first album for New West and comes out as the band celebrates the 30th anniversary of their debut single, “The Plan”/“Telescope.” The band produced the album with Ian Laughton (Supergrass, Ash), recording it at Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire, Wales.

In a press release frontman Matthew Caws had this to say about the Neilson Hubbard and Joshua Britt-directed video for the new single: “We know the pandemic is over, but we made a Covid-era video to save on gas. Made on location (i.e. where we live) in Cambridge, England, Sarasota, Florida, Ibiza, Spain, and Austin, Texas, we bring you ‘In Front of Me Now,’ my diary of not being a great multi-tasker and wanting to be present for everything from now on if possible.”

Of the new album, Caws says: “Every time we make an album, I’m asked (and ask myself) what it’s about. I never know how to answer that question. I’m still trying to figure everything out, and that’s probably as close to a theme as there is. Looking back over the years, I know what our songs are about in theory: trying to reach acceptance (of circumstances, of oneself, of others), connection, a constant search for possibility and the bright side, a willingness to change, forgiveness, curiosity, checking in with one’s mortality, motivations and judgements, etc. But in the moment when making one up, I have no idea what I’m doing and maybe that’s ok. I’m just trying to stay honest with myself and take my best guess at making sense of the world.”

And of signing to New West, Caws adds: “We’ve been lucky to be on some really wonderful record labels over the years, and so far New West sure feels like another one of those. We couldn’t be more fortunate.”

For the past three decades Nada Surf’s main lineup has remained: Matthew Caws (vocals, guitar), Daniel Lorca (bass, vocals), and Ira Elliot (drums). Longtime collaborator Louie Lino is also part of the current lineup. By Mark Redfern

10. London Grammar: “Kind of Man”

British trio London Grammar are releasing a new album, The Greatest Love, on September 13 via Ministry of Sound. Earlier today they shared its second single, “Kind of Man.”

Frontwoman Hannah Reid had this to say about the song in a press release: “‘Kind of Man’ is about watching somebody descend into the sort of glamour and slight corruption of Hollywood. The song is obviously about misogyny but it’s about sexism in a tongue-in-cheek way. That’s kind of what I love about the song. I didn’t want it to be melancholic in any way. So, yeah it’s quite an upbeat way of saying that. I like the fact that it’s talking about a pattern of relationship where you could maybe expect a man who might not respect you and who might be the exact kind of man to fall in love with you—and it’s kind of that dichotomy.”

The Greatest Love is the band’s fourth album and the follow-up to 2021’s Californian Soil. Previously they shared its first single, “House,” which is also below.

Listen to our 2021 podcast interview with London Grammar.

Read our 2017 interview with London Grammar about Truth Is a Beautiful Thing.

Also read our 2013 interview with London Grammar. By Mark Redfern

11. of Montreal: “Soporific Cell”

Of Montreal, the project of Kevin Barnes, released a new album, Lady on the Cusp, today via Polyvinyl. Earlier this week he shared its third single, “Soporific Cell.”

A press release says the song is “influenced by the Afro-Futurism of Saul Williams’ [film] Neptune Frost, the novels of Ursula K Le Guin, and the band Hot Chocolate.”

Previously of Montreal shared the album’s first single, “Yung Hearts Bleed Free,” via a music video. Then he shared its second single, “Rude Girl on Rotation,” via a music video.

Lady on the Cusp is the follow-up to 2022’s Freewave Lucifer f<ck f^ck f>ck and 2020’s UR FUN. A press release says Barnes “will answer to any pronoun you proffer,” including he, she, and they. A fixture of the Athens, Georgia music scene since 1996, Barnes and his partner, musician Christina Schneider (aka Locate S, 1), recently left the South for the more progressive state of Vermont. The move informed the new album, as it was written and recorded as they were making preparations to relocate, with Barnes reflecting on his nearly three decades of making music in Athens.

Read our 2016 The End interview about endings and death with of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes. By Mark Redfern

Honorable Mentions:

These songs almost made the Top 11.

J. Bernardt: “Don’t Get Me Wrong”

Empire of the Sun: “Music on the Radio”

Peggy Gou: “Lobster Telephone”

Nap Eyes: “Feline Wave Race”

+/- {Plus/Minus}: “Calling Off the Rescue”

Strand of Oaks: “Future Temple”

This Is Lorelei: “Where’s Your Love Now”

Trentemøller: “A Different Light”

Wishy: “Love on the Outside”

Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 11 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions:

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