10 Best Songs of the Week: Field Music, Lost Girls, serpentwithfeet, Iceage, and More | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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10 Best Songs of the Week: Field Music, Lost Girls, serpentwithfeet, Iceage, and More

Plus Ian Daniel Kehoe, Adrian Younge, Lost Horizons, and a Wrap-up of the Week's Other Notable New Tracks

Feb 19, 2021 Bookmark and Share

Welcome to the sixth Songs of the Week of 2021. There was finally some good news this week. We landed on Mars! On Thursday NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed on the red planet, a tricky engineering feat, to answer David Bowie’s question: “Is there life on Mars?”

In political news, Texas Senator Ted Cruz got in trouble for taking his family on a vacation to Cancun while many constituents in his state were without power and water due to a devastating winter storm, something they don’t get that often in the Lone Star State and thus weren’t so prepared for. It probably won’t ruin Cruz’s career (he’s already gotten away with helping to incite the Capitol riot). Our thoughts go out to all our readers in Texas who are struggling right now.

It was a nice week for new songs, including some exciting new album announcements and two bands whose names start with Lost.

In the last week we posted interviews with Rats On Rafts, PINS, Porridge Radio, Pinegrove, Bob Mould, and Shamir.

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

If you haven’t checked it out yet, then be sure to dive into our Top 100 Albums of 2020 list.

To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last week, we have picked the 10 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. Field Music: “No Pressure”

On Thursday, English rock band Field Music (led by brothers Peter and David Brewis) announced a new album, Flat White Moon, and shared a new song from it, “No Pressure,” via an amusing tutorial music video that shows fans how to achieve the band’s signature sound. Flat White Moon is due out April 23 via Memphis Industries. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover art, as well as the band’s upcoming UK tour dates, here.

The album includes “Orion From the Street,” a new song the band shared in January that was one of our Songs of the Week.

David Brewis says that “No Pressure” is a bit of a response to David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure.” “It feels like we’re in a new political paradigm where no one takes responsibility for anything and, even worse, they don’t seem to feel any shame or remorse about it,” he says. “The song is like a mirror image of ‘Under Pressure.’ But if that was about ‘people on the street,’ this is mostly from the perspective of someone up on high insisting that nothing is his fault while the rest of us scratch around trying to hold things together.”

Speaking of the album as a whole, David says: “We want to make people feel good about things that we feel terrible about.”

Peter Brewis says he was inspired by Beck’s Odelay and De La Soul’s Three Feet High and Rising. “I love how they use samples on those albums, taking parts that are obviously played—that are gestural—and then reconstruct them.”

The band’s last couple of albums were fairly complicated, with this one they wanted to be a bit looser and perhaps, despite the pandemic upending live music, make something that comes off well onstage. “We don’t usually record a song thinking about how we’re going to play it live,” says David. “We’re not that kind of band. But there was a sense that it would be fun to do new songs which didn’t have those complications.” “We say it all the time: You make music with your ears and your brain first,” Peter adds. “But I trust my ears and my brain, so let’s make something which just feels good and feels physical.”

In December, Field Music released “Home For Christmas,” a song for Memphis Industries’ holiday compilation Lost Christmas. They released their last album, Making a New World, in January of last year on Memphis Industries.

Read our 2019 interview with Field Music.

2. Lost Girls: “Menneskekollektivet”

On Tuesday, Lost Girls (the collaboration between Jenny Hval and Håvard Volden) announced their debut album, Menneskekollektivet, and shared its first single, 12-minute title track “Menneskekollektivet.” Menneskekollektivet is out digitally on March 26 via Smalltown Supersound (with a physical release a month later, on April 23). Check out the album’s tracklist and cover art here.

Hval and Volden have collaborated going on 10 years now, but this is their first full-length album as Lost Girls and the first time they’ve worked in the studio together. The album was recorded at Norway’s Øra Studios in March 2020. The album’s title translates to “human collective” in Norwegian.

The hypnotic “Menneskekollektivet” starts with spoken word vocals from Hval discussing the human body, sound, and religion and then slowing builds and evolves into sung vocals and a fuller sound. Hval had this to say about the song in a press release: “The song started out with some synth chords Håvard played. I felt they sounded like the beginning of the world, or a world, so I wanted to improvize words to them that somehow expressed a beginning of a world. They don’t make sense like a written lyric should, but they are trying to make sense of something, a moment, a slow transition. On this track, the voice, and the music too, slowly makes its way from alone to together.”

Hval’s last full-length album was 2019’s The Practice of Love. In 2020 she released the new song “Bonus Material,” which was one of our Songs of the Week.

3. serpentwithfeet: “Same Size Shoe

Experimental R&B/gospel vocalist serpentwithfeet (aka Josiah Wise) is releasing a new album, DEACON, on March 26 via Secretly Canadian. On Wednesday he shared another song from it, “Same Size Shoe.”

The chorus to the song is “me and my boo wear the same size shoe” and Wise explains in a press release that this stems from his desire to only date Black men, as they are the only ones who can completely relate to him and his experiences. “I prefer to date and love on Black men. I don’t want to be with anyone who can’t go to my barber or walk a mile in my shoes,” he explains.

Previously serpentwithfeet shared DEACON’s first single, “Fellowship,” via a video for the track (which was one of our Songs of the Week). “Fellowship” was co-written and co-produced by Wise with Sampha and Lil Silva. Kordae Jatafa Henry directed the video, which featured Wise and his partner on the beach.

DEACON is serpentwithfeet’s second album, the follow-up to his acclaimed debut album, soil, from 2018.

A press release sets the scene for the album: “With DEACON, serpent is not only imagining but exploring a world wherein Black love is paramount. It’s a study rather than a story delving into Black, gay love and the tenderness present in the best companionships, romantic or otherwise.”

“I originally approached this project wanting to make something that felt very sensuous. Something a lot softer, a lot more gentle than my previous work,” adds Wise in the press release.

The album’s title comes from the position in the Christian church. “I wanted to create something that felt calm and restrained. This was my way of tapping into the energy many deacons possess,” Wise explains.

Read our 2018 interview with serpentwithfeet.

4. Iceage: “Vendetta”

On Wednesday, Danish punks Iceage announced a new album, Seek Shelter, and shared a new song from it, “Vendetta,” via a video for the single. Seek Shelter is due out May 7 via Mexican Summer, their first for the label. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover art here.

Sonic Boom (aka Pete Kember) produced the album. It includes “The Holding Hand,” a new song the band shared at the start of the February. The band’s lineup features Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Jakob Tvilling Pless, Johan Surrballe Wieth, and Dan Kjær Nielsen. An additional guitarist, Casper Morilla Fernandez, also joined them to record Seek Shelter, which was mixed by Shawn Everett.

Of the new single, Rønnenfelt had this to say in a press release: “Crime is the undercurrent that runs through everything. If you don’t see it, you’re not looking. In its invincible politics, it is the glue that binds it all together. ‘Vendetta’ is an impartial dance along the illicit lines of infraction.” Director Jonas Bang directed the “Vendetta” video, which features actor Zlatko Burić alongside the band. Bang had this to say: “We wanted it to be less 1:1 story and more short format collage-ish—like if you flick through a chapter in a book reading a bit here and there.”

Of the album as a whole, Rønnenfelt had this to say: “When we started, I think we were just lashing out, completely blindfolded with no idea as to why and how we were doing anything. For Seek Shelter, we had a definite vision of how we wanted the album to be carved out, yet still the end result came as a surprise in terms of where we sonically were able to push our boundaries.”

The band’s most recent album, Beyondless, came out in 2018 on Matador. Last year, they shared the song “Lockdown Blues.”

5. Ian Daniel Kehoe: “Colour Application” (Feat. The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman)

On Thursday, Ian Daniel Kehoe (drummer for The Weather Station) shared a video for his new single “Color Application,” which features guest backing vocals from The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman. It serves as the latest single from his upcoming album, Disco Body Buzz, which will be out on March 5 via Tin Angel. The song was shared via a Mike Giganti-directed video.

Giganti speaks about the concept behind the video in a press release, stating: “I’m constantly trying to avoid real life, and if a mirror can be a door then why not a pencil or a paintbrush or a music video? If struggling to make something that doesn’t exist is real by virtue of the struggle then maybe it should be documented. It is (so far) impossible to turn our entire shared consciousness into a cartoon, but hopefully by opening a small door we can at least sneak a few people through. I think this video is a door.”

The Weather Station’s most recent album, Ignorance, came out earlier this month on Fat Possum. Read our review of it here. By Joey Arnone

6. Adrian Younge: “Revolutionize”

On Tuesday, Adrian Younge shared a new single titled “Revolutionize.” It is the second offering from his upcoming album, The American Negro, which will be released on February 26 via Jazz is Dead. Younge has also shared the latest episode of his Amazon Music-exclusive podcast Invisible Blackness, where he talks to Ladybug Mecca of hip hop trio Digable Planets. Check out the podcast here.

Younge speaks about the message behind “Revolutionize” in a press release: “‘Revolutionize’ is a broadcast amplified by the struggle; a rebellion against America’s bigotry and complacency towards the plight of Black America. We are beautiful and the harmony of our heritage is the soul of The American Negro‘Revolutionize how we see our lives.’”

Earlier this month, Younge shared the title track from The American Negro in tandem with the announcement of the album and concurrent multimedia project, which includes the Invisible Blackness podcast along with a short film titled T.A.N., which Younge directed and will be available later this month on Amazon Prime Video. “The American Negro” was also one of our Songs of the Week. By Joey Arnone

7. Lost Horizons: “Heart of a Hummingbird” (Feat. KookieLou)

Lost Horizons are releasing a new two-part double album, In Quiet Moments—part one came out in December and part two is due out February 26 via Bella Union. On Tuesday they shared a new song from part two, “Heart of a Hummingbird,” which features KookieLou (aka Penelope Isles’ Lily Wolter).

Lost Horizons is a duo featuring former Cocteau Twins member (and Bella Union label head) Simon Raymonde and drummer Richie Thomas (who has played with Dif Juz, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Felt, and Cocteau Twins).

Raymonde also had this to say about “Heart of a Hummingbird” in a press release: “In 2018 we toured the UK with Penelope Isles opening up for us every night, and it was one of the most brilliant times I’ve had on tour. It reminded me of the Cocteau Twins / Dif Juz tour of 1984. The friendships spawned and the love and respect that our bands showed to each other throughout was really special. There were seven of us in the Lost Horizons live band and every one of us watched Penelope Isles each night, usually in awe. They did the same with us (probably without the in awe part) and to have such a brilliant support pushes you each night, in the best possible way. I knew from watching Jack (who sings on the first track on the LP ‘Halcyon’) and Lily so closely for so long, that I couldn’t think of two better people to be on this Lost Horizons LP. They were the first people I asked. Lily is a brilliant songwriter and I knew she would be a perfect collaborator for us! She seemed to have her ideas done so quickly after I sent her the music, and Jack recorded her soon after in our studio in Brighton, and I clearly remember opening the email when they sent the track to me, I literally blasted it in my studio so loud about 25 times and was in tears hearing what she’d done. I am very excited by what I am hearing of her KookieLou solo project. After I had written and recorded the basic tune with all the keys, basses and Richie had added the live drums, Paul Gregory (Lanterns on the Lake) added the glorious spacey guitars that take the track to its crescendo.”

Wolter adds: It was a real honor to be asked to collaborate with these two legends. I have a lot of love for both Simon and Richie. I wrote these words in a pretty testing time. Loving someone is a real trip isn’t it? The meanings of the lyrics twist and turn between uncertainty and really just not wanting to let go of someone. When those beautiful new chords come in just after halfway through the song, I felt a release. I think that’s where the words travel from a place of confusion and heartache, to a place of pure honesty, acceptance and love. I want to thank Simon and Richie for making that happen at that point, encouraging me to see the glass half full at a time where it felt pretty empty.”

Penelope Isles released their debut album, Until the Tide Creeps In, in 2019 via Bella Union. The band features siblings Jack and Lily Wolter and are from Isle of Man-via-Brighton. The quartet is completed by Jack Sowton and Becky Redford.

Read our 2019 interview with Penelope Isles.

Read our recent interview with Lost Horizons’ Simon Raymonde on In Quiet Moments.

Previously Lost Horizons shared part one’s atmospheric single, “Cordelia,” which featured guest vocals from John Grant and was one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared another song from it, “One For Regret,” which featured Porridge Radio. It was shared via a video featuring Porridge Radio’s Dana Margolin. “One For Regret” was also one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared another song from it, “Every Beat That Passed,” which featured Swedish singer/producer Kavi Kwai. Then they shared a new song from part two, jazzy title track “In Quiet Moments,” which features Ural Thomas, an 82-year-old Portland-based soul singer, and made it to #1 on our Songs of the Week list. Then they shared another new song from part two, “Marie,” which features Marissa Nadler.

The album also includes “I Woke Up With An Open Heart,” which features The Hempolics and was released in September via a video. In Quiet Moments also features C Duncan, Tim Smith of Midlake, and more.

In Quiet Moments is the follow-up to Lost Horizons’ 2017-released debut album, Ojalá, also on Bella Union. Ojalá was also filled with guest vocalists, including Sharon Van Etten, Marissa Nadler, Horse Thief’s Cameron Neal, Liela Moss of The Duke Spirit, Hilang Child, and Tim Smith of Midlake.

8. Wild Pink: “Pacific City”

On Tuesday, Wild Pink shared a video for their new single “Pacific City.” It served as the fourth single from their new album, A Billion Little Lights, which came out today on Royal Mountain. Keith Pratt directed the video.

Frontman John Ross speaks about the inspiration behind the new song in a press release: “‘Pacific City’ is named after the city in Oregon and I was watching Heat a lot while writing it. I wanted to write a few songs with a conventional song structure on this album and this was one of themwe spent a lot of time on the drum tones and used a Yamaha RX21 drum machine. The song is about time passing and realizing you’re not the same person you used to be.”

The band previously shared the songs “The Shining But Tropical,” “You Can Have It Back,” and “Oversharers Anonymous” from the album. Their last album, Yolk in the Fur, came out in 2018 on Tiny Engines. By Joey Arnone

9. Porridge Radio and Piglet: “Let’s Not Fight !”

On Tuesday, Porridge Radio shared two songs with Irish musician Charlie Loane (aka Piglet), titled “Let’s Not Fight !” and “Strong Enough.” The songs were originally featured on the deluxe vinyl edition of the band’s most recent album, Every Bad, back in December but were officially released digitally this week. Despite the weird punctuation of the song’s title, we liked “Let’s Not Fight !” best, with “Strong Enough” making our honorable mention list below.

Frontwoman Dana Margolin talks about collaborating with Piglet in a press release: “Piglet is one of my favorite artists. I remember the first time I saw Charlie fronting his other band, Great Dad, and just being completely blown away and entranced by his songs and the way he was performing them. I feel very lucky that he likes my music. This collaboration felt like it was coming for a while, and luckily lockdown gave us a chance to make these songs last summer. Writing together felt great, and I really loved the whole process and bouncing off of each other’s ideas. Something that Charlie really gets is emotional intensity and I am so glad we could be intense as hell together on these tracks.”

Every Bad was originally released in March of last year on Secretly Canadian, and made it to #42 on our Top 100 Albums of 2020 list. It featured the songs “Lilac,” “Sweet,” and “Circling,” all of which were featured on our Songs of the Week lists. Back in December of last year, the band shared an original Christmas song, “The Last Time I Saw You (O Christmas),” which was also one of our Songs of the Week. By Joey Arnone

10. Matt Berninger: “Let It Be”

Matt Berninger of The National released his debut solo album, Serpentine Prison, last October via Book, Berninger’s new imprint with Concord. Today he announced a new deluxe edition of the album that includes six bonus tracks (four covers and two originals) and shared one of those extra tracks, “Let It Be,” which is an original song and not a Beatles cover.

The covers will be of songs by Eddie Floyd, Morphine, Bettye Swan, and The Velvet Underground. The deluxe edition is due out digitally March 12.

Previously Berninger shared the album’s title track, “Serpentine Prison,” via a video for it. “Serpentine Prison” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then he shared another song from it, “Distant Axis,” via a video for it. Then he shared another song from it, One More Second,” which was also one of our Songs of the Week. Then he shared a remix of “One More Second” by Baltimore four-piece Future Islands. Booker T. Jones produced Serpentine Prison, with additional production by Sean O’Brien.

Honorable Mentions:

These seven songs almost made the Top 10.

The Antlers: “Just One Sec”

Arab Strap: “Here Comes Comus!”

Bernice: “We Choose You”

Tim Cohen: “Bottom Feeders”

Crowded House: “To the Island”

Porridge Radio and Piglet: “Strong Enough”

Sylph: “Braid”

Other notable new tracks in the last week include:

Richard Ashcroft: “Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple)” (John Lennon Cover)

Andy Bell: “Indica” (Pye Corner Audio Remix) (GLOK Re-edit) Bell Orchestre: “IV: What You’re Thinking” Alex Bleeker: “Reach For My Brain” Bowerbirds: “Moon Phase” Bill Callahan & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy: “The Wild Kindness” (Feat. Cassie Berman) (Silver Jews Cover) Chaos Chaos: “Eternal” Club Intl: “Never Be the Same” and “Never Be the Same (Andrew VanWyngarden Mix)” Ex:Re: “Where the Time Went” (With 12 Ensemble) Ron Gallo: “YOU ARE ENOUGH” (Caroline Rose Remix) Genghis Tron: “Ritual Circle” José González: “El Invento” HAIM: “Gasoline” (Remix Feat. Taylor Swift) and “3am” (Remix Feat. Thundercat) IAN SWEET: “Sing Till I Cry” Italia 90: “Borderline” Valerie June: “Why the Bright Stars Glow” Kaytranada: “Caution” King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: “Pleura” Layten Kramer: “When a Love’s Not Around” Lord Huron: “Not Dead Yet” Loretta Lynn: “One’s On the Way” (2021 Version Feat. Margo Price) Katie Malco: “Cloudbusting” (Kate Bush Cover) Manchester Orchestra: “Bed Head” Mark McGuire: “Marielle” Pino Palladino and Blake Mills: “Ekuté” Dawn Richard: “Bussifame” Rodrigo y Gabriela: “Street Fighter Mas” (Kamasi Washington Cover) Esther Rose: “Good Time” Shura: “obsession” Alfie Templeman: “Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody” Andrew W.K.: “Babylon”

(Thanks to Joey Arnone for helping to put this week’s list together.)

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