10 Best Songs of the Week: Nilüfer Yanya, Linn Koch-Emmery, Fat Dog, Crumb, St. Vincent, and More | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, July 16th, 2024  

10 Best Songs of the Week: Nilüfer Yanya, Linn Koch-Emmery, Fat Dog, Crumb, St. Vincent, and More

Plus Margaret Glaspy, Thurston Moore, Storefront Church, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks

Apr 26, 2024 Bookmark and Share

Welcome to the fourteenth Songs of the Week of 2024. This week Andy Von Pip, Mark Moody, and Scott Dransfield helped me decide what should make the list. We seriously considered over 20 songs this week and narrowed it down to a Top 10.

Last week 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 Sam Evian, Cheekface, Chastity Belt, Elbow, Julia Holter, Ride, Slowdive, 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 10 best the last seven days had to offer, followed by some honorable mentions. Check out the full list below.

1. Nilüfer Yanya: “Like I Say (I runaway)”

This week, Nilüfer Yanya shared a new song, “Like I Say (I runaway),” via a music video in which she is a runaway bride. It is the first single for the British artist’s new label, Ninja Tune. Yanya’s sister, Molly Daniel, directed the video.

“It’s about how you choose to spend your time,” says Yanya in a press release. “Time is like a currency, every moment. You’re never going to get it back. It’s quite an overwhelming thing to realize.”

Yanya co-wrote the song with her regular creative partner, Wilma Archer. It follows her 2022 album, PAINLESS, and her 2019 debut album, Miss Universe, (both released on ATO).

Read our in-depth interview with Yanya about PAINLESS here.

Read our rave review of the album here.

Yanya was also one of the artists on the cover of our 20th Anniversary print issue. By Mark Redfern

2. Linn Koch-Emmery: “No Hands”

Swedish musician Linn Koch-Emmery is gearing up for the release of her upcoming album Borderline Iconic, which is set to be released on May 24. This week she unveiled her latest track, “No Hands,” which displays her distinctive sound, blending a backdrop of abrasive guitar with catchy hooks and evocative lyrics. The song reflects the chaos of modern life, offering a moment of escape amidst the frenzy.

Of the track, Linn Koch-Emmery reveals, “‘No Hands’ is about living, loving, and losing in the fast lane. Imagine this being what corporate people dream of when they get their $5 flat white in the morning.”

Linn was born in Hamburg, Germany, and raised in Norrköping, Sweden. Growing up, she found solace in music during her childhood and teenage years, using it as an escape from anxiety. Initially aspiring to be in a band with her twin sister and friends, she transitioned to a solo career. In 2018, she made her debut with the EP Waves, followed by her first album Being the Girl in 2021, which earned her a nomination for a Swedish Grammy Award. Borderline Iconic looks set to cement her burgeoning reputation as a compelling and insightful singer/songwriter. By Andy Von Pip

3. Fat Dog: “Running”

This week, South London five-piece Fat Dog announced their debut album, WOOF., and shared a new song from it, “Running,” via a music video. They also announced some fall North American tour dates. WOOF. is due out September 6 via Domino. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover artwork, as well as the tour dates, here.

Joe Love fronts Fat Dog and the band also features Chris Hughes (keyboards/synths), Ben Harris (bass), Johnny Hutchinson (drums) and Morgan Wallace (keyboards/saxophone). Love produced the album with James Ford and Jimmy Robertson. Influences mentioned in the press release include: Bicep, I.R.O.K, Kamasi Washington, and the Russian experimental EDM group Little Big. WOOF. includes the band’s previously released first two singles, “King of the Slugs” and “All the Same.”

“A lot of music at the moment is very cerebral and people won’t dance to it,” says Hughes. “Our music is the polar opposite of thinking music.” By Mark Redfern

4. Crumb: “The Bug”

New York City-based quartet Crumb are releasing a new album, AMAMA, on May 17 via the band’s own label, Crumb Records. This week they shared its second single, “The Bug,” via a music video and announced some new tour dates.

Crumb features singer and multi-instrumentalist Lila Ramani, keyboardist, and saxophonist Bri Aronow, bassist Jesse Brotter, and drummer Jonathan Gilad.

Ramani had this to say about the song in a press release: “‘The Bug’ is a song that has existed in our universe since early Crumb days, pre-Jinx era. The origins go back to a motel in Nebraska on one of our earliest tours when I woke up with a bunch of bed bug bites. Wired and unable to sleep, I wandered around the motel singing what would become the outro to the song. Years later when we were finally recording it, it took on a more tender meaning…the bug doesn’t have to be an insect - the bug can be a friend, a lover, or that nagging feeling that finds you late at night.”

Previously they shared the album’s title track via a music video. “AMAMA” was one of our Songs of the Week.

The band recorded the album in Los Angeles and produced it alongside Johnscott Sanford and Jonathan Rado. AMAMA is the band’s third album, following 2021’s Ice Melt and 2019’s Jinx. By Mark Redfern

5. St. Vincent: “Big Time Nothing”

St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) released a new album, All Born Screaming, today via Virgin Music Group. Earlier this week she shared its third single, “Big Time Nothing.”

Previously St. Vincent shared the album’s first single, “Broken Man,” via a music video. It was one of our Songs of the Week. Then she shared its second single, “Flea,” which features Dave Grohl on drums and Justin Meldal-Johnsen on bass. “Flea” also made our Songs of the Week list.

Clark self-produced the album, which was mixed by Cian Riordan. The album also features contributions from Cate Le Bon, Rachel Eckroth, Josh Freese, Mark Guiliana, Stella Mogzawa, and David Ralicke.

Clark somewhat cryptically had this to say about the album in a previous press release: “There are some places, emotionally, that you can only get to by taking the long walk into the woods alone—to find out what your heart is really saying. It sounds real because it is real.”

All Born Screaming follows 2021’s Daddy’s Home (which had a 1970s vibe) and MASSEDUCTION (which made it to #3 on our Top 100 Albums of 2017 list). By Mark Redfern

6. Margaret Glaspy: “24/7”

This week, Margaret Glaspy announced a new EP, The Sun Doesn’t Think, and has shared its first single, “24/7,” via a music video. The Sun Doesn’t Think EP came out today via ATO.

The Sun Doesn’t Think EP follows Glaspy’s 2023 album, Echo the Diamond.

“While I was on tour for Echo the Diamond, I was writing this EP,” Glaspy says in a press release. “I was inspired by just being around audiences and experiencing their charisma and their stories. It made me want to bring more music to them and release records closer to their inception.”

Of “24/7” Glaspy says: “This song represents my attempt to understand how the threads of my childhood have woven the adult costume that I wear. I started to see that my beliefs about love and life had not evolved since I was a little girl and it had a pretty direct link to my own sense of worry and anxiety. I love being an adult—with it comes the opportunity to connect your own dots.”

Echo the Diamond was co-produced with her partner, guitarist/composer Julian Lage. Glaspy previously shared the album’s first single, “Act Natural,” which was featured on our Songs of the Week. “Memories” was the album’s second single. Then the album’s “Get Back” was #1 on our Songs of the Week list. By Mark Redfern

7. Thurston Moore: “Rewilding”

This week, Thurston Moore (formerly of Sonic Youth) shared a new song, “Rewilding.” Its release was timed to Earth Day. The song features Deb Googe of My Bloody Valentine on bass, alongside James Sedwards (guitar), Jem Doulton (drums), and Jon Leidecker (electronics).

Moore is on one of the two covers of our just announced ’90s Issue, where he discusses Sonic Youth’s albums from that decade. Find out more about the issue here and buy a copy directly from us here.

Last year Moore released his memoir, Sonic Life. Read our interview about that here.

In 2021 he released an instrumental album, Screen Time, and in 2020 he released the solo album, By the Fire. A new solo album, apparently titled Samurai Walkman: Flow Critical Lucidity, is rumored to be on the way at some point. By Mark Redfern

8. Storefront Church: “Coal”

This week, Storefront Church (the Los Angeles-based project of Lukas Frank) announced a new album, Ink & Oil, and shared a new song from it, “Coal,” as well as a live video for the song. Ink & Oil is due out June 28. Check out both the studio and live versions of “Coal” below.

Ink & Oil includes the lush, string-backed “The High Room,” which was shared in March and was one of our Songs of the Week.

The album was inspired by Frank’s great uncle, Roger, who was serving a five-year sentence for a desertion charge of the Army in 1993 when he disappeared from his cell and was never found, leaving only an orange behind. From there, things get decidely more ghostly, as a press release explains in more detail:

“When he was just 5 years old, Lukas began receiving visitations from his elusive uncle through vivid, recurring nightmares. Roger would come to Lukas in his room and try to speak with him, but Roger’s mouth wasn’t working; like it was glued shut. In his hands was a large orange, the skin peeled back, and written in the rind were words in black ink.

“The subsequent years of his life spent between LA, with family on the East Coast and a solitary sabbatical in Connecticut, have been inexplicably haunted by sensory ‘manifestations’ seemingly tied to his uncle’s presence. Images of a black rope hanging in the sky, a flock of black birds swarming inside the supermarket, and phone calls from unknown numbers asking him unnervingly prescient questions have all struck Lukas at various points. Stuck in limbo between walking nightmares and existential visions, Lukas’ perspective shifted with his return to Los Angeles while working on this body of work. Instead of feeling like the visions and dreams were intruders in the night, they became visitors—not always welcome or understood—but accepted as integral pieces of the narrative of Ink & Oil.”

Storefront Church’s debut album, As We Pass, came out in 2021 via Sargent House. That album’s lead single, “After the Alphabets,” which featured Cole Smith of DIIV, was one of our Songs of the Week. Previously, Storefront Church’s “The Gift” was featured on the soundtrack to Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit. More recently, Frank collaborated with Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier on the track “La Langue Bleue,” which was featured in an episode of the AMC series Monsieur Spade. By Mark Redfern

9. Cults: “Crybaby”

This week, Cults (the duo of Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion) shared a new song, “Crybaby,” and announced some new fall tour dates.

Cults had this to say about the song in a press release: “‘Crybaby’ marks a new direction of exploration. We experimented with a lighter sound influenced by The Crystals, Joe Meek & Kraftwerk. A fun song but also a call out to both sides of codependency.”

Cults’ last album, Host, came out in 2020. Read our interview with them on the album here.

In 2022 they released the companion EP, Host B-Sides & Remixes.

Cults were featured on our Covers of Covers album, which was released for our 20th anniversary and is out now via American Laundromat. By Mark Redfern

10. Maya Hawke: “Hang in There”

Singer/actress Maya Hawke is releasing a new album, Chaos Angel, on May 31 via Mom + Pop. This week she shared its third single, “Hang in There,” via a lyric video.

Hawke had this to say about the song in a press release: “The idea of ‘Hang in There’ is when you have someone close to you, who’s going through something awful that you’ve been through earlier in your life, and you know that you can’t interfere because they’ll probably isolate themselves from you. So you have to just watch as they get really hurt. Until they have that moment where they realize they’ve been in a toxic situation all along. Then they come to you, and together, you help them emerge from it. It’s a moment of real happiness when you can witness the pieces all click into place.”

Previously Hawke shared the album’s first single, “Missing Out,” via a music video. “Missing Out” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then she shared its second single, “Dark,” via a music video (it was also one of our Songs of the Week).

Chaos Angel is the follow-up to 2022’s MOSS. As with that album, Hawke co-wrote songs with Christian Lee Hutson, who produced the album. Chaos Angel also features regular Hawke collaborators Benjamin Lazar Davis and Will Graefe.

Hawke, who is the daughter of actors Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, made a name of herself on the hit Netflix show Stranger Things. Last year she appeared in the acclaimed movies Asteroid City and Maestro. Upcoming projects from Hawke including starring as Flannery O’Connor in Wildcat (directed and co-written by her father Ethan), voicing the new emotion Anxiety in Inside Out 2, and the fifth and final season of Stranger Things (due out next year).

Read our review of MOSS it here.

Read our interview with Maya Hawke on MOSS and balancing acting and music in our My Favorite Movie Issue (buy the print version directly from us here). By Mark Redfern

Honorable Mentions:

These songs almost made the Top 10.

Corridor: “Jump Cut”

The Decemberists: “All I Want Is You”

ellis: “home”

Fat White Family: “Work”

Florist: “Riding Around in the Dark”

Los Bitchos: “La Bomba”

Metronomy: “With Balance” (Feat. Naima Bock and Joshua Idehen)

Thom Yorke: “Knife Edge”

Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 10 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions:

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