10 Best Songs of the Week: Shearwater, Tegan and Sara, Katy J Pearson, Martin Courtney, and More | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, May 30th, 2024  

10 Best Songs of the Week: Shearwater, Tegan and Sara, Katy J Pearson, Martin Courtney, and More

Plus Metric, beabadoobee, Angel Olsen, Arcade Fire, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks

Apr 29, 2022 Bookmark and Share

Welcome to the 17th Songs of the Week of 2022. It’s a very Canadian edition of Songs of the Week, with four artists from north of the border making this week’s Top 10.

In the last week we posted interviews with Daniel Rossen, Melody’s Echo Chamber, The Chi-Lites, Let’s Eat Grandma, and Bloc Party.

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

Covers of Covers, our first album, came out at the beginning of March on CD and digitally via American Laundromat. You can stream it here. You can also buy it directly from American Laundromat, via Bandcamp, or on Amazon.

Don’t forget to pick up our new double print issue, our 20th Anniversary Issue (which is out now).

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. Shearwater: “Aqaba”

On Tuesday, Shearwater shared a video for their new single “Aqaba.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, The Great Awakening, which will be out on June 10 via the band’s Polyborus label in partnership with Secretly Distribution.

In a press release, the band’s Jonathan Meiburg states: “‘Aqaba,’ like the rest of The Great Awakening, is a song a younger version of me couldn’t have written, and the last one we recorded for the album. You could read it a few different ways, but to me it’s a love song, or a song about the experience of love—the thrilling, terrifying feeling that you’re being cracked like an egg.”

Upon announcement of the new album in March, the band shared the song “Xenarthran,” which was also one of our Songs of the Week. Their most recent album, Jet Plane and Oxbow, came out in 2016 via Sub Pop. By Joey Arnone

2. Tegan and Sara: “Fucking Up What Matters”

Yesterday, Tegan and Sara (sisters Tegan and Sara Quin) shared a new song, “Fucking Up What Matters,” via a video for the single that spoofs how music videos are made. It’s the band’s first single for Mom + Pop, which announced they’ve signed the band, and is the first taste of their yet-to-be-announced upcoming 10th album.

John Congleton (Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, and Future Islands) co-produced the song with Tegan and Sara. Tony Wolski directed the video.

Tegan Quin had this to say about the song in a press release: “‘Fucking Up What Matters’ felt like an ode to the moment in your life when you realize that you have most, if not all of the things you wanted and you start to think about what would happen if you just walked away from it all. It’s the moment in the middle of the night when you start to daydream about something else, something you never imagined. It’s the feeling you have when you think you might have hit a new low, and yet you’ve never felt so good. Sometimes it’s admitting that you can’t stop yourself from fucking up what matters, that you feel your strongest. And as my mom would say, it’s often when we’re fucking up what matters, that we’re learning the most about ourselves.”

Of moving from their previous label, Sire/Warner, to Mom + Pop, the band collectively say: “Michael Goldstone signed us to Sire/Warner in 2006. We had just made The Con and felt like the vision Goldie and the team at Sire had for us and the album were a good fit. But soon after he signed us, he left to start Mom + Pop. We never held it against him. But joked that one day we’d work together for real. So it was with great enthusiasm that we agreed to sign to Mom + Pop when our deal with Warner ended in 2021. We look forward to being back at an indie label, on a brilliant roster, with Goldie and the label’s incredible team helping us start this next chapter in our lives with the release of our tenth album.”

In February, Tegan and Sara reissued their 2004 breakout album, So Jealous. The reissue featured acoustic re-recordings of each song from the original album.

Listen to our 2020 interview with them for our Why Not Both podcast here.

In 2019, Tegan and Sara released their first memoir, High School, which chronicled what it was like to be queer teenage sisters in the 1990s. The book is being adapted into a new TV series for IMDb TV (which is Amazon’s ad-supported free streaming service). Actress/writer/director Clea DuVall is writing and directing and the show has begun shooting. Railey and Seazynn Gilliland are playing the teenage versions of the Quin sisters and also appear in the video for “Fucking Up What Matters.”

In 2019, Tegan and Sara also released a new album, Hey, I’m Just Like You, via Sire. It came out only three days after the release of High School and featured Tegan and Sara reworking old unreleased songs they originally wrote in high school and were thought lost for over 20 years. By Mark Redfern

3. Katy J Pearson: “Game of Cards”

Yesterday, Katy J Pearson shared a video for her new single, “Game of Cards.” It is the latest release from her forthcoming album, Sound of the Morning, which will be out on July 8 via Heavenly.

In a press release, Pearson states: “‘Game of Cards’ dates back two years ago, initially written with my friend Ben Hambro (who was the lead singer of Lazarus Kane). We hung out a lot together as I’d sing in his band, and he used to be part of the KJP ensemble. I forgot about the song for a while, then rediscovered it and sent to Heavenly who liked the chorus but the verse wasn’t quite working. I wanted to give it a chance so took it with me to the Dan sessions where we assembled fresh verses—he really helped me work out where the song should go. ‘Game of Cards’ is about finding someone you click with on a romantic level and how it really is a game of cards in that you don’t know what hand you’ll be dealt. It’s about the vulnerability of a blossoming relationship and not knowing where it’s headed.”

Upon announcement of the new album in March, Pearson shared the song “Talk Over Town,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. By Joey Arnone

4. Martin Courtney: “Corncob”

On Tuesday, Real Estate’s Martin Courtney announced the release of his second solo studio album, Magic Sign, which will be out on June 24 via Domino. He has also shared a video for the album’s lead single, “Corncob.” View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.

Courtney elaborates on the new single in a press release: “The lyrics are about a specific time, the end of youth, pre-adulthood, scummy kid hanging around your hometown a little too long, smoking weed and driving around the surrounding area with your friends to get as completely lost as possible. Eventually getting home using these little green signs that are posted throughout the N.J. suburbs telling you which way to go to reach different towns. We called them magic signs.

“You do this enough times and it eventually gets harder and harder to get lost. A song about pushing the boundaries of where you grew up until you exhaust the mystery and hit a different kind of boundary. A song about aimless kids looking for direction.”

Magic Sign was written, performed, and produced by Courtney. His debut solo album, Many Moons, came out in 2015 via Domino. Read our joint interview between Courtney and actor Jason Schwartzman, in which he discussed Many Moons. By Joey Arnone

5. Metric: “All Comes Crashing”

Yesterday, Metric announced the release of a new album, Formentera, which will be out on July 8. They also announced a tour and have shared a video for a new album single, “All Comes Crashing.” View the album’s cover art and full list of tour dates here.

“Not everyone has a conventional life with conventional relationships,” states frontwoman Emily Haines in a press release. “‘All Comes Crashing’ is a love song that goes beyond romantic love, it’s an expression of solidarity with whoever it is you would want to have beside you in the event of catastrophe. It might be your best friend, it might be your blood brother or your dog. The song is dedicated to those you consider your family, whatever that looks like for you.”

Metric’s previous album, Art of Doubt, came out in 2018 via MMI/Crystal Math Music. By Joey Arnone

6. beabadoobee: “See You Soon”

Filipino-born, London-raised singer/songwriter/guitarist beabadoobee is releasing a new album, Beatopia, on July 15 via Dirty Hit. On Monday, she shared its second single, “See You Soon” (and shared a video for the song on Wednesday). View her upcoming tour dates here.

Previously beabadoobee shared Beatopia’s first single, “Talk,” via a video for it. “Talk” was also one of our Songs of the Week.

Beabadoobee’s real name is Beatrice Laus (and she is also known as Bea Kristi). Beatopia is her sophomore album, the follow-up to her debut album, Fake It Flowers, which was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2020, and 2021’s Our Extended Play EP, which was co-written with and produced by Matty Healy and George Daniel of label-mates The 1975. By Mark Redfern

7. Angel Olsen: “Big Time”

On Wednesday, Angel Olsen shared a video for her new single, “Big Time.” It is the title track to her upcoming album, which will be out on June 3 via Jagjaguwar. Kimberly Stuckwisch directed the song’s video.

In a press release, Stuckwisch states: “For ‘Big Time,’ we set out to celebrate how humans identify and to subvert the old-fashioned gender binary and societal/internalized gender roles of the past through choreography, color, and wardrobe. To exist outside strict definitions is powerful and often not given a place in cinema. This was our chance to hold a positive reflection in the space and to shout to the world that you are more than who you are told to be.

“‘Big Time’ is what happens when we do not express our true identity but find freedom when we step out of the shadows into our most authentic selves. In the first rotation, the lighting is drab, the clothes are monochromatic, the dance is monotonous . . . gender-conforming roles present. However, with each rotation, something magical happens, both our cast and Angel begin to come alive, to feel free. We see the clothes brighten, the dance heightens, and the bar that was once devoid of emotion can barely contain the joy bursting out of each individual.

“I am proud to say that over 80% of our cast and 50% of our crew identified as nonbinary and non-gender conforming.”

Upon announcement of the new album in March, Olsen shared the song “All the Good Times,” which was #1 on our Songs of the Week list.

Last year, Olsen shared the song “Like I Used To” with Sharon Van Etten. It was #3 on our Top 130 Songs of 2021 list.

In May 2021, Olsen released a new box set, Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories, via Jagjaguwar. The set features Olsen’s albums All Mirrors and Whole New Mess, along with a bonus LP titled Far Memory and a 40-page book. All Mirrors came out in 2019 and made it to the top spot on our Top 100 Albums of 2019 list. Whole New Mess came out the following year and was #39 for our Top 100 Albums of 2020.

In August 2021, Olsen also released a new EP, Aisles, which featured covers of five 1980s songs, via Olsen’s new Jagjaguwar imprint somethingscosmic. By Joey Arnone

8. Arcade Fire: “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)”

On Wednesday, Arcade Fire shared a new song, “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid).” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, WE, which will be out on May 6 via Columbia.

“There’s nothing saccharine about unconditional love in a world that is coming apart at the seams,” states the band’s Win Butler in a press release. “We need each other, in all of our imperfection. ‘Lookout Kid’ is a reminder, a lullaby for the end times, sung to my son, but for everyone…. Trust your heart, trust your mind, trust your body, trust your soul. Shit is going to get worse before it gets better, but it always gets better, and no one’s perfect. Let me say it again. No one’s perfect.”

The song was performed at Coachella earlier this month. Upon announcement of WE in March, the band shared the song “The Lightning I, II,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. By Joey Arnone

9. Stars: “Capelton Hill”

On Wednesday, Montreal indie-pop group Stars shared a new single, “Capelton Hill.” It is the latest release from the group’s forthcoming album, From Capelton Hill, which will be out on May 27 via Last Gang/MNRK.

In a press release, band member Torquill Campbell states: “This song sounds like an ending. And maybe it is. It’s certainly a moment of looking back; at what we’ve done together, and what we’ve lost along the way. It focuses on this band’s enduring obsession: loss. The cost of loving somewhere or someone is the fact that you lose them. The last two years have taught us all a lot about loss: loss of loved ones, of time, of memories, of simple pleasures. That loss hurts. We’re all hurt, and there is no way around it; you can only go through it. Whether you’re 10 or 50, things change. But on Capelton Hill, maybe things can stay the same. For just one more year.”

Upon announcement of the new album in February, Stars shared the songs “Pretenders” and “Snowy Owl.” They later shared the singles “Build a Fire” and “Patterns.”

The band’s most recent album, There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light, came out in 2017.

Read our 2017 Just the Fax interview with Stars, where we interviewed band member Amy Millan via fax machine.

Read our regular 2017 interview with Stars. By Joey Arnone

10. Superorganism: “crushed.zip”

On Wednesday, Superorganism shared a video for their new single, “crushed.zip.” It is the latest release from the band’s forthcoming album, World Wide Pop, which will be out on July 15 via Domino.

In a press release, the band’s Harry (aka Christopher Young) had this to say about the new song: “It’s a musical journey through the anxieties and isolation that can arise from being an artist, it’s ultimately delicious though.”

The band’s lead singer Orono Noguchi also had this to say: “I was thinking about Kanye and Elliott Smith a lot (which is most of the time). I wanted to do like a really depressing and personal song but with the most deliciously obnoxious pop packaging. Stuart Price’s production really elevated it to the next level.”

Upon announcement of the new album, the band shared the song “Teenager,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. They later shared “It’s Raining,” which was also one of our Songs of the Week.

The band’s self-titled debut album came out in 2018 via Domino. Read our interview with the band on the album. By Joey Arnone

Honorable Mentions:

These songs almost made the Top 10.

The Black Keys: “It Ain’t Over”

Pierre Kwenders: “L.E.S (Liberté Égalité Sagacité)” (Feat. Win Butler & King Britt)

Cass McCombs: “Belong to Heaven”

Mogwai: “Boltfor”

Kevin Morby: “A Random Act of Kindness”

Royksopp: “If You Want Me” (Feat. Suzanne Sundfor)

Ty Segall: “Hello, Hi”

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs: “Crosswalk”

TV Priest: “Limehouse Cut”

Weird Nightmare: “Wrecked” (Feat. Bully)

Wilco: “Falling Apart (Right Now)”

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

Other notable new tracks in the last week include:

Another Michael: “Water Pressure”

Belief: “Jung”

The Big Pink: “No Angels”

Kate Bejsiuk: “Onion Grass”

Bread Pilot: “Droopee”

Neneh Cherry: “Manchild” (Feat. Sia)

Dehd: “Empty in My Mind”

Delicate Steve: “Playing In a Band”

Desire: “Love is a Crime” (Feat. Mirage)

Doe Paoro: “Divine Surrendering”

Gus Englehorn: “Run Rabbit Run”

Miya Folick: “Oh God”

Frog Eyes: “The Bees”

Scout Gillett: “Come On Let’s Go” (Broadcast Cover)

High Water Marks: “Fantastic Machine”

iamamiwhoami: “changes”

Ibeyi: “Rise Above” (Black Flag Cover) (Feat. BERWYN)

Iceage: “All the Junk on the Outskirts”

MUNA: “Kind of Girl”

mxmtoon: “victim of nostalgia”

Kelly Lee Owens: “One”

The Range: “Urethane”

Shout Out Louds: “Sky and I (Himlen) (Almost Heaven Remix)”

Regina Spektor: “Up the Mountain”

Malka Spigel: “I Just Want (2022 Version)” (Feat. Colin Newman)

The Sadies: “Cut Up High and Dry”

Yann Tiersen: “13 1 18 25 (6 5 1 20. 17 21 9 14 17 21 9 19)”

Faye Webster: “Suite: Jonny”

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