10 Best Songs of the Week: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arctic Monkeys, Paramore, Wings of Desire, and More | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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10 Best Songs of the Week: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arctic Monkeys, Paramore, Wings of Desire, and More

Plus The Go! Team, Badlands, Alice Boman, The War on Drugs, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks

Sep 30, 2022 Bookmark and Share

Welcome to the 37th Songs of the Week of 2022. This week Florida was devastated by Hurricane Ian and here at Under the Radar headquarters we are currently getting rain connected to storm, with heavy rainfall expected this weekend. One of our writers is in Tampa, Florida, but luckily the power stayed on yesterday while he was doing an interview for our next print issue. Speaking of which, we are very much focused on the next two print issues right now, so we were a bit indecisive about this week’s Songs of the Week. So we settled on a Top 12 and there are lots of honorable mentions this week.

In the last week or so we posted interviews with Manic Street Preachers, Her Skin, and Lambchop.

We also posted a podcast interview with Marlon Williams.

In the last week we reviewed a bunch of albums and honored the 40th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 classic Nebraska.

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 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 12 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. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: “Wolf”

Yeah Yeah Yeahs released a new album, Cool It Down, today via Secretly Canadian (which you can read our review of here). The band only released two advance singles from the album (perhaps because it only have eight tracks), which left several album tracks we also liked eligible for this week’s Songs of the Week. Chief among them is “Wolf,” which opens with a Duran Duran reference. We also liked “Different Today,” which makes the honorable mentions list further below.

Upon announcement of the album in June, they shared its lead single, the Perfume Genius collaboration “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. They later shared “Burning” in August.

Last night, they made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where they performed the album track “Burning.” View the performance and stream the album here.

Cool It Down is the band’s first album in nine years, the follow-up to 2013’s Mosquito. By Joey Arnone and Mark Redfern

2. Arctic Monkeys: “Body Paint”

Arctic Monkeys are releasing a new album, The Car, on October 21 via Domino. Yesterday, they shared its second single, “Body Paint,” via a cinematic video for the new song. Brook Linder directed the video. Last night, the band performed the new single on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. View the band’s upcoming tour dates here.

Previously the British band shared The Car’s first single, the string-backed ballad (and album opener) “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball,” via a video for the song directed by frontman Alex Turner. “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” was #1 on our Songs of the Week list.

The Car is the follow-up to 2018’s Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. It’s the band’s seventh album and all the songs were written by frontman Alex Turner. James Ford produced the new album, which was recorded at Butley Priory, Suffolk, RAK Studios, London, and La Frette, Paris.

A previous press release described the album like so: “The Car finds Arctic Monkeys running wild in a new and sumptuous musical landscape and contains some of the richest and most rewarding vocal performances of Alex Turner’s career.”

The deluxe LP version of the album, only available from the band’s website, will be available on “limited gray vinyl with a tip on sleeve and mounted gloss cover image.” The album will also be released on standard LP, CD, cassette, and digitally.

Arctic Monkeys’ complete lineup is Jamie Cook, Matt Helders, Nick O’Malley, and Alex Turner.

Read our 2013 print magazine interview with Arctic Monkeys on AM.

Read our 2013 digital magazine Q&A interview with Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner on AM. By Mark Redfern

3. Paramore: “This Is Why”

On Wednesday, Paramore announced the release of a new album, This Is Why, which will be out on February 10, 2023 via Atlantic. They also shared a video for the album’s lead single and title track, “This Is Why.” Brendan Yates of Turnstile directed the video. Check out the album’s cover art here.

In a press release, vocalist Hayley Williams states: “‘This Is Why’ was the very last song we wrote for the album. To be honest, I was so tired of writing lyrics but Taylor convinced Zac and I both that we should work on this last idea. What came out of it was the title track for the whole album. It summarizes the plethora of ridiculous emotions, the rollercoaster of being alive in 2022, having survived even just the last three or four years. You’d think after a global pandemic of fucking biblical proportions and the impending doom of a dying planet, that humans would have found it deep within themselves to be kinder or more empathetic or something.”

She adds, regarding the video: “It was so rad working with Brendan. I’ve known the Turnstile guys for a little while and was so psyched to have our worlds collide in this way. There’s a cool kinship between the way our bands do things…. Hopefully we will get to play shows with them at some point,”

Last year, Paramore lead vocalist Hayley Williams surprise released the album FLOWERS for VASES / descansos. By Joey Arnone

4. Wings of Desire: “Choose a Life”

Today, Wings of Desire (ex-INHEAVEN members Chloe Little and James Taylor) shared a video for their new single “Choose a Life.” The single was recently featured on the FIFA 2023 soundtrack.

In a press release, the duo state: “‘Choose a Life’ is about living life outside of the ‘normal’ templates provided for us by society. Although the comforts of modernity make us feel safe, they often don’t give us the happiness and fulfillment we crave. As the world around us shifts and crumbles, maybe it’s time to write a new script? We were inspired by a trip to Berlin where we visited the legendary Hansa studios, and got drunk at Neues Ufer.”

Last year, Wings of Desire released the EP Amun-Ra. By Joey Arnone

5. The Go! Team: “Divebomb”

On Monday, England’s The Go! Team announced the release of a new album, Get Up Sequences Part Two, which will be out on February 3, 2023 via Memphis Industries. They also announced a tour in support of the album and have shared a video for the album’s lead single, “Divebomb,” which features Detroit rapper IndigoYaj. View the album’s tracklist/cover art and a full list of tour dates here.

The Go! Team’s Ian Parton elaborates on the new single in a press release: “Protest songs have always been a balancing act. If you’re too sledgehammer it’s cringey, like the Scorpions’ ‘Winds of Change’ or something, but at the same time given the stuff they’re trying to pull with abortion rights it feels weird to ignore it.”

Parton adds, regarding the album: “Get Up Sequences Part Two is an international patchwork. A global fruit salad. A United Nations of Sound.”

The Go! Team’s previous album, Get Up Sequences Part One, came out last year via Memphis Industries. By Joey Arnone

6. Badlands: “My Time Will Come Again”

On Tuesday, Sweden’s Badlands (aka Catharina Jaunviksna) announced the release of a new album, Call to Love, which will be out on November 18 via RITE. She also shared a video for the album’s lead single, “My Time Will Come Again.” View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.

In a press release, Jaunviksna elaborates on the new album: “The soundscape has been crucial in getting my message across; what’s beautiful and vulnerable emerges through imperfection and letting yourself lose control. The record is a call to/for merciless, intuitive love, in an age where love is capitalized and being emotionally unavailable has become a desirable ideal. It’s a tribute to love in all its wonderful, brutal, mean, horny and embarrassing forms.”

Badlands’ previous album, Djinn, came out last year via RITE. By Joey Arnone

7. Alice Boman: “Where to Put the Pain”

On Monday, Alice Boman shared a video for her new single, “Where To Put the Pain.” It is the latest release from her forthcoming album, The Space Between, which will be out on October 21 via [PIAS]. Boman also announced a headlining 2023 tour. View the full list of tour dates here.

In a press release, Boman states: “This song is about dealing with difficult emotions and worries and different kinds of pain. In a world where a lot of things are feeling hopeless and bad things are happening it sometimes gets a bit overwhelming. Sometimes to the point of feeling numb. How do you find a balance in that?”

Boman previously shared the album track “Feels Like a Dream,” a collaboration with Perfume Genius which was also one of our Songs of the Week. By Joey Arnone

8. The War on Drugs: “Oceans of Darkness”

The War on Drugs released the deluxe version of their latest album, I Don’t Live Here Anymore, on Monday. It features two previously unreleased songs: “Oceans of Darkness” and “Slow Ghost.” “Oceans of Darkness” was our favorite of the two.

In a press release, frontman Adam Granduciel states: “One night in L.A., while we were many months into working on what would be I Don’t Live Here Anymore, Dave [Hartley] uncovered a stripped down demo in my dropbox called ‘Oceans of Darkness,’ and insisted we try recording it. We were frustrated and exhausted at the time, but we set up in a circle after dinner and worked it out as the tape was rolling. It’s rare that a song of ours could feel this complete after only a few takes, but it had all the desperation and urgency that we had been looking for. Ultimately I didn’t include it on the record because I couldn’t find a home for it among the other songs. We’re happy we can share it with you now.”

I Don’t Live Here Anymore came out last year. It includes title track “I Don’t Live Here Anymore,” which was #1 on our Songs of the Week list. It also features the songs “Living Proof,” which was also #1 on our Songs of the Week, and “Change,” which made it to #3 on our Songs of the Week. Read our review of the album here.

Last November, the band performed a Tiny Desk (Home) Concert for NPR, where they performed several songs from the album. In January they performed “I Don’t Live Here Anymore” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Pick up our 20th Anniversary Issue to read our interview with The War on Drugs. By Joey Arnone

9. Melody’s Echo Chamber: “Norfolk Hotel”

Melody’s Echo Chamber, the project of French musician Melody Prochet, has released a lost album today, Unfold, as well as a reissue of her self-titled debut, both via Fat Possum. On Tuesday, she shared “Norfolk Hotel” from Unfold.

Prochet had this to say about “Norfolk Hotel” in a press release: “I think this song soundtracks the metamorphosis experience, those spellbound waves and rhythm shifts, I remember I wanted the music to transcend into those psych jazz waltzy choruses, with rains of bass and spidery drum rolls. I guess the finale’s crumble kind of predicted the future ruin field. the music naturally recorded as a live duo, as I was just blossoming into my own intuitive guitar playing. A very joyful and endlessly inspiring playground of musical memories.”

Unfold was originally intended to be Melody’s Echo Chamber’s sophomore album, but was never released. Melody’s Echo Chamber was co-produced by and recorded with Prochet’s then romantic partner, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, in Perth, Australia and the South of France and released in 2012. Prochet and Parker began work on Unfold in 2013, in Perth. “Australia’s vibrant, colorful landscapes, epic ocean horizons and wilderness, where everything seemed possible and beautifully wild,” as Prochet sets the scene it in a press release. “There I found a piece of my true self.” Work on the album continued in between tours. “I wrote bits of the songs around the world while swirling with the clouds around the globe, moving too fast,” Prochet says. “I remember trying to blow those bubbles of creation for us into very uncertain windows of space and time.”

But eventually things fell apart. “The album was 50 percent completed, and then the relationship just didn’t make it through the process,” says Prochet. “And then I tried to work on it on my own for a couple years, until I realized that I was just really hurting myself doing that.”

Prochet at one point deleted some of the album’s tracks, in what the press release describes as “a moment of frustration.” But seven tracks remain and are being released digitally and on vinyl.

Previously Melody’s Echo Chamber shared Unfold’s title track.

Melody’s Echo Chamber released her last album, Emotional Eternal, back in April via Domino. Stream it here.

Read our interview with Prochet about Emotional Eternal here. By Mark Redfern

10. Palm: “On the Sly”

On Monday, Palm shared a video for their new single, “On the Sly.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, Nicks and Grazes, which will be out on October 14 via Saddle Creek.

Upon announcement of the album in July, the band shared the single “Feathers,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. They later shared the album track “Parable Lickers.” By Joey Arnone

11. Nation of Language: “From the Hill”

On Wednesday, Brooklyn-based synth-pop trio Nation of Language shared a new single, “From the Hill.” It is their first new music since the release of their previous album, A Way Forward.

Frontman Ian Devaney states in a press release: “‘From The Hill’ is a song reflecting on times when friendships fall apart over romantic entanglement, accompanied by the sensation that you’re somehow watching it happen from above with a more zoomed-out perspective. It can feel at times like certain parts of life are a story with which you’re just following along—the characters enter, they play their role, and then they leave. Often it’ll feel sudden and catch you off guard, and other times you’re able to see that it’s the only way things could have played out despite what you may have wanted. For us, we’re in a moment right now where it feels good to get this out into the world. It’s one that didn’t really feel like it fit the vibe of A Way Forward, nor is it any real indication of where the next record is likely heading. When that situation arrives we like to use these 7-inch releases to step outside the larger framework that the albums provide and just release a track that we love, so this is us doing that once again.”

A Way Forward came out last year via [PIAS]. The album featured the songs “Wounds of Love” (another one of our Songs of the Week), “This Fractured Mind” (also one of our Songs of the Week), and “A Word & A Wave” (also a Song of the Week), and “The Grey Commute” (another Song of the Week). The band’s debut album, Introduction, Presence, was released in 2020. By Joey Arnone

12. The Soft Pink Truth: “La Joie Devant La Mort” (Feat. Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu)

Yesterday, The Soft Pink Truth (aka Drew Daniel of Matmos) shared a new single, “La Joie Devant La Mort,” which features Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu. It is the latest release from Daniel’s upcoming album, Is It Going To Get Any Deeper Than This?, which will be out on October 21 via Thrill Jockey.

Daniel announced his new album in July, and shared the track “Wanna Know,” which features Jenn Wasner of Flock of Dimes and Wye Oak and was one of our Songs of the Week. He later shared a cover of Coil’s “The Anal Staircase.”

Earlier this year, Matmos released the album Regards / Ukłony dla Bogusław Schaeffer. Read our 2012 Protest Issue survey with Daniels here. By Joey Arnone

Honorable Mentions:

These songs almost made the Top 12. Bill Callahan and First Aid Kit came closest to making the list.

Baby Queen: “LAZY”

Björk: “Fossora” (Feat. Kasimyn)

Bill Callahan: “Natural Information”

Divorce: “Checking Out”

Dumb: “Excuse Me?”

First Aid Kit: “Turning Onto You”

Frankie Cosmos: “F.O.O.F.”

Jon Hopkins, Kelly Lee Owens, Sultan + Shepard, and Jerro: “To Feel Again / Trois”

Let’s Eat Grandma: “Give Me a Reason”

LCD Soundsystem: “new body rhumba”

Mamalarky: “Frog 2”

Martha: “Hope Gets Harder”

Dave Rowntree: “Devil’s Island”

Tegan and Sara: “I Can’t Grow Up”

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: “Different Today”

Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 10 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions (note that The Soft Pink Truth song is not on Spotify and thus not on the playlist):

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