12 Best Songs of the Week: Decisive Pink, Christine and the Queens, Local Natives, and More | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, April 16th, 2024  

12 Best Songs of the Week: Decisive Pink, Christine and the Queens, Local Natives, and More

Plus Madeline Kenney, CJ’s Mirra Maze, Sparks, Youth Lagoon, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks

May 12, 2023
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Welcome to the 17th Songs of the Week of 2023. This week we had an obvious #1, a clear highlight to top the list. But there were plenty of other solid tracks too, including three from newly announced albums.

Remember that we recently announced our new print issue, Issue 71 with Weyes Blood and Black Belt Eagle Scout on the covers.

In the past week or so we posted interviews with K.Flay, Tanlines, actor Anna Camp, Braids, 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 12 best the last week had to offer, followed by some honorable mentions. Check out the full list below.

1. Decisive Pink: “Dopamine”

Decisive Pink, the new project from Angel Deradoorian and Russian musician Kate Shilonosova (aka Kate NV), are releasing their debut album together, Ticket to Fame, on June 9 via Fire. On Tuesday they shared its latest single, “Dopamine.” The song satirizes consumerism and online shopping addiction, as does its music video. JJ Stratford directed the video, which looks straight out of the early ’80s, complete with shoulder pads.

Previously we posted two tracks from Ticket to Fame: opening track “Halffmilch Holiday” and “Ode to Boy.” “Ode to Boy” was shared via an ’80s influenced music video (think Robert Palmer) and as its title suggests, the song references Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” from his Symphony No. 9. “Ode to Boy” was one of our Songs of the Week.

Ticket to Fame was recorded in Köln (aka Cologne), Germany, at a friend’s studio. The studio features a large collection of analogue synthesizers. “It was very exciting to step into the ‘synth-dome’ as I think of it,” says Deradoorian in a press release. “I can’t remember all the synths we used, but definitely one of the Prophets, a modular, a Juno, a Jupiter, a Rodeo, a synth with a bee on it and some synth from the 1980s that Kate knew about.”

The album was then finished in Deradoorian’s downtown Los Angeles rehearsal space.

In 2020, Deradoorian released the album Find the Sun via ANTI-. It was put out simply under her last name. She was formerly the bassist/vocalist for Dirty Projectors.

Read our 2020 interview with Deradoorian on Find the Sun.

Read our 2020 COVID-19 Quarantine Artist Check In interview with Deradoorian.

Kate NV released a new solo album, WOW, in March on RVNG Intl.

2. Christine and the Queens: “Tears can be so soft”

Christine and the Queens is releasing a new album, PARANOÏA, ANGELS, TRUE LOVE, on June 9 via Because. On Tuesday the artist shared the album’s third single, “Tears can be so soft,” via a self-directed music video. It was filmed in Los Angeles.

Christine and the Queens is the project of Héloïse Letissier (who just goes by Chris).

Chris had this to say about about the new song in a press release: “‘Tears can be so soft’ was born out of the marriage of a Marvin Gaye sample that caught my attention, this intoxicating, elegant, almost poised in its melancholy string arrangement.”

Chris says the intention was to produce a sound that would create “this deep sense of almost womb-like, hypnotic space where the voice could soar in its loneliness,” an “interplay between the suffering that motivates tears and the gentle healing effect they can have.”

Previously Chistine and the Queens shared the album’s first single, “To be honest,” via a self-directed music video. Then its second single, “True love” (feat. 070 Shake), was shared. “True Love” was one of our Songs of the Week.

PARANOÏA, ANGELS, TRUE LOVE features Madonna on three songs. It follows Redcar les adorables étoiles, which came out last November via Because under the alias Redcar. The last album released simply under the name Christine and the Queens was 2018’s Chris.

Christine and the Queens co-produced the new album with Mike Dean.

Chris had this to say about the album in a previous press release: “This new record is the second part of an operatic gesture that also encompassed 2022’s Redcar les adorables étoiles. Taking inspiration from the glorious dramaturgy of Tony Kushner’s iconic play, Angels in America, Redcar felt colourful and absurd like Prior sent to his insane dream-space. The follow-up PARANOÏA, ANGELS, TRUE LOVE is a key towards heart-opening transformation, a prayer towards the self—the one that breathes through all the loves it is made of. Prior’s real agony in Angels in America is a deep, painful becoming, a shedding of all waters and memories, that then allows angels to immerse deep too, and offer back profound, narrative-altering love—a rest in true love.”

Read our 2018 interview with Christine and the Queens on Chris.

3. Local Natives: “NYE”

On Tuesday, Local Natives announced a new album, Time Will Wait For No One, and shared a new song from it, “NYE,” via an amusing music video. They have also announced some new tour dates. Time Will Wait For No One is due out July 7 via Loma Vista. Jonathan Chu directed the “NYE” video. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover artwork, as well as the tour dates, here.

Time Will Wait For No One includes three singles the band shared last year: “Just Before the Morning,” “Desert Snow,” and “Hourglass.” “Desert Snow” was one of our Songs of the Week.

For the album the band worked with three producers—John Congleton (Angel Olsen, Death Cab For Cutie, St. Vincent, Sharon Van Etten), Michael Harris (Lana Del Rey, Feist), and Danny Reisch (Sun June, Other Lives)—recording at various studios around Los Angeles.

Of the album the band said the band collectively had this to say about the album in a press release: “Former selves melting away as some of us became fathers, endured periods of isolation, loss, and identity crisis. The highs and lows we were feeling at the same time were so extreme. There was a moment halfway through making the album, we played one of the most emotional concerts of our lives. A sold out show at the Greek Theater in LA, our first performance in almost two years, and we didn’t know if it would be our last. As individuals and as a band, we were on the verge of a collapse. Time flows on uncontrollably and change is relentless, and the people you love are the only constants. Out of that reckoning we dissolved everything down to start again, and had the most prolific period of songwriting in our history. This is the first chapter, Time Will Wait For No One.”

Whenever one of the members of Local Natives get married, the rest of the members become their wedding band. During the wedding of the band’s Ryan Hahn, he got to watch the rest of the band perform without him for the first time, as they covered some of his favorite songs (including one by The Strokes). That inspired the new single.

Hahn further explians: “I was so psyched watching the guys play this from the audience, something I’d never seen before, that I thought we had to do a fast and wild song, and ‘NYE’ was born.”

The rest of Local Natives’ lineup is Taylor Rice, Kelcey Ayer, Matt Frazier, and Nik Ewing.

Local Natives released an EP, Sour Lemon, in 2020. Their most recent album was Violet Street, which was released in 2019 on Loma Vista.

4. Madeline Kenney: “Superficial Conversation”

Yesterday, Oakland-based singer/songwriter Madeline Kenney announced a new album, A New Reality Mind, and shared its first single, “Superficial Conversation,” via a self-directed music video. A New Reality Mind is due out July 28 via Carpark. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover artwork here.

Sketches for the songs on A New Reality Mind began in the pandemic, but the album took on new meaning when Kenney’s partner unexpectedly left her in 2022.

Kenney had this to say about the new single in a press release: “‘Superficial Conversation’ is my way of looking back at the ways I shrunk myself or ignored my own needs in favor of the needs and desires of others. While I wish I had acted differently, I want to be kind and forgiving to my past self and be able to grow and move forward with more power and love.

“I wanted the video to show a forced transformation, from the inside and out. Jess Bozzo’s choreography really captured what I wanted to evoke; a painful change that becomes a pretty joyous opening with room for desire and play.”

Kenney’s most recent album, Sucker’s Lunch, came out in 2020 via Carpark, and made it on our Top 100 Albums of 2020 list. In 2021 Kenney surprise-released the EP Summer Quarter. It featured the song “Wasted Time,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. In 2021 she also shared the new song “I’ll Get Over It,” which isn’t featured on the new album but was one of our Songs of the Week.

Check out our interview with Kenney, which was originally published in Issue 67 of our print magazine in 2020.

5. CJ’s Mirra Maze: “Self Medicate”

CJ’s Mirra Maze is the new project of London-based artist and composer CJ Mirra. Though Mirra’s work has previously stayed largely confined to the worlds of television and film, Mirra’s latest effort represents a new foray into lush psych pop, in the same vein as artists like Tame Impala and Toro y Moi. Mirra debuted the project earlier this year with his first single, “Self Medicate,” and on Tuesday he was back with the track’s accompanying video, premiering with Under the Radar.

We are cheating a bit here, because this song originally came out in audio form in March, but since it first came on our radar this week and we premiered the video, we are allowing it in this week’s Songs of the Week.

“Self Medicate” is equal parts dreamy and catchy, offering a track replete with infectious hooks, warm melodies, and expansive synth beds. The track ebbs and flows as it winds onward, transitioning between meditative psychedelic interludes and crashing waves of bittersweet melancholia. Mirra crafts an evocative contrast of tones, balancing the track’s lush instrumental palette against its wistful lyricism, with neither element overwhelming the other. Lyrically, the track is inspired by addiction, but explores the topic from an unexpected angle. Mirra explains, “We all have the instinct to self-medicate with our addictions of choice, for me, it was filling the gap of finding a deeper sense of purpose.”

“I watched a film about a guy who taught himself to surf and immersed himself in everything around surfing to help him overcome addiction and depression,” he continues. “The water, the connection to nature, the meditative quality of waiting for the right conditions, the rush of getting the wave, the physicality - all combined to be powerful enough to change his life. That really made an impact and resonated with my own experiences in recent years.”

The track’s themes of searching and rebirth equally come out in the accompanying video, from award-winning director Simon Ellis. Ellis says of the video: “In a song where the vocals are so clear it seemed pointless spelling out what you can already hear just for the sake of technique—a tedious blight—and it made no sense to focus on any one nation by cherry-picking a random language. I opted for the neutrality of Esperanto (maybe Esperant-ish) which of course isn’t bound to a country and has a fascinating history. A created, universal language which most people don’t know, I find the paradox a bit mad and couldn’t resist employing it.

“I often set up a fairly rigid visual system of some kind. It informs choices that would otherwise be swamped by endless possibility, gives the viewer something to journey with, and ensures a global glue across everything.

“On this I divided the frame into 10 equal vertical stripes, mainly utilizing the four middle ones to illustrate what I considered to be a particularly central sound. A structure unfolded from there, using combinations of the stripes for changing notes, plus occasional horizontal ones for higher frequency sounds that stand apart.” By Caleb Campbell

6. Sparks: “Nothing Is As Good As They Say It Is”

Sparks (brothers Ron and Russell Mael) are releasing a new album, The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte, on May 26 via Island. Today they shared the album’s third single, “Nothing Is As Good As They Say It Is,” which is about a 22-hour-old baby who wants to return to the womb after seeing how terrible the world can be. It was shared via a music video featuring a whole lot of babies.

Previously Sparks shared the album’s first single, title track “The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte.” Then they shared a video for the song starring none other than Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett (who is nominated again this year for Tár). “The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared the album’s second single, “Veronica Lake,” which is inspired by the 1940s movie star known for playing femme fatales in film noir movies and was also one of our Songs of the Week.

The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte will be the band’s first album on Island Records in 47 years. The band released several albums on the label in the 1970s, including 1974’s classic Kimono My House. Their last album for the label was 1976’s Big Beat.

Sparks’ last album was 2020’s A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip. In 2021, Edgar Wright directed an acclaimed documentary on the band, The Sparks Brothers. In 2021, they also co-wrote the musical film, Annette, with director Leos Carax and also did all the music for it. In 2022, they announced a reissue series.

The Mael brothers collectively had this to say about the new album and rejoining Island in a previous press release: “Funny how things work! One of the most memorable periods for Sparks, the one that forever cemented our relationship with the UK and also exposed Sparks to a bigger audience around the world, was the ’70s Island Records era. Chris Blackwell, Muff Winwood, and Co. went all in on our album, Kimono My House, and released a truly non-conventional first single, ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both of Us.’ Their belief (and ours) proved right: that there was a place for both bold creativity and commerciality in pop music. And here we find ourselves in 2023, almost 50 years later, re-signing with Island Records, again with an album that we all feel is as bold and uncompromising as anything we did back then, or for that matter, anytime throughout our career. We’re happy that after so much time, we’ve reconnected with Island, sharing the same spirit of adventure that we all had way back when, but with our new album, The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte.”

7. Youth Lagoon: “The Sling”

After releasing two albums under his given name, Trevor Powers has revived his Youth Lagoon moniker and is releasing a new album under that name, Heaven Is a Junkyard, on June 9 via Fat Possum. On Tuesday, he shared the album’s third single, “The Sling,” via a music video. Tyler T. Williams directed the video. Check out Youth Lagoon’s upcoming tour dates (including some newly announced European shows) here.

Powers had this to say about “The Sling” in a press release: “For years, I’ve been chasing a phantom. This feeling of an unseen world deep inside of me. It’s why I make music. I have a compulsion to understand myself. Or learn to love myself. Maybe that’s the same thing. I’ve been asked by multiple people to describe ‘The Sling’—where does it come from? What does it mean? Every time I start an explanation, I contradict myself. I’d consider it a song about time. And love. That I can say with confidence. I wrote it one night I felt trapped. The next morning I was free.”

When Heaven Is a Junkyard was announced, Youth Lagoon shared the album’s first single, “Idaho Alien,” via a music video. “Idaho Alien” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then he shared the album’s second single, “Prizefighter,” via a music video, and announced some new tour dates.

As Youth Lagoon, Powers released three albums: 2011’s The Year of Hibernation, 2013’s Wondrous Bughouse, and 2015’s Savage Hills Ballroom. Then he retired the name in 2016 and released two albums simply as Trevor Powers: 2018’s Mulberry Violence and 2020’s surprise-released Capricorn.

“I felt like I was in a chokehold,” Powers said in a previous press release of the initial name change. “Even though it was my music, I lost my way. In a lot of ways, I lost myself.”

He added: “My mind has always been a devil. It tells me terrible things—like I’m worthless, ugly, or broken. It’s like a motel TV stuck on a channel that won’t shut off, with static and endless late-night ads and preachers screaming about the end of the world.”

Things took a turn for the worse in October 2021, when Powers had a bad reaction to an over-the counter medicine that a press release says turned his stomach into a “non-stop geyser of acid” and coated Powers “larynx and vocal cords for eight months.”

“I saw seven doctors and multiple specialists. I lost over 30 pounds. No one could help me,” said Powers.

By Christmas that year, he could no longer speak. “I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to speak again, let alone sing,” he said. “It all felt symbolic in a way. I’d been swallowing fear all my life and now here it was coming back up.”

Following this trying time, Powers had a renewed focus on his songwriting, writing about home rather than the larger world. “Family, neighbors, and grim reapers,” said Powers. “I’ve always written about far away things, but the best material has been right in front of me this whole time in Idaho.”

That included the album’s first single, “Idaho Alien.” Of the song, Powers said: “I’ve always loved old hardboiled crime novels. They’re twisted but pure. ‘Idaho Alien’ comes from that space. Home often feels like a Jim Thompson book. One of my neighbors smokes meth all day and mows the lawn at 2:00 am. Her boyfriend lived in a tent in her backyard, and one day she locked him out of the house so he went as far as trying to stab her. He got sent to prison for 10 years. She told me she still loves him, and I told her she deserves better. The last time I asked her not to mow the lawn at 2:00 am, we wound up talking about aliens and Subway sandwiches. Every November, a church group rakes her leaves and tells her about Jesus. I don’t think it’s working.”

Summing up the album, Powers added: “Heaven Is a Junkyard is about all of us. It’s stories of brothers leaving for war, drunk fathers learning to hug, mothers falling in love, neighbors stealing mail, cowboys doing drugs, friends skipping school, me crying in the bathtub, dogs catching rabbits, and children playing in tall grass.”

Read our 2011 interview with Youth Lagoon.

Read our 2015 interview with Youth Lagoon.

8. Jenny Lewis: “Giddy Up”

Jenny Lewis is releasing a new album, Joy’All, on June 9 via Blue Note/Capitol. On Wednesday she shared the album’s third single, “Giddy Up,” via a lyric video.

Joy’All features her 2021 single “Puppy and a Truck,” which she recently shared a video for and was one of our Songs of the Week. When the album was announced in March, Lewis shared its second single, “Psychos,” via a lyric video.

Joy’All is her fifth solo album, her first for Blue Note and Capitol, and first since moving to Nashville (previously she was based in Los Angeles).

“I started writing some of these songs on the road, pre-pandemic,” Lewis explained in a previous press release, “and then put them aside as the world shut down, and then from my home in Nashville in early 2021, I joined a week-long virtual songwriting workshop with a handful of amazing artists, hosted by Beck. The challenge was to write one song every day for seven days, with guidelines from Beck. The guidelines would be prompts like ‘write a song with 1-4-5 chord progression,’ ‘write a song with only cliches,’ or ‘write in free form style.’ The first song I submitted to the group was ‘Puppy and a Truck.’”

Lewis worked on the new album with producer Dave Cobb (John Prine, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell) and it was recorded at RCA’s Studio A in Nashville.

“Dave works fast and we cut the bulk of the record with his incredible house band (Nate Smith, Brian Allen and Cobb on guitar, and myself on acoustic guitar and vocals) live on the floor in a couple of weeks,” Lewis explained. “Jess Wolfe came back to the studio to provide background vocals on the record and then Greg Leisz and Jon Brion added pedal steel, B-Bender guitar and Chamberlin, respectively, back in L.A..”

Nashville singer/songwriter Skeeter Davis influenced Joy’All and on the album cover Lewis wears one of Davis’ former outfits, discovered at Black Shag Vintage in Nashville by regular Lewis collaborator Bobbi Rich.

“I wanted to riff on the classic Nashville album cover, with the song titles on the front,” said Lewis. “The cover photo is a reference to a Skeeter Davis record and I’m wearing her costume!”

Lewis’ last solo album, On the Line, came out in 2019 via Warner. She collaborated with rapper Serengeti several times in 2020 on the songs “Unblu,” “Vroom Vroom,” “Idiot,” and “GLTR.”

9. Janelle Monáe: “Lipstick Lover”

Yesterday, Janelle Monáe announced a new album, The Age of Pleasure, and shared a new song from it, “Lipstick Lover,” via a very NSFW music video. The Age of Pleasure is due out June 9 via Wondaland Arts Society/Atlantic. Monáe co-directed the “Lipstick Lover” video with Alan Ferguson. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover artwork here.

Monáe had this to say about the new single in a press release: “As we enter into The Age of Pleasure, ‘Lipstick Lover’ is our freeassmothafucka anthem inspired by f.a.m. for f.a.m. This is our oasis made with love, rooted in self acceptance, throbbing in self discovery, and signed with cherry red kisses from me to you.”

In February Monáe shared The Age of Pleasure’s opening track, “Float,” which features Seun Kuti and Egypt 80.

It’s been five years since Monáe’s last album, 2018’s Dirty Computer. But since then she’s kept busy acting, such as co-starring in the 2022 Netflix movie Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

10. This Is the Kit: “More Change” (Feat. Gruff Rhys)

This Is the Kit, the Paris-based project led by British-born singer/songwriter Kate Stables, are releasing a new Gruff Rhys-produced album, Careful of Your Keepers, on June 9 via Rough Trade. On Tuesday they shared its second single, “More Change,” via an amusing music video. The song also features backing vocals by Rhys. This Is the Kit also announced some new North American tour dates. Benjamin Jones directed the video.

Stables had this to say about the new song in a press release: “More it stays the same. Sometimes it feels like everything has completely changed and then it just feels like it’s always been like that. And always will be like that. The more things change the more they actually stay the same. The one constant is change. Change is the only thing we can be sure of. Who is who. The people that become important to us and the way they become important. Phases that come and go? Or don’t go? The friends we need. We need our friends. We need to remember to be in the world. I love it when Gruff says ‘light bulb.’ Realizing that things come and go and pass and are born and then die. The good it does us to hold hands with someone. The tearing in two of a person and a heart.”

Jones had this to say about directing the song’s video: “With this video I wanted to create something that felt homemade, organic and very much alive. Using very simple puppetry with some old coat hangers and some basic stop motion (and some surprisingly willing neighbors who lent me their faces) I’ve tried to create a few characters and scenarios which are connected in some ways, but also reflect the themes I picked up from the music—sadness, compromise, exploring new ground, and finding new ways to help each other move forward.”

Previously This Is the Kit shared the album’s first single, “Inside Outside,” via a music video. “Inside Outside” was one of our Songs of the Week.

Careful of Your Keepers follows 2020’s Off Off On, also released via Rough Trade, and 2017’s breakthrough record, Moonshine Freeze, which was their first album for the label. Staples also had a stint performing with The National and sang guest vocals on their 2019 album I Am Easy to Find.

The band also features Rozi Plain (bass/vocals), Neil Smith (guitar), and Jamie Whitby-Coles (drums).

“The album was nearly called Goodbye Bite. And in a way it still is,” said Stables in a previous press release. “I went for Careful of Your Keepers in the end. It’s one of my favorite songs on the album, a song that for me holds the general feeling of the album as a whole. The fragility of things. Of situations. Of relationships. Of humans. What we do to look after each other and ourselves. The passing of time and what that does to us, and how we live our lives going forward.”

Rhys is the Welsh frontman of Super Furry Animals and also an accomplished solo artist. In February he released the soundtrack for the film The Almond and the Seahorse, also via Rough Trade. Stables said his role was being a “tonesetter.”

“I’ve always loved the idea of working with him somehow, and when this album started getting planned, I realized that maybe this was my chance to reach out and see if he was up for working together,” Stables explained. “And he was! As if that wasn’t enough, he was also up for doing a bit of singing on the record, which totally blew my mind and made my year. His way with harmony and melody and the tone and quality of his voice is a totally killer combo.”

Rhys had this to say: “They are so ridiculously talented—and every member is a great producer in their own right—so it was just a matter of trying to capture the magic they make when playing live together. Their playing is by default so thoughtful and complimentary in terms of respect to each other’s parts and to the integrity of the songs themselves that it creates a beautiful foundation of often cosmic interplay that’s always in aid of Kate’s voice and vision as a songwriter.”

Read our 2017 interview with This Is the Kit.

11. Beach Fossils: “Seconds”

Dream-pop band Beach Fossils are releasing a new album, Bunny, on June 2 via Bayonet. On Wednesday they shared another song from it, “Seconds,” via a music video. The band’s frontman, Dustin Payseur, directed the video, which features footage shot on the band’s Australian tour.

Payseur had this to say about “Seconds” in a press release: “‘Seconds’ is a song about realizing you love somebody more than they love you.”

Beach Fossils also features Tommy Davidson (guitar), Jack Doyle Smith (bass), and Anton Hochheim (drums). Previously the band shared two other Bunny songs: “Dare Me” and “Don’t Fade Away.” Then we posted the album’s third single, “Run to the Moon,” shared via a music video.

Bunny follows Beach Fossils’ 2017 album Somersault, as well as the 2021 release The Other Side of Life: Piano Ballads, an album of jazz reimaginings of songs from across their catalogue.

Read our 2017 interview with Beach Fossils about Somersault.

12. Geese: “Mysterious Love”

Brooklyn post-punk five-piece Geese are releasing a new album, 3D Country, on June 23 via Partisan/Play It Again Sam. On Tuesday they shared its third single, “Mysterious Love,” via a wild self-directed music video, and announced some new tour dates.

Geese frontman Cameron Winter had this to say about “Mysterious Love” in a press release: “This song is about a dozen ’90s rock cliches mixed into one little over-produced package. We like the contrast in mood between the first and second halves. We used to punctuate the very end with one last hit and be done with it, but then one day Max [Bassin, drummer] just kept hitting his drums, and we kept doing the same ending hit for like, two minutes. When we recorded it, there were about 40 hits, but our label begged us to cut them out. We ended up at around 15 after negotiations.”

3D Country includes “Cowboy Nudes,” a new song the band shared in January. When the album was announced in March they shared its second single, title track “3D Country,” which was one of our Songs of the Week.

3D Country is the band’s sophomore album. Their debut album, Projector, was released in 2021, also via Partisan/Play It Again Sam.

Drummer Max Bassin ominously summed up the new album this way: “It feels like going to the circus and instead of having a good time, everyone is trying to kill you.”

Read our interview with Geese on Projector.

Honorable Mentions:

These songs almost made the Top 12.

The Drums: “Plastic Envelope” and “Protect Him Always”

Esben and the Witch: “A Kaleidoscope”

Lauren Early: “Twisted”

Lanterns on the Lake: “Real Life”

Mandy, Indiana: “Drag [Crashed]”

Killer Mike: “Motherless” (Feat. Eryn Allen Kane)

Arlo Parks: “Pegasus” (Feat. Phoebe Bridgers)

Water From Your Eyes: “14”

Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 12 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions:

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