12 Best Songs of the Week: Spiritualized, Hatchie, Bartees Strange, Say Sue Me, and More | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, May 25th, 2024  

12 Best Songs of the Week: Spiritualized, Hatchie, Bartees Strange, Say Sue Me, and More

Plus Sorry, Hot Chip, Andrew Bird, Florence + the Machine, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks

Apr 22, 2022 Bookmark and Share

Welcome to the sixteenth Songs of the Week of 2022. It was a nice week for new album releases, including the latest by Spiritualized, Hatchie, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Fontaines D.C., and others, some of which gave us fodder for Songs of the Week. We ended up with 12 new songs were really liked, with some strong honorable mentions as well. This week’s artists traverse the globe: Australia, England, South Korea, Sweden, and of course America.

In the last week we posted interviews with Methyl Ethel, S. Carey, My Idea, and Hatchie.

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 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. Spiritualized: “The A Song (Laid In Your Arms)”

Spiritualized (aka Jason Pierce and backing band) released a new album, Everything Was Beautiful, today via Fat Possum (stream it here). Now that the album is out, we can share one of its album tracks that we love and wasn’t previously released as a single. We were torn between the album’s last two songs, both epic and long, but went with seven-minute penultimate track “The A Song (Laid In Your Arms)” over 10-minute album closer “I’m Coming Home Again” (which makes our honorable mentions list below).

When the new album was announced in November, Spiritualized shared the song “Always Together With You,” which topped our Songs of the Week list. Then they shared its second single, “Crazy,” via a video for it. The album’s third single, “The Mainline Song,” was shared via a self-directed video and also topped our Songs of the Week list.

Everything Was Beautiful has Pierce playing 16 different instruments, with more than 30 musicians and singers backing him up. His daughter, Poppy, is one of those musicians.

Pierce had this to say about the album in a previous press release: “There was so much information on it that the slightest move would unbalance it, but going around in circles is important to me. Not like you’re spiraling out of control but you’re going around and around and on each revolution you hold onto the good each time. Sure, you get mistakes as well, but you hold on to some of those too and that’s how you kind of…achieve. Well, you get there.”

Spiritualized’s last album, And Nothing Hurt, came out in 2018 via Fat Possum (and Bella Union in the U.K.). It was our Album of the Week. Read our review of And Nothing Hurt.

Read our 2008 interview with Jason Pierce. By Mark Redfern

2. Hatchie: “The Rhythm”

Hatchie, the shoegaze/dream pop project of Australian musician Harriette Pilbeam, released a new album, Giving the World Away, today via Secretly Canadian (stream it here). Today she shared a video for the album’s “The Rhythm,” which wasn’t a pre-release single. Long-time Hatchie collaborator and guitarist Joe Agius (who also releases music as RINSE) co-directed the video for “The Rhythm” with Julian D’Arcy.

Today we posted our new interview with Hatchie and you can read that here. Yesterday we posted our rave review of Giving the World Away and you can read that here.

Giving the World Away includes “This Enchanted,” a new song Hatchie shared in September via a video for it. “This Enchanted” was one of our Songs of the Week and one of our Top 130 Songs of 2021. When Giving the World Away was announced Hatchie shared a new song from it, “Quicksand,” via a video for the single. “Quicksand” was #1 on our Songs of the Week list. Then Hatchie shared its third single, title track “Giving the World Away,” via a lyric video for it. “Giving the World Away” also made our Songs of the Week list. The album’s next single, “Lights On,” was also shared via a video and once made our Songs of the Week list.

Giving the World Away is Hatchie’s second full-length album, the follow-up to her acclaimed debut album, Keepsake, which came out in 2019 via Double Double Whammy.

Jorge Elbrecht (Sky Ferreira, Japanese Breakfast, Wild Nothing) produced the album, which also features Agius and Beach House drummer James Barone.

2018’s Sugar & Spice EP and Keepsake both announced Hatchie as one of the most exciting new shoegaze and dream-pop artists in years, but in the press release Pilbeam says she’s expanded her palette with the new album. “I’m capable of writing more than just nice dream-pop songs, and there’s more to me than just writing songs about being in love or being heartbroken—there’s a bigger picture than that,” she says. “This album really just feels like the beginning to me, and scratching the surface—and even though it’s my third release as Hatchie, I feel like I’m rebooting from scratch.”

Hatchie is featured on Under the Radar’s 20th anniversary compilation album, Covers of Covers, where she covers HAIM’s “FUBT.”

Read our rave 8.5/10 review of Keepsake here.

Read our 2018 interview with Hatchie on her EP Sugar & Spice.

Read our My Favorite Album interview with Hatchie on Carole King’s Tapestry. By Mark Redfern

3. Bartees Strange: “Cosigns”

On Wednesday, Bartees Strange announced a new album, Farm to Table, and shared a new song from it, “Cosigns,” via a video for the single. The lyrics to “Cosigns” name-drop several famous friends and collaborators, including Bon Iver, Phoebe Bridgers, Courtney Barnett, and Lucy Dacus, and celebrates the Strange’s success so far. Farm to Table is due out digitally on July 17 via 4AD (his first for the label), with an LP and CD release expected in October. Pooneh Ghana directed the “Cosigns” video. View the album’s tracklist and cover art, as well as Strange’s upcoming tour dates, here.

Farm to Table is the second full-length album from the Washington, D.C.-based musician (full name Bartees Leon Cox Jr.), the follow-up to his highly acclaimed debut album, Live Forever, which came out in 2020 via Memory Music (a deluxe edition followed last year and included the new song “Weights,” which was one of our Songs of the Week). Live Forever was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2020.

Farm to Table includes “Heavy Heart,” a new song he shared in March via a music video when he announced his signing to 4AD. “Heavy Heart” was also one of our Songs of the Week.

A press release describes Farm to Table in greater detail: “Where his 2020 debut record Live Forever introduced the experiences and places that shaped Bartees (Flagey Brussels, Mustang Oklahoma), Farm to Table zeros in on the people—specifically his family—and those closest to him on his journey so far. With his career firmly on the ascent, Farm to Table examines Bartees’ constantly shapeshifting relationship with life post-Live Forever. It also speaks to a deeper lore that says, don’t forget where you came from, and this album is why. Always remembering where he came from, across 10 songs Bartees is celebrating the past, moving towards the future and fully appreciating the present.”

Strange has also been active as a producer lately, working on the recent new albums by Proper. and Oceanator.

Strange first garnered attention for covering a string of The National tracks, including on Say Goodbye to Pretty Boy, his EP of National covers released in 2020 on Brassland, a label run by members of the band. He was born in Ipswich, England, but grew up in Mustang, a largely the white and conservative rural town outside Oklahoma City, before launching his music career in Washington, D.C. In between he also worked in the Obama administration.

Read our interview with Strange on Live Forever. By Mark Redfern

4. Say Sue Me: “To Dream”

South Korean dream pop quartet Say Sue Me are releasing a new album, The Last Thing Left, on May 13 via Damnably. On Tuesday, they shared its next single, “To Dream,” which is the album’s only Korean language song and was shared via a black & white video featuring a human in a dog costume with a surfboard. View the band’s upcoming tour dates here.

Lead vocalist Sumi Choi had this to say about “To Dream” in a press release: “I dreamed that everyone was alive, and I came to think that there might be no end. One day everyone will come back and meet somewhere.”

Choi had this to say about The Last Thing Left in a previous press release: “This album has the theme of some realization, eventually the realization of love. Love in relationships, love for oneself, and the ultimate love gained after realizing those two things!”

The band self-produced and self-recorded The Last Thing Left. Previously the band shared a video for the album’s “Around You.”

The band’s last album, Where We Were Together, came out in 2018. By Mark Redfern

5. Sorry: “There’s So Many People That Want to Be Loved”

Yesterday, North London band Sorry shared a video for their new single “There’s So Many People That Want to Be Loved.” It is the first release for an upcoming body of work slated for release later this year. Sorry’s Asha Lorenz directed the video alongside Flo Webb.

In a press release, Lorenz states: “‘There’s So Many People…’ is supposed to be a bit of a sad-funny love song! When we’re out of love we can feel detached and think ‘oh we’ll never be in love again… cry, cry’ but also try and laugh a bit…. It’s easy to laugh or think you’ll never be THAT person then the next moment you can feel like the loneliest person in the world.”

Last year, Sorry shared the EP Twixtustwain. Their debut album, 925, came out in 2020 on Domino, and made it to #35 on our Top 100 Albums of 2020 list.

Read our interview with the band. By Joey Arnone

6. Hot Chip: “Down”

On Tuesday, Hot Chip announced a new album, Freakout/Release, and shared its first single, “Down,” via a video for it. Freakout/Release is due out August 19 via Domino. View the album’s tracklist and cover art, as well as the band’s upcoming tour dates, here.

Hot Chip features Owen Clarke, Al Doyle, Joe Goddard, Felix Martin, and Alexis Taylor. “Down” is built around a sample of Universal Togetherness Band’s “More Than Enough” that Goddard looped. It was the first song the band worked on for Freakout/Release. Former Jesus and Mary Chain member Douglas Hart and Pulp’s Steve Mackey directed the “Down” video, which includes a reference to The Shining (as does the song).

Freakout/Release is the follow-up to 2019’s A Bath Full of Ecstasy. It was recorded at the band’s own Relax & Enjoy Studio in East London, which Doyle had put together before the pandemic and during COVID-19’s first year. The sound of the album was inspired by the band’s cover of Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” which they often perform live. “The idea of being out of control is always there in dance music, in a positive sense,” says Doyle, in a press release, of the cover’s influence on the album.

“By the time we were able to be back together, we were turning on a tap and having a lot of ideas being poured out quite quickly,” adds Taylor.

Goddard says current times influenced the album’s lyrics. “We were living through a period where it was very easy to feel like people were losing control of their lives in different ways,” he explains. “There’s a darkness that runs through a lot of those tracks.”

The album features Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon on “The Evil That Men Do,” British DJ and musician Lou Hayter on “Hard to Be Funky,” and production duo Soulwax on the album’s title track.

In 2020, Hot Chip teamed up with Jarvis Cocker for the new song “Straight to the Morning,” which was #1 on our Songs of the Week list but isn’t featured on the new album. They also shared a Dillon Francis remix of the song. In 2021, Goddard teamed up with New York City-based singer/songwriter Amy Douglas as HARD FEELINGS and they released their self-titled debut album in November via Domino. Last year Hot Chip also produced Girl Ray’s “Give Me Your Love” single and this March Ibibio Sound Machine released a new Hot Chip-produced album, Electricity. By Mark Redfern

7. Andrew Bird: “Underlands”

On Monday, Andrew Bird announced a new album, Inside Problems, and shared a new song from it, album opener “Underlands,” via a video for the single. Inside Problems is due out June 3 via Loma Vista. It includes “Atomized,” a new song Bird shared in March. View the album’s tracklist and cover art, as well as Bird’s upcoming tour dates, including some previously announced summer shows with Iron & Wine (aka Sam Beam), here.

“You just don’t know what’s under the surface, be it the land, the sea, our skin,” says Bird of the new single. “You could be whistling away, projecting contentedness, when really there’s a swirling twisted mess underneath. Looking up, there’s the knowable universe but unless you get into astrology, you’ll find the stars don’t owe us anything and you’re left less assured than when we thought gods threw down lightning bolts. ‘Underlands’ introduces an album that deals with the unseen underneath and the membrane that separates your outside problems from your inside problems.”

In 2021, Bird released an album with Jimbo Mathus, These 13, via Thirty Tigers. Bird’s last solo album was 2019’s My Finest Work Yet. Since then he’s also gotten into acting, appearing on Fargo.

Mike Viola produced Inside Problems, which was recorded live with Bird’s four-piece band.

“I have so much fun taking my ideas apart before they really have defined themselves as distinct songs, when they’re still in that amoeba-like state,” says Bird of recording the new album live. “I love the feeling of chasing ideas and having them split off and go hang out with another idea and then butting them up against each other to see if they talk to each other.”

“Atomized” was also shared via a Matthew Daniel Siskin-directed video and was one of our Songs of the Week.

Read our interview with Andrew Bird on My Finest Work Yet. By Mark Redfern

8. Florence + The Machine: “Free”

On Wednesday, Florence + The Machine (aka Florence Welch and backing band) shared a video for her new song “Free,” which stars British actor Bill Nighy as a representation of her anxiety. Autumn de Wilde directed the video, which was filmed in Ukraine before the Russian invasion.

“Free” is the latest release from Welch’s forthcoming album, Dance Fever, which will be out on May 13.

Welch previously shared the album tracks “King,” “Heaven is Here,” and “My Love.” Her last album, High as Hope, came out in 2018 via Republic. By Joey Arnone

9. Viagra Boys: “Ain’t No Thief”

On Wednesday, Swedish post-punk band Viagra Boys announced the release of a new album, Cave World, which will be out on July 8 via YEAR0001. They also shared a video for a new single from the album, “Ain’t No Thief,” along with announcing a world tour. View the album’s tracklist and cover art and full list of tour dates here.

Viagra Boys’ previous album, Welfare Jazz, came out last year via YEAR0001. By Joey Arnone

10. The Smile: “Free in the Knowledge”

On Wednesday, The Smile, a new group composed of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood along with Sons of Kemet’s Tom Skinner, announced the release of their debut album, A Light For Attracting Attention, which will be out on May 13 via XL. They also shared a video for a new single from the album, “Free in the Knowledge.” View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.

A Light For Attracting Attention was produced and mixed by Nigel Godrich. The album also features strings by the London Contemporary Orchestra.

Previously released singles from the album are “You Will Never Work in Television Again,” which was #1 on our Songs of the Week list, “The Smoke,” which again topped our Songs of the Week list, “Skrting on the Surface,” which also topped our Songs of the Week list, and “Pana-vision” (also one of our Songs of the Week). By Joey Arnone

11. Jane Inc: “Human Being”

Jane Inc (the project of Carlyn Bezic) released a new album, Faster Than I Can Take, today via Telephone Explosion. On Tuesday, she shared its third and final pre-release single, “Human Being.”

Bezic had this to say about “Human Being” in a press release: “This is a love letter to an audience, and a song about yearning for the performing self—the self that is anonymous in a crowd, and mysterious, glamourous, and performative. It came to me while applying makeup.”

Bezic has worked with U.S. Girls, Ice Cream, and Darlene Shrugg. Faster Than I Can Take is her second solo album and Bezic self-produced it. Previously she shared its first single, “Contortionists.” Then she shared its second single, “2120,” which also made our Songs of the Week list.

12. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: “Kepler-22b”

Melbourne-based psych-rock group King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard released a new album, Omnium Gatherum, today via KGLW. On Tuesday, they shared another song from the album, the jazzy “Kepler-22b,” via an animated video for it. Alex McLaren and Sean McAnulty directed and animated the video. View the band’s upcoming tour dates here.

“Kepler-22b” samples “Yemaya One,” by Australian jazz pianist Barney Mcall.

“I actually found Barney’s record at a store in New York,” says King Gizzard’s Cook Craig in a press release. “I hadn’t heard any of his stuff before, but remember putting it on and being blown away straight up. I remember thinking damn this is literally a sampler’s dream. It took me a while before I actually realized he was from Melbourne too. I guess it’s funny like that, sometimes you gotta travel halfway around the world to discover an inspiring piece of music made by someone who probably lives on the same block as you.”

McLaren had this to say about the video: “Sean and I wanted to have a mix of different animation styles. The initial aesthetic inspiration was taken from classic abstract painted jazz album covers, then fused with a Cruise ship aesthetic that came to us once Ambrose sent some reference footage through of the band in longing around in Hawaiian shirts.”

Previously King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard shared the album’s first two singles: “The Dripping Tap” and “Magenta Mountain.” Their last studio album, Butterfly 3000, came out last June via KGLW. By Joey Arnone

Honorable Mentions:

These songs almost made the Top 12.

Art Moore: “Snowy”

Flasher: “Love Is Yours”

Fontaines D.C.: “Roman Holiday”

Annie Hamilton: “All the Doors Inside My Home Are Slamming Into One Another”

Meditations on Crime: “Heloise”

Momma: “Speeding 72”

Ruth Radelet: “Crimes”

Sinead O’Brien: “There Are Good Times Coming”

Soccer Mommy: “Unholy Affliction”

Spiritualized: “I’m Coming Home Again”

Σtella: “Up and Away”

Laura Veirs: “Winter Windows”

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:

BATTS: “Blue” (Feat. Sharon Van Etten)

Ethel Cain: “American Teenager”

Rosie Carney: “break the ground”

John Carpenter: “Firestarter (End Titles)”

Neko Case: “Oh, Shadowless”

Brandon Coleman: “Blast Off”

Delta Spirit: “One is One”

Editrix: “One Truck Gone”

Editors: “Heart Attack”

Hazel English: “Summer Nights”

Craig Finn: “Birthdays”

Friendship: “Ugly Little Victory”

Liam Gallagher: “Better Days”

Annie Hamilton: “Again”

Helado Negro: “Hometown Dream”

Chelsea Jade: “Best Behaviour”

Yves Jarvis: “At the Whims”

Pierre Kwenders: “Your Dream”

Lykke Li: “Highway to Your Heart”

Lutalo: “Little Chance”

My Idea: “Lily’s Phone”

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets: “Acid Dent”

Purity Ring: “graves”

Xenia Rubinos: “Madrugada”

Tank and the Bangas: “Oak Tree”

Thao: “Ambition”

Warpaint: “Hips”

Zola Jesus: “Desire”

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