22 Best Songs of the Last Two Weeks: Jessie Ware, Alison Goldfrapp, Nation of Language, and More | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, May 31st, 2023  

22 Best Songs of the Last Two Weeks: Jessie Ware, Alison Goldfrapp, Nation of Language, and More

Plus Blondshell, Girl Ray, Little Dragon, Dawn Richard, Indigo De Souza, and a Wrap-up of the Last Two Week’s Other Notable New Tracks

Apr 14, 2023
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Welcome to the thirteenth Songs of the Week of 2023. We didn’t do a Songs of the Week last week because I was on a brief vacation (it was my daughter’s spring break), so this week’s list includes songs from the last two weeks. Any song first released between April 1 and April 14 was eligible. Hence we have a supersized list week—22 songs is probably the most we’ve ever had in one Songs of the Week main list, but it breaks down to 12 songs from this week and 10 from last week.

Last week we 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 Alvvays, Anna B Savage, Fenne Lily, and others.

In the last week we reviewed some albums.

To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last 14 days, we have picked the 22 best the last two weeks had to offer, followed by some honorable mentions. Check out the full list below.

1. Jessie Ware: “Begin Again”

Jessie Ware is releasing a new album, That! Feels Good!, on April 28 via PMR/Interscope. Yesterday, she shared the album’s latest single, the lush “Begin Again,” via a music video. The song expands on the sound of “Remember Where You Are,” the highlight of Ware’s last album, What’s Your Pleasure?, taking it to a more danceable place. Charlie Di Placido directed the video, which features Ware and various dancers. Below is the video, which features the single edit of the song, along with the full album version of the song that’s almost two minutes longer.

Ware had this to say about the single in a press release: “‘Begin Again’ is where this album started. On a miserable afternoon during lockdown, James Ford zoomed Shungudzo and Danny Parker in Los Angeles. They were just waking up; it was already dark in London. Frustrated yet completely focused, we set about writing in a new—and unnatural—way over the internet. Dreaming of human touch, escapes to Brazil, beach bodies, holiday romances, all of it! I absolutely adore this song and I’m so excited for you to hear it, to hear the beautiful production by James and horns by Kokoroko, it’s the song that I knew I wanted to make as soon as I finished ‘Remember Where You Are.’”

Previously Ware shared the album’s lead single, “Pearls,” which was #1 on our Songs of the Week list. Then Ware shared a fun music video for “Pearls.”

Of the new album, Ware said in a previous press release: “That! Feels Good! stems from over 10 years of understanding who I am, and who I enjoy being as an artist and the thrill of performance.”

Ware added: “That! Feels Good! is a record to be enjoyed, to sing and shout the words back at me and to each other. It’s a culmination of hard work and total pleasure appreciating the job I have and the worlds I get to dive into. I have never felt so ready for people to hear something I’ve made.”

That! Feels Good! is the follow-up to the acclaimed What’s Your Pleasure?, which was #5 on our Top 100 Albums of 2020 list. A deluxe edition, What’s Your Pleasure? The Platinum Pleasure, came out in 2021 and featured eight bonus tracks, including six new songs (stream it here).

Last July Ware shared the album’s “Free Yourself,” a new song that was described as “a taster session” to her fifth album. It was one of our Songs of the Week. Then she shared a video for “Free Yourself.” By Mark Redfern

2. Alison Goldfrapp: “NeverStop”

Alison Goldfrapp, one half of British duo Goldfrapp is releasing her debut solo album, The Love Invention, on May 12 via Skint/BMG. Yesterday she shared a new song from it, “NeverStop,” via a video vignette.

“‘NeverStop’ is about always feeling the wonder,” says Goldfrapp in a press release. “Committing to connect with each other, nature and our surroundings while trying to navigate through the contradictions and complexities of life.”

Previously Goldfrapp shared the album’s lead single, “So Hard So Hot.” By Mark Redfern

3. Nation of Language: “Weak In Your Light”

Yesterday, Brooklyn-based synth-pop trio Nation of Language formally announced a new album, Strange Disciple, and shared a new song from it, slow burning album opener “Weak In Your Light.” Strange Disciple is due out September 15 via [PIAS]. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover artwork, as well as the band’s previously announced tour dates, here.

In March, Nation of Language shared the album’s first single, “Sole Obsession,” via a music video, and also announced the album’s title and some new tour dates. “Sole Obsession” was one of our Songs of the Week.

The band features Ian Devaney, Aidan Noell, and Alex MacKay. Nick Millhiser (Holy Ghost!, LCD Soundsystem) produced the new album, which was recorded in Brooklyn.

Strange Disciple is the band’s third album and the follow-up to 2021’s A Way Forward and 2020’s Introduction, Presence.

A press release says that each song on Strange Disciple “finds Ian Devaney telling transient stories about temptation, guilt, and the inexplicable joy of being so pained by one’s passionate fixations.”

Devaney further explains: “Sometimes when I feel the most is when I feel hopelessly devoted to something or someone.”

Read our interview with Nation of Language on A Way Forward. By Mark Redfern

4. Blondshell: “Salad”

Blondshell (aka Sabrina Teitelbaum) released her self-titled debut album last Friday via Partisan. Last week she shared one last pre-release single from the album, “Salad,” and made her TV debut performing the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Check out the Tonight Show performance and Blondshell’s upcoming tour dates here.

Pick up our just announced new print issue (Issue 71) to read our exclusive interview with Blondshell.

Teitelbaum had this to say about her debut album in a press release: “It’s hard to summarize what this album means to me. I was able to work through so much by writing and singing these songs. In a way I was also able to find my voice by finally saying these things out loud. I wasn’t intending to write an album as much as I was just trying to get relief from an intense and difficult time in my life. My biggest hope is that people can see the album for what it is: there’s no happy ending or ‘message,’ it’s just a window into what it’s like when you’re trying to figure out who you are and what you want.” By Mark Redfern

5. Girl Ray: “Hold Tight”

On Tuesday, London trio Girl Ray announced a new album, Prestige, and shared a new song from it, “Hold Tight,” via a music video. Prestige is due out August 4 via Moshi Moshi. Alex Catouris directed the “Hold Tight” video, which features the band dressed as cowgirls in the English countryside. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover artwork here.

“Lyrically this songs is about how appreciative I am to have found my partner, and how my mental load feels so much lighter and easier to bear now that I’m with her,” says singer/guitarist Poppy Hankin in a press release. “The production on this takes some inspiration from HAIM’s incredible record Women in Music Pt. III, and features a subby drum loop inspired by Atlanta’s hip hop scene.”

Hankin had this to add about the video: “Despite being caught in heavy rain the whole day, falling over in the mud countless times, and Alex constantly holding an umbrella over the camera, this video was so much fun to make, and we will remember it as one of our favorite shoots.”

Cantouris had this to say about directing the video: “To mark the eighth video me and Girl Ray have done together, and to celebrate almost 10 years of working alongside each other, we thought what better way to honor the occasion than to drive seven hours to the Lake District and spend a whole day filming in the rain. Fortunately the rain made the perfect backdrop for us to combine our theme of Bananarama meets 19th century Western aesthetic. Frankly, once cow patterned clothes were mentioned, the video really made itself.”

Ben H Allen (Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective, MIA, Belle & Sebastian) produced Prestige. Girl Ray also features Iris McConnell and Sophie Moss.

The album includes “Everybody’s Saying That,” a new song Girl Ray shared in February via a music video (it was one of our Songs of the Week). In 2021, the trio shared the album’s closing track, “Give Me Your Love,” which was produced by Joe Goddard and Al Doyle from Hot Chip and was also one of our Songs of the Week. By Mark Redfern

6. Little Dragon: “Slugs of Love”

Last week, Swedish electro-pop band Little Dragon shared a new song, “Slugs of Love,” via a music video. Right now it’s a standalone single on Ninja Tune. Unlimited Time Only directed the video.

In a press release Little Dragon say they imagine the song “being played by a bunch of youngsters with rubberboots in different sparkling colors.”

They add, somewhat cryptically: “Did you know that Leopard Slugs perform a very sensual and acrobatic dance, an exchange between two individuals carrying the same set of reproduction systems? Maybe we are all yearning for love and ecstasy, as we turn more sluggish and slimy trying to convey this urge.”

Cady Buche and Travis Barron of Unlimited Time Only had this to say about directing the video: “When we first heard ‘Slugs of Love’ it was very early in the morning and we were still in bed. The energy of it jolted us awake. We wanted to create a video that embodied that ‘I just gotta move!’ feeling. Dance like no one is watching—even when someone is. Visually we wanted to mash up classic pop art aesthetics with ’90s fisheye style music videos, and then stretch that combination to its absolute limit. The video would be nothing without the energy Little Dragon brought to the set. They came open hearted and brought their own moves to the table.”

“Slugs of Love” follows 2022’s Opening the Door EP, which featured the songs “Frisco” and “Stay,” and 2021’s Drifting Out EP, both released via Ninja Tune. By Mark Redfern

7. Dawn Richard: “Bubblegum”

This week, Dawn Richard shared a new song, “Bubblegum,” via a self-directed music video. She’s also announced some new tour dates. The single is out now via Merge. Check out the tour dates here.

Richard had this to say about the song in a press release: “Leaning back into the Electro Revival era, I wanted to remind people that King Creole is just getting started. The preface to the second installment of the Electro Revival, ‘Bubblegum’ is a cocky candy-coated conundrum. Full of sass that only a New Orleans King can have, this yummy multi-genre single is just a taste of what’s to come.”

Last year Richard teamed up with Spencer Zahn for the collaborative experimental album, Pigments, which came out in October via Merge. In 2021, Richard released the solo album Second Line: An Electro Revival. By Mark Redfern

8. Indigo De Souza: “You Can Be Mean”

North Carolina singer/songwriter Indigo De Souza is releasing a new album, All of This Will End, on April 28 via Saddle Creek. Last week, she shared its third single, “You Can Be Mean,” via a self-directed video. It’s the final pre-release single from the album.

De Souza had this to say about “You Can Be Mean” in a press release: “I wrote ‘You Can Be Mean’ about a brief toxic experience I had with a manipulative and abusive LA model fuckboy. However brief, it had a life-long impact on my understanding of self,” Indigo explains. “Leading up to that experience, I had a history of putting myself in toxic situations and pining for validation from people who treated me poorly. I was stuck in some delusion that I could help abusive people through their trauma and teach them to love me in the way I deserved. I wrote this song when I finally realized that I could choose not to allow harmful behavior into my life, and that there is a deep, deep importance in protecting the body and spirit. I stopped caring about validation from assholes, stopped thinking it was my responsibility to help them, and started caring for myself in a real way. Once I made that switch in my psyche, I began to manifest truly loving, safe, kind, and communicative people into my life. Being loved in the way I deserve begins with loving myself in the way I deserve. Boundaries are so important. The body is a sacred and fragile thing and it deserves every ounce of care.”

Previously, De Souza shared the album’s first single and closing track, country ballad “Young & Dumber,” via a self-directed video for the song. “Young & Dumber” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then she shared its second single, “Smog,” via a self-directed video. “Smog” was also one of our Songs of the Week.

Pick up our just announced new print issue (Issue 71) to read our exclusive interview with Indigo De Souza on All of This Will End. By Mark Redfern

9. Wednesday: “Quarry”

Asheville rockers Wednesday released a new album, Rat Saw God, last week via Dead Oceans. On release day, the band shared a video for the album’s “Quarry.”

The band’s frontwoman Karly Hartzman had this to say about “Quarry“ in a press release: “I wrote this song when I was messing around with a writing exercise I made up. I imagined a street and described it house by house. Some of the houses have fictional characters, but others contain real people I know and their stories. We filmed this video with Chris Good in a field in Kansas City. It was cold as hell and I did not wear enough layers! I had hand warmers in my boots.”

The band also features MJ Lenderman, Alan Miller, and Xandy Chelmis.

Read our review of Rat Saw God here.

Back in October, Wednesday shared the album’s eight-and-a-half minute long “Bull Believer,” in addition to announcing that they had signed to Dead Oceans. When Rat Saw God was announced in January, Wednesday shared its second single, “Chosen to Deserve,” via a music video. “Chosen to Deserve” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then in February they shared its third single, “Bath County,” via a music video. In March, the band shared its fourth and final pre-release single, “TV in the Gas Pump,” via an animated music video. “TV in the Gas Pump” was one of our Songs of the Week too. By Mark Redfern

10. This Is the Kit: “Inside Outside”

Last week, This Is the Kit, the Paris-based project led by British-born singer/songwriter Kate Stables, announced a new album produced by Gruff Rhys, Careful of Your Keepers, and shared its first single, “Inside Outside,” via a music video. This Is the Kit also announced some UK and EU tour dates. Careful of Your Keepers is due out June 9 via Rough Trade. Hannah Owen directed the “Inside Outside” video. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover artwork, as well as the band’s upcoming tour dates, here.

Staples had this to say about “Inside Out” in a press release: “What makes things happen? How much choice do we have? Electricity and chemistry that is out of our control? Chewing. Choosing. Internal forces or external ones? Do we just behave the way people expect us to behave?

“Or do they pre-empt what’s happening? Before it’s happened? Because they can see it in us before we know it ourselves? Big change that has been brewing for longer than we realize. Were we just ignoring it? Was it so deeply buried? Or did we see it all along but chose to ignore it? How much does anything change? Or is it just the way we see it that changes?”

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,” says Stables in the 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 says 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 explains. “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.” By Mark Redfern

11. Heather Woods Broderick: “Wherever I Go”

Heather Woods Broderick released a new album, Labyrinth, last Friday via Western Vinyl. Last Monday she shared the album’s fourth single, “Wherever I Go,” via a music video featuring Broderick in the dessert. Jeremy Johnstone directed the video.

“The video for ‘Wherever I Go’ is about the juxtaposition of having some fun, and letting go against the repetitive nature of daily life. The song has both a lot of irony and energy in it, and we wanted to reflect this visually,” Broderick says in a press release. “The duality in the lyrics is paralleled inside the day that takes place in the video. The repetitions in daily life are playfully represented in the suburban scenes decorated by glitchy/GIF companions, and the wide open landscape shots reflect the free, pure joy that exists inside each day if you go find it. The video was conceptualized and directed by Jeremy Johnstone. Movement direction by Kacie Boblitt. It features Juliet Johnstone, Erick Eiser, Elke Shari Van den Broeck, Daniel Sparks, and Corrina Repp.”

The album includes “Blood Runs Through Me,” a new song Broderick shared in November that was #2 on our Songs of the Week list. When Labyrinth was announced in January, Broderick shared its second single, “Crashing Against the Sun,” via a music video. “Crashing Against the Sun” was also one of our Songs of the Week. Then she shared its third single, “Admiration.” By Mark Redfern

12. Lanterns on the Lake: “String Theory”

British band Lanterns on the Lake are releasing a new album, Versions of Us, on June 2 via Bella Union. Last week they shared its second single, “String Theory.” For Versions of Us Radiohead’s Philip Selway has joined the band on drums.

In a press release, Lantern on the Lake’s vocalist Hazel Wilde had this to say about the new song: “‘String Theory’ is a song about reflecting on what might have been and might, in some way, still be. It finds beauty and solace in the multiverse theory and the idea that out there somewhere, vibrating on their own frequency, exists another fully realized version of yourself where your story turned out differently.”

Previously Lanterns on the Lake shared the album’s first single, “The Likes of Us.”

Versions of Us is the band’s fifth album and follows 2020’s Spook the Herd (which was nominated for the Mercury Prize) and 2015’s Beings.

In a previous press release, Wilde said that becoming a mother affected the new album: “Writing songs requires a certain level of self-indulgence, and songwriters can be prone to dwelling on themselves. Motherhood made me aware of having a different stake in the world. I’ve got to believe that there’s a better way and an alternative future to the one we’ve been hurtling towards. I’ve also got to believe that I could be better as a person, too.” By Mark Redfern

13. Bodywash: “Perfect Blue”

Montreal-based dream pop duo Bodywash released a new album, I Held the Shape While I Could, today via Light Organ. On Tuesday shared its newest single, shoegaze gem “Perfect Blue.”

Previously the band shared the album’s first single, “Massif Central,” via a music video. “Massif Central” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared its second single, “No Repair,” via a music video. Bodywash’s lineup is Chris Steward and Rosie Long Decter.

Steward had this to say about the song in a press release: “‘Perfect Blue’ takes its name and its inspiration from Satoshi Kon’s 1997 animated film. The themes of internal conflict and losing one’s sense of self really resonated with me when I first watched it during the winter of 2021. ‘Perfect Blue’ (the song) is an exploration of the many facets of my own cultural identity. Being both British and Japanese has often felt like a compromise. While it might be easy to romanticize this duality, the reality is that it’s impossible to wholly belong to either culture. What has brought me some solace in the past is their shared appreciation for shoegaze and ‘Perfect Blue’ is an ode to this common cultural heritage. We stacked breathy digital synths (inspired by Masahiro Ikumi’s ominous soundtrack) atop a wave of viscous fuzz guitars, in search of a ‘perfect blue’—a color the shade of renewal.” By Mark Redfern

14. Decisive Pink: “Ode to Boy”

Decisive Pink is the new project from Angel Deradoorian and Russian musician Kate Shilonosova (aka Kate NV). They are releasing their debut album together, Ticket to Fame, on June 9 via Fire. This week they shared another song from it, “Ode to Boy,” via an ’80s influenced music video (think Robert Palmer). As its title suggests, the song references Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” from his Symphony No. 9. Jennifer Juniper Stratford directed the video.

Previously we posted Ticket to Fame’s opening track, “Halffmilch Holiday.” By Mark Redfern

15. Magdalena Bay: “Wandering Eyes”

Yesterday, Los Angeles-based electro-pop duo Magdalena Bay (aka Mica Tenenbaum and Matthew Lewin) surprise-released a new seven-song EP, mini mix vol. 3, and an accompanying short film that features videos for every song. The videos feature snails, giant tongues fighting each other, two Laura Dern references, and an alien in the forest, among other creative sights. It was released ahead of their debut at Coachella this weekend.

Most of the songs of the EP were around two minutes long, but “Wandering Eyes” stood out as the most compelling of the seven tracks and makes this list. It’s below, but we’ve also included the full mix, in case you want to check out the song in context and watch the video that goes with it.

Magdalena Bay collectively had this to say in a press release: “Our mini mixes delve into eclectic sounds, sometimes pastiche. We feel less pressure while making them than with a more serious release so they naturally have a fun spirit to them. The mini mix knows no bounds in terms of genre or stylings. The only rule is we try to keep the songs relatively short, but we don’t really enforce that all too much.”

As it’s title suggests, the band have released two other mini mixes in the past. In 2021, Magdalena Bay released their debut album, Mercurial World, which was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2021. By Mark Redfern

16. Angel Olsen: “Forever Means”

Angel Olsen released a new EP, Forever Means, today via Jagjaguwar. On Tuesday she shared its title track, “Forever Means,” via a lyric video, and announced some new fall tour dates. Check out the tour dates here.

Olsen wrote the song in 2019 and had this to say about it in a press release: “I’d thought of it as a kind of nod to George Harrison, who I’d been getting back into during the pandemic as I was finally calming down and finding moments of peace with myself.”

Pick up our current print issue (Issue 71) to read our new interview with Olsen.

Previously Olsen shared the EP’s first single, “Nothing’s Free,” via a lyric video. “Nothing’s Free” was one of our Songs of the Week.

The EP follows Olsen’s 2022 album, Big Time, which was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2022. It features four songs that didn’t fit on Big Time, song that were “in search of something else,” as Olsen puts it in a press release. Jonathan Wilson co-produced and mixed the EP. By Mark Redfern

17. ALL HANDS_MAKE LIGHT: “The Sons and Daughters of Poor Eternal”

On Wednesday, ALL HANDS_MAKE LIGHT, the new project from Ariel Engle (La Force, Broken Social Scene) and Efrim Manuel Menuck (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt. Zion), shared a new song, “The Sons and Daughters of Poor Eternal.” It’s the latest single from their debut album, Darling the Dawn, which is due out April 21 via Constellation.

In a press release, Engle says the song is “inspired by ancestor music…sea shanties for seas we’ve never sailed but are familiar to us.”

Previously the band shared the album’s first single, “We Live on a Fucking Planet and Baby That’s the Sun,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. By Mark Redfern

18. Patrick Wolf: “The Night Safari”

After a long hiatus from music, Patrick Wolf released a new EP, The Night Safari, today via his own label Apport. On Tuesday he shared its third single, title track “The Night Safari.”

Wolf had this to say about “The Night Safari” in a press release: “‘The Night Safari’ is a phrase I gave those nights staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep and descending into a wilderness of dead ends and anxieties. The river in the song is a river that runs throughout the record.

The metaphor of the river turning black to blue in this song is one of hope to survive to daybreak. A little folk song sung to the black river of night in hope for it to start turning into the blue water of day.”

Wolf adds: “I built the production around a loop on my Celtic harp and started programming in samples of nocturnal urban animal cries from outside my old Wandsworth studio alongside drummers I’d recorded from the balcony of my then flat in Bloomsbury, drunkenly playing down Grays Inn Road at three in the morning.”

In November, Wolf announced the EP and shared its first single, “Enter the Day,” which was his first new song in a decade and was one of our Songs of the Week. Then he shared its second single, “Nowhere Game,” via a music video. “Nowhere Game” also landed on our Songs of the Week list. By Mark Redfern

19. Mediocre: “Together Together”

Boston-based duo Mediocre is the indie rock project of musicians Piper Torrison and Keely Martin. Together, the pair create punchy indie anthems shaded with a shambolic garage rock style and sharply-written pop hooks, the kind of music you’d expect to hear blaring out of a teenage bedroom in a coming-of-age film. The band debuted in 2020 with their Emotion Sickness EP, and last week they released their latest EP, To Know You’re Screwed, via Dangerbird.

Three days ahead of the record’s release, they shared a final single from the EP, “Together Together,” premiering with Under the Radar.

“Together Together” closes out the record with what the band have described as “a swan song for the end of the world.” It carries on the existential undercurrent of the record’s title track, with the band lacing their lyrics with oblique references to rising sea levels and social isolation. Yet, these looming anxieties come packaged with lots of musical charm and lyrical warmth. Torrison and Martin strip their instrumentation back, crafting a sparse and spacious sound driven by Martin’s basslines, some shaker percussion, and the pair’s sun-lit harmonies.

The results are effortlessly breezy and playful, especially with the sweet lyricism on display—“Hey you with the really cool hair/Do you wanna be cool together?/Cuz I am cute/And you are cute/So let’s be cute together.”

As the band explains: “We wanted to write something optimistic while also acknowledging that life is a terrifying thing. It’s easy to feel isolated, but the best we can do is instead find comfort in doing it together… (together).” By Caleb Campbell

20. Mandy, Indiana: “Peach Fuzz”

Manchester, England four-piece Mandy, Indiana are releasing their debut album, i’ve seen a way, on May 19 via Fire Talk. This week they shared its second single, “Peach Fuzz.”

Previously the band shared the album’s first single, “Pinking Shears,” via a music video. “Pinking Shears” was one of our Songs of the Week. The band features frontwoman Valentine Caulfield, guitarist/producer Scott Fair, Simon Catling (synths), and Alex Macdougall (drums). The album follows 2021’s … EP. By Mark Redfern

21. Water From Your Eyes: “True Life”

New York-based duo Water From Your Eyes are releasing a new album, Everyone’s Crushed, on May 26 via Matador, their first album for the iconic label. On Wednesday they shared the album’s second single, “True Life,” via a music video. Sabrina Nichols directed the animated video.

Water From Your Eyes are Nate Amos (he/him) and Rachel Brown (they/them).

The band collectively had this to say about the new single in a press release: “‘True life’ is our Neil Young-inspired quasi-nu metal stomp. It is also intended to be our ‘Short Skirt / Long Jacket.’ The bridge was initially meant to contain lyrics from ‘Cinnamon Girl,’ but Neil Young’s lawyers wouldn’t let us use them. Now they are about how Neil Young wouldn’t let us use his words. The rest of the song deals with life and assorted complications of the material world.”

Previously Water From Your Eyes shared the album’s first single, “Barley,” via a music video directed by the band’s own Rachel Brown. “Barley” was one of our Songs of the Week. By Mark Redfern

22. CHAI: “We the Female!”

Last week, Japan’s CHAI shared a new single, “We the Female!,” via a music video. Cezan Iseda directed the video.

In a press release, the band’s Yuuki had this to say about the new song: “We are human and were born as female, but we have both female and male aspects in each of our souls, each with our own sense of balance. We can’t just label ourselves into clear-cut, simple categories anymore! I’m not anyone else but just ‘me,’ and you are no one else but just ‘you.’ This song celebrates that with a roar! Yooooooooo!!”

The band’s latest album, WINK, came out in 2021 via Sub Pop. It was featured on our Top 100 Albums of 2021 list. Read our 2021 interview with CHAI about WINK.

In 2022, the band shared the singles “Surprise” and “My Dream.” They also collaborated with Superorganism on “Hero Journey.” By Mark Redfern

Honorable Mentions:

These songs almost made the Top 22.

Beach Fossils: “Dare Me”

Crumb: “Crushxd”

Dinner Party: “For Granted” (Feat. Arin Ray)

The Drums: “I Want It All”

Baxter Dury: “Leon”

Flasher: “Eastern Ave”

Peter Gabriel: “i/o”

King Krule: “Seaforth”

Kvelertak: “Krøterveg Te Helvete”

LA Priest: “Star”

Lost Under Heaven: “Dark Days”

Pip Blom: “Tiger”

Esther Rose: “Spider”

Youth Lagoon: “Prizefighter”

Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 22 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions:

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