9 Best Songs of the Week: Weyes Blood, Suede, The Orielles, Death Cab for Cutie, and More | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, January 26th, 2023  

9 Best Songs of the Week: Weyes Blood, Suede, The Orielles, Death Cab for Cutie, and More

Plus Algiers, Cate Le Bon, Gilla Band, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks

Sep 16, 2022
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Welcome to the 35th Songs of the Week of 2022. This week we had a very clear #1. Two album tracks, from records released today, made the list. And all in all we settled on a Top 9.

In the last week or so we posted interviews with Aubrey Haddard and Roxy Music.

In the last week we 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 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 nine 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. Weyes Blood: “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody”

On Monday, Weyes Blood (aka Natalie Mering) announced a new album, And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow, and shared its gorgeous chill-inducing first single, “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody,” via a lyric video. She also announced some tour dates, which is being dubbed the “In Holy Flux Tour.” And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow is due out November 18 via Sub Pop. View the album’s tracklist and cover art, as well as the tour dates, here.

And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow is Weyes Blood’s first album since 2019’s Titanic Rising, which was her first album for Sub Pop and was #2 on our Top 100 Albums of 2019 list. Mering co-produced the new album with Jonathan Rado, with the exception of album closer “A Given Thing,” which was produced by Mering and Rodaidh McDonald. Kenny Gilmore mixed the album at 101 Studio and Emily Lazar and Chris Allgood mastered it at The Lodge. And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow features guest appearances from Meg Duffy, Daniel Lopatin, and Mary Lattimore.

A press describes the album in more detail: “The album is her follow-up to the acclaimed Titanic Rising, the first album of three in a special trilogy. Where Titanic was an observation of doom to come, And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow is about being in the thick of it: a search for an escape hatch to liberate us from algorithms and ideological chaos (spoiler alert: the next one will be about ‘hope’).”

Mering also says: “We’re in a fully functional shit show. My heart is a glow stick that’s been cracked, lighting up my chest in an explosion of earnestness.”

Mering released a typed and signed statement, which is here.

Read our My Favorite Album Issue interview with Weyes Blood on her all-time favorite album.

Read our 20th Anniversary Issue cover story interview with Weyes Blood.

Titanic Rising was our joint Album of the Week and you can read our rave review of it here.

Weyes Blood’s album previous to Titanic Rising was Front Row Seat to Earth, which made it all the way to #9 on our Top 100 Albums of 2016 list.

Read our interview with Weyes Blood on Front Row Seat to Earth (from our Best of 2016 Issue).

Also read our The End interview with Weyes Blood about endings and death. By Mark Redfern

2. Suede: “What Am I Without You?”

Suede released a new album, Autofiction, today via BMG (stream it here). Two of its singles previously made our Songs of the Week lists, but there are also some album tracks we love, chief among those is the six-minute long epic “What Am I Without You?” We also really liked album closer “Turn off Your Brain and Yell,” which makes our honorable mentions list further below. Also, yesterday we posted our rave review of the album, which you can read here.

Earlier this week Suede announced a North American co-headlining tour with Manic Street Preachers, two iconic British bands who came to prominence in the 1990s. Suede last played America in 2011, when they performed at Coachella. Manic Street Preachers were last here in 2015.

Suede frontman Brett Anderson said in a press release: “I can’t think of a band I’d rather share a stage with than the Manic Street Preachers. They have long been an inspiration to us, and I know there are thousands of Suede fans who feel the same. It’s nearly 30 years since we last played together and I think these shows are going to be something really special.”

Previously Suede shared Autofiction’s first single, “She Still Leads Me On,” which was #1 on our Songs of the Week list. Then they shared its second single, “15 Again,” which was also one of our Songs of the Week. Then Suede shared the album’s third single, “That Boy on the Stage,” as well as an 18-minute short film connected to the album.

The Britpop originators and survivors legally have to go by the name The London Suede in America, thanks to an American jazz singer also named Suede. Longtime collaborator Ed Buller, who has produced many of the band’s albums, including their first three, produced Autofiction. The album is the follow-up to 2018’s The Blue Hour.

Suede—Brett Anderson (vocals), Mat Osman (bass), Simon Gilbert (drums), Richard Oakes (guitars), and Neil Codling (keyboards)—began the album in a rehearsal studio in the Kings Cross area of London.

Autofiction is our punk record,” Anderson said in a previous press release. “No whistles and bells. Just the five of us in a room with all the glitches and fuck-ups revealed; the band themselves exposed in all their primal mess.”

Autofiction has a natural freshness, it’s where we want to be,” Anderson added.

“When we were rehearsing and writing this record it was this sheer, physical rush,” said Osman. “That thing where you’re hanging on for dear life.”

“She Still Leads Me On” is about Anderson’s mother and the lyrics to Autofiction as a whole were fueled by Anderson’s two acclaimed autobiographies, 2018’s Coal Black Mornings and 2019’s Afternoons with the Blinds Drawn.

Suede initially broke-up in 2003 following the release of their poorly received fifth album, 2002’s A New Morning. They reformed in 2010 and made a full on comeback in 2013 with the release of Bloodsports, which was their first new album in over a decade and was very well-received by critics. That was followed by 2016’s Night Thoughts and 2018’s The Blue Hour. This makes Autofiction the band’s fourth album since reforming and ninth album overall (not counting 1997’s two-disc B-sides collection Sci-Fi Lullabies).

Read our review of The Blue Hour.

Read our interview with Suede on The Blue Hour.

Read our 2013 interview with Suede’s Brett Anderson on Bloodsports.

In 2019 we reflected on the 25th anniversary of Suede’s second album, Dog Man Star, and you read that retrospective here. By Mark Redfern

3. The Orielles: “The Room”

On Wednesday, The Orielles shared a self-directed video for their new single, “The Room.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, Tableau, which will be out on October 7 via Heavenly.

In a press release, the band’s Sidonie Hand-Halford elaborates on the new single: “This was the first track for this record, completely randomly and not part of the album sessions. It was recorded in Autumn/Winter of 2020, at Eve Studios. We had spent a day there, just jamming ideas. Obviously we’d spent the past five or six months in lockdown, not really able to spend much time with one another, so we were all bursting with ideas and hadn’t jammed together in so long. Obviously the way we write is very jammy, very reactionary with each other, and we really missed that. Putting us together in this room at Eve Studios, it was magical really. I feel like we wrote, or sketched ideas, for the majority of the record within an hour or two. We were just in this room at Eve with keyboards, modular synths, everything you could ask for, and just wrote loads of ideas. The lyrics were written line-by-line by each of us, randomly, so we muddled them up and picked them up at random. The first lyric was ‘the moon is in the room,’ and I believe she got that from a Clarice Lispector novel? The whispering was definitely inspired by bands like Portishead or Art of Noise.”

The band add, regarding the video: “‘The Room’ video is perhaps a visual representation of the way in which the song itself was written. Providing ourselves with limitations and instruments that are more unfamiliar to us (in the video’s case, the Super-8). We thought that the lyrics and the vocal delivery lent themselves well to quite a literal video, we broke the song down line-by-line to create interpretations of the words and their meanings together. We really like the simplicity of this video, inspired by a lot of Agnes Varda’s early works as well as Peter Tscherkassky’s more avant-garde films.”

Tableau was produced by the band alongside Joel Anthony Patchett (King Krule, Tim Burgess). Upon announcement of the album earlier this month, the band shared the single “BEAM/S,” which was one of our Songs of the Week.

Read our interview with The Orielles on their 2020 album Disco Volador here. By Joey Arnone

4. Death Cab for Cutie: “I Miss Strangers”

Death Cab For Cutie released a new album, Asphalt Meadows, today via Atlantic (stream it here). Read our rave review of it here. All of its pre-release singles made our Songs of the Week list, but like Suede there were some album tracks we also loved. We narrowed it down to “I Miss Strangers” and anthemic album closer “I’ll Never Give Up on You.” The former makes the main list, while the latter is an honorable mention further below.

Last night, the band made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where they performed the album’s title track. They also performed album tracks “Roman Candles,” “Foxglove Through the Clearcut,” and “A Movie Script Ending” in an online-exclusive performance. Stream the new album and view the performances, along with a visualizer for the album’s title track and a full list of the band’s upcoming tour dates, here.

In a press release, the band state: “The day that for so long felt so far away is finally here. Our new album is out, and we could not be more relieved and thankful. We made it. We found our way through a very dark time and have arrived with a record that is a reflection of everything we’ve done and everything still to come. We hope you love Asphalt Meadows as much as we do—it belongs to you now. We can’t wait to see you at all the shows ahead. As always, thank you for listening.”

Earlier this week, the band shared a recent livestream performance, where they performed several tracks off the new album. By Joey Arnone

5. Algiers: “Bite Back” (Feat. billy woods and Backxwash)

On Tuesday, Algiers shared a video for their new single, “Bite Back.” The single features rappers billy woods and Backxwash.

Band producer Ryan Mahan states in a press release: “Shit’s been so real the past few years, we really needed to grow our community of collaborators and make solid the bonds we’ve always felt, particularly with rap heads. And to have the two best rappers around, billy woods AND Backxwash, on the same Algiers-produced track? Pinch me, for real.”

Vocalist Franklin James Fisher adds: “Ryan showed up one day with this beautifully epic instrumental and said, ‘I’ve got this song and I want to call it ‘Bite Back.’ It immediately reminded me why I joined this band and the rest of the song seemed to write itself. It’s a classic example of our Lenin-McCartney dynamic.”

Algiers’ most recent album, There Is No Year, came out in early 2020 via Matador.

Read our 2017 interview with Algiers on The Underside of Power. By Joey Arnone

6. Cate Le Bon: “Typical Love”

On Wednesday, Welsh singer/songwriter/guitarist Cate Le Bon shared a video for her new single “Typical Love.” The video was directed by Phil Collins and Stefan Ramírez Pérez in Cologne, Germany, and is an homage to Henri-Georges Clouzot’s unfinished 1964 film Inferno.

“‘Typical Love’ was a product of a rare jam session with dearest genius friend, Stella Mozgawa,” Le Bon states in a press release. “The outline, written on bass along to one of Stella’s infectious grooves, was taken into the Pompeii sessions where I disassembled and reassembled it many times but it always felt like a second cousin to the other tracks so was put aside for a rainy day.”

Collins adds: “Cate has always embodied a timeless mystique which distinctively conjures up the European silver screen. If Pompeii sounded like Antonioni at his most heartfelt and lyrical, then ‘Typical Love,’ with its elegantly cinematic scope and crystalline propulsion, gestures towards the twisted melodramas of Henri-Georges Clouzot, Georges Franju, as well as the off-kilter glamor of Ilona Baltrush or early Ulrike Ottinger. And so, an important point of departure was working with the physicality and alchemy of 16mm, especially the unguarded moments at which the delicate tension between performer and character is acutely palpable.”

Le Bon’s latest album, Pompeii, came out in February via Mexican Summer. It featured the singles “Running Away,” which was #1 on our Songs of the Week list, “Moderation,” which was also #1 on our Songs of the Week list, and “Remembering Me,” which also topped our Songs of the Week list.

Read our interview with Le Bon on Pompeii here. By Joey Arnone

7. Gilla Band: “Post Ryan”

On Wednesday, Irish four-piece Gilla Band shared a video for their new single, “Post Ryan.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, Most Normal, which will be out on October 7 via Rough Trade. The band have also announced a North American tour in addition to adding new London dates. View the full list of the band’s upcoming tour dates here.

In a press release, band vocalist Dara Kiely states: “Our friend Ryan turned 30 during lockdown and we were asked by his mates to make a track for his birthday. We wrote and recorded ‘Happy Birthday Ryan’ (a hair metal attempt penned by our secret Hard Rock alias, The Whisky Guns). Right after that we came up with the bones of what is now known as ‘Post Ryan.’ This probably took the longest time out of all the tracks. The words of the track were originally really silly. There was a line about wearing Christmas socks all year round. Stupid stuff. It didn’t really fit the tone. After messing around with the Electro Lobotomy and getting the second half of it figured out, I improvised a melody over it. The lads wanted me to get out of my comfort zone and write something really direct. This was the exact opposite of the approach we had for our last album, The Talkies. Felt very naked. I had to leave the room when I showed them my demo of the new vocals.”

Most Normal was self-produced, and was recorded and mixed by the band’s bassist, Daniel Fox. Upon announcement of the album in July, they shared the single “Eight Fivers.” They later shared the album track “Backwash.”

Their previous album, The Talkies, came out in 2019 via Rough Trade. By Joey Arnone

8. Whitmer Thomas: “Everything That Feels Good Is Bad”

On Wednesday, Whitmer Thomas shared a self-directed video for his new single, “Everything That Feels Good Is Bad.” It is the latest release from his forthcoming album, The Older I Get The Funnier I Was, which will be out on October 21 via Hardly Art.

In a press release, Thomas states: “This song is about all of the unhealthy things I know I’m not supposed to do that I get some satisfaction out of doing in the moment. Whether it be socially, emotionally, or physically, I ain’t got a lick of self control. I’m a child of addicts, and I’m lucky not to have a drug problem, but I think it’s manifested in me being a goofy dumbass around people who I want to think I’m cool or eating 20 Buffalo wings even though I felt sick after six.”

Upon announcement of the album, Thomas shared the single “Rigamarole,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. He later shared the album track “Most Likely,” also one of our Songs of the Week. By Joey Arnone

9. Babehoven: “Stand It”

On Monday, Vermont duo Babehoven shared a video for their new single “Stand It.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming debut album, Light Moving Time, which will be out on October 28 via Double Double Whammy.

Vocalist Maya Bon states in a press release: “As time moves forward, I feel the fractures deeper: home, bonds, semblances of familial care that slip away from me. ‘Stand It’ is about trying to push through the challenges to be there for one another, to call out for support, to sift through the losses and find the humanity within the dysfunction.”

Upon announcement of the album in August, Babehoven shared the lead single, “I’m On Your Team.” In March, they shared the EP Sunk via Double Double Whammy. By Joey Arnone

Honorable Mentions:

These songs almost made the Top 9.

Björk: “Ovule”

Bill Callahan: “Coyotes”

Death Cab for Cutie: “I’ll Never Give Up On You”

Dehd: “Eggshells”

Hand Habits: “Greatest Weapon”

Nick Hakim: “Vertigo”

Little Dragon: “Stay” (Feat. JID)

Marinero: “Ixchel & Lonely Girl”

Will Sheff: “In the Thick of It” (Feat. Cassandra Jenkins)

Skullcrusher: “It’s Like a Secret”

Suede: “Turn off Your Brain and Yell”

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

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