Nine Best Songs of the Week: St. Vincent, Midnight Sister, Broken Social Scene, and More | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Nine Best Songs of the Week: St. Vincent, Midnight Sister, Broken Social Scene, and More

Plus The National, Temples, Widowspeak, Deerhoof, Girl Ray, EMA, and a Wrap-up of the Week's Other Notable New Tracks

Jun 30, 2017 Broken Social Scene Bookmark and Share

Despite leading up to a long holiday weekend, it was a packed week for great new songs. Quite a few notable artists shared new songs this week, including Arcade Fire, St. Vincent, The National, Liam Gallagher, Neil Young, Mogwai, Weezer, Broken Social Scene, Toro Y Moi, and more. To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last seven days, we have picked the nine best this week had to offer (we couldn’t narrow it down any lower than nine this week), along with highlighting other notable new tracks shared this week. Some of the aforementioned made the top nine, which you can check out below.

1. St. Vincent: “New York”

This week St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) shared a brand new song, “New York.” It’s likely the first taste of her fourth album, the follow-up to 2014’s self-titled one, which she has been working on with Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff. The string-aided ballad seems to be about a break-up of sorts and is fairly straight-forward for St. Vincent, but no less affecting. Instead of being a crazy sonic adventure like most of the singles from her last three albums, “New York” harkens back to her delightful debut album, Marry Me. The simplicity of “New York” is disarming and shows another side of the always surprising Annie Clark.

St. Vincent also recently announced a fall tour she’s dubbing the “Fear the Future Tour” and also shared a funny announcement video for the tour.

2. Midnight Sister: “Blue Cigar”

Midnight Sister is the promising new Los Angeles-based duo of Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian. Their art-pop would appeal to fans of Broadcast, influential ‘60s pioneers such as The United States of America and The Free Design, and Charlie Hilton. Previously they shared their debut single, “Leave You,” but this week they announced their debut album, Saturn Over Sunset, and shared an artsy and somewhat surreal video for another song from it, “Blue Cigar.” Saturn Over Sunset is due out September 8 via Jagjaguwar.

The duo is based in the San Fernando Valley. Giraffe is 23 and the daughter of a Los Angeles disc jockey. A press release says she “was raised almost exclusively on disco and Bowie. Her lyrics and lyrical melodies, informed very much by her filmmaking background, were composed gazing out from a tiny retail window on Sunset Boulevard. Her Rear Window-like longing allowed her imagination to run wild and cook up the wild narratives that would fill Balouzian’s compositions.” It’s her first time writing and performing music. Balouzian is 27 and a classically trained musician who has done arrangements for Tobias Jesso Jr. and Alex Izenberg, this is his first real attempt at playing true pop music.

3. Broken Social Scene: “Stay Happy”

Broken Social Scene are releasing a new album, Hug of Thunder, on July 7 via Arts & Crafts. This week they have shared another song from it, “Stay Happy,” which is a fun and peppy number that opens with a horn section and seems to later feature some flute, as well as more horns. It’s definitely one of the highlights from the album.

Broken Social Scene previously premiered a new song, “Halfway Home,” in March and the next day the band stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform the new single. Then they shared the album’s title track, “Hug of Thunder,” which features vocals from Feist, along with “Skyline.” The album also features longtime Broken Social Scene collaborators/members Metric’s Emily Haines and James Shaw and and Stars’ Amy Milan and Evan Cranley.

4. Temples: “Born Into the Sunset (Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas Remix)”

British psychedelic pop quartet Temples released their promising debut album, Sun Structures, back in 2014 and released their excellent sophomore album, Volcano, back in March via Fat Possum. This week they shared a remix of “Born Into the Sunset” by Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas. It’s an expansive, fun, and highly danceable 7-minute new take on the song. Temples also recently shared a new song, “Henry’s Cake,” for Amazon’s Summer Playlist.

5. The National: “Guilty Party”

The National are releasing a new album, Sleep Well Beast, on September 8 via 4AD. Previously the band shared a video for the album’s first single, “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness.” This week the band have shared another song from the album, the hypnotic “Guilty Party,” via its video

Casey Reas directed the video for “Guilty Party” and had this to say in a press release: “The video is a dream about memory and the degradation of memory; it’s about distance in time and space. Time moves forward, but then backward as memory. The image of the two-faced Roman god Janus, who can look into the past and future, is the core visual language.”

6. Widowspeak: “Dog”

This week Widowspeak announced a new album, Expect the Best, and shared a video for its first single, the dreamy and hazy “Dog.” Expect the Best is due out August 25 via Captured Tracks. A press release says of the band’s sound on the album: “Sonically, they exist somewhere in the overlap between somber indie rock, dream pop, slow-core, and their own invented genre, ‘cowboy grunge.’”

Frontwoman Molly Hamilton had this to say about the album in a press release: “In the past I’ve felt compelled to write songs that are more optimistic than I’m actually feeling, as if I could make it true, as if everything in the past was significant or beautiful in a way, even if it was painful. But the truth is that not everything makes sense, and not every day of your life is an experience of clear cut emotional clarity. I struggle with this compulsion to pull away from people, pull away from the things I enjoy doing, and sometimes literally picking up and moving away when I am feeling uneasy and anxious about my future in a given space, physical or mental. Social media these days can exacerbate that as well.”

7. EMA: “Down and Out”

Singer/songwriter/guitarist EMA (aka Erika M. Anderson) is releasing a new album, Exile in the Outer Ring, on August 25 via City Slang. Previously she shared a lyric video for its first single, “Aryan Nation,” and a full on video for “Breathalyzer.” This week she shared another song from the album, “Down and Out,” which is about trying to have self-worth, despite not having much money.

Anderson had this to say about the song in a press release: “People equate ‘worth’ with money. If you’re not making money, you can end up feeling pretty worthless. It’s a terrible feeling. We need to divorce human value from money and we need to stop treating people like they are disposable.”

8. Girl Ray: “Don’t Go Back at Ten”

Girl Ray are a promising new British trio. Poppy Hankin (guitar/vocals), Iris McConnell (drums), and Sophie Moss (bass) are all 19 years old and from North London. The band have a bit of an ‘80s indie-pop vibe in line with the iconic C86 compilation from 1986 (a modern reference point might be Cate Le Bon). After putting out a series of great singles, the band are releasing their debut album, the cleverly titled Earl Grey, on August 4 via Moshi Moshi. This week they shared another song from it, “Don’t Go Back at Ten.”

Poppy Hankin had this to say about the song in a press release: “After a break-up I was super low, and as clichéd and teen-movie as it sounds, it was truly my friends who got me through it, making sure that I didn’t just mope about the whole time eating pots of cottage cheese and crying. I guess I wrote this one to cheer myself up in a way. Not many of the songs on the album are happy but this one is, kinda!”

9. Deerhoof: “I Will Spite Survive” (Feat. Jenn Wasner)

This week Deerhoof announced a new album, Mountain Moves, and shared its first single, “I Will Spite Survive” (which features Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak and Flock of Dimes). “I Will Spite Survive” is surely one of the experimental band’s more accessible songs, perhaps in part due to the presence of Wasner. The album is due out September 8 via Joyful Noise and also features Juana Molina and Stereolab’s Læticia Sadier, among others. The 15-song album features 12 originals and three covers of songs by Bob Marley, The Staple Singers, and Violeta Parra.

The press release includes a new bio written by Kurt B. Reighley that describes the album as such: “If Mountain Moves were a movie, it would be a double feature, Journey to the Center of the Deerhoof and Escape from Planet Deerhoof, shown side-by-side simultaneously. The record epitomizes the band at its very best, exploring new realms between the poles of independence and invention. It also serves as a welcoming point of entry for new listeners outside Deerhoof’s traditional orbit, an opportunity to bring even more voices into the communal conversation.”

Other notable new songs this week include:

Arcade Fire: “Signs of Life”

Benjamin Clementine: “God Save the Jungle”

Matthew Dear: “Modafinil Blues”

The Dears: “I’m Sorry That I Wished You Dead”

Sky Ferreira: “Easy” (The Commodores Cover for Baby Driver Soundtrack)

Liam Gallagher: “Chinatown”

Joe Goddard: “Ordinary Madness (RAC Remix)”

Half Waif: “Cary”

Liars: “Cred Woes”

Mogwai: “Party in the Dark”

Mura Masa: “Blu” (Feat. Damon Albarn)

Partner: “Sex Object”

Moses Sumney: “Doomed”

Shabazz Palaces: “Effeminence”

Sheer Mag: “Suffer Me”

Toro Y Moi: “You and I”

Wand: “Plum”

Weezer: “Feels Like Summer (Acoustic)”

Neil Young + Promise of the Real: “Children of Destiny”

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July 2nd 2017

thank you very much for such beautiful songs. i just came to your blog and found such great stuff you bro

thanks & regards

July 2nd 2017

Tomorrow I am going to buy my new Rega Planar planning listen to all these songs with ma new red Rega Planar just thinking how i will manage it.

July 4th 2017

Kinda disappointed that LANY wasn’t in this list. The album was okay, but there were definitely some great songs in it.

July 24th 2017

The album is Great !! Thanks
Missing few songs but still NYC
I usually listen while working.
Once again Thanks, A lot