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Sunday, December 4th, 2022  

11 Best Songs of the Week: Quasi, The WAEVE, Gaz Coombes, serpentwithfeet, and More

Plus Petite Noir, The Natural Lines, Sweet Baboo, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks

Dec 02, 2022
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Welcome to the 41st Songs of the Week of 2022. We didn’t do a Songs of the Week last week because of the Thanksgiving holiday, so this week’s list covers songs from the last two weeks.

In the last week or so we posted interviews with Kimber, Michael Rother of NEU!, Tenci, and ACID KLAUS.

In the last week we reviewed a bunch of albums.

We also recently announced our new print issue, the My Favorite Movie Issue (which is out now).

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.

To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last two weeks, we have picked the 11 best the last two weeks had to offer, along with highlighting other notable new tracks shared in the last 14 days. Check out the full list below.

1. Quasi: “Doomscrollers”

Last week, Quasi (aka Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss) shared a video for their new single, “Doomscrollers.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, Breaking the Balls of History, which will be out on February 10, 2023 via Sub Pop. A press release describes the video as a “psychedelic trip through the algorithms” and the some itself is topical, at least in relation to the recent pandemic years, with Coomes singing about kids stuck at home doing virtual learning, teenage Tik Tok stars, anti-vaxxers, climate deniers, and “patriot” truck drivers with Punisher skulls on the back of their rigs.

Upon announcement of the new album in October, Quasi shared the single “Queen of Ears.”

Breaking the Balls of History was produced by the duo alongside John Goodmanson. Quasi’s previous album, Mole City, came out in 2013. By Joey Arnone

2. The WAEVE: “Kill Me Again”

The WAEVE—a new duo consisting of Rose Elinor Dougall and Blur guitarist Graham Coxon—are releasing their self-titled debut album on February 3, 2023 via Transgressive. On Tuesday, they shared the album’s third single, “Kill Me Again,” which is led by Coxon’s vocals and saxophone playing.

In a press release the band collectively say that the new song “explores the feeling of non being or the sensation of shape shifting during intense pleasure, the battle of light to exist within the universe as it becomes increasingly influenced by dark forces. It’s a celebration of sexual agency and the power generated by the physical merging of entities, the power that brings into being and how it will overcome evil….”

Previously The WAEVE shared the album’s first single, “Can I Call You,” via a video for it. “Can I Call You” was #1 on our Songs of the Week list. Then they shared the album’s second single, the atmospheric and epic slow-burner “Drowning,” which was also #1 on our Songs of the Week list.

James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Florence & The Machine, Foals, HAIM) produced The WAEVE, which was recorded earlier this year. Dougall and Coxon started trading messages during lockdown, around Christmas 2020, and the project grew from there.

Many of the tracks feature Coxon on saxophone, one of the first instruments he picked up when he initially became a musician. Reference points for the album in the press release include: Sandy Denny, John & Beverly Martyn, Kevin Ayers, and Van der Graaf Generator.

A previous press release describes the band’s sound in more detail: “A liquid meeting of musical minds and talents. A powerful elixir of cinematic British folk-rock, post-punk, organic songwriting and freefall jamming. The WAEVE strikes that magical English folk-rock alchemy of earth and ether. Heaviness and weightlessness. Darkness and light.”

The project was announced in April and in May they shared their debut single, “Something Pretty,” which made it to #1 on our Songs of the Week list and actually isn’t featured on the album. Previously they also shared a trailer for the band.

Dougall is one of the artists on the cover of our special 20th Anniversary print issue, where you can read an exclusive interview with her.

In 2021, Dougall collaborated with Wesley Gonzalez for a new song, “Greater Expectations,” which was one of our Songs of the Week.

Dougall released her last solo album, A New Illusion, in April 2019 via Vermillion (it was our Album of the Week and one of our Top 100 Albums of 2019). In November 2019 she has shared a new song, “How Long,” a non-album track Dougall said was the last song to be shared from the A New Illusion sessions. “How Long” was one of our Songs of the Week.

Read our interview with Dougall on A New Illusion.

Also read our interview with Dougall on her all-time favorite album.

Plus read our review of A New Illusion.

A New Illusion was Dougall’s third album and the follow-up to 2017’s acclaimed Stelluar (which was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2017). Read our 2017 interview with Rose Elinor Dougall on Stelluar. She was also previously in The Pipettes and in Mark Ronson’s band.

Coxon’s last solo album was 2012’s A+E, but he’s kept busy with soundtrack work, including releasing two albums of songs and score from the acclaimed TV show The End of the F***ing World and his 2021 score to the comic book Superstate. By Mark Redfern

3. Gaz Coombes: “Long Live the Strange”

On Tuesday, Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes shared a new single, “Long Live the Strange.” It is the latest release from his forthcoming solo album, Turn the Car Around, which will be out on January 13, 2023 via Hot Fruit/Virgin.

Coombes elaborates on the inspiration behind the single, which was inspired by a Cavetown concert, in a press release: “The show had a big impact on me. It was what live performance is all about, connecting with an audience that consists of anybody and everybody who wants to be part of it. It’s fully inclusive and I found that quite powerful.”

Coombes previously shared the album track “Sonny the Strong,” which was also one of our Songs of the Week.

Read our 2021 interview with Supergrass on their album In It For the Money.

Read our 2017 Artist Survey interview with Gaz Coombes.

Read our 2018 interview with Gaz Coombes on his 2018 album World’s Strongest Man. By Joey Arnone

4. serpentwithfeet: “The Hands”

Last week, experimental R&B/gospel vocalist serpentwithfeet has shared a new song, “The Hands,” which is featured in the new A24 film The Inspection. The song was produced by Sensei Bueno and features musical contributions from Animal Collective and StemsMusic Choir.

In August, serpentwithfeet shared the song “I’m Pressed.” Serpentwithfeet’s sophomore album, DEACON, came out earlier this year via Secretly Canadian.

Read our 2018 interview with serpentwithfeet. By Joey Arnone

5. Petite Noir: “Simple Things” (Feat. Theo Croker)

On Wednesday, Petite Noir (aka Yannick Ilunga) shared a new single, “Simple Things.” The song features jazz musician Theo Croker and is out now via Roya.

In 2018, Ilunga released the mini-album, La Maison Noir / The Black House, via Roya.

Read our 2015 Pleased to Meet You interview with Petite Noir. By Joey Arnone

6. The Natural Lines: “Monotony”

On Wednesday, The Natural Lines announced the release of their self-titled debut album, which will be out on March 24, 2023 via Bella Union. They have also shared a video for the new single “Monotony,” featuring comedian Nikki Glaser. View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.

Band frontman Matt Pond states in a press release: “Over the last few years, I’ve tried to focus on my breathing—to try and be a better singer, to try and be a better person. But it’s hard to sit still and slow down when the world seems so unruly. ‘Monotony’ is an anthem about the daily tightrope—searching for the right path between passion and apathy. All the while, I’ve been working with Nikki Glaser. Her fearlessness is contagious. Since she never hesitates to tell me what she really thinks, I thought it made perfect sense for Nikki to portray my therapist in the video.” By Joey Arnone

7. Sweet Baboo: “Horticulture”

Last week, Sweet Baboo (aka Stephen Black) shared a video for his new single, “Horticulture.” It is the latest release from Black’s forthcoming album, The Wreckage, which will be out on January 27, 2023.

Black says in a press release: “‘Horticulture’ was a song that had been running around my brain for a good few years. I must have changed the words to the chorus about four or five times. It’s a song about my love of and, sometimes, failure to keep the house plants alive but also a note to self to keep fit and healthy.”

Video director Pete Ingo adds: “‘Horticulture,’ for me, is a song about love, tenderness and a perseverance. I wanted to make a visual that reflected this. Sweet Baboo’s music has always had that ‘domestique magique’ running through to its core and I wanted the characters in the video to be the embodiment of this…but turned up to 11…slowly…and a cat.” By Joey Arnone

8. The Go! Team: “Whammy O”

England’s The Go! Team are releasing a new album, Get Up Sequences Part Two, on February 3, 2023 via Memphis Industries. On Wednesday, they shared another song from it, “Whammy O,” via an amusing video that cuts together a slew of vintage TV clips.

Upon announcement of the new album, The Go! Team shared its lead single, “Divebomb,” which features Detroit rapper IndigoYaj and was one of our Songs of the Week. In October the band shared the album’s second single, “Look Away, Look Away,” which featured Star Feminine Band.

The Go! Team’s previous album, Get Up Sequences Part One, came out last year via Memphis Industries. By Mark Redfern

9. Liela Moss: “Ache in the Middle” (Feat. Jehnny Beth)

Last week, Liela Moss shared a video for her new single, “Ache in the Middle.” The song features Jehnny Beth and is the latest release from Moss’ forthcoming album, Internal Working Model, due out on January 13, 2023.

In a press release, Moss states: “I was working with Johnny Hostile on extra instrumentation for this track, when he sent it back with a middle 8 vocal section written and sung by his partner Jehnny Beth. He emailed saying she loved the track and hoped I didn’t mind her spontaneous contribution? This was a real gift, some unexpected beauty. The track crystallizes my thoughts about some of my own childhood, ideas about attachment and my recent work with Children’s Social Care. Jehnny Beth must have somehow understood where I was with this personal process, because she jumped straight in with a complimentary lyrical flow.”

Moss adds, regarding the video: “The video reflects some of my glitched and slowly fading childhood memories, and the weird, uncanny aloneness I would experience when regulating my feelings as a little kid. People, spaces and animals take on this huge symbolic value and radiate with security, when you are very young, and searching for that safety.” By Joey Arnone

10. James Yorkston, Nina Persson, and The Second Hand Orchestra: “An Upturned Crab”

On Wednesday, James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra and Nina Persson of The Cardigans shared a new song, “An Upturned Crab.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, The Great White Sea Eagle, which will be out on January 13, 2023 via Domino. They also shared a live performance video of the song.

Upon announcement of the new album in October, Yorkston and Persson shared the song “Hold Out For Love.”

James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra released their previous album, The Wide, Wide River, last year via Domino. By Joey Arnone

11. Divorce: “That Hill”

New Nottingham, England-based four-piece Divorce have released their debut EP, Get Mean, today via London-based label Hand In Hive. Yesterday, they shared another song from it, “That Hill,” via a self-directed video for the single.

Divorce is built around songwriting duo Tiger Cohen-Towell (vocals/bass) and Felix Mackenzie-Barrow (vocals/guitar), and also features Adam Peter Smith (guitar) and Kasper Sandstrøm (drums). Mackenzie-Barrow had this to say about the new single in a press release: “‘That Hill’ was written as something of a commitment to pursuing our dreams. The first lines came out of early morning shifts in a dead-end minimum wage job and the general chaos of trying to make a career of the thing you love most in the world. We’ve done a lot of driving around to gigs on no sleep and getting honked at by old men. Some of that absurdity found its way into the track.”

Of the EP as a whole, Mackenzie-Barrow had this to say: “It was never supposed to be an EP. We believe everything we put out under the banner of Divorce has undergone a great deal of consideration in an effort to make it ours, so that links all of our music—but these singles were not supposed to be a body of work. It was when the final track, ‘That Hill,’ came into existence over the summer, that we realised they were a part of the same beast. The track finishes up our year of single releases with a tiredness for this life in all its monotony and glass ceilings.

“The record takes us from the juvenile arrogance of ‘Services’ to the sobering bitterness of ‘That Hill,’ but we felt it would be apt to have those cynical lyrics sung like you’re in a bar full of old friends and an out-of-tune piano. There is humour at the core of this record, a need to not take it all too seriously. This is sort of what we want people to feel when listening to the record, but we also feel this first record somewhat showcases our vulnerability and naivety and we think that’s okay, and want the listener to be engaged in our entire journey as we learn/grow as a project. We hope you enjoy.” By Mark Redfern

Honorable Mentions:

These songs almost made the Top 11.

King Tuff: “Portrait of God”

James Brandon Lewis: “The Blues Still Blossoms”

Lizard Music: “Keystone Cops”

Bobbie Lovesong: “Inner Sea”

meija: “How You Like”

p> Billy Nomates: “Spite”

Dave Okumu & the 7 Generations: “Blood Ah Go Run”

Mauro Remiddi: “Do Birds Sing For Pleasure”

Uhl: “Shout”

Eaves Wilder: “Morning Rain”

Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 11 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions:

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