Featuring Big Thief, Sarah Crean, Spooklet, Jay Rock, Anderson Paak, Lato, Vagabon, Fizz, Quantic, Burial, Laura Groves, Sampha, Olive Hatake.
Today is New Music Friday, which means there’s loads of new songs in the world.
Here are 10 songs released this week I loved, along with fresh ones in the New Music section.
See the end of the post for the Spotify playlist featuring much more than 10 tracks released this week, updated weekly.
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Big Thief marked a big US TV performance by playing a new song (which is so Big Thief), and the recording of that song ‘Vampire Empire’ was released today.
‘Vampire Empire’ has had Youtube commenters in a spin since it was first aired (“im on the knees in the middle of walmart please drop this already” / “Literally the best songwriter since Elliott Smith died”), and it’s not had to hear why. This band, and this songwriter Adrianne Lenker are at a pinnacle of musicmaking, with lyrics about the exasperation of loving someone who doesn’t know what they want.
Well, I walked into your dagger for the last time
It’s like trying to start a fire with matches in the snow
Where you can’t seem to hold me, can’t seem to let me go
So I can’t find surrender, and I can’t keep control
You turn me inside out and then you want the outside in
You spin me all around, then you ask me not to spin
You say you want to be alone, and you want children
You wanna be with me, you wanna be with him
It features on a 7″ double-single ‘Vampire Empire’ / ‘Born For Loving You’ 7” out on 20th October on 4AD.
Recorded and produced by Dom Monks at Guissona, Spain’s Teatre de cal Eril Studio during a recent tour, the song addresses “the beautiful complexity of gender identity and breaking destructive internal cycles”.
“For me, it’s about getting out of toxic internal patterns – leaving the empire of energy drains that obscure pure essence, learning about what healthy boundaries are, and finding the power to implement them for the possibility of giving and receiving (both inwardly and outwardly) unbroken and infinite Love.”Adrianne Lenker
Dublin singer-songwriter Sarah Crean has made some impressive strides since last year’s ‘2:00am’, which after we featured it went big on the US Spotify viral chart garnering over 4 million listens.
‘Wasted Youth’ arrived this week along with news that Crean is supporting Blackpink at BST in Hyde Park and Bombay Bicycle Club on their UK dates this year. It features on an Death By Laundry EP out on August 2nd through AWAL, along with recent single ‘What Do I Know?’.
“Wasted Youth is very much an ode to the ups and downs of my childhood/teen years. The song itself goes back and forth between acceptance and rejection of the fact while processing as the song progresses – almost like I’m trying to reach out to my younger self from my current state as an adult. I myself have (and always have had) a hard time forgiving people and letting things go and this song feels like an accurate representation of the fact that sometimes I’m ok with things from my past, other times I’m not.”
“The “Wasted Youth” video is an ode to healing my inner child. It focuses on the complex dealings of my older (and current) self witnessing my younger self in the midst of her youthful crises’ and trying my very best to help her through it. The video encapsulates both the process of my younger self still in the rawness of her experiences, alongside my current/older self re-living those experiences but this time with a lot more knowledge to bear.”
The song is produced by Sarah alongside Gabe Goodman (Del Water Gap, Maggie Rogers) and Adam O’Leary, mixed by Chris Coady (Beach House, Blondshell.)
Hannah Worrall of the band Toygirl‘s new electronic project Spooklet has released its third single ‘Ah Shit’, a bass-buzzing skittering production with spoken lyrics by Worrall, who talks up the narrator as an independent sexual being, before the preoccupation with an unrequited attraction takes over, as the cycle becomes addictive.
Spooklet on Insta.
Jay Rock, Anderson .Paak, Latto
Too Fast (Pull Over)
A surprising steel-pan pop rap banger from Jay Rock?
Latto and Anderson .Paak go wild on this one, which features the unmistakable production of DJ Mustard.
Do Your Worst
Lætitia Tamko aka Vagabon released a fine new track ‘Do Your Worst’ this week, a preview from the forthcoming album Sorry I Haven’t Called out September 15th, an album informed by grief after her best friend died in 2021, which gave Tamko a previously-unfelt clarity, which prompted Tamko to move to a small town north of Hamburg to process and work.
“I was nestled in the German countryside when Teo Halm, who co-produced this with me, and I were experimenting in my home studio late into the night, I was listening to a lot of club music and I set out to make an instrumental that drew from the music you’d hear at an underground club in Germany or the UK yet still lived in the Vagabon musical lexicon. A year later, when I returned to the US, I got Rostam involved and he had a great idea of adding a layer of live drums on top of the breakbeat from my Germany session.”
Fizz, the new band made up of friends Orla Gartland, dodie, Greta Isaac and Martin Luke Brown debuted with the psychedelic brash song ‘High In Brighton’.
‘Close One’ is a markedly more emotionally-driven song that sounds more like Fleetwood Mac in tone. Orla Gartland takes lead vocal on a song looking back at a past relationship.
“It was night time at the studio and Martin and Mat (drummer and honorary 5th member of FIZZ) were up late jamming in the way that only Martin and Mat can. The next morning they presented their idea to the group and ‘Close One’ began – it had something interesting, a different feeling to the other songs we had been collecting”.
A 12-track debut album called The Secret To Life is out on September 15th and the band play Dublin’s Vicar Street on September 27th.
‘Hell of a Ride’ also features.
New York-based musician Will Holland aka Quantic released ‘Stand Up’ this week, an encouraging anthem drawn from disco, gospel, soul and jazz music.
It follows the recently-released song ‘Run’ featuring Andreya Triana.
“‘Stand Up speaks to the everyday person, the everyday struggles for everyday people. It is celebratory but at the same time about pushing forward, standing strong in what you believe in and creating power through love and dedication.”
Kode9 and Burial released the split ‘Infirmary / Unknown Summer’ single today, and the enigmatic producer’s track feels like an exploratory meditative trip that encompasses trance synths, dreamy vocals, and those trademark frayed beats.
The artist formerly known as OliveyOlive who released the fine album Life Of Colour last year that was one of my favourite Irish records of 2022.
Music under the Olive Hatake has shown to feature softer more introspective output (as you can also hear on ‘1975 (feat. HallowboysDance)’).
‘You’ is one of two tracks released today under the title Summertime In Ireland Tapes, with a more electro-house flavour.
Do you ever watch some movies where they give you the ending at the start and then it works its way back to the beginning? This is exactly that, the ending to a period of my life and after overcoming it I’m finally allowing myself to deserve the fruits life has to offer, to eliminate the cycles and habits that has chained me since I can remember…”Olive Hatake
Laura Groves, Sampha
D 4 N
‘D 4 N’ is a beaut of a song with gilded synths and spacious songwriting, given an extra layer to appreciate with Sampha’s backing vocals.
“D 4 N is about the promise and possibility of escape and the problems that catch up with you after you think you’ve pushed them away. I’ve often felt pressure to maintain a strong exterior – this song is a reminder to keep moving through the barriers and find the pleasure in dreaming, living and sharing all that we have to offer ourselves and each other.”
For more extensive Irish and new music coverage, hit up the Irish section for individual track features
For this and more Irish songs, follow the Nialler9 New Irish Spotify playlist.