Now, more than ever, we need good music.
There hasn’t been much to get excited about these past few months, other than breakfast, late morning snacks, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner, dessert, and then that shameful second dinner you eat on the couch after midnight that’ll never make it to the feed. Apart from food, the only other consistent source of hope and light in these woeful times has been good new music, of which there has been heaps of. Featuring the likes of Big Thief, Khruangbin, Protomartyr, Dream Wife, Faye Webster, Bright Eyes, and Blake Mills, here is the best of the bounty.
Khruangbin – Time (You and I)
Coinciding with the release of Houston-based trio Khruangbin’s first single yesterday was the kind of good news we need right now: their new album is fast on its way. Titled Mordechai, the new record drops June 26, with vocals featuring prominently on nearly every song—a huge shift for the mostly instrumental band. If this first single is anything to go by, the more words the better.
Big Thief – Love In Mine
If there’s one thing Brooklyn band Big Thief have proven this past year it’s that they don’t like to waste time. In 2019, they released two widely acclaimed albums, U.F.O.F. and Two Hands, and now here they are dropping this beautiful new single, ‘Love In Mine’. The song originally appeared last year as a b-side of a 7” mailed to fans (bless), but Adrianne Lenker & co decided that today, we all deserve to hear it. Enjoy this belated gift from the forebearers of folk.
Faye Webster – In a Good Way
How good is the vocal x guitar collab on this hook? Atlanta-based singer songwriter Faye Webster seemingly dropped this one out of nowhere last week, a year on from the release of her incredible third record, Atlanta Millionaires Club. Not one to play favourites, but this is definitely my favourite song of the week. Love the accompanying video too—simple, stylish, and raining with smiley balloons. I give it two big thumbs up, just like Faye does.
Alfie Templeman – My Best Friend (feat. Coach Party)
17-year-old Alfie Templeman already has a trio of EPs under his belt, and on July 15, he’ll add his forth notch with Happiness In Liquid Form. Taken from the upcoming EP, this track features his label mate Jess Eastwood of Coach Party, and kind of sounds like a Gen Z version of MGMT. Very intrigued by young Alfie, and anticipate he’ll have more fans than Harry Styles in approximately 12 months.
Protomartyr – Worm In Heaven
Switching it up a little, here we have Detroit dudes Protomartyr with their second single off their forthcoming album, Ultimate Success Today, which has had its release date moved to July 17th. Directed by Trevor Naud, the accompanying video was inspired by the 1962 short film La Jetée, and is made up of a collection of stills stitched together that get more fucked up as time goes on, kind of like our lives in quarantine.
Bright Eyes – Forced Convalescence
Back in February, Conor Oberst announced Bright Eyes were back in business after a nine year hiatus. Last week they released the second single from their eagerly awaited new album, and it’s eerily relatable right now. Originally written about being stuck inside with an illness, ‘Forced Convalescence’ does a pretty good job of expressing how we all feel in lockdown these days. Featuring Oberst on vocals, Nate Walcott on keys, Mike Mogis on guitar, Flea on Bass, and Jon Theodore on drums, welcome to the soundtrack of your seclusion.
Dream Wife – Hasta La Vista
The dream voice behind London-based band Dream Wife belongs to Rakel Mjöll, and there’s a whole album’s worth of it on the way. Following up from their 2018 self-titled debut, the trio will release their second album, So When You Gonna… this July. This is the second single from the album, written upon returning to London after 18 months on the road and realising that their lives and relationships had completely changed. According to the band, ‘This song is about accepting and embracing that change and being thankful to what that was and what it is today.’ Made up of home video footage from the band’s childhood, the accompanying music video is a warm slice of nostalgia pie.
Eve Owen – Mother
Some songs really grow on you, while others simply grow. But in this case, British singer-songwriter Eve Owen’s new track does both. The fourth single from her upcoming debut album, Don’t Let The Ink Dry (out May 8), ‘Mother’ really creeps its way into your ear drums, slowly building to a crashing crescendo that feels raw and relatable. According to Eve, the song is about ‘a big energy, a big being always there to hold you and heal you when needed—whether that being is in your dreams, in music, in your family, in ideas, in who you are, in what you want to be. This energy never leaves if you keep it close by.’
Car Seat Headrest – “Hollywood”
Hollywood makes me want to puke, too, Will Toledo. Taken from the band’s upcoming new album, Making A Door Less Open, this song is heavily relatable for anyone who’s ever spent longer than 30 seconds in the shallow squalor of Hollywood. I actually worked at a place on Hollywood Blvd for close to two years, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it is the worst place on earth, with vibes so bad they’d make a twice bailed, gold toothed pawn shop employee pine for a sage cleanse. I guess what I’m trying to say is this song speaks to me, because I fucking hate Hollywood too.
Joesef – The Sun is Up Forever
In stark contrast to the kind Hollywood omits, Glaswegian artist Joesef (not a typo) serves up a hearty plate of good vibes on his new single, ‘The Sun Is Up Forever’. Written, recorded and produced by Joesef himself, this song should come with some kind of mood enhancing guarantee. Dedicated to his mum, the song is inspired by his dad, who he says ‘was a bit of a bastard to her and us’, and is all about ‘leaving a dark part of your life behind you.’
Blake Mills – Summer All Over
Blake Mills couldn’t write a bad song if his life depended on it. Honestly, I think if he had a gun to his head and the person holding it demanded he play something shit, he’d end up in a pool of his own blood thirty seconds later. Bit morbid, but I mean it as a compliment. ‘Summer All Over’ is the second single from the Californian musician’s upcoming album, Mutable Set, out May 8th. Heaps good.