The Best New Music of 2020

Greetings from Sydney, Australia.

Where for the better part of two months it’s felt insensitive and weird to write about anything other than the bushfires decimating our country. But as conditions ease and rain falls from the sky, let’s celebrate the gift of condensed atmospheric water vapor with some brand new music by the likes of Son Little, Khruangbin & Leon Bridges, Tennis, Soccer Mommy, and more.

Son Little – Neve Give Up

I read a book once that was written from the perspective of the Grim Reaper, and at the end, the Grim Reaper admitted that he was petrified of humans because of how resilient they are. The author put it much more eloquently than that, but you get what I mean. This new song by LA-based musician Son Little just reminded me of that book. ‘Though I’m battered and blue, feel like I’m born to lose, never will I give up.’ Keeping this energy all 2020.

TOKiMONSTA – Fried for the Night (feat. EARTHGANG)

Sometimes I read Instagram vernacular and wonder if I’ll ever be able to get away with dropping it in a sentence. ‘This is a bop’ and ‘straight fire’ are two phrases I wish I could give more airtime, but I’m over thirty and own a miniature brass watering can for my indoor potted plants. Alas, if I was a bit more hip to the jive, that’s exactly what I’d say about TOKiMONSTA’s new single, ‘Fried for the Night’, off her upcoming fourth album, Oasis Nocturno, out March 20.

POLIÇA – Steady

There’s something so refreshingly unpredictable about Poliça’s new track, ‘Steady’, off their upcoming album, When We Stay Alive. A moving ode to motherhood, the song mixes acoustic and electronic arrangements in a way that catches you off guard but doesn’t deter you. It took a few listens to fall into its vortex, but once I did, I couldn’t get out of it. Can someone throw me a ladder? I’ve been down here three days now and I’m getting pretty hungry. When We Stay Alive drops January 31st via Memphis Industries.

Khruangbin & Leon Bridges – C-Side

What happens when you pair a band as cool as Khruangbin with a singer as soulful as Leon Bridges? Exactly what you’d expect, really—A sound smoother than a freshly tarred road with more meditative prowess than the Dalai Lama two edibles deep. ‘C-Side’ is the second single off Texas Sun, Khruangbin & Leon Bridges collab EP, out February 7th via Dead Oceans.

Tennis – Need Your Love

You’d be forgiven if you mistook Tennis’ latest single for an unreleased Rilo Kiley gem—singer Alaina Moore’s seductively sweet vocals have Jenny Lewis written all over them, backed by an 90’s indie pop sound that feels vaguely nostalgic. The Denver husband and wife duo are set to release their fifth album, Swimmer, on Valentine’s Day this year.

Soccer Mommy – Circle the Drain

Anyone who comes up with a moniker as good as Soccer Mommy already has my vote, but the fact she writes songs this catchy and then shoots the accompanying video in an abandoned skate park in Palm Springs really seals the deal. ‘Circle the Drain’ is the first single off the Nashville native’s newly announced (and highly anticipated) second album, color theory, out Feb 28.

Porridge Radio – Sweet

Things take an intense turn pretty quickly on Porridge Radio’s first single off their upcoming debut album, Every Bad. According to singer Dana Margolin, ‘I was feeling light-hearted when I wrote it, but when we came together to play it as a band, it suddenly felt really dramatic and exciting.’ Hard agree. Every Bad comes out March 13 on Secretly Canadian.

Elliot Moss – Bodyintoshapes

Self-imposed ban be damned, this song IS a bop.

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