It’s time for Your First Listen, where we show you songs you need to discover this week!
Each week we feature five remarkable songs that you need to hear on Your First Listen on air. In case you miss them on air, you can catch up on the weekly tracks right here. Your First Listen airs Monday to Friday during the following times: 1:50pm / 6:50pm / 8:50pm.
Online, we expand the list with a couple more tunes. This week, we’ve gotten some amazing fresh cuts from Father John Misty, The Smile, Alt-J, and more.
Check out 13 songs you need to discover this week below.
Father John Misty – “Funny Girl”
Father John Misty has shared “Funny Girl,” the first single from his forthcoming album, Chloë and the Next 20th Century. “Funny Girl” is a lush, cinematic piano ballad. Tillman’s quintessential croons take the lead as the track swells into a romantic, orchestral anthem. Lyrically, Tillman delivers lines like, “Funny girl, your schedule’s pretty crazy/ Doing interviews for the new live action Cathy.”
The Smile – “You Will Never Work In Television Again”
The Smile have shared their debut single, “You Will Never Work In Television Again.” Made up of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood and Sons Of Kemet’s Tom Skinner, The Smile have dropped their first official release. The band previewed “You Will Never Work In Television Again” at last year’s Glastonbury event Live At Worthy Farm. Produced by Nigel Godrich, the song also comes accompanied by a lyric video from Duncan Loudon.
Alt-J – “Hard Drive Gold”
Alt-J are back with a video for their new single, “Hard Drive Gold.” “‘Hard Drive Gold’ is a slightly tongue-in-cheek song written at what we thought was the height of the cryptocurrency gold rush,” Newman says. “It’s the story of the ultimate childhood fantasy, the schoolboy who becomes a millionaire overnight, and the different interactions he has with people in his life from teachers to neighbours. How ironically you interpret its message is entirely up to you…”
Animal Collective – “Walker”
Animal Collective are back with a video for their new single, “Walker.” “Mostly ‘Walker’ is a tribute to Scott Walker who passed away around the time I began writing the song,” Noah Lennox says in an interview with Zane Lowe. “Scott’s music has meant a lot to me and he’ll always be a big inspiration. But there’s also a kind of exhaustion and resignation to the singer of ‘Walker’ that belies a darker layer.”
Good Kid – “Orbit”
Indie rock 5-piece Good Kid’s new track “Orbit” is a love song packed with space metaphors. “It’s about how lonely a small satellite on the outskirts of a densely packed trajectory would feel looking in towards the rings of a gas giant,” singer Nick Frosst says. “It’s also about not feeling ‘cool’ enough to hangout with someone you have a crush on.”
Joy Again – “Looking Out For You”
Joy Again’s “Looking Out For You” is a love song about a secret crush. Lyrically, the band delivers lines like, “This is a love song for a girl that will never know it’s about her/ I know it’s pretty stupid but I’m much too shy to tell her.” “Basically I wrote this song about a girl I fell head over heels in love with,” Sachi DiSerafino explains. “She would never bat an eyelash at me even though I would always pay attention to her and look out for her.”
Aurora – “A Dangerous Thing” and “Everything Matters”
Norwegian pop artist Aurora is back with two new tracks, “A Dangerous Thing” and “Everything Matters.” “Everything Matters” features French artist Pomme. “It’s a very strange story,” Aurora explains of the track. “A story I would like for people out there to figure out themselves. I contacted a French artist, Pomme, to write the ending for me. And it is beautiful. Sensual. And real. I do often feel like this world is trying to make me focus on all these great miracles. And somehow I feel like it makes me miss out on the small ones. And that is sad. Because the small miracles happen all the time. Sometimes several times a day. And I want to see all of them. Because everything matters.”
Not only did Aurora share “Everything Matters” today, but she also released “A Dangerous Thing.” “There’s a lot of beauty in this world,” Aurora says. “And there’s a lot of ugly. I was surprised to learn how often the ugly is disguised as beauty. How often poison is disguised as wine. And life disguised as death. And when we learn that what we thought was good for us, is in fact bad for us – even then we tend to go return to it. Because at least it’s familiar. And all we ever dream about is home. Seductive, yet destructive. A dangerous thing indeed.”
Broken Social Scene – “Curse Your Fail”
Broken Social Scene have shared a 2010 B-side, “Curse Your Fail,” which was previously only available on 7-inch. The release comes from Broken Social Scene’s forthcoming compilation, Old Dead Young: B-Sides & Rarities, out January 14th via Arts & Crafts. “Curse Your Fail” follows the previously released “This House On Fire,” which came from the Forgiveness Rock Record sessions. “Curse Your Fail” was previously only available on a 2010 split 7-inch with The Sea and Cake, which features alternating vocals from four lead singers including Death From Above 1979’s Sebastien Grainger.
Gang of Youths – “In The Wake Of Your Leave”
Australian rockers Gang Of Youths are back with their new single, “In The Wake Of Your Leave.” “I wanted to reflect on how I became dependent on grief for solace and inspiration,” Dave Le’aupepe explains. “The cycle from numbness to acceptance to yearning plays a role in my approach to grieving my dad’s death. As a result, most of the time, I feel a bit futile as a person.”
Upsahl – “Thriving”
Upsahl released her debut album Lady Jesus in 2021. A standout track on that record was “Thriving.” “The one we spent the most time on would be ‘Thriving,'” Upsahl tells Spin. “With that one, we had the whole song written, and then at the end of the session, Johnny [Shorr] who produced it and wrote was like, ‘I think we can do a better chorus.’ I remember being so mad. I was like, ‘Johnny, we just finished the song. Let’s go home.’ He was like ‘No, we can write a better chorus.’ So we sat there and made the chorus what it is now, and I’m so happy that he pushed for it because now the song is sick.”
Pinegrove – “Respirate”
New Jersey outfit Pinegrove are back with their new single, “Respirate.” The crushing ballad comes from their forthcoming album, 11:11, out on January 28th via Rough Trade Records. On “Respirate,” Pinegrove urges us to love each other. They want us to remember that no matter what, “we’re in this together.” “With ‘Respirate,’ I was thinking about the opportunity we had in the chaos Covid brought to redesign society so that it works well for more people, but that instead what’s unfolding is a doubling down on the same bent and venal structures that have resulted in so much inequity in the first place,” Pinegrove’s Evan Stephens Hall explains. “So, how can we compassionately respond to such cold and blatant greed?”
Young Guv – “Only Wanna See U Tonight”
Former Fucked Up member Ben Cook shared “Only Wanna See U Tonight” under his moniker Young Guv. Young Guv wrote the track after Cook and his band were stranded mid-tour in March 2022 in New Mexico. “Within hours we had a little studio set up and this was the first song we came up remotely via WhatsApp with Tommy The Major who had escaped back to his home in Sudbury, Ontario,” Cook says. “I heard Tony strumming the first three chords of the chorus with a little bit of a melody from the kitchen and a couple hours later this song was done.”
Listen to our Best New Indie playlist below!