Your First Listen: 13 songs you need to discover this week

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Killer on Your First Listen
'Killer' artwork

It’s time for Your First Listen, where we show you songs you need to discover this week!

This Indie88 feature is presented with Bay Bloor Radio.

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 every day in Indie88 beginning at 10 a.m.

Online, we expand the list with a couple more tunes. This week, we’ve gotten some amazing fresh cuts from FKA twigs, Steve Lacy, Lana Del Rey, and more.

Check out 13 songs you need to discover this week below.

FKA twigs – “Killer”

FKA twigs has shared a studio version of her new single, “Killer.” Twigs had teased the track just last week when she debuted it during her Tiny Desk (Home) Concert, where she was backed by strings and a piano. Now, we’ve gotten a full studio version, with haunting production, pulsing percussion, and stunning background harmonies. Written with Jimmy Napes, Amanga Ghost, and Jonny Coffer, twigs produced the tune with Coffer and El Guincho. It’s a moving tune all about the ways that heartbreak can change your life for the worse.

Steve Lacy – “Mercury”

The Internet’s Steve Lacy has made an epic return with a video for his new single, “Mercury.” Today’s release comes as part of the announcement of his sophomore album, Gemini Rights, out later this summer via RCA Records. “Mercury” sees Steve Lacy weaving in and out of genres with ease. He carefully channels the sounds of Brazilian bossa nova, bass-driven funk, and R&B. With dreamy strings, captivating bass lines, and stunning vocals, the self-produced track is a perfect return for Lacy.

Lana Del Rey – “Buddy’s Rendezvous (Father John Misty cover)”

Lana Del Rey has shared a new cover of Father John Misty’s Chloë and the Next 20th Century track, “Buddy’s Rendezvous.” Father John Misty teased a clip of the cover back in May, but after being only availble on a 7-inch single, it’s now out on streaming services. Alongside the cover, FJM has shared a brand new video for the track. Del Rey’s take on the tune is so distinct it feels like it could be her own, as she delivers lines like, “What’s the point of being everybody’s girl?/ Maybe you think that way there’s no chance getting hurt.”

Particle Kid, Willie Nelson – “Die When I’m High (Halfway to Heaven)”

Particle Kid (aka Micah Nelson) has teamed up with his father Willie Nelson on a new single, “Die When I’m High (Halfway To Heaven).” “Die When I’m High (Halfway To Heaven)” is Particle Kid’s tender tribute to his father. “Sometime back in December 2020, in between endless rounds of chess and dominos, my dad looked up at me and said, ‘If I die when I’m high I’ll be halfway to heaven,’” Micah explains.”It took me a second to process, but I said, ‘Dad, that’s the best song title I ever heard. You better write the rest of it quick.’ He said. ‘Why don’t you write it?’ So I did. That night I wrote it for him, about him. It’s really just a love letter to him. A tribute.”

Claud – “Go Home!”

Claud is back with a brand new single, “Go Home,” out now via Saddest Factory Records. The track feels like a perfect summer anthem. With fun-loving guitars, breezy melodies, and catchy vocals, you’ll definitely want to drive down the highway to this track with the windows down. Lyrically, Claud delivers clever lines like, “I don’t understand your references/ Your collegiate sentences/ Friends who talk theory when I thought this was a party.”

Julia Jacklin – “I Was Neon”

Melbourne singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin is back with a video for her new single “I Was Neon.” The track comes from her forthcoming album, Pre-Pleasure, out August 26th via Polyvinyl. Today’s release sees Julia Jacklin leaning into an indie pop sound. Boasting some stunning harmonies and a catchy guitar riff, you’ll find yourself revisiting “I Was Neon” again and again. The accompanying video is directed by Jacklin herself and sees her playing along to the track in an old apartment, interspersed with clips of her rocketing down a zipline.

Bartees Strange – “Wretched”

Bartees Strange has released a vulnerable new song, “Wretched.” The track is the final preview from his upcoming sophomore album, Farm to Table, out this Friday via 4AD. “Wretched” is a pretty powerful, reflective tune, that sees Strange singing of the people that have supported him along his journey. Directed by Michael Parks Randa, the accompanying video sees Strange singing along to the tune with background dancers in a field of abandoned vehicles.

The Beths – “Silence Is Golden”

New Zealand quartet The Beths have are back with a video for their new single, “Silence Is Golden.” It arrives on the heels of their freshly announced album, Expert In A Dying Field, out September 16th via Carpark Records. The new preview is an electrifying, propulsive single. With gritty guitars, driven percussion, and catchy, rollicking vocals, the track is pretty infectious. Lyrically, the track is about different ways that stress can show up in different people.

The War On Drugs – “Change”

The War on Drugs’ six-minute single “Change” was the final preview of their recent album I Don’t Live Here Anymore. The track is all about how difficult it can be to move forward and make changes. Throughout the track, frontman Adam Granduciel sings lines like, “There are so many ways/ Our love could make it through/ But it’s so damn hard to make the change.”

Beabadoobee – “Talk”

UK artist beabadoobee has shared a video for her new single “Talk.” The track comes from beabadoobee’s freshly announced album, Beatopia, out July 15th via Dirty Hit. “Talk” is a gritty, early aughts anthem. With distorted guitars and catchy, bubbly vocals, “Talk” is about doing things that you know are bad for you. Directed by Alexandra Leese and Luke Casey, the accompanying video sees beabadoobee performing for a crowd in an all-white room. “I wrote ‘Talk’ just after my first album,” beabadoobee explains. “I was obsessed with Tuesday because I thought it was the best night to go out, not too much chaos but just enough to have a good time. Generally, it’s about doing things that aren’t necessarily healthy or great for you, but you can’t help indulging. It’s like that unavoidable feeling that you get. You can’t get rid of it, and you know it’s bad, but you love it really, and it’s whatever, so you do it anyways.”

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – “I’m On Your Side”

Nathaniel Rateliff’s “I’m On Your Side” is a standout tune from his most recent album, The Future. The Future was recorded in frontman Nathaniel Rateliff’s Colorado studio where they wanted to shed light on diverse observations and reflect on the current times. In a press statement Rateliff revealed:

“I look at the album overall as a big question. When I was writing the record we were in the middle of a pandemic and our future looked pretty bleak. I just continue to try to write from a place of hope. Then my own neurosis, and maybe being a libra gets in the way, and I can’t make up my mind. There is this constant back and forth battle in me personally and I am sure that comes out in my writing.”

Matt Maeson – “Blood Runs Red”

Matt Maeson has returned with a new song called “Blood Runs Red.” “‘Blood Runs Red’ is a song about being a successful artist and the narcissistic tendencies that come along with it,” Maeson explains. “I toured for three years straight and received copious amounts of validation but when that ends and you go home, you’re left with yourself and who you’ve bceom while everyone else around you has remained the same.”

Housewife – “Patrick Bateman”

Toronto duo Housewife (f.k.a. Moscow Apartment) are back with the first single under their new name, “Patrick Batemen.” The new pop-rock tune is all about romanticizing evil. Lyrically, the anthemic tune is all about anti-capitalism. “The ultra-capitalist business imagery fell into place once we started writing the song,” Housewife explain. “We wanted to tell a story of someone who is a ‘bad actor’ and hides parts of themselves to appeal to others, but their true intentions are slowly revealed.”
Listen to our Best New Indie playlist below!

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