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 Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Always, Death Cab For Cutie, Pixies, and more.
Check out 14 songs you need to discover this week below.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Burning”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs have returned with a new single called “Burning.” The track comes from their forthcoming album, Cool It Off, out September 30th via Secretly Canadian. Produced by Andrew Wyatt, inspired by Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and Frankie Valli’s “Beggin’.” “Burning” is all about a night when Karen O was 19, and she had gone out for a drink with her roommate. When they returned, they found their apartment caught up in flames because she forgot to put out a candle. All of her electronics were destroyed, but her sentimental goods were saved.
Alvvays – “Easy On Your Own?”
Alvvays are back with a new single called “Easy on Your Own?” The track comes from their forthcoming album, Blue Rev, out October 7th via Polyvinyl. On “Easy on Your Own?” Alvvays lean into a heavier shoegaze sound, with feedback-heavy melodies and wailing vocal lines. Ultimately, the blown-out tune is all about worrying about the future, and working through a breakup. Lyrically, frontwoman Molly Rankin delivers lines like, “I waited so long for you/ Wasted some of the best years of my life/ Does it get easier on your own?”
Death Cab For Cutie – “Foxglove Through The Clearcut”
Death Cab For Cutie are back with a new single, “Foxglove Through The Clearcut.” The track comes from their forthcoming album, Asphalt Meadows, out September 16th via Atlantic. “Foxglove Through The Clearcut” is a stunning, epic, five-minute power ballad. The track balances thought-provoking spoken words and explosive, textured instrumentals with ease. With stunning guitar riffs, shimmering keys, and slowly building melodies, this song is sure to move you. “‘Foxglove’ is by far the most personal song on the record,” frontman Ben Gibbard explains. “While I was writing it, I thought I was merely the narrator. But the longer I sat with it, I realized I was both the protagonist and the narrator.”
Pixies – “Vault Of Heaven”
Pixies have shared another new single, “Vault Of Heaven.” The track comes from their first new album in three years, Doggerel, out September 30th via BMG. Instrumentally, the track takes on a bit of a surf-rock sound, with a dark, grungy twist. Throughout the track, frontman Black Francis sings lyrics that reference 7-Eleven, delivering lines like, “Here in the vault of heaven/ Just try to keep me straight/ But I ended up there in another case.”
First Aid Kit – “Out Of My Head”
Sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg are back with a video for their new single as First Aid Kit, “Out of My Head.” The track arrives on the heels of their forthcoming album, Palomino, out November 4th. “Out of My Head” is an anthemic, synth-driven single with driving drums and dreamy vocals. With beautiful harmonies and stunning melodies, the track is a moving, energetic ballad. While the pair are able to lean into more of a pop sound than their quintessential folk energy, it still features some folky sensibilities.
Panda Bear, Sonic Boom – “Danger”
Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) and Sonic Boom (Peter Kember) are back with a video for another new collaborative single, “Danger.” The track comes from their forthcoming album, Reset, out August 12th digitally and November 18th on CD and vinyl. Much like the rest of the record, you can really hear Panda Bear and Sonic Boom’s exploration of American doo-wop and rock-and-roll from the ’50s and ’60s on “Danger.” The track features a sample of the Everly Brothers, but with their quintessential electronic sound, the duo make it their own.
Titus Andronicus – “Give Me Grief”
Titus Andronicus have shared a video for their new single, “Give Me Grief.” The track comes from their forthcoming album, The Will To Live, out September 30th via Merge. Channeling some classic rock sounds with saxophone flourishes, “Give Me Grief” is a duet between frontman Patrick Stickles and former drummer Eric Harm. Choreographed by Stickles and directed by Ray Concepcion, the accompanying video sees Titus Andronicus taking part in some fun choreography.
Kiwi Jr. – “The Sound of Music”
Kiwi Jr. have shared a video for their new single, “The Sound of Music.” The track serves as the final preview of their forthcoming album, Chopper, out this Friday, August 12th. “The Sound of Music” is a fun, jangle-pop anthem that is a sort of fan-fiction dedicated to Julie Andrews. Directed by Laura-Lynn Petrick, the accompanying video features hazy, retro shots of the band performing along to the track.
Braids – “Retriever”
Braids are back with an odyssey of a single, “Retriever,” which clocks in at a whopping 9 minutes. Today’s release follows their most recent album, Shadow Offering, which was coproduced by Chris Walla. “Retriever” is a huge track, weaving in and out of exploratory sounds across its 9-minute runtime. According to Braids, the song “is a 9-minute journey track, simple in its sentiment of love and friendship, yet complex in its lush arrangement and textural experimentation”. “We returned to our roots with this one”, they explain, “exploring new corners of sound, collaboration and a ‘DGAF’ attitude with where we ended up. This song is a trip back to euphoric freedom and lightness during a time of intense isolation. We were happy to travel there, and for you to now dive into it.”
Gorillaz feat. Thundercat – “Cracker Island”
Beloved virtual band Gorillaz have collaborated with Thundercat on a new single called “Cracker Island.” The track marks Gorillaz’s first new music since the release of last year’s Meanwhile EP. “Cracker Island” sees Thundercat delivering killer bass lines, making for a funky anthem. The track was co-produced by Greg Kurstin and Remi Kabaka Jr. “It’s nice to be back, I’m well into our new tune, it brings back weird and scary memories of stuff that hasn’t happened yet,” singer 2-D explains.
Tim Baker – “Some Day”
Former Hey Rosetta! frontman Tim Baker has shared a video for a new single, “Some Day.” The summery new song revolves around some bright piano, dreamy horns, and stunning harmonies. It’s definitely a more upbeat, sunnier tune than most of Baker’s recent releases, as he delivers lines like, “Some day/ I’ll get/ Out of my own way baby/ Out under the morning breaking.” “As a living human being, I’ve always enjoyed upbeat pop shuffles full of heartfelt lyrics and playful countermelodies,” Baker explains. “The ‘song’ just sort of fell out – one of those easy writes that rushes out and requires only light editing. As soon as I played it with my friends Ben Whiteley and Phil Melanson, and we sunk into that shuffle, and they wailed those falsetto backups there in Ben’s garage, I couldn’t wait to record this and get it out into the world.”
The Mars Volta – “Blacklight Shine”
The Mars Volta recently returned with their first new song in 10 years, “Blacklight Sunshine.” Vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala explains that the lyrics look at the concept of “a wave of rolling blackouts washing memories onto shore, a heartbeat that still remembers everything. Alongside the track, they’ve shared a black-and-white short film, directed by Rodríguez López.
Headstones – “Tangled”
Canadian rockers Headstones are back with a laidback new tune, “Tangled.” On the song, the band sing of repeating the same mistakes over and over, as they deliver lines like, “We don’t learn a thing.” The new tune follows their 2019 album, PeopleSkills, which boasted two Top 5 radio singles: “Leave It All Behind” and “Horses.”
Jungle – “Good Times”
“Good Times” served as Jungle’s first new music of 2022. The track arrived alongside a twin single called “Problemz,” both of which are summer-ready anthems. “Good Times” is definitely a standout, with beats that balance disco and hip-hop sounds. Both tracks came accompanied by a short film, directed by JFC Worldwide (Charlie Placido and J. Lloyd).