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 Steve Lacy, Jim James, Rina Sawayama, Daphni, and more.
Check out 15 songs you need to discover this week below.
Steve Lacy – “Bad Habit”
The Internet’s Steve Lacy has shared yet another new single, “Bad Habit.” The track comes from his forthcoming sophomore album, Gemini Rights, which is out on July 15th via RCA Records. “Bad Habit” is a dreamy new tune with rollicking instrumentals, as Steve Lacy laments over not making a move with someone. With hazy guitars, catchy vocal lines, and driven percussion, you’ll find yourself revisiting this laidback tune again and again. Lyrically, Lacy delivers lines like, “I bite my tongue, it’s a bad habit/ Kinda mad that I didn’t take a stab at it/ Thought you were too good for me, my dear/ Never gave me time of day, my dear/ It’s okay, things happen for reasons that I think are sure.”
Jim James – “Read Between (Begin Again)”
My Morning Jacket’s Jim James has shared a previously unheard track called “Read Between (Begin Again).” The track comes in honour of his freshly announced deluxe reissue of his debut solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, out July 29th via ATO Records. “I wrote ‘Read Between’ about my great aunt who was suffering from dementia at the time,” James explains. “It is so wild to watch someone you love slowly disappear right before your eyes mentally while their body continues to hang on for a while. Really made me question the nature of the soul and spirit — what exactly is it that truly makes a person who they are?”
Rina Sawayama – “Catch Me In The Air”
UK pop star Rina Sawayama is back with a video for her new single “Catch Me In The Air.” The track comes from her forthcoming album, Hold The Girl, out September 2nd via Dirty Hit. “Catch Me In The Air” is an uplifting tune that sees Sawayama delivering heartwarming vocal lines atop slowly building instrumentals. The accompanying video features footage of Rina Sawayama performing the track live superimposed on top of stunning, brightly coloured scenery.
Daphni – “Cloudy”
Daphni aka Caribou aka Dan Snaith is back with a video for his new single, “Cloudy.” The track arrives on the heels of the announcement of his new album, Cherry, out October 7th via his very own Jiaolong label. Cherry marks Daphni’s first new album since 2017. On Cherry, Snaith is ready to let the music find its own way, whether it comes to the studio or the club. You can really hear that musical freedom on “Cloudy.” The accompanying visualizer is made up of glitchy cloud animations interspersed with shots of actual clouds. “The essense of this one is keeping it aloft – like occasionally nudging a balloon that’s only just heavier than air to keep it afloat,” Snaith explains. “For something so buoyant, I’m surprised how much it bangs in a club.”
Superorganism – “Into The Sun (feat. Stephen Malkmus, Gen Hoshino, Pi Ja Ma)”
Superorganism have shared a video for their new collaboration with Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus, Gen Hoshino, and Pi Ja Ma “Into The Sun.” The track comes from their forthcoming album, World Wide Pop, which is out on July 15th via Domino Records. “Into The Sun” is almost like a thesis statement for the forthcoming album, which is all about connectedness and experimentation. The accompanying video was directed by AEVA, with 2D animation, illustration and compositing by Neirin Best and 3D animation from Nicholas Barnes. “The whole record is all about combining different worlds and scales, so it was a real thrill to be able to mix Gen into a track with Malkmus and Pi Ja Ma,” bandmember Harry explains. “It’s a carefree song, somewhat about being in your own bubble, so bringing those French, American and Japanese artists into that world reconnects the SuperO universe with these other bubbles – a bit of a multiverse!”
Snail Mail – “Feeling Like I Do (Superdrag cover)”
Snail Mail has covered Superdrag’s “Feeling Like I Do” for Spotify Singles. On the cover, Snail Mail offers up her own take on the band’s 2002 Last Call For Vitriol track. Snail Mail’s cover revolves around gritty guitars, powerhouse percussion, and slack rocker vocal lines. In addition to her cover of “Feeling Like I Do,” Snail Mail has also offered up a new rendition of her Valentine track, “Headlock.” “The ideal listening environment for my Spotify Singles are in a dark wet cave,” Snail Mail says.
Men I Trust – “Hard To Let Go”
Montreal trio Men I Trust are back with a new single, “Hard To Let Go.” Less than a year ago, the band shared their lockdown record, Untourable Album. Now, they’re back with a one-off single. This warm new single has an almost cocktail lounge vibe to it, with jazzy piano riffs and hazy guitar lines. It’s a spaced out single full of rich instrumentals. Frontwoman Emmanuelle Proulx’s silky vocals take the lead atop a funky bassline. Lyrically, she delivers lines like, “Hard to let go/ My friend/ You changed/ A while ago/ Estranged/ Pride stiffens like dough/ Closing in your cage/ Proud sparrow.”
Ty Segall – “Don’t Lie (The Mantles cover)”
Ty Segall has shared a new cover of The Mantles’ “Don’t Lie.” The cover serves as the third single from Segall’s forthcoming album, Hello, Hi, out July 22nd via Drag City. “Don’t Lie” originally comes from The Mantles’ 2009 self-titled debut. Segall’s rendition of the track is a soft, acoustic-guitar driven tune with some layered, psychedelic-tinged harmonies. “Some songs are so good, you just can’t get them out of your head,” a press release explains of the cover. “And you never want to! Storing them deep inside allows you to dig ‘em up again, like (re)discovered treasure, so they can reinvigorate your worldview all over again. And so the love grows. For Ty, The Mantles’ 2009 slice of garage-pop perfection, ‘Don’t Lie’ is one of those songs.”
Pink Blob – “Friday Rocker”
Ex-Weaves members Morgan Waters and Spencer Cole have shared a new single as Pink Blob, “Friday Rocker.” The track comes from their forthcoming self-titled debut album, out this Friday, July 1st. On “Friday Rocker,” the genre-bending Pink Blob lean into a pure rock sound. It boasts some gritty guitars and fuzzed out melodies. Throughout the tune, the band’s brooding vocals take the lead, adding to the melancholic rock sound of the single. “The lyrics started with a Melissa Etheridge reference and unfolded from there, a song about aging but not wanting to grow up,” Waters explains. “A song about finding common ground with my dad who loves smoking weed and turning up the stereo till his eyes water.”
Lowell – “Hamptons City Cowboy”
Lowell is back with another new single, “Hamptons City Cowboy.” The new track sees Lowell trading in her 60s-influenced sound for a more upbeat anthem with pop sensibilities. Revolving around bright, shimmering keys and wailing guitar lines, Lowell’s throaty vocals take on a mysterious tinge. Lyrically, “Hamptons City Cowboy” is all about what it’s like to discover someone in the early stages of a relationship. “I wrote this song about a light love, the early stages of a relationship when everything is still all a mystery,” Lowell explains. “Unlike some of my other more introspective songs this is really just a fun and flirty Friday night out.”
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!