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 Alvvays, The 1975, Mitski, Aurora, and more.
Check out 15 songs you need to discover this week below.
Alvvays – “Pharmacist”
At the end of June, Alvvays teased their return with a cryptic video, and now they’re back with a brand new single, “Pharmacist.” The track arrives alongside the announcement of their first new album in five years, Blue Rev, out October 7th via Polyvinyl. Alvvays have had a lot happen since the release of their sophomore 2017 album, Antisocialites. From a flood that ruined their equipment to stolen demo tapes to losing band members, Alvvays are ready for a fresh start. Now made up of singer Molly Rankin, guitarist Alec O’Hanley, keyboardist Kerri MacLellan, and new drummer Sheridan Riley and bassist Abbey Blackwell, Alvvays are leaning into a new sound on “Pharmacist.”
The 1975 – “Part Of The Band”
The 1975 have made a return with a black-and-white video for their new single, “Part Of The Band.” It comes from their freshly announced album, Being Funny In A Foreign Language, out October 14th via Dirty Hit. The 1975 have been teasing their return for the last few weeks, and now they’ve officially released “Part Of The Band.” It’s a pretty surprising release. Despite the soft melodies and intimate guitar lines, it boasts terms like “ironically woke,” “Vaccinista,” and “my cancellation.”
Mitski – “Love Me More (Clark Remix)”
Mitski has shared a new Clark remix of her Laurel Hell track, “Love Me More.” On the remix, Clark takes the disco-tinged sound of the original and really leans into it. This version of “Love Me More” is a blistering, urgent track with oscillating percussion and a haunting, driving synth line. It offers up an even more intense, pressing edge as Mitski wails lines like, “I want you to love me more.”
Aurora – “The Devil Is Human”
Norwegian pop star AURORA has shared a new single, “The Devil Is Human.” The track was only available on the vinyl edition of her most recent record, The Gods We Can Touch, but now it’s gotten an official release. It’s an intimate, uplifting track about the power of women, despite the hardships women face. “We get sexualized by the world, and yet shamed for being sexual,” Aurora explains. “They want to possess you and own you, and even decide what you get to do with your own body. We are not free until all of us are free.”
Julien Baker – “Guthrie”
Julien Baker has shared a melancholic new single, “Guthrie.” The track comes from her forthcoming EP, B-Sides, out July 21st via Matador Records. B-Sides follows Baker’s most recent album, Little Oblivions, and her remix EP, Little Oblivions Remixes. The forthcoming EP features three emotional never-before heard songs. “Guthrie” is an intimate, soft finger-picked ballad.
King Princess – “Change The Locks”
King Princess has shared her new single, “Change The Locks.” The track comes from their King Princess’ forthcoming album, Hold On Baby, out July 29th via Columbia. Produced by Aaron Dessner, “Change The Locks” is a rock anthem with pop sensibilities. Opening as a soft, thoughtful ballad before exploding into an edgy banger. “It became this song that – it just helped me heal so much.”
Oliver Sim – “GMT”
The xx’s Oliver Sim has shared a video for his new single, “GMT.” The track comes from his forthcoming debut solo album, Hideous Bastard, out September 9th via Young. Created by Sim’s longtime friend and collaborator Laura Jane Coulson, the video sees Sim performing in front of colourful footage of clouds. “The song was written about pining over a love back home, thousands of miles apart on different time zones,” Sim explains. “It’s also a love letter to London.”
Hot Chip – “Eleanor”
Hot Chip have shared their new single “Eleanor.” The track serves as the second single from their upcoming eighth album, Freakout/Release, out August 19th via Domino. “Eleanor” is a groovy bop with dance-worthy instrumentals and smooth vocal lines. With a deep bass groove and pulsing synths, this track is sure to get you moving. “It’s about the world smashing into you, waves crashing into you, all-encompassing pain, and how you have to walk through it,” Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor explains.
Florist – “Feathers”
Brooklyn quartet Florist have shared a new single, “Feathers.” The track serves as the final preview of their forthcoming self-titled album, our July 29th via Double Double Whammy. “Feathers” is an intimate new single with soft acoustic guitar lines and hazy vocals. With emotional melodies and haunting guitars, this track is sure to move you. The track serves as the final preview of their forthcoming self-titled album, our July 29th via Double Double Whammy. “Feathers” is an intimate new single with soft acoustic guitar lines and hazy vocals. With emotional melodies and haunting guitars, this track is sure to move you.
Egg Drop Soup – “Jimmy Eat Shit”
Egg Drop Soup are back with a new single, “Jimmy Eat Shit,” which is out as part of Suicide Squeeze’s Pinks & Purples singles series. Bassist and lead vocalist Sammy Westervelt wrote the single before 2020’s quarantine. At the time, Westervelt was healing form a concussion, while recognizing the danger of a second head injury. The blistering new single, “Jimmy Eat Shit” is full of force. Opening with a slow, brooding instrumental and slowly building into a guitar-driven anthem, the track is packed with an unpredictable energy as it braces you for the unknown.
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!