Your First Listen: 15 songs you need to discover this week

Horses on Your First Listen
Courtesy of Kelly Jeffrey

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 Maggie Rogers, Steve Lacy, Sloan, Death Cab For Cutie, and more.

Check out 15 songs you need to discover this week below.

Maggie Rogers – “Horses”

Maggie Rogers is back with a stunning new ballad, “Horses.” The track comes from her forthcoming album, Surrender, out July 29th. Today’s preview is a mournful, wistful ballad that revolves around intimate vocals and beautiful strings. “Horses” opens as a pretty soft, tender tune before bursting into an unbelievable chorus, as Rogers sings, “I see horses running wild, I wish/ I could feel like that for just a minute/ Would you come with me, or would you resist?”


Steve Lacy – “Sunshine (feat. Fousheé)”

Steve Lacy has shared a video for his new collaborative single with Fousheé, “Sunshine.” The track comes from his forthcoming album, Gemini Rights, out this Friday, July 15th. “Sunshine” is a dreamy, guitar-driven tune with wavering melodies and silky harmonies from Lacy and Fousheé. Ultimately, it’s a duet about two exes running into each other having an awkward conversation.

Sloan – “Spend the Day”

Sloan have returned with a new single called “Spend the Day.” The track arrives alongside the announcement of their forthcoming album, Steady, out October 21st via murderecords/Universal. The forthcoming album serves as Sloan’s 13th studio album to date. It’s also set for release on the 30th anniversary of their 1992 debut record, Smeared. The new preview, “Spend the Day,” is an amazing powerpop anthem. “Spend the Day” was written by Sloan guitarist Patrick Pentland, who says the song is “an invitation to join me when I was maybe at my lowest. Hide away with me from everything for a while.”

Death Cab For Cutie – “Here to Forever”

Death Cab for Cutie are back with a video for their new single, “Here to Forever.” “Here to Forever” comes from the indie rockers’ forthcoming album, Asphalt Meadows, out September 16th via Atlantic. On the track, frontman Ben Gibbard confronts his own mortality as he sings lines like, “In every movie I watch from the ’50s/ There’s only one thought that swirls around my head now/ That’s that everyone there on the screen/ Yeah everyone there on the screen/ They’re all dead now.” Directed by Lance Bangs, the accompanying video stars Natalie Palamides and Courtney Pauroso as owners of a record pressing company.

Interpol – “Gran Hotel”

Interpol have shared a video for their new single “Gran Hotel.” The track serves as the fourth and final preview of their forthcoming album, The Other Side Of Make-Believe, out Friday, July 15th. Directed by Malia James, the accompanying video is a dark, brooding clip about grief, loss, and coping with heartbreak. “The lyrics to ‘Gran Hotel’ tell a story of grief and heartbreak, of a character processing loss,” Paul Banks explains. “Working with a fantastic camera crew and with the help of two very talented actors, Malia created a powerful video that conveys the events that lead to that loss. It’s a work of art filled with mood and color that we are very proud to share with you.”

Tegan and Sara – “Yellow”

Twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin have shared a video for their new single, “Yellow.” The track arrives alongside the announcement of their forthcoming album, Crybaby, out October 21st via Mom + Pop. The new preview, “Yellow” is a delicate balance between a singalong chorus and distorted synths. Directed by Mark Myers, the accompanying video “was shot in Vancouver, a city that didn’t feel big enough to hold us both when we arrived here the first time,” Sara adds. “Twenty-two years later, we’ve back, calling it home.”

Panda Bear, Sonic Boom – “Go On”

Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) and Sonic Boom (Peter Kember) have teamed up to share a video for their new collaborative track, “Go On.” The song arrives on the heels of their freshly announced album, Reset, out August 12th digitally and November 18th physically via Domino. While Sonic Boom and Panda Bear have worked together on their solo pursuits, this forthcoming album serves as their first joint release. The record was inspired by Sonic Boom’s collection of American doo-wop and rock-and-roll LPs from the ’50s and ’60s. Today’s trippy preview, “Go On,” sampled the Troggs’ 1967 song, “Give It To Me.”

Four Tet – “Scythe Master”

Four Tet has returned with a brand new single called “Scythe Master.” “Scythe Master” comes from the forthcoming compilation, Eat Your Own Ears Recordings EP 1, out July 19th. The compilation also features contributions from Mount Kimbie and Sylvan Esso. There’s also a version of Ride’s “Vapour Trail,” remixed by the Cure’s Robert Smith. “Scythe Master” clocks in at exactly eight minutes, but with ripping, quick beats and stunning melodies, the track feels much shorter. Opening with clanging, lullaby-like instrumentals, “Scythe Master” slowly builds into a dance worthy, energetic electronic anthem.

The Beths – “Expert In A Dying Field”

New Zealand’s The Beths are back with a video for their new single, “Expert In A Dying Field.” The new preview is the title track to their forthcoming album, Expert In A Dying Field, out September 16th via Carpark Records. It’s a chilled-back, wistful ballad. Throughout the song, frontwoman Elizabeth Stokes sings of trying to put yourself back together after someone important in your life is gone forever. “I really do believe that love is learned over time,” Stokes explains. “In the course of knowing a person you accumulate so much information: their favourite movies, how they take their tea, how to make them laugh, hot that makes you feel. And when relationships between people change, or end, all that knowledge doesn’t just disappear. The phrase ‘Expert in a Dying Field’ had been floating around my head for a few years, I was glad to finally capture it when writing this tune.”


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).


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