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 Muse, The Beaches, Lucy Dacus, and more.
Check out 15 songs you need to discover this week below.
Muse – “Kill Or Be Killed”
Muse have shared a video for their new single “Kill Or Be Killed.” The track comes from their forthcoming album, Will Of The People, out August 26th. Revolving around heavy guitar riffs and industrial melodies, the prog-rock anthem serves as one of Muse’s heaviest tracks thus far. The accompanying video comes packed with shots of Muse singing the song live as fans thrash along to the blistering tune beneath gritty black-and-white effects. “‘Kill Or Be Killed’ is Muse at their heaviest! We wanted to update our hard rock sound on this album and with ‘Kill Or Be Killed’ we found a modern metal sound featuring double bass drum action and even a death growl,” frontman Matt Bellamy explains. “Lyrically the song takes influence from my favourite Paul McCartney song ‘Live And Let Die,’ a dark take on how life’s adversity can sometimes bring out the worst human instincts to survival at any costs.”
The Beaches – “Grow Up Tomorrow”
Toronto alt-pop outfit The Beaches are back with a new single, “Grow Up Tomorrow.” The fun-loving summer anthem is all about being young and carefree. Co-produced by Gus Van Go and Lowell, “Grow Up Tomorrow” is a catchy tune about being a young adult borrowing money, delaying laundry, and living in a basement. Directed by Ievy Stamtov, the accompanying video sees The Beaches at a hazy no-boys-allowed party with red solo cups in hand. “‘Grow Up Tomorrow’ is a summer banger about being in a state of arrested development but enjoying the hell out of it,” The Beaches explain.
Lucy Dacus – “Believe (Cher cover)”
Lucy Dacus took to the Spotify Singles series to cover Cher’s “Believe” and rework her Home Video track, “Partner In Crime.” Dacus calls “Believe” a “huge, expansive, beautiful, heart-pumping, excitement-inducing song” that’s “iconic for its use of auto-tune.” While the track is famous for its use of auto-tune, Dacus stripps the tune right back to bring her powerhouse vocals to the forefront. She does the same for “Partner In Crime,” which also features some pretty heavy auto-tune work on the original.
Dan Mangan – “Fire Escape”
Singer-songwriter Dan Mangan has shared his new single, “Fire Escape.” Produced by Drew Brown, the track is all about wanting to be understood by the people around you, especially amidst isolation. On “Fire Escape,” Dan Mangan teams up with a backing combo made up of Brown, Jason Falkner, and Susumu “Zongamin” Mukai. Directed by filmmaker Lester Lyons-Hookham, the accompanying video is just as star-studded, featuring Steven Ogg of The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul and Allison Wright of The Americans and Snowpiercer. “‘Fire Escape’ is about our unshakable longing to be seen, heard, and understood,” Mangan explains. “When everyone was isolated at home I became enamoured with the idea of fire escapes becoming a gathering place, a way to connect with your neighbours. I love the idea that even in the very worst of circumstances or with limited resources, humans will find a way to feel unity.”
Daphni – “Clavicle”
Caribou’s Dan Snaith is back with a video for his new single as Daphni, “Clavicle.” The track comes from his forthcoming album, Cherry, which is out on October 7th via Jiaolong. “Clavicle” fits the Daphni project perfectly, as a club-ready house beat with shining synths and pulsing percussion. Directed by Damien Roach, the accompanying video takes place on a whole slew of rollercoasters. As the pulsing track plays in the background, the viewer rockets through brightly coloured tracks in the front seat of a roller coaster car.
Japanese Breakfast – “Be Sweet (feat. So!YoON!)”
Michelle Zauner has teamed up with Se So Neon’s So!YoON! for a Korean version of her Japanese Breakfast track, “Be Sweet.” “We thought it would be fun to put out a special Korean version of ‘be Sweet’ preceding our upcoming performance in Seoul. I’m very grateful Yaeji helped me with the translation over a year ago,” Zauner says. “So!YoON! is one of my favourite indie artists in Seoul right now and I’m so happy we got to collab.”
Status/Non-Status – “Mashkiki Sunset”
OMBIIGIZI member Adam Sturgeon is back with a video for his new single as Status/Non-Status, “Mashkiki Sunset.” The track comes from his freshly announced album, Surely Travel, out September 23rd. With soft acoustic guitar lines, shimmering riffs, and perfectly wavering vocal lines, this track is the perfect soundtrack for a sunny drive. Directed by Ghostkeeper’s Sarah Houle, the accompanying video follows an animated paper bird on a journey in a van. “Mashkiki is the Anishinaabe word for medicine and this song serves as a dedication to love, one of our 7 sacred teachings,” Sturgeon explains.
Kiwi Jr – “The Extra Sees The Film”
Kiwi Jr. are back with a lyric video for their new single, “The Extra Sees The Film.” The track comes from their forthcoming album, Chopper, out August 12th. Produced by Dan Boeckner, “The Extra Sees The Film” is a melancholic ballad, with retro vocal lines, pulsing keys, and soft guitars. The accompanying lyric video sees the band playing ping pong in front of a projector screen as the lyrics flash beside them. “This song is quite literally a change of pace for us,” singer and guitarist Jeremy Gaudet explains. “It’s more chill and a bit darker than previous Kiwi Jr. recordings. It’s a song about whether or not you’re the hero of your own story, or a smaller part of something bigger. It’s bragging that you’re in a movie and inviting all your friends and family, but when it screens, you’re barely an extra in it. A lot of our songs deal with reckoning, this one in particular. It’s what happens after you’ve told your story and the truth comes out later, and everything unravels.”
Titus Andronicus – “(I’m) Screwed”
Titus Andronicus are back with a video for their new single, “(I’m) Screwed.” The track arrives alongside the announcement of their new album, The Will to Live, out September 30th. The new preview, “(I’m) Screwed” introduces us to the album’s narrator as “the walls are closing in,” Stickles explains. “Be it real or imagined, he feels the pressure building on all sides, a feeling to which many of us can relate, I imagine. His faith and fortitude are tested like never before, and the narrative of the album will reveal whether that pressure crushes him or produces a diamond.”
iskwē, Tom Wilson – “Mother Love”
JUNO award-winning artists iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ (Cree Métis) and Tom Wilson’s | Tehoh’ahake (Mohawk) debut album, Mother Love, is out today and it features the standout title track, “Mother Love.” “With Mother Love, iskwē and Tom have created an album that’s as powerful as it is personal, a set of songs on which their disparate vocal styles fuse seamlessly and, in doing so, result in a sound uniquely their own,” a press release explains. You can definitely hear that powerful, yet personal sound on “Mother Love.”
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).