It’s time for Your First Listen, where we show you songs you need to discover this week!
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 Monday to Friday during the following times: 1:50pm / 6:50pm / 8:50pm.
Online, we expand the list with a couple more tunes. This week, we’ve gotten some amazing fresh cuts from Bright Eyes and Phoebe Bridgers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kurt Vile, Perfume Genius, and more.
Check out 17 songs you need to discover this week below.
Bright Eyes, Phoebe Bridgers – “St Ides Heaven (Elliott Smith cover)”
Bright Eyes have recruited Phoebe Bridgers for a cover of Elliott Smith’s “St Ides Heaven.” The cover sees the musicians turning the track into a rock-driven anthem. The cover comes from Bright Eyes’ forthcoming Letting Off The Happiness: A Companion. That album is part of the band’s upcoming Companion series releases. The first three of those albums will be out on May 27th via Dead Oceans. Now, Bright Eyes and Bridgers have previewed the collection with their own brooding rendition of Elliott Smith’s “St Ides Heaven.” On Bright Eyes and Bridgers’ version of “St Ides Heaven,” they swap out Smith’s acoustic riffs for raw, noisy electric guitar-driven melodies.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Not the One”
Red Hot Chili Peppers have shared a new single, “Not the One.” The track serves as a preview to their forthcoming album, Unlimited Love, out April 1st via Warner. “Not the One” is pretty different than most recent Red Hot Chili Peppers releases. It’s far more tender than most recent singles, making for a spacey ballad with atmospheric keys and slide guitar. Lyrically, “Not the One” is all about trying to be someone that another person imagines you are. Ultimately, the track sees Red Hot Chili Peppers acknowledging that you can never be someone’s projected fantasy.
Kurt Vile – “Mount Airy Hill (Way Gone)”
Kurt Vile has shared a video for another new single, “Mount Airy Hill (Way Gone).” The track comes from Vile’s forthcoming album, (Watch My Moves), out April 15th via Verve. The breezy, sweeping new single features Vile’s quintessential easy groove, with twangy electric guitars and smooth percussion. Throughout the tune, Vile offers some slack rocker vocals, interspersed with some pretty dreamy falsettos. “Mount Airy Hill (Way Gone)” clocks in at nearly six minutes, making it a lengthy, but soothing listen. Directed by Drew Saracco, the accompanying video follows Vile as he wanders through the woods and skates through the suburbs. Throughout the clip he plays electric guitar and even has some psychedelic visions.
Perfume Genius – “Pop Song”
Perfume Genius has announced his new album, Ugly Season, with a video for its first single, “Pop Song.” Out on June 17th via Matador, Ugly Season serves as the accompaniment to Perfume Genius and choreographer Kate Wallich’s immersive dance piece, The Sun Still Burns Here. The piece was commissioned by the Seattle Theatre Group and Mass MoCA and performed at several residencies throughout 2019. Alongside Ugly Season, Perfume Genius will share an accompanying short film from visual artist and director Jacolby Satterwhite. Today’s preview, “Pop Song,” is an ethereal, uplifting tune with dreamy melodies and unique instrumentals.
Arcade Fire – “The Lightning I, II”
Arcade Fire are back with a video for their highly anticipated new single, “The Lightning, I, II.” The track comes alongside the announcement of their sixth studio album, WE, out May 6th via Columbia Records. “The Lightning I, II” is a six minute return. It’s a graceful tune that sees Arcade Fire returning to their core sound. With a bit of a folky sensibility, the track is a sweeping indie rock anthem. The forthcoming album is split into two sides: Side “I,” which is about “the fear and loneliness of isolation” and Side “WE” about “the joy and power of reconnection.” “The Lightning I, II” falls under the latter.
Father John Misty – “Goodbye Mr. Blue”
Josh Tillman has released a new track as Father John Misty, “Goodbye Mr. Blue.” The track comes from Tillman’s forthcoming album, Chloë and The Next 20th Century, out April 8th. Featuring production from his longtime collaborator, Jonathan Wilson, the swirling single is an emotional acoustic ballad. With 70s-tinged guitar lines and wounded vocals, “Goodbye Mr. Blue” is a vulnerable, melancholic tune. The track sees Tillman singing of forcing himself to get out of bed because it could be the last time he does so. Throughout “Goodbye Mr. Blue,” Tillman delivers emotive lines like, “Love’s always gonna leave ya/ No matter what they say/ You only know what it is/ Once it’s gone away.”
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.
Stars – “Build A Fire” and “Patterns”
Montreal indie-pop outfit Stars have shared two new tracks, “Build A Fire” and “Patterns.” The new singles come from Stars’ first album in five years, From Capelton Hill, out March 17th. “Build a Fire” is an upbeat track with dreamy acoustic guitars and pulsing percussion that’s sure to get you dancing. “‘Build a Fire’ was written in a fever dream of COVID-19 paranoia and restlessneww, somewhere in the middle of last year,” Star’s Torquill Campbell explains. “I like it because it sounds like Happy Mondays and The Pet Shop Boys at the same time, which is something maybe only we can do? It’s about death. And running from it. As fast as you fucking can.”
Where “Build A Fire” is an upbeat anthem, “Patterns” is more of a downtempo ballad. “Friendship is the only boat that will float you across the storm,” Amy Millan adds of “Patterns.” “With your friends you create the ethos to shield all that tomorrow will throw at you. Some Patterns can be changed. Some Patterns are sacred geometry and will never change. Only what loves will remain.”
Weezer – “Little Bit of Love”
Weezer have shared a new single called “Little Bit of Love.” The track comes from their freshly announced EP, SZNS: Spring, out this Sunday, March 20th to coincide with the spring equinox. “Little Bit of Love” is a sunny, guitar-driven anthem with silky harmonicas and upbeat vocal lines. As the song explodes into the chorus, it revolves around heartwarming, anthemic melodies and catchy lyrics. Frontman Rivers Cuomo delivers lines like, “All your wounds are healin’ fine/ I’m so glad I got you in my life/ Now the winter frost is gone/ Now is our chance to live the life we want/ A little bit, a little bit of love goes a pretty long way.”
Lykke Li – “No Hotel”
Swedish pop artist Lykke Li is back with her first song in two years, “No Hotel.” Co-produced by Li and longtime collaborator Björn Yttling, “No Hotel” marks her first original English single since the release of 2018’s So Sad So Sexy. Throughout the somber single, Lykke Li delivers melancholic vocals atop atmospheric electric guitars. “No Hotel” sees Li trading her danceable sound for a devastating ballad. Lyrically, Li delivers lines like, “Heartbeat half-dead, I carry blue/ With every step, I’m not over you.” Throughout the track, Li pines for an ex that’s in love with someone else.
Soccer Mommy – “Shotgun”
Soccer Mommy has shared a video for her new single, “Shotgun,” alongside the announcement of her forthcoming album, Sometimes, Forever. “Shotgun” is a perfect preview of the album. With layered, airy guitars and dreamy vocals, “Shotgun” channels the sounds of early 2000s pop rock. Lyrically, “Shotgun” draws parallels between romance and a chemical high (without the comedown). The accompanying video, directed by Kevin Lombardo, it comes packed with gritty, colourful shots of Soccer Mommy performing in a picturesque bedroom. “‘Shotgun’ is all about the joys of losing yourself in love,” Soccer Mommy’s Sophie Allison explains. “I wanted it to capture the little moments in a relationship that stick with you.”
Moses Sumney, Son Lux – “Fence”
Moses Sumney and Son Lux have collaborated on a new single, “Fence.” The track comes from the soundtrack from the forthcoming A24 sci-fi thriller, Everything Everywhere All At Once, out April 8th. We’ve already gotten a collab from David Byrne and Mitski on “This Is A Life,” and now we’ve gotten “Fence” from Sumney and Son Lux. “Fence” is a brooding tune that sees Moses Sumney’s dreamy falsettos at the forefront. With orchestral strings and atmospheric instrumentals, the track is truly haunting.
Dehd – “Stars”
Chicago trio Dehd have returned with a picturesque video for their new song “Stars.” The track comes from their forthcoming album Blue Skies, out May 27th via Fat Possum. On “Stars,” Dehd channel their quintessential carefree harmonies with a catchy hook. The accompanying video, co-directed by the band’s Emily Kempf and longtime collaborator Kevin Veselko, is all about processing your emotions in different ways. Kempf explains that “Stars” is about “reaching past the boundaries of understanding our personal comfort.” Bandmember Jasson Balla continues, “When I get too overwhelmed and I feel like my heart’s gonna break from all the sadness in this world I go for a walk. The familiar streets of home pull me back to earth.”
PUP – “Totally Fine”
Toronto punk outfit PUP are back with a video for their new single, “Totally Fine.” The track comes from their forthcoming album, THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND, out April 1st via Little Dipper. “Totally Fine” is a self-destructive anthem featuring vocals from Casper Skulls’ Mel, Illuminati Hotties’ Sarah, NOBRO’s Kathryn, and Remo Drive’s Erik. The accompanying Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux-directed video follows PUP as they partake in some shady criminal business schemes.
KennyHoopla – “Dirty White Vans//”
KennyHoopla has shared his first new single since Survivor’s Guilt//, “Dirty White Vans//.” The new track was created alongside Travis Barker, and it sees KennyHoopla singing of being a hopeless romantic. “Travis and I were just in the studio, and I wanted to make some rap shit to kind of show a different side of me,” KennyHoopla explains. “Dwilly and Travis made the beat. I caught a vibe and wrote to it… I’ve had that hook on my phone for years now; I’ve just been waiting for the right beat to put it on. This one fit really well, so I recorded it and it was dope.”
Hippo Campus – “Ride Or Die”
Hippo Campus’ LP3 standour “Ride or Die” is definitely a must-listen. The anthemic tune is all about ride-or-die relationships, whether that be in romantic partners, friendships, or artistic collaborators. “It’s one of my favourite songs on the record,” the band’s Jake Luppen explains. “You can really hear everyone in the band doing their thing.”
Listen to our Best New Indie playlist below!