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Essential Listening: The week's best new music

We’re taking a look back at some of the week’s best new tunes with this week providing some heavy hitters with both Pearl Jam and The Strokes releasing new material ahead of their returning albums.

As well as some of the biggest names in music we’ve also got new tracks from indie darlings, Jay Som, Nap Eyes and Sports Team among many others.

It’s been a fruitful few days with the good and the glorious artists of the indie world all making their presence felt with an array of wonderful talent.

Aside from indie darlings and stadium behemoths, there is also room on our Essential Listening list for some Far Out favourites, including Waxahatchee’s track ‘Lilacs’ and the cooler than cool, King Krule makes another dent in your playlist with ‘Cellular’.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look back at the week’s most essential releases.

‘A Thousand Words’ and ‘Can’t Sleep’ – Jay Som

Jay Som has been one of our favourite artists in recent years, we’ve been keenly following the singer’s ability to transcend bedroom pop into something wholly more enriching. Now, Som has shared a brand new double A-side and it’s another reminder of her sheer and shining talent.

The two songs in question are leftover from the sessions that led to Som’s 2019 record Anak Ko and sees the singer, real name Melina Duterte, stand out once again as one of the most candid artists around.

‘Here’s The Thing’ – Sports Team

If you’ve spent the last few years pining for the return of dancefloor filling indie that wouldn’t make you want to vomit, then look no further: Sports Team are your new favourite band.

The six-piece have been causing a bubble of hype to grow ever larger over recent years as their enigmatic live show brought down the club circuit one venue at a time. Coupled with their killer instinct when it comes to songwriting and you have a serious band on your hands.

Sports Team are one such band as they provide not only the clout needed to make a dent in the industry but the artistic chops to make sure it’s an impact left in their image.

‘So Tired’ – Nap Eyes

‘So Tired’ may be one of our favourite songs of the year and it comes from one of our favourite artists, Nap Eyes. The band returns later this year with a brand new album but for now have released its second single, ‘So Tired’.

In fact, it’s so good, we’re going to shut up and let you listen to it.

‘Your Love (Déjà Vu)’ – Glass Animals

Rejoice! Glass Animals have returned with a brand new number, the typically upbeat new track ‘Your Love (Déjà Vu)’. The new song, out now through Wolf Tone and Polydor, is the first look at Glass Animals’ follow-up to their 2016 Mercury Prize-nominated album How To Be A Human Being.

“I think we’ve all found ourselves in fucked up relationships that make us feel sad and helpless,” the band said while discussing the new martial. “Not necessarily something romantic—maybe it’s with a family member or a friend. A relationship that we know on some level is going to keep breaking our hearts. We let that person back into their lives over and over again, even though it always ends the same.”

‘Superblood Wolfmoon’ – Pearl Jam

The wait for Pearl Jam’s latest record, Gigaton, goes on but at least the band are being kind enough to share snippets of it along the way. The latest is the new animated video for ‘Superblood Wolfmoon’.

The track was shared in full earlier this week following an intriguing preview of the song through a smartphone feature that played small parts of the song when pointed at the moon. Now the song has a brand new video and it’s all in wonderful animation.

‘Bad Decisions’ – The Strokes

The return of indie legends The Strokes continues to gather pace ahead of their upcoming new album The New Abnormal with the release of new track ‘Bad Decisions’.

The song had previously been performed by Julian Casablancas and the band at their recent appearance at a Bernie Sanders’ rally but now has it’s full release along with a new video. ‘Bad Decisions’ feels like a return to The Strokes’ original sound following on from the Voidz-y first cut ‘At The Door’.

‘Lilacs’ – Waxahatchee

Waxahatchee released ‘Lilacs’ this week, the new song to be taken from the forthcoming new album. The track, which arrives as the second release following ‘Fire’, will be featured on Katie Crutchfield’s new record, Saint Cloud, which is due out on March 27 via Merge Records.

“‘Lilacs’ was the last song I wrote for the record and it’s mostly just about obsessive/negative thought patterns,” she said of the new material. “It’s about backsliding into old behaviours that don’t serve you and sort of letting your worst self get the best of you. I think that when people are in that mindset they can really try to turn the blame onto other people, so the song sort of plays out like a conflict you’d have with someone you love,” said the singer.

‘Bizarre’ – Juniore

“A Moricone-like whistler, sensuous beats and biting organs, in so many words, Juniore tells the tale of the Bizarre times we live in, in the strange and familiar atmosphere of their Yéyé Noir, where paradoxes peacefully exist,” lead singer Anna Jean said.

She added: “Juniore revives the Swinging Sixties’ acid mood, pumped on high definition, and will surely seduce all who often feel ‘bizarre’.”

‘Cellular’ – King Krule

Ahead of the release of his third King Krule album Man Alive!, Archy Marshall shared ‘Cellular’ this week, the opening track on the new LP.

The record, which arrives as the eagerly anticipated follow-up to 2017 album The Ooz, will include the four recently released tracks which featured on Krule’s short film Hey World. The project which featured the lo-fi songs were presented as part of a short film directed by Charlotte Patmore, the longterm girlfriend of Archy Marshall.

“I felt like I had gotten out of a dark place, and I was on a high,” Marshall explains. “I appreciated the depression… but I also liked how I felt better in the here and now.”

‘Itch’ – Hockey Dad

Australian band, Hockey Dad, have released their brand new single ‘Itch’. The duo, made up of Billy Fleming and Zach Stephenson, will release their eagerly anticipated new album Brain Candy on May 29th and will follow that up with a string of UK tour dates.

“The demo for ‘Itch’ started off as a delicate, droned out kind of song,” Stephenson explains. “As we started recording it in the studio and adding drums and guitars we realised the potential it had for an epic fuzzed ballad so we ran with it. It’s definitely the most non-Hockey Dad song we have ever recorded.”