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Essential Listening: The week's best new music

We’re always looking to bring you the best and brightest new music whenever we can, we understand that life can get busy and keeping up with every single release can be a burden.

So, we thought we’d bring you all of the week’s most essential new tracks in one easy to manage morsel of content. Below find the week’s best new music.

This week was a big week for new music. While much of 2020 has been about the return of legacy acts like The Strokes and Pearl Jam, the last seven days saw the fresh green shoots of guitar revival push their way through the dirt.

As well as some new artists and songs, we also have some classic musicians delivering some brand new tunes and taking on some golden covers.

Below find new tunes from Phoebe Bridgers, Stephen Malkmus, Matt Beringer, Gorillaz and so many more.

‘Garden Song’ – Phoebe Bridgers

We could just about listen to anything Phoebe Bridgers creates. The singer-songwriter has become such a mainstay on our internal playlist that we feel like friends.

So we’re very happy to bring her latest tune, ‘Garden Song’ as an essential moment of last week.

‘Shadowbanned’ – Stephen Malkmus

Pavement frontman, Stephen Malkmus, has released his latest solo single ‘Shadowbanned’. The track, which is taken from Malkmus’ upcoming new album Traditional Techniques, arrives with a music video directed by Jan Lankisch and features the likes of Kim Gordon, Mac DeMarco, Sharon Van Etten and more.

The latest single follows on from the release of the album’s lead track, ‘Xian Man’, as Malkmus prepares to share his new album on March 6th.

‘Describe’ – Perfume Genius

Perfume Genius announced this week his fifth studio album Set My Heart on Fire Immediately and the LP’s first brooding new track, ‘Describe’.

About the new track, Hadreas notes, “it started as a really sombre ballad. It was very minimal and very slow. And then it turned into this beast of a song. I started writing about when you are in such a dark place that you don’t even remember what goodness is or what anything feels like. And so, the idea was having someone describe that to you, because you forgot or can’t get to it.”

‘Holes’ (Mercury Rev cover) – Matt Beringer

We thought we’d give this cover of Mercury Rev’s ‘Holes’ from The National’s Matt Beringer as much exposure as we could, such is its underlying good cause. Speaking of the song in a statement, Berninger said: “I found myself wasting a lot of time and energy worrying about all the threats to the world and to my kid’s rights. Finally, I just turned everything off and tried to chill. I started listening to a lot of old favourite records and re-reading books. All my energy and optimism came back and I started recording a lot.

“So many people I know are having this experience and doing their best work right now. Instead of watching everything being destroyed why not have fun and create things that can fight back. I’ve never been happier. Joy is an act of resistance. IDLES said that.”

‘Désolé’ – Gorillaz feat. Fatoumata Diawara

The latest track from a new Gorillaz project, the Song Machine series, sees the animated band work with the Malian star Fatoumata Diawara for new song ‘Désolé’.

The group’s drummer Russel said of the collaboration: “Making ‘Désolé’ with Fatou was a real moment for me, you know. She’s an African Queen. This lady made the song what it is, beautiful, like life.

“What can I say about ‘Désolé’? They say sorry is the hardest word, but that’s not true… Try saying antidisestablishmentarianism with a mouth full of gluten free cronuts on a speed boat without licking your lips.”

‘Fits’ – Do Nothing

It’s hard to ignore a band like Do Nothing. The group have shot out of the perceivable darkness and suddenly feel like they could be about to switch on the lights for the rest of us in the near future with their po-mo take on post-punk.

‘Fits’ is just another moment where the band expresses themselves on a personal subject with sauntering ease. Using all the ‘lounge bar with a razor blade’ charm they have in their blood-stained shirt pockets, Do Nothing could be on to something here.

‘Safe In Sound’ – Orlando Weeks

Orlando Weeks, the former Maccabees frontman, has released his first solo track. The new song, ‘Safe In Sound’, arrives from Weeks’ forthcoming new solo album that has been 18 months in the making.

“I was witness to this momentous event in our lives and didn’t want that to go unmarked in the work that I do,” Weeks said. “I found that writing was a way to anchor moments and cement feelings that we were sharing.

“Throughout that dazzling year, with its steady march towards our son’s arrival, I felt grateful to the discipline of working on music for the semblance of structure that it gave me. Musically I wanted to make something that stretched me, something with beauty and intensity.”

‘Can’t Cool Med Down’ – Car Seat Headrest

Car Seat Headrest have announced a brand new album called Making a Door Less Open and, while that arrives on May 1st, the LP’s lead single ‘Can’t Cool Me Down’ can be heard below.

The new album will drop in a few months via Matador and sees a collaboration of sorts between Will Toledo and 1 Trait Danger—the side project of drummer Andrew Katz and Toledo under the pseudonym “Trait.”

‘Never’ – Egyptian Blue

As well as a glitching post-punk hum, the band also deliver a lyrically dense proposition on ‘Never’, as they delve into the role media plays in our society. “We need to constantly question what we’re being told, particularly from world leaders, whatever side they’re on,” says the band’s Andy Buss of the single.

“My mum was talking about the Iraq war and the ‘weapons of mass deception’ headlines – it’s been happening for decades! She was so exasperated by it all that she’d say, ‘One day we’ll climb the mountain, but I’m never coming down.’ Those words stuck with me.”