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Music

Essential Listening: This week’s best new music

@TylerGolsen

Welcome back to Essential Listening, a place where we compile all the best new music of the week into the definitive tome of modern music: The Far Out Playlist.

We’ll get to the good stuff in a hot second, but let us briefly pay tribute to the week’s worst single: ‘This is a Song for Miss Hedy Lamarr’ from the unlikely duo of Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck. The truly dreadful first single for the pair’s upcoming collaborative album made even the most middling new songs this week sound like goddamn Mozart.

There were plenty of solid singles floating around the world of music this week as well, but only eight songs can find their way onto this list.

Here are the best new songs from the week, compiled into The Far Out Playlist.

This week’s best new music: June 4th – June 10th

Martin Courtney – ‘Sailboat’

Real Estate’s Martin Courtney has set sail with his second single from his forthcoming solo album with a wavey indie anthem titled ‘Sailboat’. For the track, he never veers very far off course from what we’re used to with his band, but he does throw in a bit of Pavement-like distortion.

While The Walkmen’s scintillating sticksmith might have rattled like an adrenalised squirrel in a nut factory on ‘The Rat’, it is a mark of Courtney’s ethereal, Elliott Smith-like tones that he believes ‘Sailboat’ to be approaching the choppy seas of “unlicensed rock”. Really, it’s about as rock ‘n’ roll as some unauthorised bombing at Cliff Richard’s pool party, but that all adds to the charm.

Tim Burgess – ‘Typical Music’

Following the Easter release of the preview single, ‘Here Comes The Weekend’, Tim Burgess has now announced the release of his forthcoming album Typical Music along with the release of its eponymous single. 

The title track comes complete with a striking Kevin Godley-directed video which follows Burgess as he moves around a bright white factory room. The warping wide-angle lens gives a strange psychedelic aspect to the visuals that match the unique music perfectly. The track moves through different phases, beginning with a galloping country and western feel reminiscent of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, before breaking into a soaring chorus as Burgess sings, “I sit and watch the flowers grow, outside the factory”.

Inhaler – ‘These Are the Days’

Inhaler have shared their brand new single, ‘These Are The Days’. Listen to the captivating track below. The song comes as the group’s first new music since the release of last year’s album, It Won’t Always Be Like This. ‘These Are The Days’ follows the Dublin band’s hints at new music last month as they posted new photos of themselves in the studio along with the date June 10th.

The single opens with distorted guitars before the beat surges with the synthesiser and uplifting guitars, as they sing, “These are the days that follow you home”, followed by the refrain, “I think we’re gonna be OK”. The soaring anthem comes as a glimmer of hope to match the post-lockdown freedom, almost reaffirming and proving the statement in the title of their debut album last year.

Jack White – ‘If I Die Tomorrow’

We’ve also recieved our first official preview of Jack White’s Entering Heaven Alive with the brand new single ‘If I Die Tomorrow’. Complete with county fiddle and fatalistic lyrics, the new track sounds like a great folkie outtake that would be played by The Avett Brothers. White’s shown this side to him before, including on solo albums like Blunderbuss and in his brief appearance in the film Cold Mountain, but Entering Heaven Alive will likely represent a full-fledged embrace of his rootsier side.

Since this is still Jack White, there’s a little bit of electric feedback that buzzes in towards the end of the track. But with an arrangement that leans heavily on the acoustic instrumentation that White has assembled around him, ‘If I Die Tomorrow’ is a clear break from his legendary electric guitar theatrics. The most stirring element remains White’s voice, which stays in a low register and almost murmurs out the dark ode to carrying on after death.

Cass McCombs – ‘Unproud Warrior’

American singer-songwriter Cass McCombs has returned to announce his tenth studio album Heartmind. Along with the album announcement, McCombs has also shared the first single from the LP, the languid and slow-burning six-minute track ‘Unproud Warrior’.

A hearty mix of country, jazz, and indie rock, ‘Unproud Warrior’ stretches out each guitar lines and vocal cue to its maximum length. This kind of unhurried casualness isn’t just a McCombs signature: it’s a major part of his appeal. Whether it’s zoned out stoner wisdom or a truly touching moment of clarity, McCombs always toes the line between emotional clarity and wry obliqueness.

Editors – ‘Karma Climb’

Editors have shared the details for their new album EBM with the release of the new single ‘Karma Climb’. They have also announced an upcoming tour of the UK and Europe. 

The new single comes with an unavoidable resemblance to some of the more danceable New Order classics from the late 1980s and ‘90s. The pulsing synthesised beats and Peter Hook style bass solos march forth while the vocals bring that unique Editors’ touch to what is otherwise a highly derivative yet enjoyable pop track. 

Pixey – ‘Come Around (Sunny Day)’

British indie-pop upstart Pixey has returned with her first new music of 2022. The Liverpool singer and multi-instrumentalist has come to bring the summer vibes on her latest single, ‘Come Around (Sunny Day)’.

Not terribly unlike her awesome 2021 singles like ‘Take Me On’and ‘Life In Stereo’, ‘Come Around (Sunny Day)’ embraces everything bright and shiny, from the classic lo-fi breakdown to heavenly harmonies. If you’re not exactly in the mood for a candy-coated blast of music, you could always key into the song’s lyrics, which contain just the right amount of uncertainty to give the track a bit of necessary nuance.

Soccer Mommy – ‘newdemo’

American indie rocker Sophie Allison, better known under the moniker Soccer Mommy, has returned with the latest preview of her upcoming studio album Sometimes, Forever with the new track ‘newdemo’.

There’s a really great pop song somewhere at the centre of ‘newdemo’, but Allison does everything she can to obscure it. That includes chopping up its form, throwing in backwards noises, and even giving the song its offhand title. But Allison’s abilities as a songwriter can’t be ignored – there’s still plenty of what remains of that great pop song that survives on the final version of ‘newdemo’.