Get these in your ear holes
Presenting this week’s best new tracks – and when to drop them.
Death Cab For Cutie – Gold Rush
Best for heading into the great unknown
The first cut from Death Cab For Cutie’s upcoming new album ‘Thank You For Today’, ‘Gold Rush’ is the first time new members Dave Depper and Zac Rae have joined the indie-rock icons in the studio. As such, it’s a suitably exploratory cut, Ben Gibbard and co. finding their feet in the wake of founding member Chris Walla’s departure. All twanging country guitars and Beck-esque melodic flourishes, it’s a promising return from Seattle’s golden sons.
Troye Sivan & Ariana Grande – Dance To This
Best for the post-club snog sesh
The sultry bop of Ariana and Troye’s long-awaited team-up is perfect fodder for a hazy, late night smooch. It might not be the floorfiller the title suggests, but the shared vocals between the two pop starlets are ideal for the late-night-meets-early-morning rush of a hedonistic night on the tiles.
Sam Fender – Leave Fast
Best for a fireside croon
The mahogany vocals of solo troubadour Sam Fender belie his tender age. ‘Leave Fast’ is a tale of that all-too-relatable fear of being stuck in a dead end town, and the most perfect depiction yet of how his soaring vocal can combat claustrophobia – with pipes like this, he’s already far outgrown any humble origins. Progressively bigger stages surely await.
Spiritualized – I’m Your Man
Best for blissing out
The suggesting that the next Spiritualized album could be Jason Pierce’s last haunts the upcoming ‘And Nothing Hurt’ LP. Regardless, if this is Pierce’s last hurrah, he’s doing it in style. A reflective tune, it’s bolstered by a huge arrangement, and is remarkably down-to-earth for a project that’s usually so away with the fairies. Nevertheless, it’s perfect fodder for a Sunday morning hangover – a warming embrace of a track, in the way only Spiritualized can truly manage.
Slaves – Cut And Run
Best for pumping iron
Slaves have never been ones to pull punches. With ‘Cut And Run’, the first hint at their upcoming third album, they’ve proven their brawn is still their greatest asset. The instrumentation (and, notably, those previously bile-filled vocals, replaced instead with a sardonic croon) have expanded into new realms, but elsewhere it’s quintessential Slaves – bolshy, bratty and brilliant – just delivered with a bit more nuance.
SOPHIE – ‘Is It Cold In The Water’
Best for glitchy, witchy dance-offs
Channelling all of the octave-hopping melodrama of Kate Bush when she’s properly belting it out, ‘Is It Cold In The Water’ is a disarming stand-out moment from SOPHIE’s debut album ‘OIL OF EVERY PEARL’s UN-INSIDES’. Stepping in a bleaker direction, away from the dissonant bloops and grinding alien-pop elsewhere, it’s an all-out quest to discover the sublime. “I’m swimming, I’m breathing, evaporating,” sings an airy voice, floating on clouds, I’m liquid, I’m floating into the blue”. Who knew that the queen of bloopy greatness could play the ethereal card so effortlessly?
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Exclusive Grave
Best for sunroof-open road trips
There are certain similarities between Australia and California: the sunshine, the ocean, the surf, the promise of the open road. And right now, Australian acts are doing highway-ready FM rock better than any of their US counterparts. RBCF have taken pinches of new wave, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers-like rock and expansive War On Drugs jams and filtered them into a quite stunning album, ‘Hope Downs’, which is out today. Exclusive Grave is just one of the brilliant tracks on there; any could have made this list.
AJ Tracey – Butterflies (ft Not3s)
Best for a post-Love Island party
Accompanied by a weird and wonderful psychedelic video filmed in Trinidad, AJ Tracey has dropped his latest summer banger featuring rising talent Not3s. With tropical melodies, this track is sure to deliver those beach vibes we’ve all been waiting for this summer.
Mura Masa & Octavian – ‘Move Me’
Best For Chilled Summer Evenings
Alex Crossan, aka Mura Masa, has teamed up with Octavian to drop his first tune of 2018, and it’s a smoky summer bop. Crossan’s trademark slinky beats and sultry electronics have been given a seductive makeover now layered under Octavian’s fluid vocals, all resulting in the gorgeously chilled ‘Move Me’.
Sigrid – Focus (Demo)
Best for a quiet moment
Sigrid definitely knows her way around a banger, whether it’s the stadium-ready pop of ‘Strangers’ or the trip-hop of ‘High Five’. But on ‘Focus’, the Scandi star offers a huge curveball in the form of a stripped down piano ballad. Thankfully, it’s a complete triumph, with the track allowing her to show off her stunning vocal might in a way that she’s never previously managed. Lyrically, it’s also filled with a sense of little-seen vulnerability and regret, providing yet another dimension for one of 2018’s most consistently exciting pop stars.
Additional words: Anya Phillips, Hannah Mylrea, El Hunt, Nick Reilly, Dan Stubbs