The 10 Best New Songs

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The 10 Best New Songs

At Paste Music, we’re listening to so many new tunes on any given day, we barely have any time to listen to each other. Nevertheless, every week we can swing it, we take stock of the previous seven days’ best tracks, delivering a weekly playlist of our favorites. Check out this week’s 10 best new songs, in alphabetical order. (You can check out last week’s songs here.

Arlo Parks: “Impurities”

“Impurities,” the second single from Arlo Parks’ forthcoming sophomore record, My Soft Machine, is a slow, triumphant, danceable moment. It finds Parks at her very best, delivering graceful, gorgeous pop musings while conjuring immense imagery. “Piling in the Escalade, my chest is buzzing like a bluebird caged / Laugh like Juliette Binoche, you touch my leg to make sure I’m still there,” she sings at the opening of the track. It’s a piece about confidence, about embracing our individual beauties. “This is a song about community…being around people who make you feel like your inner ugliness and failures and mistakes don’t matter, who lift you up and make you laugh, who make you feel good and clear,” Parks says. There’s an uplifting aura abound, as Parks sings “I radiate like a star, like a star, star, star” over and over across the track. “Impurities” solidifies that Parks’ heroic debut, Collapsed in Sunbeams, was the opening act to a universe that is just as grand, soft and vibrant. —Matt Mitchell

Baaba Maal: “Freak Out”

Since his arrival on the international music scene in the late ’80s, Senegalese artist Baaba Maal has enjoyed pushing creative boundaries even as he continues to embrace the traditional instruments and sounds of his native Africa. That approach helped him get welcomed into the circles of Western artists like Mumford and Sons and Ludwig Göransson who made great use of Maal’s singing in both Black Panther films. One regular collaborator of late has been London ensemble The Very Best, who contributed to Maal’s 2016 album The Traveler and have returned to work with him on his forthcoming LP Being. Their latest group effort “Freak Out” dropped this week, and it is a monster of a track. Built around a serpentine percussion loop, the song is anchored by the interplay between Maal’s steady singing and the stormy wails of The Very Best’s Esau Mwamwaya. It’s a scorcher that should help get us through these last few weeks of cold with our digits and minds intact. —Robert Ham

Dim Wizard: “Ride the Vibe”

One of the first unexpected supergroup moments of 2023 comes via Dim Wizard, the pop project of Bad Moves’ guitarist David Combs. Only the third Dim Wizard song ever released on streaming, “Ride the Vibe” finds Combs calling on some big names in alt-rock. Combs co-wrote the track with Jeff Rosenstock, while Sarah Tudzin, the brainchild of Illuminati Hotties, helms the production side. The lead vocals on “Ride the Vibe” may sound familiar, and that’s because they are provided by Steve Ciolek, the beloved former frontman of the recently disbanded Cleveland, Ohio rock outfit The Sidekicks. “Ride the Vibe” is an immaculate pop rock track, and Ciolek’s singing is top-tier. The massive guitar hooks and jittering percussion compliment the themes of bygone youth and coming-of-age. “Nobody tells you when you’re settling down / You just end up a groove / One day you figure it out / I pray the devil lifts me out of this town,” Ciolek sings. It’s great to hear his voice again, as the losing the Sidekicks still stings. Thankfully, we have this track, and it’s a stunner. —Matt Mitchell

Dwight Trible: “Truth”

It’s long past time for Dwight Trible to get his due. His work in the jazz community of Los Angeles as executive director of the arts space The World Stage helped foment the sound and approach of acclaimed artists like Kamasi Washington and Kendrick Lamar collaborator Terrace Martin. And along his multi-decade journey, the vocalist has shared stages and studios with everyone from Pharoah Sanders to J Dilla. What they get and the rest of the world needs to catch up to is the pure spiritual power in Trible’s baritone voice. On “Truth,” a track from his upcoming album Ancient Future, he sings with a power that could lift whole continents off the face of the planet as he tries to suss out the mixed messages being fed to us by mainstream media and the goons populating much of social media. Trible offers up no easy answers here, but empowers all to dare to question the status quo. —Robert Ham

Momma: “Bang Bang”

The indie-rock grunge band Momma released their most recent single “Bang Bang” since their first official LP Household Name with Polyvinyl Record. Momma was first formed by musicians Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten when they bonded over Alex G and the isolation of their small town Yerington-a town right outside of Los Angeles. The band had made incredible strides within the indie-rock scene with a clear sound that paved their way to a fast rise of success within the genre and industry. The band first got attention with their 2020 LP Two of Me with songs like “Double Dare” and “Biohazard” and their 90s rock guitar tones as well as their intoxicating vocals. Household Name allowed Momma to be fully indoctrinated into the scene, and cemented into the hearts of rock lovers alike. “Bang Bang” dabbles in electronica sounds with poppy synths harking back to the late 90s and early 2000s. Their crudeness gives the grunge band the edge they’ve exemplified with past singles, and make the record a fun listen. The raunchy and noisy tones make for a classic head banger to keep you rocking and rolling. —Rayne Antrim

Rob Mazurek & New Exploding Star Orchestra: “Shape Shifter”

The title of this track from the forthcoming album by trumpeter Rob Mazurek’s ensemble the New Exploding Star Orchestra was thoughtfully chosen. Like much of the musician’s work in groups like isotope 217 and the Chicago Underground Duo, the music here feels incapable of staying in one groove or in one mode. The changes in this track are deliberate and, at first, jarring as Mazurek and his gaggle of regular collaborators like guitarist Jeff Parker and vocalist Damon Locks trigger quick mood shifts and bracing metamorphoses that take listeners from the streets of their Chicago hometown to Brazil, where Mazurek has spent many years living and studying, and back again. —Robert Ham

Slow Pulp: “Cramps”

Chicago rockers Slow Pulp marked the celebration of their recent signing with ANTI- Records with a new single, “Cramps.” The band has kept a relatively low profile since releasing their debut record Moveys in 2020, dropping singles sporadically over the last three years. Regardless, Slow Pulp is one of the most fascinating bands working out of the Midwest right now, and “Cramps” is just another example of that. The track, carried by the band’s fuzzy, shoegaze-y arrangements and vocalist Emily Massey’s sonic leadership, is a tremendous work of post-punk euphoria. “I play out the same scene / Bleeding on my new sheets / I wanna bake out on the concrete / There’s nothing better than / Keeping it together,” she sings. Massey’s songwriting has always gleaned personal experience, as Moveys was a product of her interactions with the pandemic, receiving a lyme disease diagnosis and a car accident her parents were in. “[‘Cramps’] is about searching for things you wish you had in other people and creating this character in your head that has all the physical and emotional attributes you feel that you are lacking,” Massey says. Whether or not a sophomore album is on the near horizon remains to be confirmed, but we’re all waiting eagerly for more Slow Pulp. —Matt Mitchell

Summer Salt: “Campanita”

For the better part of a decade now, Texas trop-poppers Summer Salt have been making breezy, beautiful indie tracks drenched in retro bliss. Since the days of Driving to Hawaii in 2014, the duo, composed of Matthew Terry and Eugene Chung, have garnered a passionate, faithful following that is still, somehow, lowkey. The lead single for their next record, Campanita, is also the title track, and finds the band wandering through dreamy textures carried by Terry’s unmistakable falsetto. The song is dedicated to both Terry’s sister Maddie and their late cousin Angelina, who passed away in early 2021. “Campanita” is a striking sketch of bedroom pop covered in memories, love and loss. “You’re so smart and you’re gorgeous, Campanita / But you’re good and that is why I need ya,” Terry sings in the chorus. Though the inspiration for the track is devastating, the song begs to be listened to on a sun-soaked drive with the windows down. Summer Salt knows how to craft some of the sweetest coastal songs this side of the Beach Boys, and “Campanita” is another perfect example of their masterclass command of hooks, melodies and feel-good vibes. —Matt Mitchell

Youth Lagoon: “Idaho Alien”

To mark his long-awaited and beloved return to making songs under the name Youth Lagoon, Trevor Powers’ has gifted us with “Idaho Alien,” a soulful tune that finds Powers playing with the capabilities of his own vocals. He surfs through octaves, tinkers with sampling and delivers an emotional, dreamy and mystifying story about drug use, youth, brotherhood and war. “I don’t remember how it happened / Blood filled up the clawfoot bath and I will fear no frontier,” Powers sings. “Idaho Alien” is one of his best feats of songwriting to date. It’s patient and, frankly, he’s never sounded better. His vocals are weathered and at the forefront of the arrangements, no longer glossed over with ethereal instrumentals and effects. Inspired by Powers’ love for crime novels, “Idaho Alien” tells a story about his neighbor through imagery of violence and a tender reflection on mortality. —Matt Mitchell