12 Best Songs of the Week: Wild Pink, Dry Cleaning, Plains, Built to Spill, and More
Plus Guerilla Toss, Brian Eno, Andy Clockwise, The Soft Pink Truth, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks
Jul 29, 2022
Welcome to the 29th Songs of the Week of 2022. This week saw the return of a 1970s icon and a new joint project from two of our favorite modern singer/songwriters. This week we liked enough tracks to settle on a Top 12.
In the last week or so we posted interviews with Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice and Yannis Philippakis of Foals.
In the last week we also reviewed a bunch of albums.
Covers of Covers, our first album, came out at the beginning of March on CD and digitally via American Laundromat. You can stream it here. You can also buy it directly from American Laundromat, via Bandcamp, or on Amazon.
Don’t forget to pick up our double print issue, our 20th Anniversary Issue (which is out now).
To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last week, we have picked the 12 best the last week had to offer, along with highlighting other notable new tracks shared in the last seven days. Check out the full list below.
1. Wild Pink: “ILYSM”
On Wednesday, Wild Pink announced the release of a new album, ILYSM, which will be out on October 14 via Royal Mountain. They also announced a tour in support of the album and shared a video for the album’s title track, “ILYSM.” View the album’s tracklist/cover art and full list of tour dates here.
“This song, like a few others on this record, takes place where I live and the field next to it,” frontman John Ross states in a press release. “A full moon will light up all the rooms here in a way I’ve never really seen and I feel like this song wrote itself a little bit. This album is about love in its many forms and this song in particular is a metaphor for love and obsession.”
Early in the writing process for the album, Ross was diagnosed with cancer. He states: “Even though I’d already started working on the record, everything took on new meaning after my diagnosis. I started writing songs that tried to make sense of the whole experience, including the love and support I felt from the people in my life—particularly my wife, which is where the title came from.
“Writing about all this has helped me process my experience, or even just acknowledge that I still don’t completely understand how I feel about it. It’s been a very confusing, overwhelming time, and hopefully it’ll offer some kind of comfort to anyone else who’s feeling overwhelmed or confused too.”
ILYSM features musical contributions from J Mascis, Julien Baker, Ryley Walker, Yasmin Williams, and Samantha Crain. Wild Pink’s previous album, A Billion Little Lights, came out last February via Royal Mountain. By Joey Arnone
2. Dry Cleaning: “Anna Calls From the Arctic”
On Tuesday, London-based post-punk band Dry Cleaning shared a new single, “Anna Calls From the Arctic.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, Stumpwork, which will be out on October 21 via 4AD.
“The lyrics were partly inspired by phone calls with a friend who was living and working in the Arctic,” explain the band in a press release. “The song developed from a keyboard, bass and clarinet jam. This then took shape during our pre-recording sessions with John Parish and Joe Jones in Bristol and finalized at Rockfield studios a month later, with some musical inspiration coming from the dramatic scores of John Barry. The song is observational and sensual.”
Upon announcement of the album in June, the band shared the single “Don’t Press Me,” which was one of our Songs of the Week.
Stumpwork is the band’s sophomore album and the quick follow-up to their 2021-released debut album, New Long Leg (which was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2021).
Read our review of New Long Leg here.
Read our interview with Dry Cleaning on New Long Leg here.
In 2019, we interviewed them after the release of their two EPs Sweet Princess and Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks. You can check it out here. By Joey Arnone
3. Plains: “Problem With It”
On Wednesday, Plains, a new duo consisting of Waxahatchee (aka Katie Crutchfield) and Jess Williamson, announced the release of their debut album, I Walked With You A Ways, which will be out on October 14 via ANTI-. They also announced a tour in support of the album and have shared a video for the album’s lead single, “Problem With It.” View the album’s tracklist and cover art, along with a full list of tour dates, here.
Crutchfield states in a press release: “I’m thrilled to announce this new project and album. I’ve felt a connection to Jess’ songwriting and a kinship with her since we met years ago. Getting to lean into the influence of the music we both grew up with while also making something that feels very current and fresh to me was a great experience and I’m so happy to finally share it.”
Williamson adds: “Making this record with Katie was a deeply expansive experience for me as a songwriter. I really trust her ear and sensibilities, and she encouraged me to explore aspects of my songwriting that in the past I’ve shied away from. Katie’s support was so important for me as we wrote this album. We gave ourselves permission to lean into the music that raised us and write the kind of classic timeless songs that we both grew up singing along to. For me that was The Chicks and Dolly Parton, and having a place to channel those influences was an absolute blast. My hope with Plains was to tap into something Universal. I love the album we made, and I’m so excited to play it live.”
I Walked With You A Ways was produced by Brad Cook. Williamson’s most recent album, Sorceress, came out in 2020 via Mexican Summer. Waxahatchee recently collaborated with country artist Wynonna on the song “Other Side.” By Joey Arnone
4. Built to Spill: “Spiderweb”
On Tuesday, Built to Spill shared a new single, “Spiderweb.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, When the Wind Forgets Your Name, which will be out on September 9 via Sub Pop.
Upon announcement of the new album in April, the band shared the song “Gonna Lose.” They later shared the album tracks “Understood” and “Fool’s Gold.” By Joey Arnone
5. Guerilla Toss: “Zum Herz”
Krautrock legends NEU! (Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger) are releasing NEU! 50!, a 50th anniversary box set, on September 23 via Grönland. Today they shared two tracks from the box set’s NEU! Tribute Album: “Zum Herz,” a new song by Guerilla Toss inspired by NEU!, and Fink’s cover of NEU!’s “Weissensee.” “Zum Herz” makes the main Songs of the Week list (covers aren’t eligible, so find Fink’s track further below in the list of other songs that came out this week).
Guerilla Toss collectively had this to say in a press release: “NEU! is one of the most important bands of the 20th century, and a personal favorite of GT’s. Their influence on psych, rock, punk, and electronic music is enormous. The lineage of so many great bands can be traced back to NEU!. We are thrilled to be part of this compilation. I like to think that the U.S. / U.K created rock music, but the Germans made it forever weird. Thanks, NEU!“
The box set will feature the band’s debut album along with the albums NEU!, NEU! 2!, and NEU! 75, in addition to the new NEU! Tribute Album, which features reworkings by The National, IDLES, Man Man, Mogwai, Alexis Taylor, and more.
Previously a new remix of “Hallogallo,” from the band’s debut, remixed by Stephen Morris and Gabe Gurnsey, was shared.
Back in March, Guerilla Toss are released a new album, Famously Alive, via Sub Pop, their debut for the label. By Mark Redfern
6. Brian Eno: “There Were Bells”
Yesterday, Brian Eno announced the release of a new album, FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE, which will be out on October 14 via Verve/UMC. Eno also shared a new single from the album, “There Were Bells.” View the album’s tracklist/cover art here.
In a press release, Eno elaborates on the album: “Like everybody else—except, apparently, most of the governments of the world—I’ve been thinking about our narrowing, precarious future, and this music grew out of those thoughts. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say I’ve been feeling about it…and the music grew out of the feelings. Those of us who share those feelings are aware that the world is changing at a super-rapid rate, and that large parts of it are disappearing forever…hence the album title.”
FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE was produced by Eno with contributions from Leo Abrahams, Roger Eno, Peter Chilvers, Clodagh Simonds, Cecily Eno, Darla Eno and Jon Hopkins. By Joey Arnone
7. Andy Clockwise: “Gonna Get It (Just What We Deserve)”
On Monday, Andy Clockwise shared a new single, the seven-minute “Gonna Get It (Just What We Deserve).” It is Clockwise’s first single of 2022, and it will be featured on his forthcoming four-volume album series, War Stories, which will be released later this year via Exhibition Records.
In a press release, Clockwise states: “I hate talking about music these days. It all seems like buzz words: ‘engagement’ and ‘personal brands.’ Cry while ya dancing I say. To me it’s becoming evident that life is how well you suck, so if you can suck pretty good or in a fantastic way or at least spend a lot of time trying something then maybe you are in with a chance? This is me sucking at indie disco with opera, so that maybe one day with a bit of luck I can write something as good as ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ or ‘The Flower Duet.’” By Joey Arnone
8. The Soft Pink Truth: “Wanna Know” (Feat. Jenn Wassner)
On Tuesday, The Soft Pink Truth (aka Drew Daniel of Matmos) announced the release of a new album, Is It Going To Get Any Deeper Than This?, which will be out on October 21 via Thrill Jockey. Daniel also shared the album’s lead single, “Wanna Know,” which features Jenn Wasner (of Flock of Dimes and Wye Oak). View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.
In a press release, Daniel states: “Years ago, a friend was DJing in a club and a woman came into the DJ booth and asked ‘is it going to get any deeper than this?’ and the phrase became a kind of mantra for us. What did she really want? This album was created as an attempt to imagine possible musical responses to her question.”
Earlier this year, Matmos released the album Regards / Ukłony dla Bogusław Schaeffer. Read our 2012 Protest Issue survey with Daniels here. By Joey Arnone
9. L.A. Salami: “Systemic Pandemic”
On Wednesday, L.A. Salami shared a video for his new single “Systemic Pandemic.” It is the latest release from his forthcoming album, Ottoline, which will be out on October 14 via Sunday Best.
In a press release, Salami elaborates on the new single: “Sometime not too long ago, I came across an abyss…. I looked upon it in anguish, painfully uninspired by the view.
“I didn’t like it.
“It made me uncomfortable, and the sight of it amounted to nothing…. Nothing but the absence of love in all things…. The absence of attraction, the seed of love. The dispersion of any gravity. The absence of all matter and purpose….
“Truth say, it was all rather boring….
“I perish the thought of returning there even to revisit in memory…. So I’ll do now what I did then I avert my gaze, redact my time spent in shadow, allow a light some chance at forcing the darkest regions to abate. Light is life is love; and life is complicated; and this song, The SYSTEMIC PANDEMIC, is a song about life, and how complicated it can become even in the midst of love.” By Joey Arnone
10. Hayden Thorpe: “Polygod”
Yesterday, Hayden Thorpe, former singer for British art-rockers Wild Beasts, announced a deluxe edition of his newest album, Moondust For My Diamond. The reissue, entitled Moondust For My Diamond – Every Piece of Dust, will feature four new songs and four remixes of songs from the original album. Thorpe shared a video for a new reissue song, “Polygod.” View the reissue’s tracklist and cover art here.
In a press release, Thorpe states: “Every Piece of Dust brings into the family all of the stray songs that were written alongside Moondust For My Diamond. I think of this release as a Director’s Cut—indulging some of the choices that went unmade up until now. There’s a mini-grief that happens when you finish off and move on from a record—you almost have to say, ‘I’m moving on forever.’ However these songs stave off execution day for some time yet.”
Moondust For My Diamond was released last July via Domino. It features the singles “The Universe Is Always Right,” which was one of our Songs of the Week, “Parallel Kingdom,” also one of our Songs of the Week, and “Metafeeling,” which also made a Songs of the Week appearance.
Thorpe’s debut solo album, Diviner, came out in 2019 via Domino.
Read our interview with Hayden Thorpe on Diviner.
Read our Self-Portrait feature with Hayden Thorpe. By Joey Arnone
11. Palm: “Feathers”
On Tuesday, Palm announced the release of a new album, Nicks and Grazes, which will be out on October 14 via Saddle Creek. They have also shared a video for the album’s lead single, “Feathers.” View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.
In a press release, bassist Gerasimos Livitsanos states: “‘Feathers’ went through a few drafts—I was initially playing a plodding line on the bass guitar but something about the arrangement wasn’t working. It was only once I switched to bass synth that there was a strong enough center for the atonal guitar and synth pads to make sense. The first one we tracked in the studio, ‘Feathers’ became an undanceable dance song at the last minute.”
Nicks and Grazes features production by Matt Anderegg. Drummer Hugo Stanley states, regarding the album: “With this record one might assume that we were slowly building a house brick by brick, but it’s more like we were gathering and experimenting with different types of materials for the first couple of years, and then we built the house somewhat quickly. It’s hard to overstate Matt’s role in bringing everything together.” By Joey Arnone
12. Tallies: “Memento”
On Monday, Toronto-based band Tallies shared a video for their new single “Memento.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, Patina, which came out today via Kanine.
In a press release, singer Sarah Cogan states: “I am a firm believer in ‘what goes down must come up.’ People usually say the opposite, but this is a motto I’ve used throughout my life. When things aren’t going well, they have a tendency to bounce back. ‘Memento,’ to me, is my pick-up song. When I sing ‘gotta get you on your way now,’ I’m saying that it’s time to move on and move forward. I’ve had many moments in my life where I’ve lost momentum and felt directionless like I’d fallen into a black hole. It’s hard to crawl out of the hole and get back on track. I think there are a lot of people who spend their time thinking about how they need to get back on track. Listen to this song and remind yourself it’s time to look forward and lean into the future.”
Patina was produced by Graham Walsh and Dylan Frankland. Upon announcement of the album, the band shared the song “Hearts Underground.” They later shared the album track “Special,” which was one of our Songs of the Week.
Earlier this year, the band shared the songs “Wound Up Tight” and “Heaven’s Touch.” By Joey Arnone
These songs almost made the Top 12.
DC Gore: “All These Things”
Preoccupations: “Death of Melody”
Living Hour: “Miss Miss Miss”
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs: “Never Seen You Dance”
Vieux Farka Touré and Khruangbin: “Savanne”
U.S. Girls: “So Typically Now”
Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 10 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions:
Other notable new tracks in the last week include:
Alex G: “Cross the Sea”
Big Joanie: “In My Arms”
The Comet Is Coming: “CODE”
Cults: “Poodles Dancing”
Eerie Wanda: “Long Time”
Danny Elfman: “Native Intelligence (Ghostemane Natural Selection Remix)”
Fink: “Weissensee” (NEU! Cover)
Flossing: “Heart of Hearts”
George FitzGerald: “Rainbows and Dreams” (Feat. SOAK)
LAPÊCHE: “Mermaid Blues”
Lightning Seeds: “Walk Another Mile”
The Linda Lindas: “Tonite” (The Go-Go’s Cover)
Daniele Luppi and Greg Gonzalez: “You Never Loved”
Bret McKenzie: “If You Wanna Go” and “Tomorrow Today”
Marcus Mumford: “Grace”
OFF!: “War Above Los Angeles”
The Paranoyds: “Single Origin Experience”
Rodrigo y Gabriela: “Weird Fishes / Arpeggi” (Radiohead Cover)
Röyksopp: “Let’s Get It Right” (Feat. Astrid S.) and “Control”
Sampa the Great: “Bona”
Rina Sawayama: “Hold the Girl”
Sylvan Esso: “Didn’t Care”
THICK: “Tell Myself”
Loudon Wainwright III: “It”
Why Bonnie: “Nowhere, LA”
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