Saturday, January 22nd, 2022
10 Best Songs of the Week: Hatchie, Nilüfer Yanya, Daniel Rossen, Beach House, and More
Plus Jenny Hval, A Place to Bury Strangers, Darkside, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks
Jan 21, 2022
By Mark Redfern (with Joey Arnone)
Welcome to the third Songs of the Week of 2022. This week there were some exciting new album announcements (Hatchie, Daniel Rossen, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Jenny Hval) and Beach House put out another five songs from their new album.
In the last week we also reviewed a bunch of albums.
Don’t forget to pick up our new double print issue, our 20th Anniversary Issue (which is out now) and to preorder our first album, the 20th anniversary compilation Covers of Covers. Also check out our Top 100 Albums of 2021 list.
To help you sort through the multitude of fresh songs released in the last week, we have picked the 10 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. Hatchie: “Quicksand”
On Wednesday, Hatchie (the dream pop project of Australian musician Harriette Pilbeam) announced a new album, Giving the World Away, and shared a new song from it, “Quicksand,” via a video for the single. She also announced some North American tour dates. Giving the World Away is due out April 22 via Secretly Canadian. Check out the album’s tracklist and cover art, as well as Hatchie’s upcoming tour dates, here.
“Quicksand” was co-written with Dan Nigro (a GRAMMY-nominated Olivia Rodrigo collaborator) and long-time Hatchie collaborator and guitarist Joe Agius (who also releases music as RINSE). Perhaps due to Nigro’s involvement, “Quicksand” leans a bit pop, but still clings to Hatchie’s dream pop roots.
Pilbeam had this to say about “Quicksand” in a press release: “‘Quicksand’ is about dealing with the realization that you’ll never be satisfied. I started writing it when I was home between tours in 2019 before finishing it with Joe Agius and Dan Nigro the next year. I was feeling guilty and ungrateful for not being happy about a few different things in my life that were technically going well. I had to work through some tough learned thought processes and emotions that had been working away for years to try to understand how to be happy with my present, and stop fixating on my past and future. The video digs deeper into showing this juxtaposition of such sadness and anger despite being surrounded by glamour and grandeur.”
Nathan Castiel directed the video for “Quicksand” and had this to say: “For ‘Quicksand,’ I created a video that plays off of some tropes of Hollywood glamour in a melancholy and surreal way while giving Harriette room to perform and express the song’s raw emotion. We leaned into a neon-tinged after hours aesthetic and shot on 16mm which added a griminess to the opulent locations and set pieces.
Giving the World Away is Hatchie’s second full-length album, the follow-up to her acclaimed debut album, Keepsake, which came out via Double Double Whammy. The album includes “This Enchanted,” a new song Hatchie shared in September via a video for it. “This Enchanted” was one of our Songs of the Week.
Jorge Elbrecht (Sky Ferreira, Japanese Breakfast, Wild Nothing) produced the album, which also features Agius and Beacch House drummer James Barone.
2018’s Sugar & Spice EP and Keepsake both announced Hatchie as one of the most exciting new shoegaze and dream-pop artists in years, but in the press release Pilbeam says she’s expanded her palette with the new album. “I’m capable of writing more than just nice dream-pop songs, and there’s more to me than just writing songs about being in love or being heartbroken—there’s a bigger picture than that,” she says. “This album really just feels like the beginning to me, and scratching the surface—and even though it’s my third release as Hatchie, I feel like I’m rebooting from scratch.”
Hatchie is featured on Under the Radar’s 20th anniversary compilation album, Covers of Covers, where she covers HAIM’s “FUBT.”
Read our My Favorite Album interview with Hatchie on Carole King’s Tapestry. By Mark Redfern
2. Nilüfer Yanya: “midnight sun”
Nilüfer Yanya is releasing her sophomore album, PAINLESS, on March 4 via ATO. On Tuesday, she shared the album’s second single, “midnight sun,” via a visualizer video for it featuring Yanya in pink angel wings. “Midnight sun” has a welcome Radiohead vibe. View Yanya’s upcoming tour dates here.
Yanya had this to say about “midnight sun” in a press release: “It’s a song about recognizing what it feels like to be pushed down but wanting to resist. I really like the imagery of ‘midnight sun’ as a lyric as it insinuates a light guiding you through darkness. The wings carry their own symbolism—freedom, lightness, flight, fantasy. If I could pick what people saw & heard it would be seeing the beauty of confrontation and the necessity of rebellion.”
Yanya is one of the artists on the cover of our 20th Anniversary print issue.
PAINLESS was recorded in a basement studio in Stoke Newington and Riverfish Music in Penzance. For the sessions Yanya worked with Miss Universe collaborator and producer Wilma Archer, DEEK Recordings founder Bullion, Big Thief producer Andrew Sarlo, and musician Jazzi Bobbi.
“It’s a record about emotion,” Yanya says in a press release. “I think it’s more open about that in a way that Miss Universe wasn’t because there’s so many cloaks and sleeves with the concept I built around it.”
This time, she says: “I’m not as scared to admit my feelings.” By Mark Redfern
3. Daniel Rossen: “Shadow in the Frame”
On Thursday, Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear announced the release of his debut solo album, You Belong There, which will be out on April 8 via Warp. He also shared the album’s lead single, “Shadow in the Frame,” and announced a 34-date North American and European tour in support of the album. View the album artwork/tracklist and full list of tour dates here. “Shadow in the Frame” would be at home on some of Grizzly Bear’s earlier albums.
Grizzly Bear released their last album, Painted Ruins, in 2017 via RCA. It was our Album of the Week and the band were on the cover of our summer 2017 print issue. In addition, Painted Ruins was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2017.
Read our 2017 cover story bonus Q&A with Grizzly Bear. By Joey Arnone
4. Beach House: “Masquerade”
Beach House are releasing a new album, Once Twice Melody, on February 18 via Sub Pop, but they are releasing the album in four parts. On Tuesday, they released the third part, featuring five new songs: “Sunset,” “Only You Know,” “Another Go Around,” “Masquerade,” and “Illusion of Forever.” It’s tracks 9-13 from the album. “Masquerade” was our clear favorite from this batch of songs, almost sounding like something you could dance to in an indie-leaning club. “Another Go Around” and “Sunset” make our honorable mentions list. And while also enjoyable, “Only You Know” and “Illusion of Forever” can be found in our list of songs also released this week.
In December, Beach House shared chapter two, which consisted of tracks 5-8: “Runaway,” “ESP,” “New Romance,” and “Over and Over.” “Over and Over” topped our Songs of the Week list and “Runaway” also made the list.
The album’s fourth and final chapter, which contains the final four songs on the album, will be released along with the full album on February 18.
Once Twice Melody is the first album to be produced entirely by the duo. The production features use of a live string ensemble (another first for them) and arrangements by Dave Campbell. The album was predominantly mixed by Alan Moulder, with additional mixing courtesy of Caesar Edmunds, Trevor Spencer, and Dave Fridmann.
Beach House’s previous album, 7, came out back in 2018 via Sub Pop.
5. Jenny Hval: “Year of Love”
On Tuesday, Jenny Hval announced the release of a new album, Classic Objects, which will be out on March 11 via 4AD. Hval also shared a video for a new single from the album, “Year of Love.” View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.
“Year of Love” is based on a true story of a proposal which occurred at one of Hval’s concerts. “For me, this experience was very troubling,” states Hval in a press release. “It confronted me with the fact that I am also married. What does that detail from my private life say about me as an artist? ‘Year of Love’ asks, who am I as an artist? Do my private actions betray my work and voice?”
Hval directed the video with Jenny Berger Myhre and Annie Bielski. The three of them had this to say about the video in the press release: “A sense of loss and joy intertwines in a world of disconnected rooms. The artist inhabits these rooms. She is frozen in time, space, and mid-vowel. She is aware of her immediate surroundings. She is aware that there is more beyond what she can see. A version of her exists in a compressed, compromised, and objectified state. She is sitting in a room, in a house, in a neighborhood, in the art industry.”
In November, Hval shared the album track “Jupiter.” Her previous solo album, The Practice of Love, came out in 2019 via Sacred Bones. Earlier this year, she released an album with Håvard Volden under their Lost Girls moniker titled Menneskekollektivet. By Joey Arnone
6. A Place to Bury Strangers: “I’m Hurt”
On Tuesday, Brooklyn noise rock band A Place to Bury Strangers shared a video for their new single “I’m Hurt.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming sixth studio album, See Through You, which will be out on February 4 via Dedstrange. The video was directed by Dementer and Jug Face filmmaker Chad Crawford Kinkle, and is the first in a series of videos by the band, each of which will feature direction by a different horror filmmaker.
In a press release, frontman Oliver Ackermann states: “‘I’m Hurt’ is the sound of friendship dying. At the time of writing this song, I was going out of my mind dwelling on conflict in my head and beating myself down while trying to rebuild my faith in humanity which is reflected in the actual structure of the song. The drums build with this frustration and a desire to scream with no voice. Listen closely to the vocal phrasing of ‘I’m Hurt’ in the chorus and you can hear the self-doubt and failure I was experiencing at the time.”
A Place to Bury Strangers’ previous studio album, Pinned, was released in 2018 via Dead Oceans. Later that year, they released a remixed version of the album, titled Re-Pinned. Earlier this year, they released the EP Hologram. By Joey Arnone
7. Darkside: “Ecdysis!”
On Tuesday, Darkside (the duo of electronic artist Nicolas Jaar and multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington) shared a new song, the six-and-a-half-minute “Ecdysis!” It was recorded during the sessions for their newest album, Spiral.
Their debut album, Psychic, came out in 2013 via Other People. By Joey Arnone
8. Proper.: “Milk & Honey”
On Tuesday, Brooklyn-based punk trio Proper. announced the release of a new album, The Great American Novel. The album, produced by Bartees Strange, will be out on March 25 via Father/Daughter and Big Scary Monsters. The band shared a new single from the album, “Milk & Honey,” via a video for it. View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.
In a press release, Garlington elaborates on the new single: “You’re taught early on that having children is the ultimate end goal in lift. I knew from a young age that being a family man wasn’t appealing to me but it was drilled into my head I’d change my mind once I settled down. Now that I’m almost 31, it’s finally settling in for my parents that I won’t be the one to pass on our family name. There’s a mixed feeling of bitterness, relief and quite a bit of feeling selfish that comes with a conversation like that.”
Garlington describes The Great American Novel as “a concept album about how Black genius goes ignored, is relentlessly contested, or just gets completely snuffed out before it can flourish. The record is meant to read like a book, every song is a chapter following the protagonist through their 20s. Imagine a queer, Black Holden Caulfield-type coming up in the 2010s.”
In 2019, the band released their sophomore album, I Spent the Winter Writing Songs About Getting Better, on Big Scary Monsters. Last year, they shared the song “Don’t.” In September, they shared “Zuko Alone,” which was one of our Songs of the Week.
Read our interview with the band from 2020.
Last November, the band shared the album track “Red, White, & Blue.” By Joey Arnone
9. Melody’s Echo Chamber: “Looking Backward”
On Thursday, Melody’s Echo Chamber (the project of French musician Melody Prochet) announced the release of a new album, Emotional Eternal, which will be out on April 29 via Domino. Prochet also shared an animated video for the album’s lead single, “Looking Backward.” View the album’s tracklist and cover art here.
“I hope the record has that uplifting quality,” states Prochet in a press release. “I wanted to be more grounded and mindful through the process. I guided the sessions with simplicity—a contrast with the maximalism of Bon Voyage and the wilderness of my delusions. I made some big and impactful decisions and changes to my life. It took me to where it is peaceful, and I think the record reflects this. It’s more direct.”
“‘Looking Backward’ is a vivid, nonchalant, poetic march to the Unknown,” adds Prochet. “I wrote the lyrics on my way to Stockholm, in transit at the airport, there was a man creating light reflections with his watch and playing with light on the floors and walls. It felt like an act coming from a source of pure creativity, it made me happy to catch it and inspired me to write the song.”
“It was a truly joyful experience to tap into Melody’s world and use my CGI skill to visualize it,” states director Hyoyon Paik on the “Looking Backward” video. “This piece demonstrates how artists can utilize digital avatars and CGI to deliver a grander and more immersive narrative in this exciting time, where the digital world and reality are integrated more than ever before.”
Emotional Eternal features production from Swedish artists Reine Fiske and Fredrik Swahn. Prochet’s most recent album, Bon Voyage, came out in 2018 via Fat Possum. By Joey Arnone
10. C Duncan: “Heaven”
On Wednesday, Scotland’s C Duncan (aka Chris Duncan) announced the release of a new album, Alluvium, which will be out on May 6 via Bella Union / [PIAS]. Duncan also shared a new single from the album, “Heaven.” Check out the album’s tracklist and cover art here.
In a press release, Duncan states: “‘Heaven’ is an upbeat and optimistic song about moving on to greener pastures. It’s about turning corners, looking to the future and embracing what lies ahead.”
In November, Duncan shared the album title track “Alluvium,” which was also one of our Songs of the Week. He is featured on our upcoming Covers of Covers compilation, where he covers Angel Olsen’s “Acrobat.”
Read our 2019 My Firsts interview with C Duncan.
These songs almost made the Top 10.
Animal Collective: “Strung With Everything”
Beach House: “Another Go Around” and “Sunset”
The Boo Radleys: “Keep On With Falling”
Camp Cope: “Running with the Hurricane”
Caroline: “Good morning (red)”
Jarvis Cocker: “This House Is…”
Girlpool: “Lie Love Lullaby”
Ibibio Sound Machine: “All That You Want”
Kristine Leschper: “Picture Window”
Superchunk: “This Night” (Feat. Tracyanne Campbell)
Tindersticks: “Both Sides of the Blade”
Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 14 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions:
Other notable new tracks in the last week include:
ALTO ARC: “Bordello”
Laurie Anderson: “Big Science (Arca Remix)”
Band of Horses: “Lights”
Beach House: “Only You Know” and “Illusion of Forever”
Bellows: “Death of Dog”
Big Thief: “Simulation Swarm”
The Bird and the Bee: “Lifetimes”
Black Country, New Road: “Snow Globes”
Boris: “Beyond Good and Evil”
Alex Cameron: “Best Life”
Death Valley Girls: “When I’m Free”
Lana Del Rey: “Watercolor Eyes”
Foo Fighters: “Fraggle Rock Rock”
Maia Friedman: “First to Love”
Ghost: “Call Me Little Sunshine”
Good Looks: “Almost Automatic”
Georgia Harmer: “Austin”
Junk Drawer: “Tears in Costa”
Khruangbin & Leon Bridges: “Chocolate Hills”
King Hannah: “Big Big Baby”
OMBIIGIZI: “Cherry Coke”
Partner: “Time is a Car”
Phosphorescent: “Bad News From Home” (Randy Newman Cover)
PUP: “Robot Writes a Love Song”
Pussy Riot: “PUNISH”
Sonic Youth: “In & Out”
Wet Leg: “Material Girl” (Madonna Cover)
Classic Song of the Week:
Doves: “Here It Comes” and “Sea Song”
Our 20th Anniversary Issue includes a section where we conduct new interviews with most of the artists originally interviewed in our first issue. Included is the Manchester trio Doves, who we interviewed about their debut album, Lost Souls, so here are two singles from that, “Here It Comes” and “Sea Song.”