Unfortunately, a majority of the albums I’m excited for haven’t released yet. Luckily, though, singles still exist in the age of streaming. Singles don’t seem as important now, but at least they allow listeners to get a taste of what’s to come in the next couple months. Recently, some incredible, inventive tracks have dropped. Here’s a list of the best of them:
“Blue Sunday” by Citizen
The emo-pop, post-hardcore band has taken an exciting step forward with its psychedelic new track “Blue Sunday.” Fuzzy vocals and thrumming basslines wrap the listener in warmth. There are so many different sounds it feels like the song could be divided into distinct thirds, a serpentine path switching focus as the song winds to a close.
“THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN'T DO” by Spirit of the Beehive
This one is wild. It’s a hallucination in auditory form. It opens with the barely discernible, soft vocals of lead vocalist Rivka Ravede as waves of noise and drum loops cascade, mashing into each other. Around two minutes in, the track descends into lunacy. Vocalist Zack Schwartz’ distorted, spoken words are backed walls of feedback and grimy guitars. Then, the song truly hinges. Screams of “I’ll be your friend!” rise above the din of pounding percussion and wailing guitars as the song screeches to a catastrophic close. It’s incredibly potent noise rock.
“New Detroit” by Tigers Jaw
The Scranton band continues its shift into indie rock with the new single off its forthcoming record, “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me.” “New Detroit” is pure, catchy power pop. Featuring understated keys and percussion beneath the melodic strum of Ben Walsh’s acoustic guitar, the band crafts a strong melodic hook. It’s breezy, buoyant and one of my favorite tracks of the year.
“Guilt Like a Gun” by Kali Masi
“Told all of our friends about the news,” Sam Porter sings on the opening of “Guilt Like a Gun.” “Drove through Indiana unamused.” God, I feel that. The emotive, punk-rock outfit touches on estrangement and frustration, lamenting the fact that “It seems like nothing ever changes.” It’s not an easy listen as its themes are extremely on-the-nose in this year of loneliness, but a bombastic breakdown at the ending is extremely cathartic.
“Tin Foil Hat” by Nervous Dater
This one is for all my internet conspiracy theorists. A grungy chorus featuring lines like “CIA brain sanitizing/ I’ll burn my passport/ Tinfoil hat on” and “I think I know the score/ I’m going off the grid/ You won’t know me anymore” make this song a goofy delight. It’s punchy, powerful garage rock that captures the paranoia of being alive in the modern age.
“Pacific City” by Wild Pink
Wild Pink’s ethereal Americana is the ultimate palette cleanser. “Pacific City” is one of the prettiest songs I’ve heard in a long time. Lead singer John Ross’ soft croon over the lush, pastoral soundscape hits just right. Peace emanates throughout the music and the words. “And you deserve the good things that’ll come to you,” Ross sings. “You just need a little room.” The song climaxes with a beautiful harmony of synths and saxophone that is so good it makes me feel like I’m levitating. Best song, best band.