10 Best Songs of the Week: Alvvays, Broken Bells, Magdalena Bay, Björk, and More
Plus Wild Pink Feat. J Mascis, Miss Grit, LIES, and a Wrap-up of the Week’s Other Notable New Tracks
Sep 23, 2022
Welcome to the 36th Songs of the Week of 2022. This week one artist has two songs in the main list, which is a Top 10 this time.
In the last week or so we posted an interview with Brett Morgen, the director of the David Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream.
In the last week we 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 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. Alvvays: “Belinda Says”
Yesterday, Toronto-based indie-pop band Alvvays shared videos for two new singles: “Belinda Says” and “Very Online Guy.” They are the latest releases from the band’s upcoming third studio album, Blue Rev, which will be out on October 7 via Polyvinyl. We liked both songs enough for them both to make this week’s Songs of the Week list, but the staff consensus was that “Belinda Says” was the clear winner.
The band state in a press release: “Two new lambs for the cultural volcano! One more sweet slurp of alcopop dedicated to the girls wiping tables called ‘Belinda Says’ and the dial-up electronic dream ‘Very Online Guy.’
“We painted and shot the ‘Belinda Says’ video in our living room. We directed a mosaic-mode vid for ‘V.O.G.’ with our videoguru friend Colby. This was easily the funnest thing we’ve ever shot. Enjoy our clunky low-bit collage of aliased key clacking and step-dance scramble on your CRTs.”
Blue Rev was recorded in October 2021 and mixed by Shawn Everett. Upon announcement of the album, the band shared the single “Pharmacist,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. The band’s previous album, Antisocialites, came out in 2017.
Read our interview with Alvvays about Antisocialites.
Read the full extended Q&A of our interview with Alvvays’s Molly Rankin about Antisocialites.
Read our review of Antisocialites.
Read our 2014 interview with Alvvays. By Joey Arnone
2. Broken Bells: “Love On the Run”
On Wednesday, Broken Bells (the collaboration between James Mercer of The Shins and producer Danger Mouse, aka Brian Joseph Burton) shared a video for their seven-minute long new song, “Love On the Run.” It is the latest release from their forthcoming album, Into the Blue, which will be out on October 7 via AWAL.
Upon announcement of the album, Broken Bells shared the single “We’re Not in Orbit Yet….” They later shared the album track “Saturdays.” The duo’s previous studio album, After the Disco, came out in 2014 via Columbia. By Joey Arnone
3. Magdalena Bay: “Unconditional”
Los Angeles-based electro-pop duo Magdalena Bay (aka Mica Tenenbaum and Matthew Lewin) released a deluxe edition of their debut album, Mercurial World, today via Luminelle. On Tuesday, they shared another brand new song from the deluxe edition, “Unconditional,” via a self-directed video in which the band are on a surreal children’s TV show, kind of like a creepy Pee-wee’s Playhouse. View the band’s upcoming tour dates here.
Previously the band shared another deluxe edition track, Danny L Harle’s remix of “Chaeri.” shared a brand new song from the deluxe edition, the string-swept “All You Do,” via a video for the new single, which was #1 on our Songs of the Week list.
“We think of ‘Unconditional’ as ‘Secrets’’ weird little cousin. Just like ‘All You Do,’ we loved it when we made it but it didn’t quite fit the flow of Mercurial World,” explain Magdalena Bay in a press release.
They had this to add about the video: “This video is our dream birthday party, and you’re all invited.”
Magdalena Bay recently remixed Soccer Mommy’s “Shotgun.”
In a previous press release, the duo had this to say about the deluxe edition: “The Deluxe is a mish mosh of sorts, an amalgamation of new songs that didn’t originally fit the flow of Mercurial World, of reimagined versions of existing album tracks by us and some talented remixers, plus some special secrets. When we started working on the Deluxe, we wanted it to flow like the original album did. These secrets tie the record together in a cool way, we can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Mercurial World came out last year via Luminelle. In addition to “Chaeri,” which was one of our Songs of the Week, it features the singles “Secrets (Your Fire),” which was #1 on our Songs of the Week, “You Lose!,” which also made our Songs of the Week list, and “Hysterical Us,” also one of our Songs of the Week. The album was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2021, and several songs from the album were featured on our Top 130 Songs of 2021 list.
Read our interview with Magdalena Bay on Mercurial World here. By Mark Redfern
4. Björk: “Ancestress”
Björk is releasing a new album, Fossora, on September 30 via One Little Independent. Yesterday, she shared the album’s third single, “Ancestress,” a moving song about her late mother. It was shared via a video for the new song. Andrew Thomas Huang directed the video.
Björk had this to say about the song in a statement on Instagram:
“on my new album , fossora , i wrote 2 songs to my mother . this one , ancestress , is written just after her wordly funeral and is probably a common musician´s reaction ,
the impulse of making your version of the story , later .
this song is a letter to my mother , her story seen from my point of view
it is written in chronological order , the first verse is my childhood and so on
only recently did i discover that this song is probably somehow inspired by an icelandic song ‘grafskrift’
which is somehow a very direct and patriarchial account of someones life
i probably wanted to approach this in a more feminine way
her biological and emotional story
not her professions , partners or dates of birth and death
i am very grateful to my son , sindri eldon , to arrange and sing vocals for the verses
as he has a delicious voice and was very close to her .
for 20 years i have not been able to attend funerals as something in them rubbed me the wrong way .
possibly a big part of it is after having lived a life of thousand concerts , i probably have too strong ideas on how a ritual should be ,
what kinda sound , musical structure , words and it took me all this time to discover that for me all funerals should be outside .
probably what was offending me most was how can one set off the spirit in such a claustrophobic environment as a church ?
when the soul sets off , it needs to be outside so there is room for how enormous it becomes when it merges with the elements
Previously Björk shared the album’s cover art and tracklist. Then she shared the album’s first single, “Atopos,” via a weird and wonderful video for the new song. “Atopos” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then she shared the album’s second single, “Ovule,” via a majestic video.
Björk also recently announced the release of a new podcast, entitled Björk: Sonic Symbolism, which will premiere on September 30 via Mailchimp Presents and Talkhouse. By Mark Redfern
5. Wild Pink: “See You Better Now” (Feat. J Mascis)
On Wednesday, Wild Pink shared a new single, “See You Better Now,” featuring J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. It is the latest release from the band’s forthcoming album, ILYSM, which will be out on October 14 via Royal Mountain.
Frontman John Ross elaborates on the new single in a press release: “‘See You Better Now’ is the most straightforward love song on the album and definitely inspired by Tom Petty and Traveling Wilburys. It was one of the last songs I wrote for this album and a really fun song to record in the studio. It’s still wild to me that J Mascis did the guitar solo on it.”
Upon announcement of the new album in July, Wild Pink shared the single “ILYSM,” which was #1 on our Songs of the Week list. They later shared the album track “Hold My Hand,” which features Julien Baker and was one of our Songs of the Week.
Wild Pink’s previous album, A Billion Little Lights, came out last February via Royal Mountain. By Joey Arnone
6. Alvvays: “Very Online Guy”
“Very Online Guy” is the second new song Alvvays shared this week. As its title suggests, the song seems to be about a man who spends too much time on social media. Specifically frontwoman Molly Rankin seems to be referring to Instagram when she sings “He’s only one filter away/He’s only one follow one filter away/He’s a very online guy/He types his cool replies.”
Rankin co-directed the video with bandmate Alec O’Hanley, alongside Colby Richardson. In it the band are pixilated just enough so you can appreciate the effect, but not so much that you can’t enjoy the video. By Mark Redfern
7. Miss Grit: “Like You”
On Wednesday, Miss Grit (aka Margaret Sohn) announced that they have signed to Mute, and released their first new music for the label with the song “Like You.”
Sohn speaks a bit about the song in a press release: “I had the character of Ex Machina in mind as the voice I was singing from. Her arc in the movie felt really beautiful to me, and I wanted to reach the same ending as her in this song.”
On signing to Mute, Sohn adds: “Mute is one of the labels I put on a pedestal in my mind. So the fact I was even on their radar was really flattering. And then to think they believed in my music enough to want to work together made me so happy.”
In 2021, Miss Grit shared the EP Imposter. By Joey Arnone
8. LIES: “Corbeau”
Yesterday, LIES (Mike and Nate Kinsella, cousins and band members in American Football and Joan of Arc) shared a new single, “Corbeau.” It is out now via Polyvinyl.
Upon announcement of LIES in May, the duo shared the singles “Blemishes” and “Echoes.”
In December of last year, American Football shared the song “Rare Symmetry” along with a cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You.” Joan of Arc’s most recent album, 1984, came out in 2018. By Joey Arnone
9. Peel Dream Magazine: “Hiding Out”
On Wednesday, Peel Dream Magazine (aka Joseph Stevens) shared a video for his new song “Hiding Out,” which has a pleasing High Llamas vibe. It is the latest release from his forthcoming third album, Pad, which will be out on October 7 via Slumberland/Tough Love.
Stevens states in a press release: “I’m originally from New York and I’d never surfed before, but I’ve met quite a few surfers here in LA and it has an obvious mystique. I asked my friend Leon if he had an extra board and if he would take me to one of his spots in Malibu, and we managed to rope our friend Bryce into filming it. I thought it would be funny to do the anti-surfing video, where all I do is fall over and over again, and I think we achieved that. You see the raw beauty of the landscape and the incredible vibes that were felt that day. There’s an obvious Beach Boys connection there too—when I think of my favorite album Friends, this song and video channel that energy. Pure, but a little twisted. The song is about needing space, and funny enough, all of the lyrics are about me walking around Queens during quarantine. Calvary is a cemetery in Woodside that I would walk to regularly (‘They guard the gates at Calvary, a secret place to be’), and I talk about wandering up to the Queensboro Bridge. On the one hand I’m downtrodden, but in the choruses, I enter my own secret world full of magic and color. It’s odd to be singing a song about New York from the cliffs of Malibu, but then again I am hiding aren’t I?”
Previously Peel Dream Magazine shared a video for the album’s title track, “Pad.” He later shared the album track “Pictionary.” His last album was 2020’s Agitprop Alterna. By Joey Arnone
10. Maya Hawke: “Luna Moth”
On Wednesday, singer/actress Maya Hawke shared a new single, “Luna Moth.” It is the latest release from her new album, MOSS, which is out today via Mom + Pop.
In a press release, Hawke states: “The story of ‘Luna Moth’ doesn’t belong to me. It was collected from a teacher I had in high school who told me a story of breaking a girl’s heart by killing a beautiful moth on her bathroom floor. I wanted to find a way of describing how you can ruin everything without thinking. A mistake can break a heart and breaking someone else’s heart can break your own.”
Stream MOSS here and read our review of it here.
In June, Hawke announced the album and shared “Thérèse,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. She later shared the album track “Sweet Tooth,” also one of our Songs of the Week. By Joey Arnone
These songs almost made the Top 10.
Julien Chang: “Snakebit”
Scout Gillett: “444 marcy ave”
Hannah Jadagu: “Say It Now”
Mamalarky: “Shining Armor”
Poster Paints: “Not Sorry”
Margo Price: “Change of Heart”
Remember Sports: “Leap Day”
Here’s a handy Spotify playlist featuring the Top 10 in order, followed by all the honorable mentions:
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