Photo: Vanessa Heins

Tracks Tracks: PUP, Lana Del Rey, Bodega and more

Check out the biggest and best new music this week.

We’re nearing the end of Jan and while it may still be cold AF outside, luckily we’ve got some belters heating us up.

Toronto punks PUP return with ‘Robot Writes A Love Song’ (and news of a new album on the way), while Lana Del Rey delivers all the feels on Euphoria soundtrack gem ‘Watercolor Eyes’.

BRITs Rising Star Holly Humberstone also dropped new track ‘London Is Lonely’ and firmly cemented why she’s one of the UK’s most exciting new acts, and Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen announced his debut solo LP with first cut ‘Shadow In The Frame’.

To keep your devices up to date with the best new music, subscribe to Essential New Tracks on Spotify. For our roundup of the week’s top new numbers, read on…

PUP - Robot Writes A Love Song

With “now my wires have all been exposed, and my systems menu won’t even load”, PUP vocalist Stefan Babcock waxes about the odd parallels between the human experience of love and all things robot-affiliated on their surprisingly emotive latest single that is ‘Robot Writes A Love Song’. This subversive meta-commentary is brimming with glorious gang vocal arrangements, classic fuzz guitar fills and strengthened by a surreal yet jovial robotic narrative. With loose references of blue screens alluding to death and beta tests representing first dates, the rough-edged pop punk of PUP is perfectly matched with the weird, quasi-nostalgic storytelling of this track. (Alisdair Grice)

Lana Del Rey - Watercolor Eyes

Lana Del Rey and Euphoria feel like they’ve been on converging paths since they both existed, and Lana’s contribution to the show’s soundtrack is exactly as good as you’d expect it to be. After exploring different sounds on her more recent albums, 2021’s ‘Blue Banisters’ saw Lana returning to a concentrated iteration of her trailblazing sad girl pop, and that’s exactly what we get on ‘Watercolor Eyes’ too. All piano, soulful vocals, and sprawling Americana sensitively, it’s wonderful, classic Lana through and through. (Ims Taylor)

Bodega - Thrown

A quintessentially Bodega (read: cleverly skewering whilst toe-tappingly danceable) new cut, ‘Thrown’ opens with cheeky declarations of “watch the thrown” - see what they did there? - before tumbling into a staccato dissection of self-analysis and shouty, fist-punchy group chants. The New Yorkers are masters of combining the arch and arty with the immediate and accessible, and there’s nothing throwing them off course ahead of LP2 here. (Lisa Wright)

Holly Humberstone - London Is Lonely

Holly Humberstone’s beginning to the year is as powerful as can be. ‘London Is Lonely’ takes every bit of heartstring-tugging melancholy that saturated her debut EP ‘The Walls Are Way Too Thin’, and concentrates it down into a single song. The sparse but atmospheric piano is the perfect backdrop to ‘London Is Lonely’’s encapsulation of how isolated you can feel in the city, with a side storyline of heartbreak – the easygoing emotiveness of Holly’s storytelling is as bright as ever here. (Ims Taylor)

Daniel Rossen - Shadow In The Frame

Throughout his tenure with both Grizzly Bear and more underrated project Department of Eagles, Daniel Rossen has nurtured a style so distinctive you could tell any release that bears his name (no pun intended) from a mile off. Rich and texturally lush, with sweepingly emotive musicality and Rossen’s own slightly quavering tone, it’s a signature that means ‘Shadow In The Frame’ - the first song to come from his forthcoming solo debut LP - sounds immediately familiar but in all the best ways. Five years since the last GB record, what’s not to embrace about a track that offers all the band’s best, most goose-pimpling assets in one swoop? Literally nothing, we say. (Lisa Wright)

Conan Gray - Jigsaw

Originally written as a “diary entry rant”, Conan Gray’s first new music of 2022 is a scream-a-long ready anthem all about changing yourself to please someone else. Blending influences of pop-punk with his irresistible pop hooks, ‘Jigsaw’ finds Conan once again showing his flair for writing pop songs with a punch. And lyrics like “all I did just to make you happy / Still, you don’t even fuckin’ love me” are certain to have stadiums yelling along and loving every minute. (Elly Watson)


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