Photo: María José Govea

Tracks: Arcade Fire, Angel Olsen, Sorry and more

The biggest and best new tracks from the last week.

While we’ve been busy dealing with our multi-day hangovers from last weekend’s DIY Alive shenanigans, the musical universe has been serving up yet more delicacies for us to treat our senses to. Not only is there another taste of Arcade Fire’s forthcoming record, ‘WE’, but Angel Olsen and Superorganism have also added to their previews, we’ve got a couple of stellar team-ups, and there’s a brand new number from Sorry.

To feast on precisely one hundred of the best new songs released, see our Essential New Tracks playlist below - for more words, read on…

Arcade Fire – Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)

“There’s nothing saccharine about unconditional love in a world that is coming apart at the seams,” Arcade Fire’s Win Butler says of the band’s new single, driving a wedge between the 2022 version of the band – about to release sixth album ‘WE’ – and the Arcade Fire of five years ago, who, on the tongue-in-cheek ‘Everything Now’, would have found that entirely too sweet indeed. As it is, ‘Lookout Kid’ is a vulnerable and touching song written to the singer’s son about the troubles he will face in life (“a life without pain would be boring,” he reassures him) but it’s a message that can hit home with anyone, anywhere. The instrumentation is grand, and Win’s lyrics are delightfully earnest and uncool, as he sings: “Some people want the rock without the roll / But we all know, there’s no god without soul.” He doesn’t care though, as long as the message gets through - and we’re hearing it loud and clear. (Will Richards)

Angel Olsen - Big Time

The title track to her forthcoming sixth studio album, ‘Big Time’ sees Angel Olsen dig out the Stetson from the back of her closet and return to the kind of country ballads like ‘Lonely Universe’ and ‘The Waiting’ she was writing on her debut ‘Half Way Home’. However, while those songs were intimate and lovelorn, ‘Big Time’ is an uplifting celebration of the halcyon days of a fulfilling relationship that twinkles with accents of organ and steel guitar. With a hook inspired by her partner, Beau, this is the sound of Angel finding freedom in authenticity. (James Smurthwaite)

Sorry – There’s So Many People That Want To Be Loved

Since the release of debut album ‘925’ in early 2020, Sorry have been sprinkling new material out that hints at brilliantly weird new directions for the Domino signings. Latest cut ‘There’s So Many People That Want To Be Loved’ is more traditional – a captivating slowdance defined by Asha Lorenz’s intriguing vocals – and whets the appetite thoroughly for a new release later this year on which the new track appears. (Will Richards)

Sigrid ft. Bring Me The Horizon - Bad Life

After having written ‘Bad Life’, Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes and Jordan Fish couldn’t see a place for the track in their upcoming projects. Enter Norwegian singer-songwriter Sigrid, who knows the perfect place to fit the track: on her forthcoming album, How To Let Go. The rock duo have a knack for writing a catchy hook; pair this with Oli and Sigrid’s sleek vocals, and the end product is a piano pop ballad that could have been ripped straight from ’98. Think Natalie Imbruglia meets Lorde for an instant classic. (Dylan Shortridge)

Superorganism - crushed.zip

Superorganism have crawled out of the wonky pop primordial soup of ‘crushed.zip’, and it tastes delicious. Chewy synths and wobbly Auto-Tune make for perfect ingredients; ones that manage to make earworm-y harmonies of “I’m so feeling so crushed” sound obnoxiously sweet. ‘crushed.zip’ is a fitting title: the track crams in so much fun and oddity that it bursts at the seams, begging to be extracted. It ends with a noisy slurp that gets soup all over you, but you don’t mind. Thissongisjustsogood.zip. (Mia Smith)

PinkPantheress ft. WILLOW – Where You Are

PinkPantheress and WILLOW have become two of the most distinctive voices of modern music over the last year. While the former is bringing drum’n’bass back for the TikTok generation, the latter has become a pop-punk megastar. On collaboration ‘Where You Are’, the two manage to keep hold of their eccentricities while fitting perfectly together. A classic ‘00s pop-punk guitar line (courtesy of Paramore’s ‘Never Let This Go’) sits below vintage PinkPantheress’ beats before WILLOW’s verse is delivered with passion and confidence. (Will Richards)

mxmtoon - Victim of Nostalgia

A heavily Y2K-influenced track that addresses the impending ‘fear of growing up’, made apparent by the dulcet strum of a 00s folk guitar melody, mxmtoon has always blended her ’stream-of-consciousness’ writing style with glossy pop acuity, but ‘victim of nostalgia’ tugs firmly on your heartstrings, not only expressing catharsis over the freedom of her past, but also heavily implying a fear of the future (“Will the world still be around when I am 63?”). Tapping into the ever-elusive concept of ‘growing up’, mxmtoon knows her audience well, and sympathises with their pains in an equally beautiful and memorable track. (Alisdair Grice)


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