Have You Heard? Tracks: My Chemical Romance, Kendrick Lamar, Pale Waves & more

The biggest and best new tracks from the last week.

Hoards of music fans may have descended upon Brighton for this year’s edition of The Great Escape, but that doesn’t mean the new music machine has slowed down this week! Oh no, quite to the contrary, it’s been another jam-packed week for new music, led by the return of emo titans My Chemical Romance… Yep, you read that right!

Elsewhere this week, there’s the searingly honest new ‘un from Pale Waves’ third album, a brand new offering from Remi Wolf, and the incredible prologue to Kendrick Lamar’s new album, which arrived in the form of ‘The Heart Part 5’. There’s also new cuts from Stella Donnelly, Crack Cloud, Nova Twins, as well as the latest offerings from Phoebe Green, Starcrawler and Ezra Furman. Told you it was a big one!

Read on to discover some of our favourites from this week’s new music, or just subscribe to DIY’s Essential New Tracks playlist on Spotify here.

My Chemical Romance - The Foundations of Decay

When My Chemical Romance played their first live show together in almost seven years back in December 2019, no one could have predicted what would happen next. Now, after two years’ worth of delays, the band are finally about to hit the road for their hefty worldwide reunion tour; what we didn’t expect, perhaps, was new music ahead of then. Whether a byproduct of the lengthy wait or an intentional move that was set to be played all along, the first new music from the band is something of an grand statement.

A melding pot of elements from throughout their discography (the opening glitchy synths immediately feel reminiscent of ‘Look Alive, Sunshine’ before shifting towards the darker, more sparse sonics and hushed vocals of their early material), ‘The Foundations of Decay’ is a slow burning offering that swells into frenetic life across its six minutes. It’s the track’s second half that really breaks out into firey life, though, with its punk breakdown, hefty riffs and scorched screams. Whether a standalone track or a sign of things to come, it’s a return of epic proportions. Now, bring on the live shows. (Sarah Jamieson)

Kendrick Lamar - The Heart Part 5

Before each of his studio albums to date, Kendrick Lamar has presented an edition of his song series ‘The Heart’, ushering in a new era with a non-album track just days before the full record drops. ‘Part 5’ might be the best of the bunch, welcoming Kenny’s new alter-ego of Oklama. “I am. All of us,” a quote from Oklama says at the start of the funky track’s stunning official video. In the visual, Kendrick – via deepfake technology – turns into the late Nipsey Hussle, under-fire Will Smith, Kanye West and more, rapping about his relationships with his forebearers and the legacy he will leave behind. As a teaser for ‘Mr Morale & The Big Steppers’, it’s truly exciting. (Will Richards)

Pale Waves - Lies

“You messed me up, yeah, real bad,” sings Heather Baron–Gracie on ‘Lies’, a scuzzy, unapologetically honest cut that sees Pale Waves lean further into the pop-punk influences from previous album, ‘Who Are You?’ (that LP featured the lovesick sounds of ‘Easy’, ‘She’s My Religion’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’). But things are less rosy this time. ‘Lies’ was inspired by someone who ripped apart the frontwoman’s trust like a “wrecking ball” – and the resulting track smashes in with equal force. Produced by Zakk Cervini - who’s produced the likes of Machine Gun Kelly, Poppy and Blink-182 - it serves as a stark warning: Pale Waves aren’t to be fucked with. (Tom Skinner)

Crack Cloud – Please Yourself

Always ones for weighty imagery, Crack Cloud’s latest track discusses the paradox of the way music and media can aid self-understanding among fans but also help foster insecurity and unhealthy habits. The first single from forthcoming album ‘Tough Baby’ is classic Crack Cloud; unafraid to interrogate commonly held beliefs, deeply informed by the community in and around the band, but also a damn catchy art-punk song that can be enjoyed on the surface as much as it can down in the weeds. (Will Richards)

Nova Twins - Puzzles

Nova Twins do blazing bad bitch rock anthems like no other band, and in the run up to their second album ‘Supernova’, they’ve been on explosive form. With female empowerment at the centre of their mission, the notion of them writing a sultry sex positive rager seems incredibly fitting, and they slip into their sexy side effortlessly. “Big band candy man, give a girl a bone/Don’t want you to love me, you just need to make me moan,” frontwoman Amy Love purrs over buzzing, hot-blooded riffs with spike of R’n’B influence. If the quality of this and the singles that have come before it are anything to go by, ‘Supernova’ will be utterly thrilling. (Emma Wilkes)

Remi Wolf - Michael

Remi Wolf knows how to treat us. We’d have been happy soaking in the bright rays of last year’s ‘Juno’ - funky slice of fun soul-pop that it was - for a little while longer, but she’s shared a woozy bonus cut in the form of ‘Michael’, and announced a deluxe version alongside it. ‘Michael’ may come in a little more moody than most of ‘Juno’, but it’s a perfect foil to it – reflective, laidback, and packed with sonic shimmers and Wolf’s distinctive, emotive vocals. In contrasting ‘Juno’, it shows off Remi’s seasonal variety to a tee. (Ims Taylor)

Stella Donnelly – Lungs

In the video for her new song ‘Lungs’, Stella Donnelly plays, she says, “a wobbly adult, doing their best with their new set of legs and responsibilities,” surrounded by a gaggle of children altogether more sure in their footing. The danceable track – a first teaser of second studio album ‘Flood’ – sees the Aussie singer-songwriter singing about slowly but surely rediscovering herself with each next step. It’s a joy to watch her grow. (Will Richards)

Phoebe Green - Lucky Me

Phoebe Green has long been ticking things off the alt-pop bucket list pretty steadily, while fast becoming one of the scene’s best-loved ingenues. Now, hot off the heels of a song featured on Killing Eve, she’s announced her debut album alongside the release of Lucky Me. It’s a three-minute world of everything that characterises Green: grounded lyrical realisms, swaggering goth-pop instrumentals, and swooning melody lines delivered with elfin glamour. She entertains and evokes intense emotion all at once, and it couldn’t be a better introduction to her first album. (Ims Taylor)

Ezra Furman - Forever In Sunset

The newest chapter of Ezra Furman’s new era – with a new album, ‘All Of Us Flames’ set to drop in August - is gorgeously disarming. Beginning as a moody ballad with pattering percussion and the gentle rumble of an electric guitar, it suddenly erupts into glimmering epicness for its chorus. It’s the sound of a woman who has a knack for writing music for a moment, and with her contributions to Sex Education’s distinctive soundtrack on her CV, it’s easy to see where it comes from. This new era could be beautiful. (Emma Wilkes)

Starcrawler - Roadkill

With bite, charm, and rock’n’roll sensibilities of the highest order, Starcrawler sparkle with ‘Roadkill’. Classic punk with a pearly sheen over the top, it’s as gritty as it is fun, blooming with groovy harmonies and punchy riffs. Arrow de Wilde’s delivery is simultaneously understated and fierce, oozing charisma even just through the speakers, saturated with the inimitable energy of rowdy punk shows. Starcrawlers’s live appeal hasn’t gone unnoticed either – ‘Roadkill’ doubles as the appetiser for the band’s upcoming shows alongside none other than My Chemical Romance, and it’s a sweet taste of what’s in store.

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