At Paste Music, we’re listening to so many new tunes on any given day, we barely have any time to listen to each other. This was a particularly busy week, but we’re still giving you the most undeniable new tracks that crossed our desks—just less of them than usual. Check out this week’s best new songs below.
Kelly Lee Owens: “Sonic 8“
British ambient artist Kelly Lee Owens has announced that her third studio album, titled LP.8, is on its way (April 29, Smalltown Supersound). The album’s anxious, buzzing closer, “Sonic 8” finds Owens chanting what sounds like a warning message in a deadpan voice over exploding industrial beats and whispering backup vocals that seem to give away all fear absent from Owens’ main vocal. The panicked, repeated whispers of “anxiety,” “help us” and “what do we do now?” rub up against the laconic lead voice that notes, “You know, I’ve been feeling for a long time now that something’s wrong, deeply wrong,” as if it just occurred to her. In a way, the contrast is almost funny, but it’s also reflective of being forced to keep going as if things are okay when they’re clearly not (feels eerily familiar to what a bunch of us are going through now! Huh!). —Elise Soutar
Barcelona-based artist Marina Herlop embodies the idea of learning the rulebook by heart in order to break the rules at every turn, shedding the classical conservatory training exhibited on her previous albums Nanook and Babasha to morph into a wordlessly syllabic experimental-pop musician of the future on her forthcoming third full-length, Pripyat. The record’s second single, “shaolin mantis,” is bizarre and endlessly listenable in equal measure, blending inventive, percussive production and vocal acrobatics until they melt away into eerily beautiful piano lines. Though she cites everyone from Debussy to Portishead to Amy Winehouse as an influence, it’s hard to pinpoint anything about the track that feels redundant or like it’s in the vein of anything else we know. In her effort to pull a little bit of everything from her wide artistic orbit, Herlop has reinvented herself in a way that feels revelatory. You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for whatever revelation she throws our way next. —Elise Soutar
“R Entertainment” is our first preview of the second album from London six-piece Sports Team, Gulp!, coming July 22 on Island Records. It’s also a scathing, funny take on how we human beings spend our finite time alive, drowning out the constant flow of catastrophe with fistfuls of “content” (like this!). Over an irresistible bar-rock boogie, Alex Rice’s opening verse lands like a hook to the jaw: “Oh good morning, love / You know the army’s here / And they’re mowing us down / For R entertainment.” Wrist-flicking tambourines, blaring feedback, nimble guitar riffs and Rice’s lively vocal performance all give the track a delightfully raucous vibe, sobering commentary couched in a song worth emptying a glass to. —Scott Russell
For Dre and Vonne, aka Tampa Bay’s They Hate Change, “blatant localism” might as well be a mission statement. The production and rap duo have sonic roots that span continents, not to mention area codes, but as lyricists, their feet stay planted on Florida’s Gulf Coast. On the latest single from their forthcoming Jagjaguwar debut Finally, New, Dre and Vonne use a skeletal electronic beat as backing for “a break from the gimmicks and a PSA for those who continue to live a façade; we’re asking for everyone to show what’s really behind the curtain,” they explain. “It’s funny how y’all get excited about crime / I can’t deny, I thought them rhymes was really true to they lives,” Dre raps, half-laughing as he hand-waves rap game fakers out of his face. They Hate Change have this way of making the familiar feel fresh again, deconstructing tired styles only to reassemble them in their own image. —Scott Russell
London rock quartet TV Priest have announced their sophomore album, My Other People, coming June 17 on Sub Pop. The follow-up to last year’s acclaimed Uppers is preceded by new single “Bury Me in My Shoes,” our second preview of My Other People after February’s “One Easy Thing.” TV Priest’s own Nic Bueth produced the record at London’s Studio East. While “One Easy Thing” found TV Priest taking a quiet-loud approach to their chugging, spoke-sung post-punk, “Bury Me in My Shoes” leads with unflagging urgency, as if to reinforce its central suggestion: that life is passing you by, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. “Life only comes in flashes of greatness / Life only comes in flashes of greatness / Life only comes in flashes of past greatness,” Drinkwater intones, quoting an “old man” who’s lived to see this particular hard truth for himself. Guitars flash and buzz as Drinkwater surveys “the bonfires of good ideas,” bemused by “some deeper mystery / I couldn’t seem to hold.” —Scott Russell