Mitski – The Only Heartbreaker
“The Only Heartbreaker,” co-written with Semisonic’s Dan Wilson, enlists an ’80s sound in classic “Take On Me”-style that emphasizes the histrionics of intentionally sabotaging something or someone. Simple in its attempt to process the dreadful stomach-pit feeling of being the only passionate one in a relationship — even if it means knowingly invoking pain — “The Only Heartbreaker” succeeds in its sing (or scream at the top of your lungs)-along potential and aching honesty.
Amos Lee – Worry No More
Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Christian “Leggy” Langdon, “Worry No More” is Lee’s first new song in almost four years. Starting out slow, the music swells as Lee mixes in finger snaps and layered vocals that build up into visceral rush of tranquility. It makes you actually believe that everything will eventually fall into place, promising “worry no more / there’s an open door for you” and giving the encouragement you need to push through.
Foals – Wake Me Up
“Wake Me Up” is Foals‘ first new single since announcing the departure of keyboardist Edwin Congreave in September, and is accompanied by a Dave East-directed video. Frontman Yannis Philippakis says of the track, “There’s a journey that the band has gone on experimenting with different palettes of sound. This time there was a desire to take it back to more of the initial idea of the band where the rhythm, the grooves and the guitars are interlocking architecturally. We wanted to tap into the physicality of music..and we wanted it to feel good.”
Aurora – Giving In To The Love
The otherworldly video for “Giving In To The Love” was directed by Aurora and shot in Oslo, the clip features the singer dancing among scenes of nature before she seemingly brings a statue to life.
Beach House – Once Twice Melody
Produced entirely by Beach House, the 18-track album was recorded between Minnesota, California, and Maryland. The duo tapped David Campbell to arrange the live string ensemble featured on the project. Once Twice Melody, including the title track featured below, will be released in four-song chapters over the coming months.
Ed Sheeran – Overpass Graffiti
“The song’s about a breakup that was years ago. You still hold on to the memory of that and it will never fade, like graffiti on the overpass. Originally, this song was a power ballad, it was very slow. Then Fred said, ‘Have you ever thought about making it double time?’ It gave it new life,” Sheeran explains.
Arctic Monkeys – 505
Despite never being released as a single, “505” has always been a firm favorite among Arctic Monkeys fans, getting a huge reception during their live performances. 505 in the song is a reference to the number of the hotel room where Turner’s Girlfriend was staying, which he longed to get back to.
Spoon – The Hardest Cut
This is one of Spoon’s hardest-rocking songs ever, pairing heavy detuned guitars and a jaunty solo (inspired by ZZ Top, per Daniel) with another of the band’s expectedly catchy choruses. The eerie rock-concert–meets–slasher-film music video also makes good on the song’s title, arriving with near-perfect timing just days before Halloween.
Sting – Rushing Water
17-time Grammy Award winning artist Sting has released “Rushing Water,” the rocking opening salvo from his forthcoming album, The Bridge. Sting says, “The song ‘Rushing Water’ is a fitting start to an album that seeks to bridge all of the petty differences that can separate us.” The Bridge, penned in a year of global pandemic, showcases Sting’s prolific and diverse songwriting prowess, with this new set of songs representing styles and genres explored throughout his inimitable career.
Walters – I Love You So
In an April 2021 interview, lead vocalist Luke Olson stated that “the band broke up with [him]” and that it was “a pretty tough pill to swallow.” Following the band’s breakup, Olson started a solo career under the moniker “L. Martin,” while the remaining members reformed a new band, calling themselves Corduroy. Recently, their song “I Love You So” from the EP Songs for Dads has gone viral on TikTok, appearing in more than 264,700 videos as of October 24, 2021.
Courtney Barnett – Write A List Of Things To Look Forward To
Barnett spoke about the song earlier this year saying of its origins, “I was just really sad. I was in a really dark place, and a friend […] said, ‘Why don’t you try to write a list of positive things in your life that you’re looking forward to?’ At the time, I was like, ‘Nothing. There’s nothing I’m looking forward to.’” However, Barnett eventually came up with “like 25 verses” worth of items. She also noted, “I love that the song feels so fun. It sounds like you’re driving down a highway and it’s sunny. I love the juxtaposition of those things.”
Band of Horses – Crutch
“I think like a lot of my songs, ‘Crutch’ starts with something from my real life,” explains BoH founder Ben Bridwell. “Obviously ‘Crutch’ means some of the things that I was dependent on. My relationship for one. I think I wanted to say, ‘I’ve got a crush on you,’ and I thought it was funny how relationships also feel like crutches. I feel like everybody has had a time when nothing goes right and you still have to carry on. I think that feeling hits you in this song even if you don’t know what the specifics are.”
Adele – Easy On Me
This first single off her forthcoming album sees Adele explaining her decision to walk away from her marriage in 2019, while asking her son and ex-husband for understanding. “I changed who I was to put you both first,” she sings, “but now I give up.”
Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever
“Happier Than Ever” is both Eilish’s artful confession and lyrical acceptance of the trauma she has endured without filter or edit. Achieving newfound vulnerability through uniquely deep and truthful lyrics, Eilish successfully removes her mask of unwavering self-assurance to reveal her insecurities and uncertainty in an autobiographical tale of her rise to fame and the subsequent fallout.
Alt-J – U&ME
“It’s about being at a festival with your best friends, having a good time, togetherness, and the feeling in life that nothing could be any better than it is right now,” band member Gus explained of ‘U&ME’.
My Morning Jacket – Love Love Love
Jim James said of the band’s new single in a statement: “‘Love Love Love’ is trying to steer the ship away from everything I’m talking about in ‘Regularly Scheduled Programming,’ and speak toward positivity and pure love, finding truth within yourself and in the world around you.”
Lumineers – Brightside
“The song ‘BRIGHTSIDE’ was recorded in a single day,” says singer-guitarist Wesley Schultz. “It’s like a 15-year-old’s fever dream, an American love story in all its glory and heartbreak. The last couple left, on the run from something and all alone…”
War on Drugs – I Don’t Live Here Anymore
This song celebrates getting to the point in life when you’re no longer drowning in waves of old memories but surfing atop them. The title is not a lament but a point of pride.
Modest Mouse – The Sun Hasn’t Left
“The Sun Hasn’t Left” makes creative use of new wave beats, similarly to the other two singles. It sounds as if this tune even utilizes a xylophone. The bouncy instrument is fitting to the hopeful message this single offers with lyrics like: “You’re not wrong, things are a mess but there’s still something left.”
Kacey Musgraves – Justified
The track’s music video is reminiscent of Alanis Morrissette’s classic “Ironic” video with Musgraves playing several different versions of herself, each feeling a different emotion, driving down a highway to who knows where. It’s pretty much the perfect setting for listening to a song like this, a country-pop ode to feelings that refuse to sort themselves out unless you shout along to the right song.
Glass Animals – I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance)
Lyrically, the song explores themes of apathy towards a dying relationship. The narrator acknowledges their indifferences by insisting they stop talking and dance instead, leaving their bad memories in the past.
Daisy the Great x AJR – Record Player
Director/designer/animator Yuval Haker in New York: “‘Record Player’ is a song about our modern-day demons, the masks we wear, and the knees we scrape in our desire to fit in.”
Brandi Carlile – Right On Time
Th’s powerful song and its video, which was directed by none other than Courteney Cox, reflects on conflict, regret and the singer’s stubborn resolve to do better tomorrow than she did today.
21 Pilots – Saturday
Twenty One Pilots address the feeling of trepidation following a year of isolation and the desire to get back to more joyous times on their new song “Saturday.” Tyler Joseph sings about how days seem to blend together and feeling uncertain in the current climate and the need to find one’s footing once again towards happy experiences.
Dermot Kennedy – Better Days
This new single takes a sentiment we’ve all hoped for so much over the past 18 months, with Kennedy vocalizing the thoughts of people the world over. The track comes with the kind of optimism and hope the singer has always been so forthcoming with throughout his career, providing support and solace to so many.
Lord Huron – Mine Forever
“Mine Forever” explores a narrative of lost love that ultimately isn’t found again. The single arrives with a music video directed by Anthony Wilson that visualizes the song as a western film Gun Thunder. It continues the narrative the LA indie-folk outfit has been building up through music videos and their live stream series Alive from Whispering Pines.