The 7 Best New Songs of the Week: Garbage, Flume, The Strokes, Bat for Lashes, and More

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So much new music is released each week that it’s impossible to hear it all. Not that you’d want to; a lot of it isn’t so hot. But let us help simplify your search for new sounds with a roundup of the week’s seven best new songs. Trust us. We have good taste. (And check out last week’s collection if your hunger has still not been sated.)

Garbage – “Even Though Our Love Is Doomed”

Empty,” the first single from Strange Little Birds, Garbage’s forthcoming sixth album, felt like a return to form for the band that had spent the better part of two decades pushing their sound to more electronic and experimental extremes. It was their signature ’90s grunge-pop sound updated for a new millennium. The second Strange Little Birds single, “Even Though Our Love Is Doomed,” similarly harkens back to classic Garbage, though it’s less “Supervixen” and more “You Look So Fine.” Less than a week after its release, I feel comfortable placing “Doomed” in the pantheon of great slow-burn Garbage torch songs like “Milk” and the aforementioned “You Look So Fine,” which just so happen to be my favorite kinds of Garbage songs. Lead singer Shirley Manson’s vocal take on this track is vulnerable and raw; the lyrics are searching, aching with desire, and ultimately, tragically, resigned. And while “Doomed” starts out slow and quiet — a pulse just about to be extinguished — it slowly builds to a deafening crescendo. It’s music to listen to as you watch the world end. – Matt

The Hotelier – “Settle the Scar”

 

If you’ve been following every one of these Best Songs of the Week stories, you’ve probably figured that I’m all about that emo life. The Hotelier seems like one of the few bands out there today who is still doing that early 2000s pop-punk sound — and doing it well, too. The group’s new album, Goodness, is basically just what the title says. It’s good. – Gabi

Flume – “3”

 

As a member of the general populace, I’m inclined to be drawn to big names on an electronic album. I leapt towards Lorde on Disclosure’s Caracal and sampled AlunaGeorge on Flume’s new record before all the others, but “3” is a hidden gem. It’s completely “instrumental” with a steady tempo, never plunging you into a silent vortex only to be pummeled with bass, which makes it the perfect track for running, studying or writing. There aren’t any catchy lyrics to distract you here—just some drums, pops, and an occasional effect that sounds like it was pulled from the Seinfeld theme song. – Mia

The Strokes – “OBLIVIUS”

Please listen at Pitchfork, as the video embed refuses to cooperate on our site.

Maybe I’m just thirsty for some new music from The Strokes after what feels like a long hiatus, but I actually really like this song. Even though I’m THAT person who insists that their 2001 debut, Is This It, is the band’s best record of all time (you know you have a friend who’s like this too), there’s just something about “OBLIVIUS” that just takes hold of me. Maybe it’s distorted vocals. Maybe it’s the twangy guitars. Regardless, I’m hooked. – Gabi

Jessie Ware – “Till the End”

Well this is an unexpected treat. The R&B singer returns with “Till the End,” her contribution to the soundtrack for the upcoming romantic drama Me Before You. The song is a lush ballad, fit for Ware’s velvety croon. “It’s just the simple things, you see/ It’s all the things you do to me,” she sings. “When everything is crazy, you find a way to make it right.” Simply gorgeous. – Michael

Bat for Lashes – “Sunday Love”

We’ve still got a month to go until Bat for Lashes’s The Bride sees official release, but we now have our third taste of the project: “Sunday Love,” a propulsive, bittersweet synth-pop cut. Melodically, it veers much closer to her most well-known songs (“Daniel,” “What’s a Girl to Do“) than to previous Bride singles or anything off of her last album, the spectacular The Haunted Man. This makes it her most immediate song since anything from 2009’s Two Suns, though somehow it is also one of her most intriguing. – Matt

Thrice – “Hurricane”

 

That’s it, I’m calling it: an emo resurgence is happening. I never thought there would be another Thrice record after its 2012 “greatest hits” compilation, Anthology, and yet here we are! “Hurricane,” their new LP’s opener, is basically a warm embrace from a long lost old friend. – Gabi

Come back next week (and not a moment before then! JK!) for another batch of fresh music.