"1942" by PartyNextDoor
No, this song doesn't divulge any historical facts about 1942. It's actually a smooth and simple ode to a tequila made during that very year. But what else did you expect from a musician who goes by the stage name PartyNextDoor? Over distant hi-hats and droning bass, he croons, "1942 tequila is all we need right now." Put this one on when you're pre-gaming, whatever year your beverage of choice may have been crafted.
"Die Trying" by Michl
Stark and haunting, you can feel the heaviness of the hearts Michl's referring to in this sorrowful track about a flailing relationship. In it, he asks, "Will we ever get to the other side before there's nothing left?" The mysterious musician (googling an unobscured photo of him proves to be almost impossible) demonstrates devastation with such dexterity. We're with him, for better or for worse.
"Bird Song" (Blaqstarr remix) by M.I.A
M.I.A. is back, and in her true renegade style. Backed by a beat made from weird clucking bird samples that are actually somehow more catchy than annoying, this version is a remix. The world has yet to hear the original, as there's some sort of legal drama happening between M.I.A.'s label Interscope and Diplo (the producer of the track). Wonder if they'll work it out before M.I.A. just decides to release it herself.
"Travelin' Down This Lonesome Road" by Kelsey Waldon
Kelsey Waldon is like a modern-day Dolly Parton, but much more gritty and lamenting. Full of twangy guitar and bereaved lyrics, her sound is honky-tonk in a way that we can get down with. It makes us want to find the lonesome road she sings about (we can only imagine that it's very dry, desolate, and dusty), if only because this would make for the perfect soundtrack while cruising down it.
"Fleece" by Crystal Castles
The band's new fever dream of a song gives us a second taste of original frontwoman Alice Glass's replacement, Edith Frances. Frantic and noisy, it's clear that they've managed to retain their distinctive sound despite the change in members. If you're into this fuzzy, frenzied track, check out the rest of their newly released album, AMNESTY (I).
"22 (OVER S∞∞N)" by Bon Iver
Bon Iver has finally emerged from whatever cabin in the woods he's been hiding in this time and released a new song! With its steady, repetitive samples, soulful backup vocals, and saxophone, it's both true to his original sound and an obvious evolution. Whatever it is, it's got us excited for the rest to come. Hurry up and release some more, OK, Bon?
"Do Yoga" by Rae Sremmurd
Rae Sremmurd has a new song out and MikeWillMadeIt. The chorus? "All my girls do yoga / All my girls do yoga, hey / All my girls do yoga / All my girls do yoga, hey / Then get high at night." You've got to respect the dudes for being straightforward about it. The track might not have much depth, but it's catchy and danceable as hell, in which case, does anything else matter?
"Seven Words" by Weyes Blood
In this spacey folk song, Natalie Mering tells her side of the story as the one responsible for the demise of her relationship. Spoiler alert: she's not taking it so well. Our favorite, sweetly gut-punching line: "I want you mostly in the morning when my soul is weak from dreaming." If only everyone who's wronged someone romantically could muster up such beautifully earnest poetry. Don't mind us, we're not crying, there's just something in our eye.
"Little Movies" by Aaron Lee Tasjan
Part Father John Misty, part Elliot Smith, Aaron Lee Tasjan gives folk rock a good name. Mournful and full of wisdom, yet still slightly optimistic, "Little Movies" is just the right amount of quirk and pop. And if that's not enough convincing as to why you should dig him, take a look at the cover for his new album Silver Tears. (He's wearing a suit covered in large silver sequins.)
"Small Bill$" by Regina Spektor
The only thing we've heard from Regina in the past four years is the theme song for Orange is the New Black, which you likely know by heart by now. Dark and foreboding, this track doesn't let our high hopes down. Proving she's still the same brilliant lyricist, Regina tells a tale of greed over whimsical "la la la's," swimming strings, and pounding percussion. It's violent and grooving, and the perfect way for her to re-enter the scene, if you ask us.