This week’s best new music

This week's best new music

Welcome back to Essential Listening, a place where we compile all the best new music of the week into the definitive tome of modern music: The Far Out Playlist.

Do you know what I like? Good music. Do you know what we got a lot of this week? Good music. Four different albums could have grabbed Album of the Week, but in the end, it was indie pop duo First Aid Kit who rose above the rest on their new LP Palomino.

The competition was stiff. French new wavers Phoenix returned after half a decade to drop what might just be the most Phoenix-sounding album I’ve ever heard, Alpha Zulu. Also kicking around with solid new albums were Connie Constance and Ezra Collective, two acts expanding what it means to be an indie artist in the modern day.

Just like on the album front, we’ve had some awesome new singles float around the world of music this week. Still, there are only eight songs that can make this list. Here is all the best new music from the week, compiled into The Far Out Playlist.

Best new music, October 31th – November 6th:

Bob Vylan – ‘The Delicate Nature’ (ft. Laurie Vincent)

London-based hip hop duo Bob Vylan have shared a brand new single called ‘The Delicate Nature’. The doomy new offering features Laurie Vincent of Slaves, who also served as the track’s producer. Discussing the origins of the single – which follows the group’s 2022 album The Price of Life.

Featuring Slaves lead singer Laurie Vincent, the aggressive new track buzzes and stirs with a potent blend of high-energy raps and pulsating synth-punk instrumentals. It’s not exactly the highest point of either party’s careers, but it’s a solid addition to both’s discographies nonetheless.

Noel Gallagher – ‘Pretty Boy’ (ft. Johnny Marr)

Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds have released a new single, the atmospheric ‘Pretty Boy’. The new material is arguably one of the darkest songs he’s ever released, driven by an almost motorik beat augmented by a droning bassline and some spooky-sounding keys.

Adding to the excitement is the presence of former Smiths man Johnny Marr on guitar, helping to raise the bar of his friend’s songs yet again. The song is layered and well-produced, as is expected, but musically, it seems as if Gallagher might be about to cast off the Ennio Morricone-inspired work for a new style that foregoes orchestral moves for guitar-driven pieces. 

The Brothers Osbourne and The War & Treaty – ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll’ (Rolling Stones cover)

For whatever reason, a bunch of big names in country music are getting together for a new Rolling Stones tribute album. Stoned Cold Country is set to feature everyone from Steve Earle to Maren Morris, and today, we’re getting our first taste of the LP with a cover of ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll’ from The Brothers Osbourne and soul husband and wife duo The War & Treaty.

The recording sounds like a relaxed affair, with one of the Osbournes calling out for some whisky before the take rolls. The chugging Chuck Berry at the centre of the track remains, but a southern-friend lilt keeps the song from being a straight cover.

Yo La Tengo – ‘Fallout’

Yo La Tengo have just announced the arrival of their brand new album, This Stupid World, alongside its first preview single, ‘Fallout’. Following on from 2020’s five-track ambient effort, We Have Amnesia Sometimes, the new record will mark the band’s 17th studio album. 

‘Fallout’ sets a mystical and reflective tone for the forthcoming album as Ira Kaplan sings: “I want to fall out of time.” Meanwhile, the fuzzy shoegaze-reminiscent guitars create intense energy. Channelling Sonic Youth and The Cure, YLT bring something new to their eternally diverse platter. With this band, you never know whether it will be a folky dreamscape, an uptempo rock-out, or an ambient voyage; quality is the only constant.

Yves Tumor – ‘God Is a Circle’

Yves Tumor has returned with their new single, ‘God is a Circle’. It’s the first track the American songwriter has released since 2021’s excellent The Asymptotical World EP and their recent appearance on Willow’s latest album, Coping Mechanism. A wickedly dark piece wherein the many different layers do the talking, the song is another example of why Tumor is one of the most interesting artists out there. There’s genuine style on show here, which few current artists can claim to espouse.

You never know what artistic route they’re going to take, as Yves Tumor’s meandering yet relatively short back catalogue reflects. From the impressionistic collage of 2016’s Serpent Music to the heady masterpiece of 2018’s Safe in the Hands of Love or the industrial/shoegaze mesh of The Asymptotical World, which boasted the tremendous ‘Katrina’, Tumor loves to keep us on our toes, and that’s what they’ve done with their latest offering. 

Future Islands – ‘Last Christmas’ (Wham! cover)

It’s officially the first week after Halloween, so you know what that means: it’s Christmastime! Sure, the leaves may still be on the trees, and there still isn’t any snow to be found (unless you’re way up north), but according to our consumerist society, it’s officially time to break out the trees and get the gift-giving juices flowing.

One artist that has been waiting a while for this moment (not named Mariah Carey) is Baltimore synth rockers Future Islands, who have been sitting on a cover of Wham’s holly-jolly classic ‘Last Christmas’ for what I can only assume has been far too long. Now that October is officially in the past and pumpkins are officially thrown in the trash, now is the perfect time to get a jumpstart on the winter season.

The Antlers – ‘Ahimsa’

Brooklyn indie rockers The Antlers have returned with a brand new song for the tail end of 2022. While the band usually works in the indie pop/dream pop world, their newest track, ‘Ahisma’, is as folky as an indie rock song can possibly be.

About as relaxed and country-fried as a song could possibly be, the sparse arrangement keeps all of the song’s delicate elements in place. Even the slightest increase in volume could bring down the entire operation, with pedal steel guitar, delicate piano, gently shuffling drums, and Peter Silberman’s light-as-air voice all floating throughout the track. It’s an achingly beautiful song, one with a timeless message at the heart of it.

Animal Collective – ‘Crucible’

Animal Collective don’t exactly seem like the first group that comes to mind when you need to score your black, gay Marines movie. But for the new A24 film The Inspection, the Baltimore experimental pop heroes are doing just that. AC are partnering up with some of their pals for the soundtrack, including Indigo de Souza, but the first preview track is all them: ‘Crucible’.

Featuring the same wave of wonky sounds and blissful harmonies that we’ve come to expect from an Animal Collective track, it’s hard to see such a bizarre song working in the context of the relatively straightforward movie. I saw a preview of The Inspection a couple of days ago and did not recognise any Animal Collective music in the trailer, but hey, here’s to trying new things.

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