Welcome to our weekly roundup of SPIN’s favorite new songs. Below, sample the best from a YouTube deep-diver, British electronic trailblazers, lovelorn dream-poppers, and more.
Designer + Four Tet, “Mothers” (Domino)
Four Tet, a.k.a. Kieran Hebden, is a master class in and of himself in the slow release. One need only look to his six-hour sets with Floating Points or his epic remix of Eric Prydz’s “Opus” (which topped SPIN‘s 25 Best Remixes of 2015) for proof of the producer’s stamina. His latest exercises in sustained lactic acid release, “Mothers,” brings Australian producer Designer along for the eight-minute ride. Listening to his ear-tickling pulse swell almost imperceptibly in volume and density is like watching snowfall thicken, especially when the hi-hats sneak in halfway through. Even with the abrupt uptick in the low-end, Hebden’s cacophonous plateau skates by almost imperceptibly — or maybe we were all just too busy losing our minds to notice. — HARLEY BROWN
Eric Bachmann, “Mercy” (Merge)
Eric Bachmann’s voice is not pretty, nor does it pretend to be. In Archers of Loaf, he shrouded it in razor-wire guitars to match his corrosive croak, and later he’d grow to enjoy the irony of layering it between pretty elements like downcast banjo and strings in Crooked Fingers, or sparse, Nick Drake-like guitar on his underrated first true solo album, 2006’s To the Races. Ten years later, after a stint playing guitar for Neko Case on tour, he returns with the first taste of a followup that leads brashly with the vocals — a whole choir of them in fact. The doo-wop-wop-wop of several prettier-sounding people loops throughout “Mercy,” his hookiest song in years and an atheist anthem denouncing all belief in “armageddon, heaven, hell, or time regretting.” He wants us to know he loves his friends and family, sure. But don’t believe a goddamn thing they say. — DAN WEISS
Matthew E. White featuring Natalie Prass, “Cool Out” (Domino)
Richmond singer-songwriters Matthew E. White and Natalie Prass have history. Former bandmates and longtime friends, White produced Prass’ self-titled debut at his own Spacebomb Studios. Now they’ve teamed with Stones Throw artist and fellow Richmond native DJ Harrison on “Cool Out.” Far more uptempo than either of their prior releases, the track centers around a stout bass line with both singers’ light, breathy vocals floating in and out of retro synths. With the compassionate words, “If you need to go slow, I wouldn’t care / That would be okay, that would be fair,” the always-magnetic Prass wins over even the most stone-hearted. — JEFFREY SILVERSTEIN
Pet Shop Boys, “Inner Sanctum” (X2)
Something about watching Pet Shop Boys parade around the 2012 London Olympic closing ceremonies has stuck with me all these years later — maybe it was their sharp, jet-black conical hats or the droning refrain of “West End Girls.” I get the feeling Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe’s new “Inner Sanctum” will enrapture me much the same going forward. In a soulless age for mainstream EDM, the sludge-drenched darkness of Pet Shop Boys’ new one is as welcome as it is unsettling. It begs to be played well past sunrise in a dimly lit room on a Tuesday night; anything less wouldn’t be paying the proper reverence the pioneering Brits deserve. — BRENNAN CARLEY
The Range, “Florida” (Domino)
Brooklyn’s James Hinton, a.k.a. electronic wizard the Range, built his reputation on addictive club bangers flecked with obscure YouTube samples on 2013’s Nonfiction. Now, he returns to us with a new record, Potential, and a lead single, the spastic “Florida.” Tossing in steel drums, Books-ish guitar twangs, a pleading R&B vocal, and a floor-ready breakdown, Hinton’s latest may not inspire images of palm trees and assisted-living communities (or whatever else you find in the titular state), but it sure will warm you up. — RACHEL BRODSKY
Underworld, “I Exhale” (Caroline International)
Nineties electronic godheads Underworld’s first single in four years — from their first album in six — is anything but a return to form: Just two booming synth-bass chords over a surprisingly grimy, strutting beat, with Karl Hyde’s trademark spoken-word ravings (“Clean dirt, metal poles, statuesque!”) sounding more Bend Sinister than “Born Slippy.” It’s like nothing else the duo have ever done; a thrilling about-face for an outfit that would have had every excuse to stop experimenting with new looks decades ago. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
Wild Nothing, “Life of Pause” (Captured Tracks)
Wondering, “How can we want love?” over fluffy synths might be the twee-est move since Morrissey begged “Please, please, please, let me get what I want” in 1987, but Jake Tatum, who records as Wild Nothing, has unabashedly — and successfully — tapped into our #feelings since his debut, Gemini, in 2010. On the title track to his forthcoming third record, the Virginia native layers the unanswerable above bleating keys — a formula sure to grow your heart a few sizes. If it doesn’t, y’know, explode. — R.B.