Welcome to our weekly roundup of the SPIN staff’s favorite new songs. Below, sample the best from California scuzz-punks, U.K. electro-rock mainstays, and more.
GØGGS, “Glendale Junkyard” (In the Red)
Ty Segall rocks out often and makes a point of doing so, but he rarely bleeds over into straight-ahead punk, which is where his new band’s fuzz-monster single comes in. “Glendale Junkyard” doesn’t have much of a tune in the vocals and it explodes weak speakers as you’d expect, but the nastiness of that bass line and screech of the trebly production turns everything around you into chalk dust. Guess Segall can find new ways to turn it up to 11 after all, even on his second album in this young year. — DAN WEISS
James Blake feat. Bon Iver, “I Need a Forest Fire” (Polydor/Republic)
James Blake and Justin Vernon: the two most doe-eyed and silver-voiced men of our time, harmonizing together again. Alternately keening and soothing, “I Need a Forest Fire” is a powerful vision of phoenix-like cleansing and renewal. Smokey the Bear wouldn’t approve, but on an album that risks dullness, this track is a sultry, glistening standout. — ANNA GACA
Kehlani, “24/7” (Self-Released)
Kehlani’s “24/7” is a vulnerable track, but it doesn’t lend itself to brand-building. The Internet in 2016 has made that barrier between the public and private more porous, and Kehlani almost became a casualty after a recent (apparent) suicide attempt. And “24/7” stems from that sort of dissonance — not just separating the public and private, but using the public image of perfection to mend unseen wounds. The song sounds debauched: steely percussion that feels like glitches in melody, an ascending riff that intermittently slips in like a Tourette’s tick. But the production kinks are outward extensions of the cooing heart at the center: “I don’t know nobody / Who thinks that they’re somebody — 24/7.” Herculean heroics are what come to mind when thinking of victory. Kehlani makes a terse argument that being human is in itself a strength. — BRIAN JOSEPHS
Marissa Nadler, “Katie I Know” (Sacred Bones)
Marissa Nadler’s upcoming seventh album, Strangers, is a record preoccupied with endings — some of them on a personal scale, some of them global. The Boston singer-songwriter’s newest single, “Katie I Know,” ruminates on the former; backed by exquisite string work from Sunn O))) affiliate Eyvind Kang, Nadler unfurls a dusky eulogy for friendship that’s fallen by the wayside. “So many fair-weather friends,” she sings. “Problem is when the weather ends.” Our condolences. — KYLE MCGOVERN
Mutual Benefit, “The Hereafter” (Mom + Pop)
The latest track from Jordan Lee’s orchestral folk-pop project Mutual Benefit is so tender it could be carved with a plastic spoon — every instrument is plucked with the utmost of delicacy, as if performed on centuries-old equipment that could dissolve in his hands at any moment. But Lee’s vocals are perhaps the most vulnerable of all, as he asks in trembling high register: “Can love die or does it come back and find us every time?” Nothing about the song makes it sound like he’s prepared for the answer. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
Radiohead, “Burn the Witch” (XL)
The King of Limbs is dead and buried, but Radiohead are back. Exciting, though the long-dormant band’s new single raises a question: At what point do Radiohead’s critiques of scaremongering become guilty of the crime they’re suspicious of? Here, it’s probably about 50 seconds in, when Thom Yorke issues the following warning over anxiety-inducing strings: “This is a low-flying panic attack.” Never been so relieved to be so terrified. — K.M.
Tired Lion, “Not My Friends” (Dew Process)
Australian upstarts Tired Lion unleashed their debut U.S. single this week, a charging, cynical cut called “Not My Friends.” Set to appear on their forthcoming Figurine EP (out June 24), the reverb-stacked track has lead singer Sophie Hopes crowing about how, when it comes to companionships, “the start is the end.” Even so, you’ll want to keep this enemy close. — RACHEL BRODSKY