New Music Playlist | 6 Must-Listen Songs This Week

Crave returns this week with another new music playlist, featuring a few newcomers as well as some familiar faces. New music is a constant, with streaming services at war for your attention and social media serving up a blizzard of mixtape-pushing indie kids and would-be superstars. But sorting through it all is madness, a time-sucking aural minefield.

We’re here to help. Check out the best new tracks of the week, selected by myself and our UK editor, Paul Tamburro. As always, keep up with our weekly new music finds as they arrive by subscribing to the Crave New Music Playlist on Spotify – and check out our killer New Music mixtapes from previous weeks.

Arbor Labor Union – ‘Mr. Birdsong’

Rockers Arbor Labor Union have hit a nerve with “Mr. Birdsong,” from the forthcoming album I Hear You. The Georgia outfit seems to have found a strange middleground between Queens of The Stone Age and The Hold Steady on their new track, with thick chugging rhythms and talk-sing vocals perfect for drives down dangerous roads with reckless friends. 

Produced by Randall Dunn (Earth, Thurston Moore, Black Mountain), I Hear You arrives May 13 on Sub Pop, and we’re hoping it’s as psychedelically free and delicious as “Mr. Birdsong” suggests it will. Preorder here

– Johnny Firecloud, Crave Music Editor

Formation – ‘Pleasure’

South London duo Formation have yet to release their debut album, but their latest track ‘Pleasure’ is the strongest indication yet that when they do, they’re going to be big news. 

Brothers Matt and Will Ritson’s channeling of their old-school dance influences on EP Under The Tracks has all but dissipated this time around, with the pair instead diving headfirst into house territory. Fortunately, none of their raucous energy has been left behind in the process, with ‘Pleasure’ solidifying the Ritson’s as two of the most exciting young talents in the UK.

– Paul Tamburro, UK Editor

Portishead – ’S.O.S.’ (ABBA Cover)

We’ve been waiting to hear this ABBA cover from trip-hop pioneers Portishead since last year, when we learned it would be a part of director Ben Wheatley’s new film High-Rise. Now that it’s upon us, the ocean of synth beneath the tortured arrest of Beth Gibbons’ vocal is powerful, anxious, bleak and beautiful.

It’s hard not to wonder what the Swedish pop group thinks of this new spin on their classic track, the first offering from Portishead in six years. At any rate, we’re still holding out hope for a follow-up to Portishead’s 2008 album Third, having previously reported that they were clearing their schedules to make another album.

– Johnny Firecloud, Crave Music Editor

LUH – ‘Beneath the Concrete’

Ellery James Roberts lost no small amount of momentum in his transition from Wu Lyf to LUH, the former’s break-up bringing an end to one of the most exciting new bands in Britain. ‘Beneath the Concrete’ is the next single to be released from LUH, Ellery’s new project alongside Ebony Hoom, and is arguably the enigmatic frontman’s best work yet.

The latest cut to be taken from the band’s recently announced upcoming album Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing, ‘Beneath the Concrete’ is far larger in scale than anything featured on Wu Lyf’s debut and lone LP, with Ellery’s snarling vocals guiding the way as the track veers from anthemic synths to tribalistic drumbeats, before playing itself out with an outro fit for the silver screen.

– Paul Tamburro, UK Editor

Brigid Mae Power – ‘It’s Clearing Now’

Irish singer/songwriter Brigid Mae Power’s self-released debut album arrives on the Tompkins Square label June 10th, and “It’s Clearing Now” is an arresting indicator of the gorgeous sentimentality of what’s to come. She stretches words into a multisyllabic breathing exercise, a natural intensity flowing gently through lines such as, “The sea on the beach/ The sun falling down over the sea/ I cling to these beautiful things”. The poignant tides of Power’s energy flow through the song in a hypnotic way I can’t shake, even hours after listening.

– Johnny Firecloud, Crave Music Editor

Michael Beharie – ‘Long Time’

The lead single from Brooklyn producer/guitarist Michael Beharie’s debut solo album Ray Like Morning is a musical anti-depressant if there ever was one. ”Long Time” brings big pop into a reggaeton vibe, complete with synth trumpets and an uplifting vocal. Astro Nautico will release Michael Beharie’s Ray Like Morning on June 16.

– Johnny Firecloud, Crave Music Editor


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