Essential Tracks This Week: Weyes Blood, Algiers and more

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Weyes Blood essential tracks

New music comes flooding in as we approach the first day of fall. And though there are already so many new albums we’re looking forward to, even more have been announced since then. Including a handful just in the past week, like the latest from Weyes Blood. Check out our roundup of the best new tracks of the week, including a couple of indie heavy hitters and some new favorites.

Plus, listen to our ongoing 2022 Essential Tracks playlist.

Weyes Blood – “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody”

Natalie Mering is an incredibly versatile artist; check out her Goblin- and Carpenter-inspired horror score for the Shudder series Cursed Films. But lushly orchestrated art pop remains her greatest strength, delivering her strongest collection of beautifully haunting songs on 2019’s Titanic Rising. Though her upcoming And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow offers a new contender, one whose lead single is one of the most stunning pieces in her repertoire. “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody” is a characteristic slow burner that reveals the expanse of its universe gradually over the course of its six-plus minutes, with an unfolding arrangement of strings and harp, the latter performed by Mary Lattimore. Amid the striking beauty of the song is a plea for everyone to be a little kinder, to be a little gentler to one another: “Mercy is the only cure for being so lonely/Has a time ever been more revealing/That the people are hurting?” It’s been a rough couple of years, it’s good to hear a beautiful song that offers some empathy and understanding.

From And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow, out November 18 via Sub Pop

Algiers – “Bite Back” (feat. billy woods and Backxwash)

Every time Algiers emerges from the studio, they offer a glimpse of an entirely different aspect of their sound, whether via free-jazz spoken word satire on “Can the Sub_Bass Speak?” or snapping 808 industrial on “Walk Like a Panther.” With “Bite Back,” the group pairs eerie darkwave synths with guest verses from two of underground hip-hop’s most distinctive voices of the moment: billy woods and Backxwash. They’re a perfect fit for the group’s eerie atmosphere, billy woods a verbal acrobat whose labyrinthine lyrics often work best against haunted instrumentals and Backxwash a singular industrial-horrorcore emcee with a harrowing vision of her own. It’s an essential posse cut for a landscape ablaze.

Out now via Matador

Bill Callahan – “Coyotes”

The best Bill Callahan songs in recent years have often been those that take their time to get where they need to go, if they even have a destination in mind. “Coyotes” is one of them, something like a gentler and less stormy counterpart to the jazzy arrangements of Dream River, a meditation on aging and dreaming with a lingering threat of mortality appearing in a haze over the horizon, like a sinister oasis. There’s a darkness here intertwined with genuine beauty and Callahan’s affectingly oblique turns of phrase—hilariously absent from the “lyric video,” you’ll note—the kind of song that you could meditate on for long periods of time in the gaps before it starts up again.

From YTI⅃AƎЯ, out October 14 via Drag City

Gold Dust – “Proof of Life”

It’s incredible what production and the right arrangement can do. Gold Dust’s “Proof of Life,” inspired in part by a Pentangle song, is ostensibly a simple, acoustic strummer of a song, but paired with a booming clack of a beat, a hearty dose of reverb and a bassline that could have been plucked straight from a Stone Roses or Primal Scream song, it turns from gentle folk to a soaring bit of psychedelia that aims for the physical as well as the transcendent. Stephen Pierce’s latest single is seemingly always in the act of expanding, reaching its pinnacle with a guitar solo fit for a Britpop anthem just before stripping everything back to its barest essence.

From The Late Great Gold Dust, out November 4 via Centripetal Force

High Vis – “0151”

High Vis have released five singles from their new album Blending, and four of them have ended up in our weekly Essential Tracks roundup. Yeah, they’re that good, and we only excluded one of them because we thought maybe we were going overboard? Look, when you’re consistently delivering the goods in the way this London post-punk outfit has, what’s a humble independent music journalism website to do? The final single before Blending is finally released, “0151” is a statement of community and solidarity driven by one of their most furious tunes, adding extra hardcore punch to their melodic, streamlined approach. (Also, read our interview with High Vis!)

From Blending, out September 30 via Dais

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