Essential Tracks This Week: bar italia, yeule, and more

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It’s a pretty overwhelming week for new music, so if you’re still digging your way through the list of the best new albums out today, we understand. But there’s more where that came from. This week’s Essential Tracks include the first single from the second album out this year from a buzzy indie favorite, a ’90s-inspired alternative pop single from a shape-shifting UK artist, the return of a veteran rap duo and more. Queue up our favorite songs of the week.

bar italia – “my little tony”

English indie rock outfit bar italia released one of our favorite albums of the year thus far with Tracey Denim, and before the year’s up, they’re going to release another new record, The Twits. And it’s off to a fantastic start. Their first single from the album, the cheekily titled “my little tony,” is a charged-up and heavily distorted fuzz rocker with members of the group trading off on vocal duties while driving forward with a heavy slab of noisy guitars. A highly satisfying single that finds the enigmatic and lo-fi group turning up the volume and getting their grungiest.

From The Twits, out November 3 via Matador

yeule – “softscars”

OK, technically this came out toward the end of last week, but a great song is worth highlighting even past deadline—you heard it from an editor. The title track to the just-released softscars is one of the standout moments on a fantastic set of songs that merge classic alt-rock and shoegaze with electronic elements and a dreamy sheen. All those elements are here, with yeule’s dreamy vocals wrapped in gauzy effects, layers of synths and Smashing Pumpkins-sized hooks. A gorgeously hazy and subtly infectious way to usher in autumn.

From softscars, out now via Ninja Tune

Little Brother – “Glory Glory”

The North Carolina hip-hop duo of Phonte and Big Pooh, better known as Little Brother, returned this week with a surprise new single “Wish Me Well,” paired with “Glory Glory” on the flipside. Both tracks are excellent, as expected, but the highlight might actually be the b-side, a laid-back, introspective standout with lush and soulful production from Conductor Williams. The duo reflects on their past, growing up listening to Big Daddy Kane, as well as looking toward the future and avoiding complacency with age: “A better me, I was always chasing,” Pooh raps. Little Brother show no sign of any such thing here, their chemistry as dazzling as ever in a song that speaks to both their legacy as well as their growth over the past two decades.

Out now via Empire

Hilary Woods – “Where the Bough Has Broken”

It feels only right that Hilary Woods waited until the week of summer’s end to reveal the first music from her upcoming album, Acts of Light. As with previous releases like 2020’s Birthmarks, her music makes the most sense when you can imagine actual ghosts making their presence known. “Where the Bough Has Broken” is just such a song, built on a stirring ambience and ominous cello drones. Woods said in a statement that the song is intended as a celebration of connection, but it feels more ephemeral than that, its meeting between eerie guitar noise and chamber strings creating a feeling of something more intangible yet emotional, a beauty forged in a breathtaking but cavernous darkness.

From Acts of Light, out November 3 via Sacred Bones

Animal Hospital – “Awful Beast”

Kevin Micka has been making music as Animal Hospital since 2005, merging meditative post-rock melodies with electronic elements and abstract soundscapes. “Awful Beast,” the lengthy new track from his upcoming album Shelf Life slowly unfolds amid warm layers of synth twinkle and sputtering beats, reminiscent at times of both The Album Leaf and The Books. Over its nine graceful minutes, however, more and more elements continue to enter the frame, a gentle lullaby growing more maximalist and playfully chaotic during its expanse. Nearly two-thirds in, there’s a surge of energy and sonic expansion that grows it into something different entirely. It’s a wondrous evolution to behold.

From Shelf Life, out November 3 via Sipsman

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