Essential Tracks This Week: Bat For Lashes, Nourished by Time, and more

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Bat For Lashes - Essential Tracks

This week’s batch of Essential Tracks sees the return of several artists who haven’t released new music in four, five, even six years, including an art-pop auteur, a composer of achingly delicate instrumentals, and a noise rock band with a kinda-sorta “love song.” Throw in an unlikely noise-rap cover and some dreamy synth-pop and you’ve got this week’s batch of essentials.

Blurbs by Jeff Terich (JT) and Mia Euceda (ME).

Bat for Lashes – “The Dream of Delphi”

Natasha Khan’s return as Bat for Lashes after five years comes after some significant life events. She’s a mother now, and her upcoming album The Dream of Delphi was inspired in large part by the birth of her daughter. The title track to the album finds her “touching thin air, laying with angels,” on a haunting and slow-burning meditation that gradually works its way through two verses of ambient balladry before ultimately climaxing in an eruption of beats. After the neon-tinted synth detour of Lost Girls, it’s invigorating to hear Khan embrace this kind of grandeur, a slow reveal of something that contains profundities within a relatively minimalist structure. – JT

From The Dream of Delphi, out May 22 via Mercury KX.

Nourished by Time – “Hand on Me”

Nourished by Time released one of 2023’s best debut albums with Erotic Probiotic 2, a hybrid of synth-pop, R&B and various other elements and strains of dance music in a glorious whole. “Hand on Me” is the first song Marcus Brown has released from his upcoming Catching Chickens EP, and it carries on that album’s warmly soulful set of throwback beats and textures in what amounts to a thoroughly contemporary fusion. Paired with its lo-fi angel jam session video, “Hand on Me” is feel good pop through a vintage filter, a glorious encore from an artist who feels like he’s only getting started. – JT

From Catching Chickens, out March 22 via XL

Kelly Moran – “Butterfly Phase”

As a baseline, Kelly Moran’s music is breathtaking. The composer and keyboardist builds delicate architecture from seemingly stark elements, and the first piece of music from her first full-length album in six years is no exception. Much like the figure skater on the artwork for new album Moves in the Field, Moran’s harmonies seem to work in graceful loops and subtle transformations, building a slow and haunting creation from gentle and gradually evolving elements. It’s relatively brief ending in just under three minutes, but in that limited span of time, Moran seems to suggest endless, subtle possibilities. – JT

From Moves in the Field, out March 29 via Warp

Couch Slut – “Ode to Jimbo”

Noise rock miscreants Couch Slut described “Ode to Jimbo” as their first actual love song (kind of, sort of), but it’s not about a romantic love—it’s a paean to a neighborhood bar. Surely many of us can relate to the idea of a nearby watering hole that feels like home, though in practice “Ode to Jimbo” isn’t so much their version of the Cheers theme, but one of the most anthemic permutations of their raw, abrasive noise rock. Indeed, this song is a motherfucker, brutal and gnarly and rife with guitar textures that won’t come off with soap. Utterly disgusting and more than a little charming, this is Couch Slut at their best. – JT

From You Could Do It Tonight, out April 19 via Brutal Panda

clipping. – “Tipsy”

I didn’t know how much I needed to hear an industrial rework of J-Kwon’s “Tipsy” until now. Originally released as an exclusive for Stereogum subscribers in 2020, clipping. distorts the 2004 club hit into a noisy moshpit banger. With its booming in-your-face drums and rhythmic screeching wall of noise, it’s guaranteed to make your ears bleed in the best way possible. Daveed Diggs brings this up to the listener, betting that the tinnitus will “hum for a day in a half—now relax, have fun.” This one should be played loud on maxed-out speakers, preferably at a dingy basement party. – ME

Out now via Sub Pop

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