Essential Tracks This Week: Mount Kimbie, Waxahatchee, and more

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Essential Tracks - Mount Kimbie

After a week off from Essential Tracks, we’re back with a new batch of must-hear songs, including an electronic collaboration with a cult-indie favorite, another heartbreaker from one of the best singer/songwriters in the game right now, a pair of upbeat indie rock anthems, and a holdover from last week that we absolutely couldn’t let go without weighing in. You know the one. Dive into our picks for the week’s best new songs.

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

Mount Kimbie – “Empty and Silent” (feat. King Krule)

British duo Mount Kimbie and King Krule mark their 10 years of working together with a mellow stream-of-consciousness exercise. On “Empty and Silent,” Dom Maker and Kai Campos ditch the techno and house from their most recent projects to tinker with blithe post-punk guitars. 

Archie Marshall’s mostly monotone yet slightly glum vocals run through mundane routines and observations while hinting at a feeling of being unfulfilled. The synth introduces itself slowly, as to gently wake the listener like a faint crack of light entering a dark bedroom. However, there’s no real drive to get up and repeat the same sequence. Wish this cut was around during my mopey adolescence. Mount Kimbie’s upcoming album will also include a (presumably more) complete version of their song “Boxing,” which they teased last year by temporarily putting it up on Bandcamp for a week, so look out for that too. – ME

From The Sunset Violent, out April 5 via Warp

Waxahatchee – “365”

Katie Crutchfield’s evolution toward more of a country-influenced sound has been both natural and deeply satisfying, reaching a stunning new high with the singles she’s released from her new album Tigers Blood, including the breathtaking “Right Back to It.” With third single “365,” she only reinforces how rewarding this new era is, with a stripped-down ballad rife with breathtaking harmonies. It’s a showcase for her vocal range, proving herself as much of a knockout singer as she is a songwriter, and offering yet another suggestion that her latest promises to be one of the best albums of the season. – JT

From Tigers Blood, out March 22 via Anti-

Stuck – “AITA?”

Chicago post-punks Deep ask one of life’s (or rather, Reddit’s) eternally burning questions: Am I the asshole? The answer’s never determined, but it’s fun as hell to hear Greg Obis’ wobbly vocals channel David Byrne a bit to detail his impulse to focus on disdainful stimuli and gripe on it. A twangy guitar and grimy bass follow Obis’ mild rage, adding to the madness. Within this mild rage is a snarky undertone hinting at the insanity of micro-analyzing and moralizing emotions. Won’t be surprised if this minute-long ditty ends up stuck on a loop. Excuse me, while I go off to contemplate the severity of my assholery. – ME

Out now

Peace Ritual – “Seconds”

Australian duo Peace Ritual released their debut EP in 2022, earning praise for their hook-laden pop, but their new single promises even bigger things from the duo this year. “Seconds,” produced and co-written by dazy, is the soaring, melodic power pop reminiscent of some of the best alternative radio had to offer in the ’90s (think Belly, The Lemonheads, that whole New England scene). With an irresistible chorus and washes of jangly guitar, it’s a pop song made for repeat spins on sunlit drives along the coast. – JT

Out now via Last Ride

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – “Wild God”

We took a week off from Essential Tracks last week, which means we didn’t get a chance to write about the new song from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the first new music from the group since 2019’s Ghosteen. And we don’t very well pass up a chance to discuss Cave at his best, which “Wild God” very much is. After a pair of atmospheric albums that mostly hovered in ambient pop spaces, “Wild God” is a return to proper full-band rock, complete with gospel choir and transcendent chorus. This is Cave at his most mythologically ambitious—see: Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!—and musically grand, music built for a momentous live experience. But more importantly, it feels like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds again, a proper band guided by a legendary frontman once again finding his mighty roar. – JT

From Wild God, out August 30 via PIAS

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