This week’s batch of Essential Tracks includes some hard-charging rock from Melbourne, an epic but cathartic anthem, sax-driven sophisti-pop and more.
Listen to our ongoing playlist of 2022 Essential Tracks.
Tomberlin – “happy accident”
The second track that Sarah Beth Tomberlin has shared from upcoming album i don’t know who needs to hear this, “happy accident,” is just shy of six minutes—fairly long by single standards, but not nearly long enough for being able to savor and revel in its cathartic power. Backed by a team of ringers that includes Cass McCombs on guitar, “happy accident” is driven by an earworm guitar riff, an increasingly ragged aesthetic and an emotional intensity that should be familiar to anyone who’s been young and uncertain of whether they’re in love or whether love is even realistically within reach. Not feelings that are ever comfortable confronting, but Tomberlin makes the act of purging them into something cleansing and epic. – Jeff Terich
From i don’t know who needs to hear this, out April 29 via Saddle Creek
Romero – “Turn It On!”
The latest single from Melbourne-based power-pop quintet Romero is quite simply a joy to behold. You can almost smell the waves of euphoria coming off of it—a testament to how evocative a band can be with just a simple, chunky riff and some utterly sublime leads. Romero’s lively, joyful brand of party-punk isn’t so much three chords and the truth as it is three chords and a damn good time, and while it’s certainly got a few flecks of some retro inspiration—a bit of Blondie, perhaps—to suggest it’s beholden to its influences would be terribly patronizing. “Turn It On!” is far too heady and far too alive to be considered anything less than its own brilliant, authentic animal. – Ed Brown
From Turn It On!, out April 8 via Feel It
P.E. – “Tears in the Rain” [featuring Andrew Savage]
A couple weeks back we included a new P.E. single, “Blue Nude (Reclined)“, in our roundup of weekly Essential Tracks, and now they’ve done it again with “Tears in the Rain.” I heard the New York quintet play this song last fall while on tour with Parquet Courts, and from that moment I was hooked. A more low-key sophisti-pop-inspired track featuring guest vocals from Parquet Courts’ own Andrew Savage, “Tears in the Rain” is at once seductive and melancholy, prominently featuring Ben Jaffe’s saxophone against a crackly piano loop. It’s P.E.’s prettiest song, but still impossibly cool, a late night anthem for lonelyhearts and romantics alike. – Jeff Terich
From The Leather Lemon, out March 25 via Wharf Cat
Renata Zeiguer – “Evergreen”
Renata Zeiguer’s “Evergreen,” the second single from her upcoming album Picnic in the Dark, glides and dreams on unobtrusive instrumentals, telling her story about leaving New York City for a new home, leaving the city for the country. The track also showcases Zeiguer’s voice well—she sounds ghostly and ethereal, but also very much free. And that’s the spirit of the song: letting go and moving into a different state of mind, into a different space. – Konstantin Rega
From Picnic in the Dark, out April 8 via Northern Spy