Essential Tracks This Week: Yves Tumor, GEL and more

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It doesn’t take that long for excitement about a new year’s worth of music to get the better of us, but things went from zero to 60, 70, 80 and well past the speed limit in what feels like a shorter amount of time than usual this year. Weeks like this one are a great example of why that is, with nothing but bangers hitting our desks and inboxes, including the second single from Yves Tumor’s newly announced album, some blistering hardcore, some throttling noise rock, and nothing but amazing sounds throughout. Here are the best new songs of the week.

Yves Tumor – “Echolalia”

Few artists in recent memory have made as major a stylistic evolution as Yves Tumor, pivoting from industrial sound collage into psychedelic rock with big hooks, cutting a convincing figure as the rock star of the future on albums like 2020’s Heaven to a Tortured Mind. By their standards, “Echolalia” scans a little less brash and bombastic, but the groove is undeniable. Glamorous and intoxicating, sensual and engineered for movement, “Echolalia” is effortlessly perfect pop with more than a little gothic melancholy nipping at its heels, as immediate as Yves Tumor has ever sounded. But it’s in its final minute where the darkness feels as if it’s closing in, the walls growing closer, the path ahead growing more unclear. And that’s what makes it so exciting.

From Praise a Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds), out March 31 via Warp

Debby Friday – “I GOT IT” (FEAT. UÑAS)

On her previous single “So Hard to Tell,” Debby Friday offered a glimpse of her pop future; on “I GOT IT,” she reminds us of the potency of her industrial-rap-pop past. More deeply rooted in the menacing throb of her earlier EPs released on L.A.-based experimental label Deathbomb Arc, “I GOT IT” is a club banger with a sense of urgency that feels downright dangerous, pulsing, pounding, oozing its way to ecstasy. She offers hedonistic temptations almost as if by threat: “Freaky Friday, Debby Doomsday, Debby Heat/Let mama give you what you need!” It’s the house revival of Renaissance filtered through the furious bombast of Death Grips, and if it’s a bit more prickly and menacing than her previous single, it’s no less infectious. It’s true: She’s got it.

From GOOD LUCK, out March 24 via Sub Pop

Big|Brave – “the fable of subjugation”

Teaming up with The Body for a set of new interpretations of centuries-old public domain folk songs presented the music of Big|Brave in a new context, some of which they’ve brought with them on the epic “the fable of subjugation.” Airier and less immediately crushing in its opening minutes, it finds the Montreal trio drawing from a similar tonal and thematic palette, Robin Wattie’s vocals and Mathieu Ball’s guitar drones building up a thin layer of fog for the eventual climax of punishing rhythmic explosions to come crashing through. The band’s music has always felt massive but rarely so aggressive, channeling generations of frustration and anger into a necessary, spiritually satisfying primal scream, one that’s surrounded by an unusual stillness and beauty.

From nature morte, out February 24 via Thrill Jockey

Model/Actriz – “Amaranth”

Subtlety is all well and good, but sometimes there’s nothing better than being totally pummeled on a first impression. Ahead of the release of their highly anticipated debut album Dogsbody, due later this month, New York’s Model/Actriz have been releasing a string of harsh and sinewy post-punk songs, steeped in both the rhythmic antagonism of no wave and the more literal antagonism of noise rock. “Amaranth” is the farthest they’ve leaned into the latter, a violent rush of distortion and typewriter percussion with traces of fluid dancefloor sexiness. “Amaranth” doesn’t so much speak to the body as scream at it; there’s no option but to take notice.

From Dogsbody, out February 24 via True Panther

GEL – “Attainable”

Then again, who really needs subtlety? It’s not so much that New Jersey hardcore outfit GEL doesn’t do nuance, as there’s always more going on beneath the surface and within the in-between spaces than aggression alone. And that’s likewise true of “Attainable,” all one minute and 40 seconds of it. Churning pigfuck abrasion, anthemic punk rock immediacy, even a streak of darkly psychedelic post-punk. But, see, here’s the thing: GEL rip. And as versatile and imaginative as they are as songwriters, they’re relentless as performers, playing the hell out of every last moment of this still-too-short anthem that feels almost like an epic in miniature. As an introduction to the group’s first full-length LP, “Attainable” is a satisfying punch in the face.

From Only Constant, out March 31 via Convulse

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