Essential Tracks This Week: Tony Molina, Ganser and more

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Tony Molina

We’re getting ever closer to the midway point of 2022, and we’ve assembled yet another batch of great new tracks to spin as we inch toward that line. This week’s picks include a couple of tense post-punk tracks, some economical power pop, euphoric house and menacing noise rock. Check them out below.

Plus, listen to our ongoing 2022 Essential Tracks playlist.

Tony Molina – “The Last Time”

There’s no one better at mastering the 90-second pop song than Bay Area singer/songwriter Tony Molina, and new single “The Last Time” is a reminder of that uncanny talent. Arriving four years after his last album, the first single from his upcoming In the Fade is a minute and a half of glorious fuzz, harmonized guitar leads and Thin Lizzy swagger. It’s as many hooks as you can cram into such a concise space, and it ends well before you could possibly be ready for it to end, but then again, Molina’s never been one to wear out his welcome.

From In the Fade, out August 12 via Summer Shade

Ganser – “People Watching”

Chicago’s Ganser injected post-punk with a much needed boost of energy and movement with their 2020 album Just Look At That Sky, one of that year’s best. Their first new single since that album’s release, “People Watching,” shows that the group only keep getting stronger, fine-tuning some of the subtler details of their sound while delivering something that sounds even bigger. Recorded with Angus Andrew of Liars, “People Watching” walks a line between disco and dissonance, filling the space between their jagged grooves with increasingly frantic riffs and effects, building up a gradually more anxious arrangement that makes a strong case for tension as a musical device.

From Nothing You Do Matters, out October 5 via felte

Death Bells – “Hysteria”

Death Bells check off a lot of post-punk boxes: taut rhythms and basslines, infectious minor-key melodies, a singer with a dark, dour vocal tone. Which on paper might not sound like anything particularly new, but on new single “Hysteria,” everything simply works. “Hysteria” is, on its face, a straightforward rock track, but within its four-chord structure there are little details that make its dark cloud glimmer along the edges, whether in the occasional breaks in time signature, subtle drum fills or bits of guitar arpeggio that add some flash to their gothic exterior. It’s not a reinvention of post-punk but a restatement of its core characteristics, done to perfection.

From Between Here & Everywhere, out on July 29th via Dais

Gold Panda – “I’ve Felt Better (Than I Do Now)”

The first new music from British producer and beatmaker Derwin Schlecker is a small slice of euphoria. Written as he was a year into his forties, with a toddler and incredibly exhausted, the song bears a title that’s true to life, but the music itself is joyous and invigorating, a bright burst of color and pulsing house rhythms. It’s an antidote to inescapable feelings of defeat, a brief but potent B-12 shot that arrives just in time for a holiday weekend. Play it as often as you need to.

Out now via City Slang

Chat Pile – “Slaughterhouse”

Oklahoma City’s Chat Pile understand better than most that the best noise rock often feels like getting punched in the stomach. Such is the case with “Slaughterhouse,” a slow lurch of a dirge that crawls and churns with menace and hostility. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the video, depicting a woman, covered in blood, carrying a cross, is pretty unsettling. But the song itself is a case study in sonic antagonism, heavy enough to be metal but with mangled and nauseous riffs. Don’t consume while eating.

From God’s Country, out July 29 via Flenser

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