Every day feels like there’s a constant barrage of new music with single premieres, album streams, music videos, and teasers all competing for your attention. Even for folks who are paid to keep tabs on current releases, it’s pretty difficult to stay updated on everything without being totally overwhelmed. Today, this especially feels true as there already almost 10 new tracks worth writing about even before my coffee kicks in. To make things easier, we’ve decided to compile the best of the best. From the triumphant returns of Black Mountain, The Get Up Kids, and Kindness, to hot new songs from Claude Fontaine, Khalid, and more, dive into today’s top tracks below.
The Black Keys - "Lo/Hi"
Following a five-year band hiatus, rock veterans the Black Keys are back with the driving “Lo/Hi.” It’s a bluesy, riff-heavy, and gospel-imbued track like most of the band’s best singles. While there’s no news of a forthcoming LP, it’s reasonable to assume there will be an announcement in the coming months.
Black Mountain - "Future Shade"
It’s a big day for bands with the word “Black” in their name coming off a multi-year break. Canadian psych mainstays Black Mountain have announced Destroyer, which is due May 24 via Jagjaguwar. Heavy guitarmonies anchor lead single “Future Shade,” which is also a total ripper.
Claude Fontaine - "Pretending He Was You"
As a taste of [her forthcoming debut LP], Fontaine has shared single “Pretending He Was You.” Here, Fontaine trades her love for reggae and rocksteady for a rich Bossa Nova-inspired arrangement. It’s a hypnotic and romantic track, with Fontaine longingly crooning, “All I have is my dream of the past / keeping me company.” —Josh Terry, “Claude Fontaine’s Transportive Songs are for Crate-Diggers”
The Get Up Kids - "Satellite"
After a period of inactivity since 2011’s There Are Rules, emo trailblazers and recent Polyvinyl signees The Get Up Kids make for lost time on the anxious and anthemic “Satellite.” It’s the first preview of the band’s new album Problems, which is out May 10.
Khalid - "My Bad"
Khalid’s soulful and infectious music always feels like summer and the breezy “My Bad,” is no exception, even if it deals with the 2019 malaise of missing texts. The song is featured on the 21-year-old singer’s forthcoming album Free Spirit, which hits stores April 5 through RCA Records.
Kindness - "Cry Everything (feat. Robyn)"
Kindness’ Adam Bainbridge has been busy working with artists like Solange, Blood Orange, and Robyn, since they released their last album in 2014, Otherness. But now, the polymath electronic musician has shared their first single since then in “Cry Everything.” The track guests Robyn, who is currently touring with Bainbridge and featured on their 2014 single “Who Do You Love.”
Kishi Bashi - "Summer of ‘42"
Composer, songwriter, and loop aficionado Kishi Bashi has a new album out May 31 called Omoiyari and its lead single “Summer of ‘42” is incredibly affecting. The whole LP deals with the internment of thousands of Japanese-American families during World War II and as Bashi explained in a statement to NPR, “It's a love story set in World War II, about falling in love in an incarceration camp and ultimately losing that love. The significance is that the idea of love, loss, and desire are consistent themes throughout history and help us to empathize with a people in a disconnected past."
Local Natives - "Café Amarillo"
Local Natives’ music has always felt synonymous with the band’s home base of Los Angeles. The sunny, southern California road trip vibes of the group’s latest music video for new song “Café Amarillo” hammer this point home. The band paired the release, which is the first song they put out since 2016’s Sunlit Youth, with a spring tour announcement.
M83 - "Karl"
Anthony Gonzalez has been a prolific film score composer in addition to his work as M83, providing the soundtracks for movies like 2013's Oblivion and You and the Night. This year, he's back with music for the upcoming French film Knife + Heart, directed by Gonzalez’s brother Yann, which apparently is a “noir-tinged erotic slasher that explores the seedy underbelly of Paris in the 1970s." Check out "Karl," which is out Friday on Mute.
Josh Terry is a writer in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter.