Did you miss out on the best music releases of September because you were too busy scrolling through Twitter?  Not to worry, we’ve got a recap of all the best new tracks that came out during the last month, including a juicy collab from Travis Scott, Mallrat’s new single and a surprise album from Fleet Foxes. Keep scrolling to read a rundown of our favorites, and be sure to check out the full playlist with all of our picks.

Fleet Foxes - Best New Music

Fleet Foxes – Sunblind

On “Sunblind,” Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold pays tribute to his musical idols who have passed away, alluding to everyone from David Berman and John Prine to Otis Redding and Nick Drake. Far from writing a dirge to mourn their loss, however, Pecknold resolves in the opening lines of the track to stage “the type of coronation” these icons deserve. The warm vocal melodies and uplifting guitars and pianos indeed give this track a truly resplendent feeling. To close the track, Pecknold sings “I’m looking up at you there high in my mind, only way that I made it for a long time, but I’m loud and alive, singing you all night”, a reminder to us all in a year of profound loss and grief, that one of the best ways we can honor those we’ve lost is to celebrate and enjoy life when we can.  

 

 

 

 

 

BUMPER- You Can Get It

Despite not having seen each other since the start of the pandemic, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner and Crying’s Ryan Galloway still managed to complete their new project BUMPER by sending files back and forth from their respective New York City apartments.  The title of BUMPER’s EP – pop songs 2020 -– betrays the production on its snappy four songs. Zauner abandons the shoegaze-adjacent sound of Japanese Breakfast, and Galloway leaves behind the power-pop, chiptune rock mix of Crying, as the two combine to create a pure pop sound on the EP. This shift in sound is clearest on the ridiculously catchy “You Can Get It” where Zauner pleads with an emotionally distant lover, wondering “Can’t you see? I wanna be there wherever you are.” While the lyrics speak to the anxiety of a lover unsure if their feelings are reciprocated, the sparkling synths in the chorus give the track a radiant feel that will have you wanting to belt out the lyrics.

 

 

 

 

Travis Scott- Franchise

When he wasn’t busy promoting his McDonald’s meal, Travis Scott managed to link with Young Thug and MIA to cook up a new single: “FRANCHISE.” The track opens with alarms blaring, pounding 808s and Scott’s signature autotuned ad-libs. Scott begins the first verse with a nod to Dem Franchise Boyz’ and their 2004 trap hit “White Tee,” with the track name itself also functioning as a homage to the group.  The verses that follow feature a variety of snappy, energetic flows from Scott, Thugger and MIA, such as Thugger’s brag “I’m higher than the plane, I be where the skypes be.” If you’re feeling a little sluggish after polishing off your Cactus Jack burger, the energetic “FRANCHISE” should get you going again.  

 

 

 

 

Slowthai – Feel Away (feat. James Blake & Mount Kimbie)

In another star studded collaboration, British rapper Slowthai teamed up with R&B star James Blake and electronic music duo Mount Kimbie to create “Feel Away.” In an Instragram post announcing the track, Slowthai dedicated the track to his younger brother Michael John, who passed away as a child. Compared to Slowthai’s previous works, which usually sound like working class rage converted into sonic form, “Feel Away” takes up an almost mournful sound as Slowthai details the falling apart of a relationship. James Blake contributes his haunting vocals in the second verse, while Mount Kimbie contributes production which features wailing pianos to complete the track. While its not exactly a pick-me-up, James Blake’s captivating vocals make this track a must listen. 

 

 

 

 

Faye Webster- Better Distractions

Faye Webster’s “Better Distractions” carries an almost universal relevance in the midst of a pandemic when many of us have more than enough time on our hands for our mind to wander towards unsettling thoughts. For Webster, those thoughts revolve around the absence of her lover, of which she laments that “nothing really lasts that long for me to realize, I’m alone and you’re not with me.” In the chorus her words take on an almost neurotic quality as she addresses her lover, wondering repeatedly “Will you?” before finally asking “Will you be with me?” The sedated R&B instrumentals, including keys and a pedal steel part that almost seems to be crying out in loneliness, provide the perfect accompaniment to Webster’s lovesick pondering. If you find your mind wandering as the pandemic drags on, “Better Distractions” might take your mind off things for a minute, or at least provide the perfect soundtrack to your solitude.  

 

 

 

 

Mallrat- Rockstar

Have you been feeling trapped in the present and find yourself dreaming of a better future? Mallrat captures this sentiment on her new track “Rockstar.” Mallrat adopts the role of a jilted lover on this song, brooding over how she’s been used for her fame, with her ex having “cashed in” on her magic. In the chorus she dreams of a future where she’s no longer heartbroken by her current circumstances, numbing her pain by winning an assortment of GRAMMYs and marrying a rockstar. Her vocals are backed by lo-fi guitars and gentle, dreamy synths which give the track a subtly hopeful feeling. Yet in the end the dream comes crashing down as the vocals, dreamy synths and lo-fi guitars disappear, and are replaced by heavy, grungy guitars for a dark finale to the track.

 

Take a listen to the full playlist below, and be sure to follow us on Spotify for the best new tracks.