The 10 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Mazzy Star, J Mascis


It’s Friday, which means that it’s time to look back at the best new music we’ve heard over the last few days. This week saw the long-overdue return of Mazzy Star — hurrah! — along with a cracking cover of the same band by J Mascis, welcome returns for Manic Street Preachers, Forest Swords, Crystal Stilts, and various others, as well as a couple of ace new discoveries in the form of Eleanor Murray and Vattnet Viskar. All these tracks are streaming for free after the jump, so get listening!

Mazzy Star — “California”

A new Mazzy Star track. It sounds exactly like you might hope a new Mazzy Star track would. Rejoice.

J Mascis — “Fade Into You”

And speaking of Mazzy Star, here is J Mascis, of all people, with a delicately beautiful acoustic cover of the band’s best known song. (Well, until he hits the guitar solo, anyway.) It works a treat.

Manic Street Preachers feat. Richard Hawley — “Rewind the Film”

The track’s called “Rewind the Film,” and while cinematic metaphors get thrown around far too much in music writing, there’s definitely something filmic about this solemn reflection on the Manics’ life and career. They may never approach the glory of The Holy Bible again, but it’s good to have them back.

Forest Swords — “The Weight of Gold”

Apparently Forest Swords are now signed to Tri Angle, which is a perfect home for Matthew Barnes’ cerebral, atmospheric weirdness. This brooding Eastern-influenced track is from Barnes’ debut for the label — it’s out on August 26 and it’s called Engravings

Crystal Stilts — “Star Crawl”

Tremolo-laden, bluesy music with a melancholy bent… Dare I say Lynchian? Whatever you want to call it, this is a welcome return for Cystal Stilts, from their new album Nature Noir, which is out September 17 through the ever-excellent Sacred Bones.

Man Man — “Head On”

Man Man’s Beefheart-esque schtick isn’t for everyone, but they’ve toned it down somewhat for this new single, and it works to their benefit — beneath all the studied weirdness, they’re pretty great songwriters, a fact that’s in full evidence here. This is from their upcoming album On Oni Pond, which is out in early September.

Damon Albarn — “Monkey Bee” (Nosaj Thing remix)

If anyone else has been looking forward to seeing Damon Albarn’s operatic take on the story of the monkey spirit’s journey to India to reclaim the Buddhist scriptures (perhaps, like me, you were a fan of Monkey as a kid), then you can slake your desire somewhat with this new remix of a track from Albarn’s original studio album. Huzzah.

Beck feat. Kim Gordon — “I Won’t Be Long”

Beck and Kim Gordon on the same track? And it’s a 13-minute weird freakout? Sure! You can hear it right here.

Eleanor Murray — “Bury Me Into the Mtn.”

I’d never heard of Eleanor Murray before I heard this on Tiny Mix Tapes, but I’d definitely like to hear more. This is quietly melancholy and unaffected acoustic balladry, in the vein of Waxahatchee or Torres. It’s beautiful.

Vattnet Viskar — “Fog of Apathy”

“Fog of Apathy”? Yeah, dudes, I’m feeling you this morning.