The 5 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Sam Smith, Priests, HAERTS


Another week, another onslaught of new tunes. To categorize it broadly, I found myself gravitating to a lot of electronic-based music this week, from Todd Terje’s p e r f e c t Robert Palmer cover alongside Bryan Ferry to the ’90s-tinged electro-pop of HAERTS. Get listening, folks.

Sam Smith — “Stay With Me”

If you’re not familiar with Sam Smith’s name, his distinct pipes may bring about some déja vu: he was the vocalist on one of Disclosure’s breakthrough tracks, “Latch.” His voice is a little more nasal than we’re accustomed to in R&B, but to me that voice is the ‘it factor’ that makes him stick in my mind. That, and putting a damn gospel choir, a big church organ, and a string section in a pop single. Smith’s In the Lonely Hour drops May 26, and I couldn’t be more excited, frankly.

Priests — “Right Wing”

I was going to write “RIYL: The Breeders and Riot Grrrl.” Then, on second listen, I caught something Priests frontwoman Katie Alice Greer says: “I’m not trying to be anything.” The Don Giovanni act is indeed doing their own thing, though it nods plenty to the past. “Worship me politely,” Greer adds, and you know, with how good “Right Wing” is, I think she should get used to the bit about worship.

Todd Terje and Bryan Ferry – “Johnny and Mary” (Robert Palmer cover)

Another reason to get excited about Todd Terje’s debut album (which is comical to write, seeing as he’s been disco-dancing in the limelight for ~10 years): this eerie cover of Robert Palmer’s “Johnny and Mary” alongside Roxy Music leader Bryan Ferry. Terje’s It’s Album Time is out April 7.

HAERTS — “Call My Name”

I was very excited about electro-poppers HAERTS after their first couple of songs surfaced, especially “Wings” in late 2012. Last year’s Hemiplegia EP did not live up to the promise of “Wings,” frankly. So it comes with great pleasure that I see the band rebounding on “Call My Name,” a song that’s a taste of their forthcoming debut LP. Think Wilson Phillips in their prime but cool.

Woods — “With Love and With Light”

A psychedelic deep cut long enough to soundtrack rolling AND smoking an entire joint. Because it’s Woods, this is the title track of their excellent new album, out April 15 on Woodsist.