The 6 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Ariel Pink, King Tuff


If you’re on the hunt for some new music this week that didn’t just magically make its way into your iTunes library, consider these songs.

Ariel Pink — “Put Your Number In My Phone”

Ariel Pink is a polarizing figure in indie music culture, but you’d never know it based on his lo-fi psych tunes. His latest, “Put Your Number In My Phone,” is particularly reminiscent of ’70s AM radio in sound, though its message finally sees Pink joining this century in a coherent way. I could do without the sample of a voicemail — mostly because it makes it seem like Ariel’s making fun of the poor girl — but I laughed anyway, and grooved easily. “Put Your Number In My Phone” is even poppier than the relaxed-fit disco of “Round and Round,” and the direction works. Looking forward to pom pom, Pink’s new double album out November 18.

King Tuff — “Headbanger”

King Tuff, aka Kyle Thomas, wrote a hilariously apt blurb about his new single for Rolling Stone, which premiered the track: “‘Headbanger’ is another instant classic from the scrambled egg brain of King Tuff, the mischievous gnome child of rock & roll. A love poem steeped in sexual innuendo referring to the primitive heavy metal act of wickedly banging ones skull against innocent air molecules, so that the hair explodes in a dazzling display of joy and freedom.” I’ll add: In the last several years, there has been a lot of garage rock in the style of King Tuff, but rarely do the songs makes me feel as infinitely powerful as “Headbanger” does (usually I just want to participate in a Miller High Life drinking contest). I could lift a Kia Sorento with pure adrenaline alone after air-guitaring awkwardly to this song alone in my room. King Tuff’s third album, Black Moon Spell, is out September 23 on Sub Pop.

Perfume Genius — “Grid”

Mike Hadreas made one of the best, most important albums of the fall. His third album as Perfume Genius, Too Bright (out September 23), is confident and bold, with a real knack for turning personal experiences into political statements. “Grid” is one of the album’s most abrasive tracks; Hadreas does a bit of an Elvis croon while children scream and the guitar-synth combo speeds along recklessly.

Grouper — “Call Across Rooms”

The first taste of Liz Harris’ new album under her Grouper moniker, titled Ruins, is an apt representation of how heartbreaking and stunningly simple the record is. “Call Across Rooms,” in particular, feels like a secret Harris keeps between herself, her piano, and a troubled lover. Ruins is out October 31.

Weezer — “Cleopatra”

The second song released from Weezer’s forthcoming Everything Will Be Alright in the End isn’t, in this longtime fan’s opinion, one of the album’s best, but it is still reasonably solid as a rock single. The boys rev up those dueling hair-metal guitars, toss in a killer solo, and still manage to wedge a catchy chorus into my brain.

Mr Twin Sister — “In the House of Yes”

The band known formerly as Twin Sister has been on a roll lately, with two great singles to serve as a re-introduction. A third off their forthcoming self-titled album, out September 23, arrives this week with just as confident a strut. “Tasteful” is the word I keep coming back to, yet I keep thinking of Chaka Khan”s “I’m Every Woman” as well. I like my disco-house on the classy side, so this does the trick.

Bonus: Black Bananas, the new moniker for Jennifer Herrema’s band RTX, released a video that is weird and wonderful and worth your time. The press release doesn’t oversell it, I promise: “‘Creeping The Line’ will become THE anthem for exotic dance workout classes and sexy sexies everywhere!” Trigger warning: there are cats, dogs, psychedelics, giant teddy bears, and lots of strippers!