The 7 Best New Songs of the Week: Brian Wilson’s New Collaborators, Waxahatchee and Sharon Van Etten Get Gritty


Loads of big indie rock albums come out this month, from Sleater-Kinney and Belle & Sebastian and The Decemberists and Panda Bear. It’s the mid-2000s all over again! Here a few new songs unrelated to all that. Still good, I promise.

Mini Mansions — “Any Emotions” feat. Brian Wilson

You may be wondering, “How does a band I’ve never heard of get Brian Wilson to sing on a song, and Colin Hanks to act in a video?” It would be easy to discount such things as, “Well, you know, it’s the side project from the bassist from Queens of the Stone Age (Michael Shuman).” But Mini Mansions speaks for itself. The L.A. trio would be worth paying attention to even if Wilson wasn’t harmonizing with ’em, thanks to a swooning feast of psych-pop riffs and electronic effects. It’s only a matter of time before this band score a bonafide radio hit.

Waxahatchee — “Air”

On the first single from her forthcoming third album, Ivy Tripp, Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield introduces some gritty dimension into her typically lo-fi acoustic recordings. The percussion feels militaristic, giving the song a structured feel that creates a nice tension against Crutchfield’s raw lyrics and plain-spoken vocal style.

Petite Noir — “Shadows”

If TV on the Radio went through a serious Afropop phase and Tunde Adebimpe sang an octave or two higher. Petite Noir is one to watch in 2015, with his EP King Of Anxiety is out next week via Domino.

Sharon Van Etten — “I Don’t Want to Let You Down”

Sharon Van Etten went on Ellen yesterday and debuted a new song, called “I Don’t Want to Let You Down,” and boy does it just chug. There’s a killer solo tucked in there too, with a touch of Neil Young, and some of the best vocal harmonies of Van Etten’s career on the chorus.

Shura — “Indecision”

Early Madonna meets chillwave. Who doesn’t love an understated banger where the sweet-voiced vixen keeps calling him “boy”?

King Woman — “Burn”

“Doom metal Kim Gordon” is how our Editor-in-Chief Judy Berman described this song, and she’s so, so right.

Nude Beach — “Been Waitin'”

I guess when you write 86-second songs, you have no time to waste. The musical equivalent of birthing a full-grown man, preferably one who likes T. Rex and The Replacements. You know what I mean.