The 20 best rock songs right now

February’s list includes Phoebe Bridgers, The Strokes, Clairo, Gouge Away, and more.

February 28, 2020
The 20 best rock songs right now Phoebe Bridgers   Olof Grind

Every month The FADER brings you the best rock songs in the world (in no particular order).


Phoebe Bridgers, “Garden Song”

“When I grow up, I’m gonna look up from my phone and see my life,” Phoebe Bridgers sings on her understated new song, making the endless scroll sound like a welcome escape. It’s an artful return for Bridgers who, despite many collaborative projects, hasn’t released new solo material since 2017.

Car Seat Headrest, “Can’t Cool Me Down”

The new Car Seat Headrest album sounds like quite the trip. Will Toledo recorded it twice — once as Car Seat Headrest and again as his alter ego, an electronic musician named “Trait.” “Can’t Cool Me Down” is the first taste and it’s immediately clear things are a little different to normal. Gone are the epic rock landscapes crafted with guitars and endless drums and in their place is a sparse but magnetic ‘80s electro-pop tune.

The Strokes, “At The Door”

It’s 2020 and The Strokes are good again. Even Howard Ratner wouldn’t have taken that bet.

Tame Impala, “Tomorrow’s Dust”

“What would Daft Punk do?” is not a bad mantra by which to live your life.

King Krule, “Airport Antenatal Airplane”

The King is now a dad, and fatherhood, which brings with it an instantaneous growth and newfound perspective, suits him nicely.

Jockstrap, “Acid”

I don’t know what kind of music Jockstrap are making right now, but I like it. The London duo’s debut single on new label Warp is twisted and idyllic in equal measure.

Clairo, “February 15 2020, London U.K.”

It’s exciting to see artists working things out in real time. This new Clairo demo feels heavier, in every sense of the word, than what we heard on Immunity and just as heart-wrenching.

Waxahatchee, “Lilacs”

Waxahatchee should start an exercise class where you can go and dance to this song for an hour.

KennyHoopla, “How Will I Rest In Peace….”

The 2007 energy this has… An indie disco anthem for a generation too young to remember such a thing.

Public Practice, “Compromised”

Meet Me In The Bathroom-core for those old enough to remember those sticky dancefloors.

Becky and the Birds, “Do U Miss Me”

Swedish producer and songwriter Thea Gustafsson, newly signed to 4AD, makes her debut with a charming yet eerie song written from a place of anguish.

Arlo Parks, “Eugene”

With each new song, Arlo Parks aims for the heart and she never misses. This ode to confused feelings and friendly tensions is beautiful.

The Magic Gang, “Think”

Watch this video from the U.K.’s Magic Gang then immediately go lose yourself in a Northern Soul YouTube hole.

Pottery, “Texas Drums Pt I & II”

Imagine listening to this and not wanting to play drums immediately.

Gouge Away, “Consider”

DIY hardcore band Gouge Away teamed up with Deafheaven producer Jack Shirley on their new single, a battering ram of serrated riffs and Christina Michelle’s pained vocals that will leave you wheezing.

Lauren Auder, “Meek”

Lauren Auder’s Byronic take on the King Krule template washes away the ooz and replaces it with a breezy romanticism and just the right amount of snarl.

Jehnny Beth, “Flower”

Best known for fronting intense and explosive punks Savages, Jehnny Beth steps away from the band on her new solo song. The panting and austere “Flower” is the latest taste of Beth’s debut album, To Love Is To Live, due out on May 8.

MK. Gee, “cz”

This just got added to your boyfriend’s “vibes” playlist and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Beach Bunny, “Ringtone” (100 gecs cover)

100 gecs crossover status update: Their songs are being covered in whimsical fashion by pop-punk bands. This is a great thing.

The Orielles, “Sugar Tastes Like Salt” (Andrew Weatherall remix)

Nobody did as much over the past three decades to make rock bands sound as alive as Andrew Weatherall did. RIP to a legend.

The 20 best rock songs right now