Songs You Need in Your Life: November 2023
Our rolling list of this month’s essential new tracks.
Songs You Need in Your Life: November 2023

The FADER's Songs You Need In Your Life are our picks for the most exciting and essential new music releases out there. Every day, we update this page with new selections. Listen on our Spotify playlist or hear them all below.

Ryder, Skepta, Dré Six: "All Alone"

48 Hours is the new EP from Ryder, a producer based in the U.K. city of Hull and creator of "Skeptacore." That's the label he used when he started taking old Skepta bars and reworking the production to create something new. Eventually the music made its way back to the grime MC and they began working together for real. "All Alone" is an original track with singer Dré Six lending his smooth vocals to the mix alongside a typically tough verse from Skepta. Across "All Alone" and the EP, however, it's Ryder's production that makes the biggest impact. Warm and vulnerable, it's a whole new way of listening to a voice steeped in familiarity. — David Renshaw

Jeez Marquis: “I’m Eddie Murphy In Eastern Europe”

On the trauma-soaked electro noise-punk album White Space, Youniss bellowed his truth: that our perception of others rarely accounts for their coexisting and contradictory truths. Noisy US, Youniss’s new EP as Jeez Marquis, embodies the spirit of this same premise while surging with the deep-fried humor of Mr. Oizo and Hudson Mohawke. The title of “I’m Eddie Murphy In Eastern Europe” alludes to a specific and irritating form of racism — the song channels how disconcerting it can feel with venomous acid house synths and mutant breakbeats colliding against moments of morose ambient synth washes. — Jordan Darville

박혜진 Park Hye Jin: “Foreigner”

박혜진 Park Hye Jin does not mince words on her first new song since her 2021 debut LP. Over satisfying, syrup-soaked synths and an elusive drumline, she gives a fragmented but forthright account of her immigrant experience: “I want to speak in Korean, but I don’t know how to speak or to be Korean,” the Seoul native says, bemoaning her assimilation into anglicized society through years spent in London, Melbourne, and Los Angeles. “I lived everywhere,” she says with the same sort of resignation, listing out an impressively global list of locations. “Let me get green card,” she demands later on before categorically rejecting a green-card marriage. “I’m so fucking talented for green card,” she explains. “I pay all my shit by my music.” If anyone at Immigration Services is reading this, please get Ms. Park a green card. — Raphael Helfand

Kee Avil: “I Too, Bury” (claire rousay Remix)

claire rousay takes Kee Avil’s austere, terrifying piano/vocal track and warps it into something less definite. Though rousay’s staticky synth wash takes some of the edge off of the original, there are still sharp objects hiding in the song’s new, gauzy backdrop, just as lethal as the first time if you lean in too close. — Raphael Helfand

KARRAHBOOO: "Running Late"

There are countless songs about drug use and toxic relationships, but very few contain the self-awareness demonstrated by KARAHBOOO on “Running Late.” Against minimalist trap beats and piano lines reminiscent of a ‘90s R&B track, you can't tear your ear away from her lyrics about self-medication as a means of self-preservation. With her hazy, understated delivery, she’s able to skillfully mirror the effects of these substances, while rapping about the complex emotional dynamics underlying her anger and impatience and her tendency to push others away. And by trading in big beats and braggadocio for this level of unvarnished vulnerability, it’s almost impossible to question the authenticity of KARAHBOO’s “Running Late.” — Sandra Song

O.: "Moon"

Though O. are quick to dispute the labelling of their music as “dub,” it’s fair to say that the London duo have a deep affection for the genre. “Moon,” the second song on their four-track EP Slice, reveals this most clearly. Joseph Henwood’s baritone saxophone is wrapped in the classic tape delays and spring reverbs of days gone by — the menace that’s so prevalent in his brassy bellows is tempered down into a just-as-monstrous groove. Drummer Tash Keary’s performance is rope-tight and just as diligent in its channeling of dub’s spectral intensity. — Jordan Darville

Björk feat. Rosalía: "Oral"

Originally written prior to the release of 2001's Vespertine, Bjork kept “Oral” on the shelf for two decades. In 2023, the song resurfaced as a long-awaited duet with Rosalia in true Bjork fashion: as a charity single to support legal action against open-pen fish farming in Iceland. Full of insular, aching horniness rendered with startling impressionism, “Oral” is immediately recognizable as a product of Bjork’s turn-of-the-millenium experiments with ethereal pop, swelling orchestration, and steely techno percussion. It’s a bit of a throwback, sure. But the presence of Rosalía, a pioneer who owes much to the experimentation Bjork flexed around the time “Oral” was written, helps to give the song the feeling of a queen’s jubilee. — Jordan Darville

Chuquimamani-Condori: “Until I Find You Again”

The finale of DJ E — the enigmatically gorgeous new project from Chuquimamani-Condori (aka Elysia Crampton) — is a crash landing in open water. The percussion undergirding “Until I Find You Again” raises tidal waves that reverberate across the track, unsettling its chiptune-inspired blend of keys and accordion until abrasive samples burst forth like electrical fires — though these too eventually fade into the surrounding sea. — Raphael Helfand

June McDoom: “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair”

It isn’t easy to spin a well-worn folk song into something fresh, but June McDoom has done so on her new version of “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair.” Inspired by Nina Simone’s iconic version, McDoom’s studied rendition is swathed in Sammy Weissbergs’ sensuous string arrangement — centering baroque harp playing (Rebecca El-Saleh) that pull the music back to antiquity but surrounding the instrument and McDoom’s breathy vocals with dissonant, discomfiting harmonies from a different sonic dimension altogether. — Raphael Helfand

Molly Lewis: "Lounge Lizard"

The dulcet tones of Molly Lewis’ whistling have soundtracked movies and commercials, and earned her an opening slot on Weyes Blood’s “In Holy Flux” tour. On “Lounge Lizard,” the lead single from her first full-length outing, her malleable instrument enters the mix like a breeze from the past, serene yet doleful, accompanied by slow drums, a distant organ, and stringed ephemera that swim in and out of focus. Later in the track, Lewis duets with a saxophone, circling the deeper horn like a spider spinning an elegant web around its prey. — Raphael Helfand

Frost Children: "Stare At The Sun"

Prepare to be disarmed. For pop-punk fans, the opening riff of “Stare At The Sun” will transport you to the days when Sum 41’s “In Too Deep” ruled your iPod. But only for a split-second: that handful of guitar notes is actually a seed for a spacious expanse of math-rock. Then, just when you’re comfortable, the entire track disintegrates into a digi-metal meltdown. Somehow, “Stare At The Sun” benefits from its capital-I Internet vibe, sans trolling and with a compulsive sincerity. — Jordan Darville

Danny Brown: "Jenn's Terrific Vacation"

“Jenn’s Terrific Vacation” is a relatively straightforward critique of gentrification. But Danny Brown’s shrewd delivery and Kassa Overall’s production — full of spliced jazz drumming, nervy organ stabs, menacing bass drones, and well-placed needle drops of the iconic keys from Goodie Mobb’s “Cell Therapy” (variously pitch- and tempo-shifted to fit “Jenn’s” curvature) — create an effectively chilling atmosphere. “Who’s that peepin’ in my window? / I don’t really know what they hear for,” Brown begins, sounding a little panicked. “On the corner just put the Starbucks / I was just lookin’ for a come-up.” — Raphael Helfand

Babyxsosa: "Baby G"

Babyxsosa’s dedication to creating art-rap over a rap career has helped make her one of the underground’s most fascinating and enigmatic figures. Her new EP has five songs of drumless AutoTuned crooning with the texture of pluggnb and execution of Dean Blunt; the near-total absence of percussion makes the trap drums of the third track “Baby G” sound even more massive by comparison. Sosa’s warbles her flexes over a glittering, cinematic sample that sounds extravagent even though its sample rate screams YouTube-to-Mp3. — Jordan Darville

Laetitia Sadier, “Une Autre Attente”

“Une Autre Attente” is proof positive of a musical genius that stretches beyond Laetitia Sadier’s iconic singing voice. While far from a Stereolab clone, the track’s arrangement is instantly identifiable as springing from the mind that led Emperor Tomato Ketchup and Dots and Loops to completion. Beyond its jazzy chords, tight syncopation, and fast-pivoting groove, the track brims with the same wide-eyed, cosmic energy that carried those seminal records a quarter-century ago. — Raphael Helfand

The Smile: "Wall of Eyes"

When the end of the world comes, I hope it feels the way Bossanova-strummed guitar and towering orchestral arrangements sound. The title track from The Smile's upcoming album out January 26, "Wall of Eyes" builds from slow burn to raging inferno. — Jordan Darville

King Louie Bankston: “(Theme From) Crawzilla”

The opening track of the second Harahan Fats — the second posthumous album by New Orleans punk icon King Louie Bankston — tells the extremely Cajun tale of a wild woman with “a bottle of hot sauce and a fat, hot, stinkin’ boudin,” set to an acoustic blues shuffle. By the end of the song, it remains unclear whether the titular heroine has any relation to the actual Crawzilla Crawdad (lacunicambarus chimera), a real species of burrowing crawfish found in nearly every state east of the Rocky Mountains, per She’s presented in the music video as a magazine clipping collage with a crawfish head, a human body, and abnormally long arms, dressed in a 10-gallon hat, pink pumps, booty shorts, and a crop top, with “HOT SAUCE” tattooed across her belly. — Raphael Helfand

Julia Holter: "Sun Girl"

Julia Holter’s latest is a disorienting slurry of synths, flute, and fretless bass that shifts its center every time the listener starts to settle into a groove. “Sun Girl” is rendered even more dreamlike by the way Holter employs her willowy vocals, scattering layers of harmony across the mix so that they seem to be piped in from all angles. The music video — featuring a purple, Gumby-esque protagonist and a vivid sunflower montage — is also quite a trip. — Raphael Helfand

ellis: "forever"

Reliving our memories can feel like watching a movie. Truth interlaces with what we want to have been or how we feel now. The stakes of the nostalgia and its importance to our identity heightens the drama as we treat ourselves like the main character in our own film, cheering or cursing our choices. ellis, the Hamilton-based songwriter who returns with her first new song since 2021, grasps these existential stakes on “forever.” Both lyrically and musically, the new song takes an omniscient view of time — it’s one of her glossiest, capital-P pop tracks yet, while also smeared with dream-pop and grunge-inspired sounds she first emerged with. — Jordan Darville

Mia Joy: “4th of July”

Our TikTok society has been drenched in dream-pop to the point of saturation, but that doesn’t make the genre any less mesmeric when done correctly. “4th of July” places Mia Joy’s lovely voice – reminiscent of an early Angel Olsen — above Beach House-indebted guitar arpeggios that combine ingeniously with a steady drum beat to create a subtle syncopation that keeps the song lively throughout its succinct, three-minute run. — Raphael Helfand

Chow Lee: “team effort!”

Terminally horny rapper-singer Chow Lee returns with a woozy ode to group sex, a gently crooned transmission from a world where “it’s just me and my bitches vs. all of my demons…” In his first solo release since his July album, Hours After the Club, he seems positive about the future for himself and his polycule — “...And I think that we winnin’ / I love that for us.” — Raphael Helfand

Moonshine feat. Amaal Nuux, Vanyfox, and Aluna: "Pain & Pleasure"

For nearly eight years, the world has been waiting for Rihanna’s new album, wondering what direction the pop star and lifestyle brand magnate would take on her path to world re-domination. Newly signed to Aluna’s label Noir Fever, the Montreal-based collective Moonshine offer an alternate universe Rihanna comeback single. “Pain & Pleasure” is overseen by a very Riri-esque vocal performance from Amaal Nuux (Aluna’s feature is more multidimensional, jumping between breathlessly horny and rubber band-texted flexing), but its the glossy, lounged-up Batida instrumental courtesy of Vanyfox that most intrigues me. With the sounds of the African diaspora now a reliable presence on Western music charts, it’s not a stretch to say that something like “Pain & Pleasure” sounds like the future. — Jordan Darville

aprxel: “planet hollywood”

Hanoi-based artist aprxel’s new project tapetumlucidum<3 feels post-everything. Her Mona Evie collective hails from the same cosmic realm as NOVAGANG, light years ahead of the mainstream. Dubbed a “tribute to girlhood, for all the magical friendships in the world<3,” the 11-track project is full of bona fide gems and amusing Easter eggs, and no two songs sound remotely similar. “planet hollywood,” an early standout, runs the gamut from harsh noise to neosoul, with hundreds of unexpected stops along the way. — Raphael Helfand

KwolleM: "Grandma's Kitchen"

KwolleM just dropped his new album Melo on which the London-based producer jumps between sub-genres, floating free as he invites friends including Unknown T and Novelist to celebrate the arrival of his newborn daughter over grime, drill, and R&B beats. "Grandma's Kitchen" is the most immediately pleasing moment on the album as AJ Tracey tears into a skippy garage production, referencing everything from Pokemon to F1 driver Lewis Hamilton as smoke comes off his heels. "A hug from my mum now my enemies all seem tiny," might just be the year's most wholesome bar. — David Renshaw

YT: "Chillin In My Slippers"

London-based rapper YT first caught my attention with "The One (Just Got My Degree)" and its video, shot as he attended his graduation from Oxford University. His new mixtape #STILLSWAGGIN dropped last month and "Chillin In My Slippers" is on repeat. Like much of the tape, it's a throwback to the jerk era but done with enough taste to leave the colored skinny jeans on the shelf. YT raps from the bottom of a bass-heavy production and keeps his lyrics light. Mahirishi shorts and record label negotiations are all he needs to showcase his charisma, the whirling synths do the rest of the work for him. — David Renshaw

bassvictim feat. Oatmilkandcodeine, "Canary Wharf freestyle"

London-based duo bassvictim seem well aware that first impressions matter, at least judging from their debut single, “Canary Wharf freestyle.” A frenetic club track that’s built around a classic drum-and-bass beat, it contains the soul of a sweaty noise punk rager thanks to its intensity and abrasiveness, with plenty of distortion and onslaughts of relentless bass. “Canary Wharf freestyle” is an erratic exploration of aughties subgenres that come together to create a whiplash effect that feels both nostalgic and new. — Sandra Song

dj blackpower: “Three Gyra”

“Three Gyra” starts out with deceptive glitches that made me reflexively check my WiFi connection — a trick that generally annoys me. But in the hands of dj blackpower (MIKE’s producer alias), it’s employed expertly, foreshadowing the idiosyncratic syncopation that transforms the Dr. Grabba cut from a great rap beat into a kinetic standalone instrumental. — Raphael Helfand


Released on Halloween, Na-Kel Smith’s new album Standalone Stuntman is a blown-out cross-section of the skater and rapper’s mind — on his second album of the year after an uber-prolific 2022 that saw seven projects drop, Smith is adrift. There’s a death of people to trust: His father is imprisoned, friends are changing up, and the love is draining from his girl’s eyes. Despite this, Smith is as locked-in as ever. Opening track “FIREMARSHALL STUNTMAN” captures the hellish slurry of Smith’s paranoia — post-apocalyptic chopped-and-screwed opens the track before a tweaked Na-Kel launches himself onto the track, creating it like an interior monologue — Jordan Darville

Old Fire feat. Bill Callahan: “Mephisto”

“Mephisto” is a slow-churning sea of synths, strings, and Rhodes organ, with Bill Callahan’s characteristically soothing vocals floating on its calm surface. “Hey, Mac / Can you bring that boat back?” he repeats as the instrumental ebbs and flows beneath him, his voice as steady as an ocean liner. — Raphael Helfand

FACESOUL, "Faith In Me"

Hope can be hard to come by some days but the London-based Somali artist FACESOUL wants to find something to stay positive about. He tempers his super smooth R&B song with just enough grit to keep "Faith In Me" from being cloying or cheap, while the positivity in his voice might just be enough to keep sunken heads from falling further. — David Renshaw

Suzy Clue: "Remember Me"

"Are my pictures on your phone?" New York's Suzie Clue sings on "Remember Me." It's a simple question but the pain is more real in its follow-up as she asks, "Are our memories clouded by your weakness?" That's a loaded question but Clue is in an unforgiving mood. She underlines the rage with waves of heavy shoegaze guitars that build into a thick wall of fuzz all-encompassing enough to swallow up the hurt. — David Renshaw

Pink Siifu & Turich Benjy feat. Hi-Tech & Milfie: “Wywd..’!?”

Released quietly in the days preceding Pink Siifu and Turich Benjy’s collaborative album’s unceremonious drop, “Wywd..!?” is a masterful exercise in collaboration, finding ecstatic common ground between six distinct personalities — Siifu’s upfront intensity, Benjy’s “trap disco” swagger, Milfie’s off-kilter flirtation, and the multi-headed engine of chaos that is Detroit ghettotech trio HiTech. — Raphael Helfand

bbymutha: "gun control"

bbymutha’s debut single with True Panther is a tightly wound, two-minute track with a nervous J Rick instrumental that creates the illusion of constantly speeding up, and the even more anxiety-provoking frame of a pitched-down voice urging listeners to build an AR-15 from modular parts ordered separately. Despite this fraught backdrop, bbymutha sounds as confident as ever, dropping the phrase “I do whatever I want” so many times in the song’s short span it becomes a mantra. — Raphael Helfand

Rema: "Red Potion"

The massive global success of “Calm Down” hasn’t made Rema more hesitant to experiment. His surprise EP Ravage is closed out by “Red Potion,” a track bringing the elegance of a Bond theme to the Afrorave. Rema’s carmel-colored melodies glide off the opening orchestra and into a groove where horniness sounds like matter of life or death. Stretching his vocals from cartoonish falsetto to an equally animated bass squall, Rema sounds like the rarest kind of pop star: one that’s actually having fun. — Jordan Darville


Songs You Need in Your Life: November 2023