The 20 best rock songs right now

January’s list includes Vampire Weekend, SASAMI, and American Football.

January 30, 2019
The 20 best rock songs right now SASAMI   Alice Baxley

Every month The FADER brings you the 20 best rock songs in the world. Subscribe to the updating playlist on Apple Music and Spotify now.

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1

Vampire Weekend, "Harmony Hall"

An immediate addition alongside “Hannah Hunt” in the canon of great alliterative Vampire Weekend songs.

2

Better Oblivion Community Center, “Exception To The Rule”

Phoebe Bridgers could spend the rest of her career forming supergroups and I’d be happy.

3

SASAMI, “Jealousy”

Strong Broadcast vibes from SASAMI’s latest, and a creepy video to boot.

4

Stella Donnelly, "Old Man"

“Your personality traits don't count, If you put your dick in someone's face.” Stella Donnelly takes no prisoners in her searing attack on toxic masculinity.

5

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Sharon Van Etten, “Seventeen”

Sharon Van Etten wailing her heart out on top of a ladder underneath the slate-grey sky is, as they say, a big mood.

6

Priests, “The Seduction of Kansas”

Priests serve up a dose of Long Blondes-esque art rock on a slinky overhaul of their lo-fi sound.

7

Babeheaven, “Circles”

A late night jam from the London band that showcases Nancy Andersen’s luxe vocals perfectly.

8

Nilüfer Yanya, “In Your Head”

London’s Nilüfer Yanya lets her grunge flag fly as she tries to climb into the mind of a significant other. Crunchy.

9

American Football f. Hayley Williams, “Uncomfortably Numb”

Two generations of emo unite on this contemplative and tender ballad.

10

Pup, “Kids”

“Kids” tells us that if you find someone who thinks the world is as fucked as you do, then keep them close. It’s a great song — but, admittedly, a terrible Valentine’s Day message.

11

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The Murder Capital, “Feeling Fades”

There’s something in the Dublin water and it’s resulting in a raft of bleak, scratchy post-punk. File The Murder Capital alongside Fontaine’s D.C. under this black and white wave.

12

Public Practise, “Slow Down”

“This city will tear you up, this city is gonna tear you down. Just when you think you can understand which way is up it’s down” = Lyrics to quit the rat race to.

13

Black Country, New Road, “Athen’s France”

More bands should reference Ariana Grande, sourdough bread, and terrible comedowns in their songs.

14

Jenny Lewis, “Red Bull & Hennessy”

Jenny Lewis returns with a glass full of booze and more than a little Stevie Nicks in her voice.

15

Ex Hex, “Cosmic Cave”

Rip-roaring garage rock from the riot grrrl survivors. Turn this one up loud.

16

Makthaverskan, “Demands”

Swedish indie-poppers Makthaverskan have always packed a whole lot of drama into a genre which can occasionally be a little pale. “Demands” is typically high-stakes blast of melody and chiming guitars. Fingers crossed a new album is on the way.

17

Martha, “Love Keeps Kicking”

Pop-punk bands have been telling us variations of “love keeps kicking the shit out of me” for decades. Martha update the model by accompanying their message with a video of a huge foot literally kicking people down the street. Subtlety is overrated.

18

Chai, “Fashionista”

Japanese punks Chai rail against the cosmetics industry in detached and ironic fashion, hidings “Fashionista”’s counter-cultural message beneath sugary toplines, big riffs, and chanted vocals.

19

Hand Habits, “placeholder”

The opening song on Meg Duffy’s forthcoming album is a bittersweet lament of being a secondary option, a softly-sung howl into nothing-ness.

20

Girl In Red, “Watch You Sleep”

Watching people sleep is inherently creepy, but Girl In Red’s bedroom pop is acutely observed and tender enough to make this something special.


The 20 best rock songs right now