The 18 best rock songs right now

July’s list includes DIIV, Angel Olsen, Jenny Hval, and more.

July 31, 2019
The 18 best rock songs right now DIIV   Coley Brown

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

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1

DIIV, "Skin Game"

DIIV are back and they’ve hit us with "Skin Game," a murky song about addiction and recovery that maintains a sweet, pop-adjacent center.

2

Girl in Red, "I'll Die Anyway"

Nihilistic bedroom pop from Norway's finest purveyor of the art.

3

Sleater-Kinney, "The Center Won't Hold"

Sleater-Kinney's new album cycle is proving more than a little bumpy, but don't get distracted — The Center Won't Hold is shaping up to be essential listening.

4

Purple Mountains, "She's Making Friends, I'm Turning Stranger"

There is lots to love about David Berman’s first new album in over a decade and his mastery of the instantly iconic song title is high on that list.

5

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Squid, "The Cleaner"

British band Squid make a maximal form of post-punk where the philosophy seems to be: "Why have one good idea when you can have seven?" "The Cleaner" is their latest brain-melter.

6

Black Country, New Road, "Sunglasses"

Londoners Black Country, New Road have nearly nine minutes to play with on "Sunglasses," and they fill their wiry and tense song with mentions of everything from Scandi-noir and Big Pharma to the deep-seated fear of turning into your parents.

7

The 1975, "The 1975"

The world is melting and The 1975 have teamed up, Avengers-style, with Greta Thunberg to try to wake people up to that reality before it's too late.

8

Angel Olsen, "All Mirrors"

Nobody does wistfulness quite like Angel Olsen.

9

Common Holly, "Central Booking"

Montreal singer-songwriter Brigitte Naggar knows how to hook you in. “With a trash can full of blood and hair/ You had to get yourself out of there,” she sings over delicately finger-picked guitar. What follows is a slightly less dramatic, though perhaps more relatable, tale of big city burnout.

10

Ghost Orchard, "Bunny"

I need to know more about the person who commented on YouTube that this song “absolutely levitates in the whip but also in the headphones while lying in bed 😥🐇.”

11

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Florist, "M"

Emily Sprague’s latest album as Florist deals with the grief of losing a parent in admirably brave fashion. “M” is a highlight, with Sprague delicately coming to terms with something other-worldly over sparse piano that glimmers in the darkness.

12

(Sandy) Alex G – “Hope”

May sounding like Elliott Smith never, ever go out of fashion.

13

Bon Iver, "Jelmore”

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon said in a statement that new album i, i (due August 30) is “more honest and generous” than the band’s previous work. “Jelmore” speaks loudly to that idea with its sleek blend of experimentation and warm songwriting.

14

Jenny Hval, "Ashes To Ashes"

Jenny Hval returns and — whisper it — she’s gone pop. Sure, “Ashes to Ashes” touches on burials, grave-digging, and “boys nude magazines,” but this synth-pop moment is the most down-the-line the Norewgian experimental artist has maybe ever sounded.

15

Strange Ranger, "Sunday"

If “Sunday” jingle-jangled any more, The Cure might have cause to call their goth-pop lawyers. This “Friday, I’m In Love”-esque tune is a beautiful highlight from the recently-released Remembering The Rockets.

16

Caroline Polachek, "Ocean Of Tears"

The Caroline Polachek album can't come soon enough.

17

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Clairo, "Sofia"

Shout out Clairo for making a song that touches on three separate eras of The Strokes in three minutes.

18

Vivian Girls, "Sick"

Vivian Girls' welcome return proves it's always 2009 somewhere.

The 18 best rock songs right now