The 20 best rock songs right now

September’s list includes Angel Olsen, Soccer Mommy, Perfume Genius and more.

September 26, 2019
The 20 best rock songs right now Soccer Mommy   Brian Ziff

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




Soccer Mommy, “Lucy”

Sophie Allison returns with a new song in which she explores struggling with inner demons by imagining being seduced by the devil. Enticed by the brimstone and flames, she ends the song wearing a thorn of crowns as the guitars build and build. An exciting first taste of what’s to come next.


Angel Olsen, “Lark”

“Lark” starts off small before steadily unfurling, until it’s byzantine in size. Throughout it all stands Olsen, searching for answers to questions buried in half-remembered dreams and the shifting sands of a doomed relationship.


beabadoobee, “I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus”

“This tripzz me out,” Stephen Malkmus.



Turnover, “Much After Feeling”

Turnover’s ever-evolving sound drifts effortlessly into its poppiest stage on this charmingly mellow new cut.


Deb Never, “Swimming”

Don’t sleep on Brockhampton collaborator Deb Never or her new House On Wheels EP. “Swimming” is a loose-fitting, deeply melancholic moment from the rising star.


Higher Power, “Seamless”

British band Higher Power tap into Deftones’ spacey thrash sound on this powerful taste of new album 27 Miles Underwater, due in early 2020.



Perfume Genius, “Eye In The Wall”

Composed for a dance/live-music piece called The Sun Still Burns Here, “Eye In The Wall” is Mike Hadreas at his most experimental. His trademark delicate intimacy remains, however, as the bass hits off the walls and dancers move around him.


(Sandy) Alex G, “In My Arms”

A personal favorite from the internet’s most infamous Beto O’Rourke lookalike’s new album House Of Sugar.


Rex Orange County, "10/10"

“If I get my shit together this year, Maybe I'll be a ten” is an all-time lie we tell ourselves. Shout out to Rex for making it sound so jaunty.



Arlo Parks, “Second Guessing”

Trying to please everyone is impossible, and British artist Arlo Parks dives headfirst into that pool of self-doubt on a spacey new track packed full with observational detail.


Vagabon, “Water Me Down”

We’ll have to wait a little longer than expected for Vagabon’s new album, but songs like “Water Me Down” suggest the patience will be rewarded in droves.


One True Pairing, “I’m Not Afraid”

The demise of British band Wild Beasts was a bitter pill for fans to swallow, but One True Pairing — the solo project of former member Tom Fleming — is soothing the pain. “I’m Not Afraid” is a rough and ready, Springsteen-esque slice of heartland rock complete with buzzsaw synths and a soaring chorus.



Great Grandpa, “Digger”

Great Grandpa’s new song is based on a dog that would madly tear up the yard. This digging went on to become a metaphor within the band for their fluctuating mental health, especially as it spiralled. The indie rock band has now transformed the idea into a big-hearted song with epic proportions and intimate ideals.


Brittany Howard, “13th Century Metal”

Having temporarily retreated from Alabama Shakes, Howard has found new life with her solo album Jaime. “I don’t know about you/But I’m tired of this bullshit/And I wanna try/To do the best that I can,” she sings on the jazzy and frenetic “13th Century Metal.” A rousing message from one of the most pleasantly surprising albums of the year.


Richard Dawson, “Two Halves”

British folk singer Richard Dawson taps into the wasteland of dreams that is kids playing soccer while being screamed at by their fathers. From what is so often such a uniquely bleak scenario, Dawson carves some of his most direct and melodic work to date.



Mount Eerie + Julie Doiron, “Love Without Possession”

Phil Elverum, I’m ready to be broken again.


Sasami, “Take Care”

Sasami only dropped her excellent debut album in March, but she’s back with new music in the shape of “Take Care.” A warm hug of a record, “Take Care” will hold you tight.


Swans, “It's Coming It's Real”

It sounds like Michael Gira has been listening to Spiritualized, which is never a bad thing.



Men I Trust, “Found Me”

Like being asked to pick your favorite corner of a blanket, it’s hard to pick the best song on Men I Trust’s sprawling new album Oncle Jazz; you need all of them for the full experience. “Found Me,” an aqueous moment that drifts languorously into shape, is a great place to start, though.


Daniel Johnston, “Devil Town”

RIP to a truly special soul.

The 20 best rock songs right now