The 20 best rock songs right now

This month’s list includes new music from Sobs, Black Belt Eagle Scout, MSPaint, Carpetgarden, and more.

November 01, 2022
The 20 best rock songs right now (L-R) Carpetgarden, Sobs, Black Belt Eagle Scout   Thumbnail images via Erin Murray/Nate Lemuel of Darlisted Photography

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

Sobs, “Air Guitar”

Singapore’s Sobs return with new album Air Guitar this month and the title track is a perfect encapsulation of what the indie-pop band do so well. Sugary songs filled with big melodies and a sense of bittersweet regret, this time about a romantic partner making an unlikely return.

Black Belt Eagle Scout, “Don’t Give Up”

This month brought the welcome return of Katherine Paul, a.k.a. Black Belt Eagle Scout. “Don’t Give Up” is a song about feeling connected to nature and how that helps with mental health. Paul is captivating throughout but comes to life as the song comes to a close when she finds new focus in “The land, the water, the sky.”

Fleshwater, “The Razor’s Apple”

Fleshwater share members with hardcore band including but their sound, while intense, has a dreamy almost shoegaze-like quality to it. Marisa Shirar brings “The Razor’s Apple” to life, her voice swooping over the chasms of ‘90s alt rock beneath her. Fleshwater’s excellently named We’re Not Here To Be Loved is out November 4 on Closed Casket Activities.

MSPaint, “Acid”

Mississippi band MSPaint’s play with structure and sound on their first new material in two years. The synth-punk group’s return is marked by a startling intensity and underlying feeling that good times lie ahead.

Westerman, “Idol; RE-run”

Westerman returns with a contemplative new song written shortly after the storming of the US Capitol. “Idol; RE-run” is a quietly furious rejection of online echo chambers and the unearned heroes they create, underpinning the despair with mournful brass and skittering drums.

Carpetgarden, “Da Da Song”

Shimmering and quietly depressed slacker pop from David Sweet about the tender early stages of a queer relationship. Sweet sings to their partner to let him know they like him so much their bad selfies don’t even bother them any more. That’s true love.

Laundromat, “Gloss”

Laundromat is the project of Brighton-based Toby Hayes, formerly of U.K. hardcore band Meet Me In St. Louis. His Beck-like new single “Gloss” shows him in a more pop-leaning mode with a tight bassline, vocal hooks, and freaky guitar parts looping over and over to create a hypnotic result.

LANNDS, “K Town”

“K Town,” the new song from LA-based sup LANNDS, is an acknowledgement of the fact that relationships are hard to navigate and prone to shifting in real time. “I think we knew we were changing,” Rania Woodard sings over a percussive psych-pop beat. “You’re just another stranger now.”

Militarie Gun, “Let Me Be Normal”

The idea of hardcore bands releasing deluxe editions of their albums is pretty funny but anything that helps shine a light on Militarie Gun’s All Roads Lead To The Gun is OK here. “Let Me Be Normal” wins back some punk credibility by having one of the most aggressively ugly videos in some time. Avoid if you have recently had a baby or ever intend to.

Weeping Icon, “Pigs, Shit & Trash”

NYC band Weeping Icon offer up a buzzing new punk track about the horrors of living in the city as pandemic and protests coalesced into a time of bitterness and loss. Their new EP Ocelli is out November 18 on Fire Talk.

PVA, “Comfort Eating”

U.K. trio PVA’s excellent debut BLUSH was released this month and bridges the gap between the electronic and rock worlds like Ladytron or Marie Davidson before them. “Comfort Eating” is a marriage of the three members key skills; Ella Harris’ confessional poetry, Josh Baxter’s innovative and addictive synths, and Louis Satchell’s relentless and funk-laden drums.

Runnner, “I Only Sing About Food”

There is a Sufjan Stevens-esque twang in Noah Weinman’s voice, lending the songs he makes as Runnner an immediate sense of poignancy. “I Only Sing About Food” quickly betrays its title, throwing death and regret into the mix. It’s a winning recipe. Weinman’s debut Like Dying Stars, We’re Reaching Out is out February 17 via Run For Cover Records.

Mourning, “Disenlightenment”

“Disenlightenment” by Glasgow-based hardcore band Mourning channels distrust, exhaustion, and contempt of living in the modern western world into just under two minutes of furious, joyful noise. Check out their new album, also titled disenlightenment, when it drops on November 15.

Bleached, “Flip It”

Sisters Jennifer and Jessie Clavin return to their DIY roots for a new era of Bleached. “Flip It” is a sugary punk singalong about beating the daily grind by adopting a carefree attitude. The “Flip it for good / Quit it just like I should” chorus is an instant earworm.

Skullcrusher, “Whatever Fits Together”

Quiet The Room, Helen Ballentine’s second album of hushed majesty, is one of the best records that came out in October. “Whatever Fits Together” is its stand-out moment, a bittersweet realization that those with messy lives and those who seem to have it together the most are often closer than you can ever imagine.

Hammered Hulls, “Needlepoint Tiger”

Hammered Hulls is a band of hardcore lifers including singer Alec MacKaye and riot grrrl hero Mary Timony. Their debut album Careening, produced by Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat (yes, that’s Alec’s brother), is a taught and engulfing listen that bristles with intensity. Check out the excellent “Needlepoint Tiger” for proof.

JFDR, “The Orchid”

Icelandic singer-songwriter Jófríður Ákadóttir’s new song has a delicate nature, as if pushing too hard against its razor-sharp meldoes and tone would shatter it. One to admire, from a distance.

Inclination, “A Decision”

Brutal stuff from the metallic straight edge band, who released new album Unaltered Perspective this month. “A Decision” turns a life changing moment into two minutes of cathartic fury.

They Are Gutting A Body of Water, “Webmaster”

“Webmaster” is a short, sharp, and heavy dose of noise from this Philly band’s new album Lucky Styles. They Are Gutting A Body of Water always push things to the max and use that top end as space to have a good time. Here they sound like they’re ready for more people to join them.

Sour Widows, “I-90”

Bay Area trio Sour Widows’ “I-90” is a story of grief and loss that wraps itself around tender-heavy guitars and backing vocals that feel like a reassuring hug.

The 20 best rock songs right now