The 20 best rock songs right now

This month’s list includes new music from Miss Grit, Speed, Gladie, Georgia Maq, and more.

December 01, 2022
The 20 best rock songs right now (L-R) Miss Grit, Speed, Georgia Maq   Hoseon Sohn/Jack Rudder/Jess Gleeson

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

Gladie, “Born Yesterday”

Philly band Gladie’s new album Don’t Know What You’re In Until You’re Out, released this month, is a stunning document of a major reset in frontwoman Augusta Koch’s life. She quit drinking in 2020 and album highlight “Born Yesterday” acts as an entry point into her journey, wavering before realizing that she can weather the oncoming storm. Hearing her sing “The way I feel, I could fill the ocean on my own,” is a moment to punch the air to.

Chemical Fix, “Erase Me”

Many people worry about the legacy they leave behind once they pass away but on “Erase Me,” Philly hardcore band Chemical Fix say they actively want to be forgotten. It’s a brutal feeling matched by the pummeling drums and a chugging bassline. The whole thing sounds like a band with a lot of life to live.

Shake Chain, “Mike”

London punk label Upset The Rhythm has been a staple of the U.K. underground scene for many years now and they continue to dig up hidden treasures. The latest band to come through the ranks are Shake Chain, whose new album Snake Chain dropped this month. On “Mike” singer Kate Mahoney condenses enough shrieks and wails to fill a slasher movie into two minutes of raw noise.

Eliza McLamb, “Pulp”

For a song about “total obsoletion, dust, and despair,” Eliza McLamb’s “Pulp” is surprisingly chipper. Underneath the breezy melodies, however, lay an artist coming to terms with the fact that good times pass all too soon and that fond memories mean the moment has passed.

Miss Grit, “Follow The Cyborg”

Miss Grit’s debut album, Follow the Cyborg, is already one of the most anticipated releases of next year around these parts. This title track is suitably robotic, with a motorik beat driving the narrative of a human cohabiting with an android. The result is a strange kind of company, one more isolating than being alone.

Andy Shauf, “Wasted On You”

Whole worlds are created within just a few lines of an Andy Shauf song. “Wasted On You”’s humble but richly drawn narrative depicts a conversation with God with the question of life after death high on the agenda. It’s a big idea but one that Shauf crafts deftly, with a calming delivery that leaves plenty to chew on.

Speed, “One Blood We Bleed”

Australian hardcore band Speed essentially write their own WWE entrance music here, hyping themselves up as they swagger towards dishing out another pummeling. “One Blood We Bleed” is taken from essential label Flatspot Records’ forthcoming compilation The Extermination Pt.4, out January 27.

Nuha Ruby Ra, “Self Portraiture”

Nuha Ruby Ra has previously opened up for King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard and Viagra Boys, with her taught and fiendishly alive sounding post-punk a perfect match for those bands. “Self Portraiture” is very much the product of a one-person band, with Nuha playing all the instruments and even providing the lighting and camera for the video.

One Step Closer, “Dark Blue”

A cruel irony of life as a musician is that the dream of touring often coincides with the harsh reality of life on the road, where family, friends, and even a comfortable bed seem forever out of reach. One Step Closer’s Ryan Savitski tackles that dilemma on the Wilkes-Barre hardcore band’s new single “Dark Blue,” an anthemic moment on which he cries for something to “make me numb inside, and soak all the pain.”

O., “Ogo”

Call it jazz, call it punk. London duo O.’s take on sax and drums is crushingly heavy.

Georgia Maq, “Samson”

Camp Cope singer Georgia Maq shared this cover of Regina Spektor’s 2002 original, recorded live at the Sydney Opera House. Best known for fronting a lo-fi indie band, here she leans into Spektor’s pop melodies and epic display of emotion. The result is stunning.

Nicole Dollanganger, “Gold Satin Dreamer”

Nicole Dollanganger songs tend to be rare gems, with the Ontario dream-pop artist sporadically dropping material and then vanishing into the ether once more. “Gold Satin Dreamer,” however, is the first release from an upcoming album (due January 6). If the new music is anything to go by, expect drama and high emotion with a side order of body horror.

Zulu, “Fakin' Tha Funk (You Get Did)”

LA-based hardcore band Zulu will release long-awaited debut album A New Tomorrow on March 3, the follow-up to their impressive early EPs Our Day Will Come and My People… Hold On. “Fakin’ Tha Funk” sets the table nicely, a minute-long barrage of righteous fury and big riffs.

Dream Wife, “Leech”

London-based punk band Dream Wife have always simmered with a purposeful rage but they let go of the restraints on “Leech.” The spoken-word choruses help lock the target of abusive men in their crosshairs before both barrels are unloaded in their direction on the explosive chorus (“The leech is out for blood”).

Mui Zyu, “Rotten Bun”

Next February Mui Zyu, who also plays in Dama Scout, will release debut solo album Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century. This title track is a fantastical dream pop song inspired by Chinese folklore, with delicate piano bathed in distorted synths providing a brittle shell that surrounds Mui Zyu’s plight.

Narrow Head, “Moments of Clarity”

The influence of Oasis on the hardcore and hardcore-adjacent world right now is worthy of a whole piece on its own but Houston band Narrow Head channel the spirit of Kenbworth 1996 on “Moments of Clarity.” The song will appear on Narrow Head’s new album, also titled Moments of Clarity, when it drops on February 10 next year.

Black Honey, “Heavy”

Coming with a video starring and directed by Drag Race U.K. queen Dakota Schiffer, indie rockers Black Honey’s “Heavy” will appear on new album A Fistful of Peaches, out in early 2023.

Subsonic Eye, “Aquarius”

Singaporean band Subsonic Eye come of age in real time on “Aquarius” with lead singer Nur Wahidah trying to maintain focus as adolescence and adulthood begin to blur and real life rears into view. Tight drumming and chiming guitars act as stabilizers on her journey as she stumbles towards a new reality.

Shame, “Fingers of Steel”

British post-punks Shame’s “Fingers of Steel” video is set inside a bot farm with the band manipulating their social media stats as they pursue a shortcut to the top. It’s a grimy and bleak world that, as the saying goes, makes you want to touch grass and never look at a screen again.

Chubby + The Gang, "Violent Night (A Christmas Tale)"

Tis the season!

The 20 best rock songs right now