Songs You Need in Your Life: October 2023
Our rolling list of this month’s essential new tracks.
Songs You Need in Your Life: October 2023

The FADER's Songs You Need In Your Life are our picks for the most exciting and essential new music releases out there. Every day, we update this page with new selections. Listen on our Spotify playlist or hear them all below.


Brent Faiyaz feat. Tommy Richman and FELIX!, “Upset”

It’s easy to call Brent Faiyaz “toxic,” though it’s not exactly untrue. His trembling vocals have the timbre of every sweet promise you knew would be broken even when you gave in, yet again. But sometimes, like on “Upset,” that toxic element takes on an impressionist quality, asking the listener to bring their own experiences rather than outlining a flex-worthy narrative. Such is the case on “Upset” from his new album Larger Than Life, a song with a strobing, KAYTRANDA-worthy beat and cryptic lyrics about ties that are better off cut. — Jordan Darville

Fatboi Sharif and Bigg Jus, “God”

Fatboi Sharif, a New Jersey-based artist who raps like a soothsayer with psychedelic mushrooms growing on his tongue, has found a kindred spirit in Bigg Jus. One-third of the legendary underground hip-hop crew Company Flow, Bigg Jus’s experimental rap credentials are untouchable. Both leave it all on the field for “God,” a song from their new EP Insomniac Missile Launcher with a sinister, mildewed beat and haggard bars about the weight of omniscience — Jordan Darville

Year of the Knife: "Heaven Denied"

You should ideally listen to the whole of Year Of The Knife's No Love Lost but if you check out just one song then make it "Heaven Denied." The hardcore-adjacent band led by Madi Watkins have had a traumatic year that will remain a tragic asterisk against the album but, purely on musical terms, it's a record that will hopefully see them propelled to new heights when they hopefully return to full health. "Heaven Denied" is downright nasty (and, with references to the gates of hell opening up on brand for Halloween) with Watkins roaring her way through the sludgy guitars to tear into an "empty vessel" that has crossed her. It's just one of the highlights on No Love Lost, one of the best heavy records of the year. — David Renshaw

Tapeworms: "Puzzle (Kate NV Remix)"

It's another day at the office for Kate NV, who's turned in a remix for the French trio Tapeworms' latest track, "Puzzle." It feels exactly like you'd expect her remix of the song would — glitchy, whimsical, and infectiously fun. That's as far as the predictability extends, though: Kate's sound is constantly, restlessly pivoting, but her aesthetic sense is so singular that she can't help but stamp her name in neon print across everything she touches. — Raphael Helfand

ML Buch: "Big sun"

The cover of ML Buch’s new album Suntub says it all: for this project, the chilled-out avant-pop artist is foregrounding her considerable skills as a guitarist. If 2020’s Skinned placed its guitars in “conversation with the computer,” Suntub puts the six-string in talks with itself. “Big sun” centers this feeling — an instrumental track, the song does not suffer from the absence of Buch’s wistful, serene lyrics. Instead, the layers of electronic guitars provide the emotional journey, one of significant heft. Sometimes crunchy and loping, other times glittery and spectral, the sounds of “Big sun” come together like birds in nature, singing together in their own special harmony — Jordan Darville

Meth Math: "Mantis"

When mantises mate, the male of the pair is often consumed by the female after the act is complete. This makes up the basis for Mexican trio Meth Math's latest song (as well as some pretty wild David Attenborough clips). Through their experimental pop lens, the cannibalistic act becomes strangely tender and wholesome. "Today I will only eat sweet raspberries," vocalist Ángel Ballesteros sings over swaying reggaeton-like drums. "You are left without a head." Piece-by-piece she breaks apart and swallows her prey, taking in the nutrients to pass on to another. It could be a metaphor for the creative process or merely a dream of an evolutionary step. Either way, it makes for the kind of song you want to devour in one bite. —David Renshaw

Mr. Eazi feat. Soweto Gospel Choir: "Exit"

Mr. Eazi's The Evil Genius — a debut LP years in the making, due out Friday the 27th — is full of earned swagger from the Banku pioneer and emPawa Africa CEO. But it's closing track, "Exit," is a thematically humble song about faith, rendered sonically sublime with help from the Soweto Gospel Choir. Riding an uplifting Kel-P instrumental, Eazi and his backing chorus sound both down to earth and above it all. — Raphael Helfand

Church Chords feat. Genevieve Artadi: "Recent Mineral"

For the debut Church Chords record, producer Stephen Buono gathered the seasoned trio of Devin Hoff, John Herndon, and Ben Boye to “synthesize ‘electric-era’ Miles Davis with Black Sabbath,” according to a press release. That mission’s debriefing will have to wait for the album’s February 2024 release. But “Recent Mineral” — a dark, driving cut featuring Portuguese vocals from Genevieve Artadi — is a positive sign. Whether or not it achieves its intended Miles/Ozzy cold fusion, it rips. — Raphael Helfand

Water From Your Eyes: "Crushed Barley"

Next month Water From Your Eyes will celebrate this year's excellent Everyone's Crushed with the release of a remix album. Crushed By Everyone, out November 17, will feature remixes by Mandy, Indiana, Nourished By Time, and The Dare among others but it's "Crushed Barley" that has piqued my interest. Essentially a nu-metal version of the original (titled simply "Barley"), it's heavier and more muscular and immediately more exciting. Full commitment to the nu-metal revival would have been nice (is one DJ scratch too much to ask, guys?) but either way, Water From Your Eyes remain as playful and unpredictable as ever. — David Renshaw

JasonMartin feat. Tank: "Don’t Stop (Baby, Baby) 2222"

JasonMartin is the name by which the artist formerly known as Problem is now operating. He has a new album, titled A Compton Story, due next month, with features on the record including Diddy and Childish Gambino. The Kaytranada-produced " Don’t Stop (Baby, Baby) 2222" introduces the album in a sleek fashion with a minimal beat that strips things down to the core essentials. From there JasonMartin plays the role of a man in the Last Chance Club saloon. "This is the last dance, this is my last chance" he raps, watching the clock as the club's closing time approaches. Tank's smooth vocals save him from desperation and guide the song in a more seductive and celebratory direction as he walks out with the last of his dignity intact. — David Renshaw

Suzi Analogue & Jlin: "NICE TO MEET U"

Legends old and new are linking up on this song you need. Featuring Pulitzer Prize-nominee Jlin, Suzi Analogue's latest single, "NICE TO MEET U" is an experimental electronic track that fuses footwork and IDM. Frenzied breakbeats and unpredictable synths creare the backdrop for the scattering of sinister vocal samples that make this tune a prime contender for your Halloween playlists. — Arielle Lana LeJarde

LeoStayTrill: "Honeybun"

LeoStayTrill has blown up on U.K. rap TikTok with his breakout single "Honeybun." It's not hard to see why, "Honeybun" is a cheeky, confident, and energetic track sitting between the worlds of drill and Afrobeats. It's not being unique that has caught people's attention, Tion Wayne and Russ Millions have been making roadmen dance for a while now, but "Honeybun" makes everything else around it sound tired and dated. — David Renshaw

Dazy: "Forced Perspective"

James Goodson's brand of pop-punk is often described as nostalgic but I'd go one further and suggest that the reason his rubbery and melodic hits work so well is not that they pay homage to an era, but that they truly sound like they were discovered on an old slacker's mixtape circa '93. "Forced Perspective," co-produced by Ryan Hemsworth, is about realizing you're in the wrong and the painful experience of changing your mind accordingly. Even the biggest nostalgia-heads know new information matters. — David Renshaw

Love Remain: "Flourish"

London's Love Remain has swiftly become one of my favorite new producers. In his latest single, "Flourish," the artist builds luxuriously atmospheric soundscapes that allow airy vocal samples and organic bird chirps to float through effortlessly. The instrumental is cinematically expressive—its straightforward melody and stirring synths give space for each listener to provide their own perspective. — Arielle Lana LeJarde

DJ Houseplants: "Got Me Loving U"

Just in time for cuffing season, Bed Stuy-based DJ Houseplants releases a new tune on UK label Over and Out. "Got Me Loving U" is a sumptuous garage edit of 702's "You Don't Know" topped with dense breaks, twinkling high-hats, and water-dripping samples that make you just want to drown in it. — Arielle Lana LeJarde

Anycia: "So What"

"'I don't like nobody in my business 'cause I'm grown,' she chides, sounding half-asleep and fully over it. Her semi-somnambulant rasp never rushes ahead, like she’s used to people waiting to hear from her." — Vivian Medithi, from October 21's Rap Blog

Evian Christ feat. Bladee: "Yxguden"

Revanchist exceeds every already-formidable expectation for Evian Christ’s debut album. The electronic producer spent a decade undergoing a musical transformation from industrial post-dubstep imp to progressive trance auteur, and he’s making the best and most transcendent music of his life — this album is what I want playing if I ever take a pill with a Biblically-accurate angel. Drain Gang rapper Bladee’s gossamer falsetto makes him a prime candidate for trance vocalist, but “Yxguden” still manages to surprise with a deep tenderness coursing through every mountainous ascent and skydive-high drop. — Jordan Darville

Ken Carson: "Lose It"

One of the strangest tracks on Carson’s new album A Great Chaos, “Lose It” is the sound of a panic attack — your brain is pressed against a speaker stack, sending shockwaves of anxiety rippling through your body. Carson is Novocaine numb and paranoid, joylessly rapping about the pills he pops to keep from freaking out and the hair triggers on the guns that will keep him safe. Gab3 and Legion’s beat matches this intensity — Prime Lex Luthor meets early Crystal Castles with glittering synths overshadowed by a blown-out sub. The alienation brimming underneath the surface is as palpable as it is troubling. — Jordan Darville

Floating Points: "Birth4000"

Sam Shepard a.k.a. Floating Points is nothing if not a thrill-builder. Promises, the exquisite chillout sax meditation from Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, and the London Symphony Orchestra, rewarded deep engagement from the listener. "Birth4000," his new single, is as immediate as a signal from the brain to the heart saying "Pump more, faster, now, it's important." It's built for the club and buttressed with pure timelessness: arpeggiated synths go Moroder mode for the duration over some of the fattest four-on-the-floor you've heard this year. — Jordan Darville

Spencer Zahn: "High Touch"

Spencer Zahn wrote "High Touch," the lead single from Statues II, with vocals in mind. Instead, Spencer Ludwig's trumpet brought the track to life. The song begins with squelchy drums, followed by glassy synths and a double bass to create the track's main pulse. Ludwig's trumpet — doubled by Chris Bullock's soprano sax — provides the final touch, raising the rhythm section's groundswell into a cloudless night sky. — Raphael Helfand

Nadine Shah: "Topless Mother"

"Topless Mother," according to British singer-songwriter Nadine Shah, was written about a therapist who she clashed with. " I pay you money just to humour me," she sings with a double-tracked vocal making her voice sound like a choir. Later, between surf-rock guitars and heavy percussion, things get a little more surreal. The tension between the pair reaches breaking point as Shah rhymes "Veruca, Tequila, Banana," parting ways with her psychiatrist and moving quickly on to the next. — David Renshaw

Sainte: "Stop Crying"

Once upon a time, U.K. rapper Sainte was on course to make a career as a basketball player. His hoop dreams never quite took off but, in just under three years, he has reinvented himself as a musician, most recently working with Cash Cobain on "Air 4." He reflects on this rapid ascent on "Stop Crying." Rhyming smoothly over a soft beat, he points to friends in high places and an increasingly large bank balance. "If you see how much I spend in a day, you won't believe I'm a saint," with the confidence of someone who knows there's plenty more to come in. — David Renshaw

Tanukichan: “NPC”

You may have seen the acronym "NPC" if your orbit intersected with Andrew Tate fans, who have turned the acronym for "Non Player Character" into an insult targeting those they perceive as unremarkable. Hannah Van Loon's latest single as Tanukichan wallows a fair amount in the sadness of feeling unremarkable, but she still finds a way to make it sound appealing: "No one's talkin' to me/I'm an NPC/Here in this country," she sings above grunge-textured shoegaze, floating above and separate from a cruel and woe begotten place. — Jordan Darville

Enumclaw: "Fuck Love, I Just Bought A New Truck"

Enumclaw's These Are Some B-Sides sells it a little short. Yes, the new project only has a few (three) songs but they were recorded with Toro Y Moi's Chaz Bear and feel like a step forward from the grunge band's 2022 debut Save The Baby. "Fuck Love, I Just Bought A New Truck" is my favorite of the three, and not just because of its wonderfully belligerent title. Like all of the best Enumclaw songs, it's gritty, beautiful, and playful at all times. — David Renshaw

Joy (Anonymous): "JOY (In Me All The Time)"

Joy (Anonymous), the London-based producers and DJs Henry Counsell and Louis Curran, don't really do things subtly and that's what makes them so appealing. They make big, arms-aloft dance music for the masses and they're at their most potent on "JOY (In Me All The Time)." It's a deceptively simple tune that urges those listening to look within and find their own happiness. That sounds a bit Goop-esque but no wellness influencer has a crystal powerful enough to conjure up this level of ecstasy. — David Renshaw

Bad Bunny feat. Arcángel, De La Ghetto, and Ñengo Flow: "ACHO PR"

My personal highlights on any Bad Bunny project are the songs when he celebrates Puerto Rico. “El Apagón” from last year’s Un Verano Sin Ti showcased his growth as an artist, building to a searing baseline explosion from a single bouncy tom and Bad Bunny’s ferocious raps. There’s also “P FKN R,” a collaboration with Kendo Kaponi and Arcángel colliding My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’s grim regality with Benito’s effusive national pride. “ACHO PR” from his new album nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana is a posse cut enlisting Arcángel and reggaeton veterans De la Ghetto and Ñengo Flow — ever the master of sonic chemistry, Bad Bunny crafts a remastered throwback to turn-of-the-millenium reggaeton, when global pop domination was just a glorious dream. — Jordan Darville

Olof Dreijer: "Cassia"

One-half of the Knife makes his way back to the dancefloor on the new EP Rosa Rugosa. "Cassia" captures what made Dreijer's previous band so great while showcasing some exceptional growth since their 2014 split. Its melodies feel like playful vines winding and wrapping themselves around an amapiano-adjacent techno beat, endlessly building and building towards a slow-motion explosion of glitter — Jordan Darville

Mal Devisa & Gods Wisdom feat. Tabby Wakes: "Three"

Longtime collaborators Mal Devisa and Gods Wisdom have shared a two-track EP titled The Mystery. Its opener, "Three," is a beautifully bizarre fusion of elements: a dub beat washed in lush synths, Tabby Wakes' candied hook, Mal Devisa's rich singing voice and crackling rap delivery, and hellacious growls from Gods Wisdom that make the whole song feel just the right amount more sinister. — Raphael Helfand

Nailah Hunter: "Finding Mirrors"

"Finding Mirrors" is a reflective and sorrowful song for when the desire to argue has burned out and all that's left is emptiness. "Don’t wanna fight you, don’t wanna win" she sings with a sigh over a dramatic synthy-pop backdrop. The song, which will appear on Lovegaze, Hunter’s debut full-length due next year, feels like an admission of defeat rather than the start of a new chapter. — David Renshaw

Kojaque feat. Wiki: "Johnny McEnroe"

Wiki, who is of Irish heritage on his mother's side, joins forces with Dublin rapper Kojaque on this ode to having zero regrets. Wiki leans into the Irishness a little, name-dropping Guinness and rugby, but this Tony Seltzer-produced track is just about two rappers bouncing off one another and having fun with it. Kojaque might say he's "one of one" here but it sounds like he's found a partnership that could run and run. — David Renshaw

MIKE feat. Earl Sweatshirt: "plz don't cut my wings"

In a world saturated with bloated rap LPs, MIKE has always been relatively concise, never breaking the 20-track mark, until now. Even at 24 songs, though, Burning Desire is meticulously crafted in the same way as his other projects, retaining the sparkle of each cut. And even without its Earl verse — delivered in a tone that matches MIKE's so closely one could be forgiven for thinking it was a solo track — "plz don't cut my wings" feels instantly classic. "My mommy be in my thoughts, my body be in the tall glass / High but I break the fall, obviously, ain't your fault," MIKE raps over soaring strings that sound like they're from a silent movie soundtrack, his free-associative delivery coalescing under the weight of the pain, grief, and lust for life that have helped make him one of his generation's most complete artists. — Raphael Helfand

Super Violate: "Buju Buju" (Little Snake & Sabroi Remix)

Los Angeles hardcore hip-hop band Super Violate's bold energy is matched effortlessly by Little Snake and Sabroi's high-octane yet intricate production for the remix of "Buju Buju." The two producers' interpretation include glitchy synths and building drums that actually give structure to the original's cacophonous cadence. — Arielle Lana LaJarde

Wishy: "Donut"

The debut single of the new project from Pennsylvania-based songwriters Kevin Krauter and Nina Pitchkites, “Donut” is blistered shoegaze that doesn’t spare on sweet indie-pop melodies and tart lyrics about being tied down to a shitty car. Play this one loud from a busted speaker system on your way to the job you hate. — Jordan Darville

Flowdan, Lil Baby & Skrillex: "Pepper"

One of the best things about 2023 has been the return of Flowdan. Sure, the uber deep-voiced MC has never gone away but he wasn't making blockbuster tunes with Lil Baby, either. "Pepper," like a lot of Flowdan's recent work, was produced by Skrillex and goes really, really hard with a heavy bassline matched pound for pound by his trademark vocals. — David Renshaw

Troye Silvan: "Honey"

Troye Sivan's excellent new album Something to Give Each Other was written in the aftermath of a split but is more preoccupied with hedonistic single life than traditional ideas of heartbreak. The body meets the heart, though, on "Honey," a transcendent club banger on which Sivan sees "sex in every city" before honing in on a specific person he meets on the dancefloor. Riding the wave of the euphoric song, he calls in favors from above to find some courage before making his move. "Don't know your name, that's something we'll get to," he sings without a care in the world. The freedom is palpable. — David Renshaw

Jeremy Dutcher: "The Land That Held Them"

Jeremy Dutcher’s music career draws its power from the inconvenient truths that lay at the heart of so-called “modern society.” A member of the Tobique First Nation from New Brunswick, Dutcher rearranged wax cylinder recordings of traditional Wolastoqiyik songs for his Polaris Prize-winning debut album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa. He leaned into his own classically-trained songwriting abilities on this month’s Motewolonuwok, though his mission remains the same. “The Land That Held Them Down” gives precious space to two individual stories in an ongoing genocide, laying bare the stakes, the inhumanity, and its cost. “Just one story among the rest,” Dutcher sings, his voice heavy with memory’s burden, and coursing with the power of indigenous, anti-colonial resistance— Jordan Darville

The South Hill Experiment: "Parker Solar Probe"

The South Hill Experiment — the Baltimore duo of brothers Baird and Gabriel "Goldwash" Acheson — named their new track not only for its titular NASA spacecraft, but also its featured guitarist, the renowned Jeff Parker. Together, the ad hoc three-piece pull together a track that's both celestial (Arkestral, if you will) in its expansive vocal and guitar lines and tethered to earth by a steady funk groove from its rhythm section. — Raphael Helfand

Actress: "Its me (g 8)"

Actress' confidence in every form of electronic music is something to be admired. On "Its me (g 8)" — shared as a double single b/w "Oway (f 7)" — he flips an old-school boom-bap beat into a funky dance groove, then chops and pitch-shifts a vocal sample to fit the instrumental's idiosyncratic mold. — Raphael Helfand

Sen Morimoto: "Deeper"

Sen Morimoto takes us back to his earliest solo work on "Deeper," blending a clever, jazzy arrangement with crystalline vocal melodies. It's incredibly easy to listen to, but far from easy listening. — Raphael Helfand

Dana Lu & Taina Rain: "Come My Way"

Dominican-American Dana Lu is providing the best in East Coast club music with her Latin flare on her newly-released Worldwde Link-Up EP. With Taina Rain, the two deliver a hard-hitting party track for the baddies, boasting otherworldly oscillating synths, a bone-shaking bassline, and sensual vocals that guide you to the dancefloor. — Arielle Lana LaJarde

Hotline TNT: "Out of Town"

Hotline TNT have been going from strength to strength with their slew of recent singles, and "Out of Town" is another impossibly catchy banger. Combining heavy shoegaze with dizzying pop melodies, they'll be your new favorite band very soon. — Cady Siregar

gglum: "SPLAT!"

21-year-old Ella Smoker is an artist who really should record under her own name, but gglum is evocative in its own way, too. "SPLAT!" is her latest single and the first on her new label Secretly Canadian. Smoker opens up about a rush of emotions jarring with naivety when it comes to teenage relationships. "Under pressure, I swear, just get it together," she tells herself, weighed down by the knowledge that while it will pass, moments like these sting regardless. — David Renshaw

Allegra Krieger: “Impasse”

As the United States (quite literally) dooms the world with its continued largesse and political brinksmanship, few of the country’s songwriters are as well equipped as Allegra Krieger to capture the essence of her States’ present moment in history. Free of self-importance or white guilt-streaked navel-gazing, “Impasse” is a tender indie folk song about the impermanence and insecurity of world powers and the global environment, and finding the resilience to live within the fallout. — Jordan Darville

Fortunato Durutti Marinetti: “Clerk of Oblivion”

If Destroyer produced a Spandau Ballet album (and also joined the band), you might expect a track like "Clerk of Oblivion." The Toronto-via Turin songwriter's latest simmers like an undulating tropical sunset while layering on an existential dread that spans beyond our corporeal forms. — Jordan Darville

WiFiGawd feat. Niontay: "Souljah Rag Party"

D.C. rapper WifiGawd draws a seemingly endless amount of energy from his nebulous style dropping four projects in 2023 including October’s Been Bout It. He taps into classic NoLa rap on “Souljah Rag Party,” a fierce, Niontay-featuring party-starter with a sinister beat that sounds like it’s sneaking around your speakers. — Jordan Darville

Medicine Singers: "Honor Song"

In honor of Indigenous People’s Day, Medicine Singers — the Algonquin powwow music collective Eastern Medicine Singers and ex-Monotonix guitarist Yonatan Gat — have collaborated with Sonic Youth shredder Lee Ranaldo, Canadian Ojibwe singer Zoon, and Swans and Godspeed You! Black Emperor drummers Thor Harris and Timothy Herzog, as well as powwow drummer Dean Running Deer Robinson, on a new track called “Honor Song.” Blending the mesmeric rhythms of powwow with the drone-y proclivities of some of the song’s featured artists, it’s an overpowering experience when played through headphones. “Honor Song” is dedicated to loved ones who have recently passed, specifically vocalist Arthur Red Medicine Crippen’s partner Kathleen and late trumpet legend jaimie branch. — Raphael Helfand

Hania Rani feat. Ólafur Arnalds: "Whispering House"

Polish pianist-singer-composer Hania Rani's new album Ghosts is full of lush surprises, but some of its best moments are its most minimalist. "Whispering House" (feat. Ólafur Arnalds) is one such moment — a repetitive, melancholy piano passage that flickers as bird calls and wispy vocals flicker in an out of focus. — Raphael Helfand

YHWH Nailgun: "Castrato Raw (Fullback)"

There's a jittering insistence to Brooklyn band YHWH Nailgun, like they're chasing you down and demanding you pay attention. "Castrato Raw (Fullback)" never quite settles into a groove, instead opting to hop between what feels like about five different rhythms while vocalist Zack Borzone delivers his vocals like a man on the verge of throwing up. It's giddy, unsettling, and exciting all at the same time. — David Renshaw

Nightbus: "Exposed to Some Light"

Nightbus' "Exposed to Some Light' is a moment of late-night indie rock that cuts a yearning for answers with razor-sharp guitar work. "I wanna know my name," Olive Rees sings, lightly interpolating Pete Burns on "You Spin Me Round." Empty glass in hand, Rees drowns her sorrows as she looks back on a troubled adolescence while the song's dark haze slowly takes her under. — David Renshaw

Icewear Vezzo & YTB Fatt: "Come Outside"

"Where Vezzo is boisterous, Fatt moves quieter, hardly raising his voice above a raspy whisper. The resulting combination is hard as concrete, with forceful 808s that demand to be blasted from the nearest trunk speakers you can find." — Nadine Smith, from October 9's Rap Blog.

Nines feat. Bad Boy Chiller Crew: "Toxic"

Bad Boy Chiller Crew are an eccentric part of the UK rap world, both hard to take seriously whilst also impossible to ignore. The party-loving Yorkshire lads tend to exist in their own solar system but here they link up with Nines, one of the most respected names in the scene. "Toxic" is a fun middle ground, a garage banger where Nines's hard-boiled raps take on a bubblier vibe and BBCC level up their bars to match their esteemed company. — David Renshaw

Dazegxd & MON: "Heavenly Body"

Dazegxd's clever use of preacher samples is a fitting yet silly opener to a tune called "Heavenly Body," given that the track is as horny as it gets. The Brooklyn producer taps Peru singer-songwriter MON, who repeatedly sings "I want your body for life," delivering an energetic drum & bass tune for real yearners only. — Arielle Lana Lajarde

Qemist & Marcella Simien: "Daytime Dreams"

Memphis's Qemist and Marcella Simien team up for one of the most beautiful singles I've heard this year on "Daytime Dreams." Simien's soulful vocals are the prime complement to Qemist's opulent production. The tune sounds how memories feel, creating a nostalgic atmosphere to an otherwise fresh take on drum & bass. — Arielle Lana LaJarde

Angélica Garcia: "El Que"

Countless songs deal with grief, but few capture the intensity of the fear it provokes in the way “El Que” does. Its cavernous drums — combined with Angélica Garcia’s towering, hypnotic vox — evoke the sensation of dancing in a massive club, losing control, surrounded by strangers, immediately after experiencing a devastating personal tragedy. — Raphael Helfand

Rainy Miller & Space Afrika feat. feat. Iceboy Violet and RenzNiro: "Sweet (I'm Free)"

Genre-melting producers Rainy Miller and Space Afrika (the duo of Joshua Inyang and Joshua Reid) bring in off-center Mancunian emcees Iceboy Violet and RenzNiro for a nervy, maximalist cut that only works because everyone involved is so good at what they do. Per RenzNiro, "Sweet (I'm Free)" is "inspired by the moment you clock all the noise & negativity means nothing & take the decision to move forward, against all the odds, and tap into your potential.” — Raphael Helfand

Glasser: "Mass Love"

To break the creative block that began after the release of 2013’s Interiors, Glasser's Cameron Mesirow began to immerse herself in Balkan singing and “Bulgarian state television choir records.” That jumping-off point helped put Mesirow on the path to the just-released album crux, a bold and lucid bricolage of folk and electronic textures. "Mass Love" recalls Homogenic-era Björk with its East Asia-inspired orchestration and fizzy glitches, while Mesirow wails with playful urgency over the rapidly draining sands of time. — Jordan Darville

Nesting: "Drag All The Lights Inside"

Aaron Casting’s voice sounds on the brink of breakdown. It’s a piercing and lilting thing reminiscent of Conor Oberst, Matthew Good, and Perfume Genius where each syllable is brimming with tears and served with impressive control. Drag All The Lights Inside is a harrowing document of depression, with its definitive statement coming at the end with the title track. — Jordan Darville

Mil-Spec: "Belle Époque"

Hardcore band Mil-Spec just dropped their latest album Marathon and its stand-out moment is "Belle Époque,” a six-minute epic inspired by Arab Strap's indelible "First Big Weekend." Vocals are handled by Sophie Vallée, wife of Mil-Spec singer Andrew Peden, as she recalls a trip to Dallas where they played with, and hung out with, Power Trip's Riley Gale for the last time. It's a fitting tribute to a much-missed punk hero. — David Renshaw

JayO: "Back"

The first thing that hits you about Londoner JayO's blend of Afrobeats and R&B is the smoothness but there's a lingering crunch to producer Rz's beat on this latest single that adds a little bite to this lilting slow jam. — David Renshaw

JOBS: “Ask New York”

The only way to write a good song about New York in 2023 A.D. is to come in at an oblique angle, exploring its essential weirdness instead of its obvious superlatives. JOBS make easy work of this daunting task on “Ask New York,” a sweetly sung slow burn with something dark and foreboding lying in wait below the surface. — Raphael Helfand

Red Hot & Ra: “Brainville Dazidéia” (feat. Max de Castro, Bnegão and Archestra Klaxon)

Pulled from Red Hot Org’s second Sun Ra tributes compilation, Red Hot & Ra SOLAR - Sun Ra in Brasil, “Brainville Dazidéia” reimagines Ra’s “Brainville” as a tighter, groovier affair that still stays true to the essential wildness of the original.

The full album drops October 27, with proceeds going toward Red Hot Org’s mission of fighting AIDS through pop culture. — Raphael Helfand

Paramore: "The News" (The Linda Lindas remix)

Paramore's new remix album isn't a remix album in the traditional sense; it's more of the band's friends and peers taking the songs and going absolutely ham on ProTools. The Linda Lindas were tasked with putting their own take onto "The News," and while the band admitted that they had no real clue on how to make a remix, the additions of the quartet's punky backing vocals on the chorus just drives the message home even more: "Turn off, turn off / the news!" — Cady Siregar

TisaKorean: "1500 Shawty"

TisaKorean's 2023 project Let Me Update My Status helped make snap music the year's most effective form of musical escapism. "1500 Shawty" integrates the Rainbow Road synths and relentless positivity of Chicago bop into the formula, and makes it an even more winning one — Jordan Darville

Foodman: "Pichi Pichi"

The lead single from Foodman's newly announced EP Uchigawa Tankentai sounds nothing like his most recent solo album, the endlessly immersive Yasuragi Land. Instead, the Japanese composer-producer takes a page from his recent collaborator Kate NV's book, pasting together cartoonish bursts of sound to create a jarring, but still consuming, collage. "I want to eat delicious potatoes, I want to make them crispy and delicious," he rasps on "Pichi Pichi," using what he refers to in a press release as his "old man" voice, which only adds to the endearing weirdness of it all. — Raphael Helfand

NNAMDÏ feat. Big Baby Scumbag: "You Can't Tell Me Shit"

The title really says it all: "You Can't Tell Me Shit" is a fierce celebration of individuality that refuses to sound like any one moment in rap right now. NNAMDÏ matches perfectly with the pastel-colored beat, but it's the glorious clashing of Big Baby Scumbag's hoarse, ODB-indebted bars that makes the track really feel like it's practicing what it preaches — Jordan Darville

Tkay Maidza feat. Amber Mark and Lolo Zouaï: "Out of Luck"

Tkay Maidza is a main pop girl in waiting, and "Out of Luck" is the kind of song that puts a razor-heeled boot on the neck of the Hot 100. The mutant disco track strobes with urgency as Maidza, backed by Amber Mark and Lolo Zouaï, blasts away any trace of toxicity. — Jordan Darville

Model Man: "Start Again"

Known for blending unlikely elements, Model Man is at his best in "Start Again," a track from his latest record, I Feel You Feel. The producer's use of lush R&B and gospel vocal samples over evocative keys fused with frenzied breakbeats is undeniably catchy and groove-inducing. — Arielle Lana LaJarde

Sofia Kourtesis: "How Music Makes You Feel Better"

As the weather begins to chill and activities come to a halt, it's not uncommon for people to get in a melancholy mood. But Sofia Kourtesis's new tune comes at a perfect time to remind us that even if we're feeling down, music is here to stay. The perfectly titled "How Music Makes You Feel Better" is meditative and restorative—a song that audiophiles will need when they can't help but catch the winter blues. — Arielle Lana LaJarde

Babehoven: "Chariot"

NYC indie duo Babehoven are about to head out on tour with Slow Pulp, the kind of show it's worth getting down early for. "Chariot" is an ideal mid-set song, a little bit atmospheric but with enough verve to keep the energy levels bobbing away nicely. There's a warmth and reassuring glow to what Maya Bon and Ryan Albert are pursuing here. — David Renshaw

Valee and MWV: "Tailor Swift"

Hinging a whole song on the quality of a double entend is a risky move, but when you've got one as good as "Gettin' measured in Gucci, bitch, my tailor swift," you can coast a bit. The new track from classical composer turned avant-rap producer MVW and off-center Chicago emcee Valee certainly owes some of its success to its central pun, but it wouldn't work without the duo's easy chemistry, combined with a slightly unsettled beat that adds an element of danger to the fun. — Raphael Helfand

Rome Streetz feat. Double D and Boldy James: "Stunna"

A sign of a great posse cut is when your choice of best verse shifts with each listen. Maybe, like me, you'll latch on to Rome Streetz's bars, regal and gutter grimy at the same time. Or perhaps Boldy James, as reliable as Streetz when it comes to delivering mafioso-inflected lifestyle raps, will catch your ear first. Right now, though, I keep coming back to Double Dee's verse sandwiched between the two; for the rhythm down to its flexing, her verse stays playful and with an audible grin — Jordan Darville

Peezy feat. Babytron: "Psilocybin"

When done correctly, mushrooms are a laidback and gently enlightening trip. "Psilocybin" sounds like both Peezy and Babytron have faced caps by the fistful: it's pure Michigan menace. — Jordan Darville

Blue Smiley: "coma"

Listen to one Blue Smiley song and you'll hear how your favorite DIY artists, including those playing in Philly's growing shoegaze scene – as well as one Alex G – have been greatly influenced by the band at some point in their lives. This previously unreleased track, "coma," is yet another shimmering banger. — Cady Siregar

Loraine James: "Try For Me"

A lot of Loraine James's excellent new album Gentle Confrontation finds the London-based electronic musician utilizing her own vocals for the first time. "Try For Me" isn't one of those tracks but it is the one I have been coming back to since the album dropped on Friday. James chops and splices Eden Samara's theatrical delivery between her own skittering drums to create something graceful yet unpredictable. — David Renshaw

mary in the junkyard: "Tuesday"

mary in the junkyard are the latest band to emerge from the prolific breeding ground/ sticky live room of south London's Windmill venue. Their debut single "Tuesday," was written about feeling lost in a new city and wanting to dive deeper into the chaos on offer. It's a clattering and towering reminder to get out of your comfort zone. — David Renshaw

Armand Hammer feat. Moor Mother & Pink Siifu: "Don't Lose Your Job"

A slowed-down and existentially heavy highpoint from billy woods and E L U C I D's latest, which stops almost entirely to make space for the incomparable Moor Mother to breathe about "scattered spirits" and curving particles. Tracks like these are why woods keeps rapping about trying to find great weed. — Alex Robert Ross

Truth Club: "Siphon"

Taking a few cues from Ovlov’s garage rock-inflected shoegaze, Truth Club unleash a playful barrage of guitar noise and endearingly slacker-ified defiance — Jordan Darville

DJ Chinwax feat. Maureen: "Ô PÉYI"

Icey synths and a deviant atmosphere permeate through this new song from the St. Martinique artist. His gothic take on Shatta, a descendent of dancehall popular in the French Caribbean, is exciting, fierce, and primed for the most memorable bashment of the year; it’s almost unfair to be playing "Ô PÉYI" on repeat first thing on a Monday – Jordan Darville

Slow Pulp: "Doubt"

"Am I not enough, or too much?" laments Emily Massey on Slow Pulp's punky new number "Doubt," where very real anxieties are juxtaposed against the sonic bubliness of the track. It gives the feel of an indie rock version of Sum 41's "In Too Deep," a song that the band themselves have put out as a cover. — Cady Siregar

julie: "catalogue"

I came across julie this summer when they shared a bill with The Strokes in London. They're no indie sleaze revivalists, though, as "catalogue" proves. "I don't feel sexy, I don't feel amused," vocalist Alex Brady sings before confidently stating "But I will try to undress you." This attack of self-doubt floats above a brawny riff that quickly disintegrates into a wash of gauzy instrumental noise. — David Renshaw

Martha Da'ro: "Fast Life"

Belgian artist Martha Da'ro finds herself lost in a late night flirtation on "Fast Life," a song that asks what if this moment simply never ends? The production, somewhere between drum and bass and a sped-up Billie Eilish edit, nails the current moment and carries Da'ro's timeless mix of yearning and desire through until the morning after. — David Renshaw

Oneohtrix Point Never: "Krumville"

Oneohtrix Point Never and Xiu Xiu join forces for a blissful slowcore jam anchored by a two-chord guitar loop and simmering strings. On an album concerned with unexplored potentialities, "Krumville" is the most visceral expression of nostalgia for something that never existed. — Raphael Helfand

Matana Roberts: "predestined confessions"

Matana Roberts's Coin Coin series is a radical exploration of American history through the eyes of the oppressed. Its fifth installment places carefully plotted passages of spoken-word poetry next to chaotic, free jazz fantasias. "predestined confessions" belongs to the latter category, a smoldering heap of sound that releases pain, fear, and anger in a way words never could. — Raphael Helfand

MoMa Ready: "Cycles (Relax)"

Out now on his latest album, Turn And Look, MoMa Ready delivers a reflective offering with "Cycles (Relax)," a meditative 2-step track that serves as a reminder to find beauty in routine and restoration. — Arielle Lana LaJarde

Logic1000: "Grown on Me"

One of Logic1000's strengths is that she can capture the complexities of romance in song. "In Grown On Me," the crescendoing production perfectly matches the building desire one experiences when they begin to fall in love. — Arielle Lana LaJarde

Thumbnail images: (L) Oneohtrix Point Never. Photo by Joe Perri (M) Armanda Hammer. Photo by Alexander Richter (R) Logic1000. Photo by Claryn Chong


Songs You Need in Your Life: October 2023