Songs You Need In Your Life: April 2024
Our rolling list of this month’s essential new tracks.
Songs You Need In Your Life: April 2024

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 and Apple Music playlists or hear them all below.

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Lanark Artefax: "Metallur"

After four years of silence, Lanark Artefax is back with “Mellatur,” a striking track that’s the closest you can get to floating in space. Otherworldly and alienesque, it’s a production so vast and complex that it can be easy to get disoriented, swept away by the fluid textures and constantly fluctuating tempo. Even more impressively, the Glaswegian producer made it all out of thousands of tiny pinpricks, arranging a combination of start-top lasers, pointed glitches, and finely chopped vocal samples into the smoothest of songs. — Sandra Song

How To Dress Well: "Crypt Sustain"

During the Blog Era, Tom Krell’s project was one of the most visible acts in “PBR&B,” that pejoratively-titled yet exciting subgenre of experimental producers who wrapped Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope and Aaliyah in a gothy veil. How To Dress Well has undergone several sonic shifts since Love Remains and Total Loss; the songs from his upcoming album I Am Toward You are near complete reinventions that manage to retain his trademark sense of yearning, and are some of the most compelling things he’s released in years. “Crypt Sustain” opens with guitars straight out of Here Come The Warm Jets before developing into a delightful, unwieldy mix of sludge-metal, glitch pop, and Krell’s bedroom hymnal. — Jordan Darville

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KRM & KMRU: “Differ”

A meeting of minds as rare as those of Kevin Richard Martin (The Bug) and Joseph Kamaru (KMRU) could only produce something extraordinary. “Differ,” their first joint single as KRM & KMRU, is a simply structured, two-chord dirge, but the careful corrosion of this stable core over the course of five minutes transforms the track into something far stranger. Droning static, measured chromatic moaning, and the sheer weight of slow repetition move the song from haunted house mood music territory into something more like the soundtrack to an actual nightmare. — Raphael Helfand

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Phelimuncasi & Metal Preyers: “Gidigidi ka Makhelwane”

Gqom is typically considered a darker and grittier strain of South African house music, but Phelimuncasi are able to tease out its more playful side on “Gidigidi ka Makelwane.” The opening track from their recent collaboration with Metal Preyers, the vibrant song is an upbeat, buoyant take on gqom’s hypnotic loops and raw minimalism, accented by the wooden taps and bird-like whirrs sprinkled amidst its joyful call-and-response. And with its uplifting dose of upbeat bubble and fizz, “Gidigidi ka Makelwane” proves that you can harness the momentum and raw energy contained within gqom’s tight percussions to create a track so infectious and bouncy, that it feels like you have a little spring in your step. — Sandra Song

bog band: "Midnight Chancers"

Dublin-based Isaac Tomkin Clarke and Stephen Sorensen are bog band, whose somewhat dreary name disguises their rich soul-pop sound. "Midnight Chancers" is a playful slow-jam written about a lovestruck person who realizes the feeling isn't quite mutual. Between smooth bass and licks of saxophone, Sorensen sings of a burgeoning romance but is knocked off his heels when he learns he is so peripheral to the other person that they have forgotten his name. "It's just about time to lose a friend," he sings as he checks his watch and begins quietly piecing his broken heart back together. — David Renshaw

I. Jordan: "Round n Round"

I. Jordan's upcoming album I Am Jordan is an instant and reliable source of adrenaline that will hopefully take the London-based DJ and producer onto the next level in terms of recognition. "Round n Round" is the latest preview from the album, which is due on May 10. It's a heavy-hitting warped banger that was written for a Boiler Room performance and nods back to the relentless pace of donk. Such is its blunt nature, the super-speed strain of club music is often thought of as punchline but, in the north of England where both Jordan and the sound originate, it is more like a religion. Think of "Round n Round" as its worship song. — David Renshaw

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Varg²™ feat. Bladee and Ecco2k: “H2D”

Bladee and Ecco2k are two artists who feel tailor-made for the trance revival. Ecco2k’s melodies across his catalog always seem to grasp at the same kind of rapture, while Bladee’s voice, whether it’s rapping or cooing through a veil of silk, has the ethereal quality you’d expect to find on the dreamiest bootlegs. “H2D,” a track from producer Varg²™’s new album Nordic Flora Series, Pt.6: Outlaw Music, is a trance song that eschews nostalgia, flooding the zone with hellish, industrial distortion, pulse-quickening drums, and the chemistry of its two vocalists. — Jordan Darville

Tashi Wada: “Grand Trine”

Tashi Wada and Julia Holter’s daughter was born under a grand trine — or, at least, the astrological configuration of three planets into an equilateral triangle is prevalent on her chart. Her birth, and the death of Tashi’s father, fluxus legend Yoshi Wada, are the poles that bounded the recording of his first solo studio album, What Is Not Strange? “Grand Trine,” the record’s lead single, lurches forward and pulls back like an infant taking her first steps. Corey Fogel’s sporadic drumming and Devin Hoff’s sturdily bowed bass underscore Ezra Buchla’s detuned viola, Wada’s retuned harpsichord, and an unwieldy, flute-like synth, while Holter’s voice floats over the top, orbiting the track while simultaneously exerting its own intense gravitational pull. — Raphael Helfand

Brijean: "Workin' On It"

Brijean Murphy's new song pokes gentle fun at wellness and the idea of self-improvement as a lifestyle. A liquid bassline and rolling percussion give the song a weightless groove over which Murphy ruminates on her efforts to ditch apathy, discover new depths, and generally make positive changes in life. Like all grand plans, however, reality dictates some degree of scaling back and soon she settles for a simpler goal, admitting "I’m just trying to get some better sleep." The song will appear on Brijean's new album Macro, due on July 12. — David Renshaw

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Clarissa Connelly: “Into This, Called Loneliness”

Out on April 12, World of Work is the Warp Records debut of Scottish-Danish folk-pop artist Clarissa Connelly. Its opening track “Into This, Called Loneliness” transports us into her singular world, where her enrapturing creations are a symptom of a wearying solitude. “I don’t know how I got here / But I know loneliness is here,” she sings over ML Buch-meets-Kate Bush instrumentation in an ur-yodel that simultaneously pierces and swathes. — Jordan Darville

Mei Semones: “Kabutomushi”

The title track and closer from Mei Semones’s new EP is a study in sad elegance. Over a deceptively simple guitar chord progression in sneaky 7/4 time — accented alternately by additional tremolo and pizzicato strings — Semones sings between the lines, wringing an evocative lament from a constricted melody. After several verses in Japanese, she switches to English for a final sendoff full of longing and regret: “No chance for goodbye / Cuz when it’s dark you’re in the sunlight / 64 hundred miles / A phone call would’ve reached you / Miss you I miss you / Sorry I’m sorry / Miss you I miss you.” — Raphael Helfand

Shabason, Krgovich, Sage: “Bruce”

In an album full of lush and densely layered instrumentals, “Bruce” is comparatively stark. But Matthew Sage’s cozy electric piano, Nicholas Krgovich’s soft-sung diary entries, and some faint field recordings in the background are enough to make a universe. Over an eloquent chord progression, Krgovich details an “overcast spring break afternoon” at a Vietnamese restaurant, then follows his stream of consciousness to musings on the dumbness of the world and the “psychic weight of everyday.” Ultimately, he resigns himself to accepting things as they are: “Did what I could where I could / And made the rest no big whoop / And now I’m feeling pretty good /
And there is now only.” — Raphael Helfand

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Snow Strippers: “So What If I’m a Freak”

Being a brat is officially back with Snow Strippers’ “So What If I’m a Freak," a nostalgia-laden song that screams upper-middle-class suburban kids on an unhinged, Adderall-fueled spiral. The kind of track that'll hit heavy for those of us who've watched the rise, fall, and resurrection of both indie sleaze and 2012 Tumblr producers, "So What If I'm a Freak" is twitchy and aggressive. Think a mix of 3OH!3 pop-punk hooks and Spring Breakers-style glock samples, delivered with the “who gives a fuck,” redlining energy of Ultrademon going b2b with SALEM. Because only something this glittery pink and eye-wateringly crunchy could be the heir to the long (in internet years) legacy of the unhinged, terminally online Tumblr angel bb, with her existential angst, baking soda coke, and a collection of Elf Bars. Even though the best flavor is, obviously, peach mango watermelon. — Sandra Song

Wu-Lu: "Daylight Song"

"Daylight Song" is the sound of Wu-Lu seeking comfort. "Tell me something I already know," he sings as he looks for a hand to hold and others to pray for him. It's a bruised cry for help from a more exposed place than mosh-pit ready "South," the rowdy anti-gentrification cry that first put the south Londoner on the map in 2021. Expect more soul searching on his forthcoming EP, Learning To Swim On Empty, due out on May 17 via Warp Records. — David Renshaw

Sierra Ferrell: “Fox Hunt”

Sierra Ferrell’s “Fox Hunt” is a thrilling, upbeat twist on roots music that showcases the rising star’s vivacious and endlessly curious spirit. With a sound reflective of her train-hopping background and street musician showmanship, Ferrell brings a sense of raucous wanderlust to the lonesome yearn of that old-timey country sound, all through the subtle incorporation of “outsider” influences like funfair jingle-jangle and New Orleans jazz. But the blue-collar bluegrass is still the obvious star of “Fox Hunt,” whether we’re talking about the straightforward lyrical storytelling, the prominence of the fiddle as a nod to the genre’s Irish influence, or the hymnal harmonizations of a rural church congregation, ready to start stomping along to the drumbeat of Ferrell’s take on traditional Appalachian sounds. — Sandra Song

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CANDY: "eXistenZ"

Richmond hardcore band CANDY's "eXistenZ" might just be the heaviest pep talk you receive this week. The jewel at the bottom of the 81-second bone cruncher is, essentially, "follow your dreams." Like the movie it takes its name from, corporeal anxiety is wrapped around the chunky guitars and frantic blast beats. But underneath the bluster is Zak Quiram's stirring reminder to always try and be "what you dreamt to be." Think of it as an unsociably loud version of the messaging on an inspirational meme, delivered with enough conviction to make you actually want to get up and make a change. — David Renshaw

somesurprises: “Bodymind”

Anyone who’s ever tuned in and dropped out to Spacemen 3, spent a long afternoon with Yo La Tengo, or had a good cry to Grouper would do well to check out somesurprises. On “Bodymind,” the third single from the Seattle band’s first new album in five years, Natasha El-Sergany’s voice is spectral in tone but crystal clear over a dense network of layered guitars that stick loosely to a set groove but seem to be in the process of a cosmically slow unraveling. “Once I figure out this body / There won’t be any mind left me / Once I figure out this mind, there / Won’t be anybody left behind me,” she sings without a hint of sadness. “Once I figure out this mind / I’ll rejoin the living.” — Raphael Helfand

Draag: "Orb weaver"

Los Angeles based Draag are about to head out on tour with Wednesday and are releasing a new EP on Julia's War, the label run by fellow shoegaze band They Are Gutting A Body Of Water. "Orb Weaver" focuses on major anxiety: fear of the dark, fear of spiders, and fear of death. The melodic verses mask the gloomy nature of the lyrics, with frontman Adrian Acosta and Jessica Huang harmonizing around words about chattering hyenas and midnight fatalities. Somewhere between the squalling guitar fuzz and the eeriness late night, a romantic pulse revives Acosta by the sunlight, who turns over to see his partner laying next to him. Nightmare over. — David Renshaw

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Clara La San: "Don't Worry About It"

First debuting in 2016 to become one of the essential voices of underground R&B, Clara La San disappeared from public view the following year, scrubbing her mixtape Good Mourning from streaming and only giving the occasional signal that she was still interested in sharing music. That hasn’t stopped a dedicated cult following from forming around her small catalog, and after the 2014 song “In This Darkness” achieved immense popularity on TikTok, there were more and more hints that a return was in the works. “Don’t Worry About It,” her first new solo song since 2017, picks up right where she left off, veiling Aaliyah melodies in clubby cobwebs. — Jordan Darville

LA Priest: "City Warm Heart"

The misfit psychedelia of Sam Eastgate’s solo project always seems to orbit around the warm sun of solitude, its nurturing rays allowing the music to grow in strange and unexpected ways. Written as Eastgate prepared to leave a Costa Rican jungle to tour cities around the world, “City Warm Heart” transmits a tense yet fun-loving anxiety in its punchy guitar strokes and bubbling electronics — Jordan Darville

Tatyana: "It's Over"

Tatyana’s “It’s Over” is an awkward synth-pop earworm that’s clunky and dissonant, with jagged stutters and oppositional textures that compete for space. Using a sonic ouroboros effect created out of bright and buzzy sawtooth basslines, there’s a feeling of instability woven into the song’s DNA. And while the production itself may feel at complete odds with Tatyana’s radio-friendly voice, if you factor in her inoffensive vocal tone and cheeky use of lyrical clichés, “It’s Over” suddenly turns into a fun take on the sort of hyper-digestible pop that currently makes up most of the charts. — Sandra Song

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Teilz: "Type Of Girl"

Teilz, a.k.a. DJ Allie Teilz, shows she's just as good at making songs to bop to as she is at playing them in clubs. "Type Of Girl," produced by Nick Sylvester, is a crystalline disco track in which Teilz conjured images of starlit rendezvous, gilded cages, and dreamy getaways in southern Italy. It gets racier as it goes along, descending into a fit of sighs and moans and leaving no trace that it ever existed apart from the wiggle in your hips and an added air of luxury to your daydreams. — David Renshaw

Cindy Lee: "Diamond Jubilee"

Patrick Flegel released the newest Cindy Lee project Diamond Jubilee late last month on the Realistik Studios’ Geocities site for purchase via PayPal. The full album from the Women singer and guitarist’s pop project appeared on YouTube a day later. At 32 tracks and more than two hours, it’s a monolith of music, and perhaps Flegel’s most ambitious work yet. The record opens with its title track, an idyllic jam centering a hypnotic guitar groove, slightly off-beat percussion, and a solo lead vocal that somehow sounds like a full children’s choir. Like most Cindy Lee songs, it exists in a daydream space, blurring the lines between imagination and reality. — Raphael Helfand

Kelly Moran: "Moves in the Field"

The genesis of Moran’s new album Moves in the Field began with the Brooklyn composer’s introduction to the Disklavier, a piano capable of recording performance and playing it back in real-time. That instrument became the album’s star and marked Moran’s transition from orchestral electronic experiments to minimal classical. The album’s title track thrums with the excited energy of discovery, Moran’s keys fluttering like fresh snowfall with melodies folding into each other endlessly. Unlike most music built on loops, “Moves in the Field” achieves that intense, singular feeling of an artist collaborating with themself. — Jordan Darville

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Roc Marciano: "Gold Crossbow"

Few working rappers make music as simultaneously gritty and luxurious as Roc Marciano. The New York rapper/producer and underground cult favorite shines yet again on his new project Marciology, 14 tracks of mafioso rap for the MoMA. “Gold Crossbow” sees Marciano’s flow gliding like a freshly purchased Maybach as he deftly stacks rhymes on top of each other without ever overstuffing his bars. — Jordan Darville

Songs You Need In Your Life: April 2024