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The best new songs this week come from Ethel Cain, Zulu, and more

Welcome to Sound Station, where we’re highlighting the best new tracks that came out this week. Head into the weekend with songs from Carlie Hanson, Zulu, and more. Continue reading…



Welcome to Sound Station, where we’re highlighting the best new tracks that came out this week. Head into the weekend with songs from Ethel Cain, Zulu, and more.

Carlie Hanson calls out fakes and liars with “Pretender”

Ever since her arrival in 2017, Carlie Hanson has been putting out thoughtful, forthright songs that capture her coming-of-age experience. With her new single “Pretender,” the alt-pop singer remains thoroughly charming, confident, and sincere, with the track centering on her struggle to deal with fakeness and liars as she continues to navigate her early 20s. Safe to say, Hanson continues to be one to watch. —Neville Hardman

Zulu’s “Fakin’ Tha Funk (You Get Did)” is a groove-centric take on powerviolence

At last, Zulu have revealed they will release their debut full-length A New Tomorrow next year. With the announcement, they shared the pummeling first single “Fakin” Tha Funk (You Get Did).” The track leans on stuttering grooves, down-tuned guitars, and visceral vocal directives that feel commanding in more ways than one. “Fakin’ Tha Funk (You Get Did)” beams with aggression and assertiveness that only further cements Zulu’s place in the upper echelon of modern hardcore. —Alessandro DeCaro

Ethel Cain pays homage to Bones and All on “famous last words (an ode to eaters)”

If you’ve seen Luca Guadagnino’s new cannibal love story starring Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet, then you know it has the emotional potency to tear your heart out of your chest and devour it. Singer-songwriter Ethel Cain was particularly struck by the film — so much so that she wrote and released a song inspired by it on SoundCloud last week, almost immediately after seeing it. It makes sense Cain was taken by the movie, given its ode to the heartland and romantic tones, and all of that comes through on the somber ballad. Singing of an all-consuming love that keeps two tragic lovers coming back to one another over a gentle track, it parallels Maren and Lee from the movie. It’s simply stunning, so let it “eat of [you], baby.” —Sadie Bell

$UICIDEBOY$ team up with Germ for bass-heavy “My Swisher Sweet, but My Sig Sauer”

In addition to announcing the final chapter in their collaborative trilogy, $uicideboy$ and Germ shared their single “My Swisher Sweet, but My Sig Sauer,” flanked by its pulsating bass and 8-Bit chimes. The single traverses topics like sobriety, Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash, and $uicideboy$’ unwavering dedication to their record label G59. It samples the 2002 track “Glock in My Draws” by DJ Paul feat. Frayser Boy from a compilation album by Three 6 Mafia. Their next 7-track EP DIRTIESTNASTIEST$UICIDE is due Dec. 16. Ilana Kaplan

The Amity Affliction’s “Show Me Your God” redefines symphonic-metalcore 

On “Show Me Your God,” Australian metalcore mainstays The Amity Afflictionhave re-emerged with a darker and more symphonic approach that adds a considerable amount of weight and triumph to their already impactful sound. Frontman Joel Birch spews venom over blast beats and frantic guitars while reflecting on the darkest corners of his mind before transitioning into theatrical choral and string arrangements that eventually lead to an anthemic chorus courtesy of bassist/vocalist Ahren Stringer. Lyrically, the song touches on loss, trauma, and making peace with the past, and once again, the Amity Affliction offers a compelling dose of solace in universally relatable ways. —Alessandro DeCaro

Better Strangers’ “Raincheck” is a grunge-y take on toxic relationships

Genesis fans will want to get hip to Better Strangers, a Miami rock band featuring drummer Nic Collins, the son of Phil Collins. After releasing their debut single “But I Don’t Know Your Name” earlier this year, the band are back with another exciting cut. This time, they’re cashing in their straight-ahead rock for a more aggressive ripper. With their grunge-y new track “Raincheck,” Better Strangers detail the intricacies of toxic relationships and their ultimate turmoil, which you need to hear, stat. —Neville Hardman

Hippo Campus’ Zach Sutton debuts as Mono Moon with the indie bop “One Liner”

In the Twin Cities, there’s a whole artistic family affair surrounding the indie band Hippo Campus. Even as members of the cult-beloved group dabble in solo efforts, as they have over the past couple of years, they support each other by playing on or producing each other. Now, bassist Zach Sutton is taking a stab at solo work, too, as Mono Moon with the debut single “One Liner” — also featuring Hippo members guitarist Nathan Stocker, trumpeter DeCarlo Jackson and singer Jake Luppen on production. While it explores succumbing to the feeling of being wanted, even when that’s a little toxic, it’s an earworm of an indie-pop bop with a playful delivery from Sutton and production that gleans. Each of Hippo’s solo projects have been gems, so Mono Moon is surely one to watch. —Sadie Bell

Julia Wolf and blackbear’s “Gothic Babe Tendencies” is a candid rumination on love 

Indie-pop singer-songwriter Julia Wolf has captured her inner ruminations on the anxieties of new love and commitment in staggering ways with “Gothic Babe Tendencies.” The ’80s-tinged ballad showcases Wolf’s breathy and soothing vocal style and invites listeners along for a personal journey on whether or not to dive headfirst into a new relationship, or keep herself guarded against an inevitable heartbreak. blackbear‘s verse is a welcomed addition to the song as well, allowing for the pop superstar to analyze his own vulnerability through bouncy and upbeat vocal cadences that add a staggering contrast to Wolf’s ethereal presence. “Gothic Babe Tendencies” is the musical equivalent of butterflies in your stomach when faced with the prospect of a new love. —Alessandro DeCaro

A night to remember plays out on Snow Ellet’s sweet emo single “Playing Dead”

Sometimes you just need to let the night take you where it may to have what ends up being a night to remember. Chicago faves Snow Ellet, who make self-described “pop punk for the indie kids, indie rock for the pop-punk kids,” track an evening exactly like that on their latest single. Lyrically, it chronicles a house party that’s shut down, but the exuberance that comes with driving off laughing and ending up wanting to stay out until sunrise — all of which comes through on the sweet emo track produced by Sarah Tudzin of illuminati hotties. Eventually, it crescendos into a finale with an energy that parallels a house party — one that’s way more fun than the one the band started their night at. —Sadie Bell

One Step Closer embrace their melodic tendencies with “Dark Blue”

On their latest single “Dark Blue,” Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania’s own One Step Closer are doubling down on their melodic tendencies to amplify their blend of classic straight-edge hardcore further. Vocalist Ryan Savitski has never sounded more confident as a frontman with the incorporation of clean vocals that feel like a mix of Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath) and Ned Russin (Title Fight). Savitski uses the duration of the song to reflect on the present moments of his life after a year of grueling tour schedules and life changes. Instrumentally, the band has never sounded tighter, as well — with dueling guitars, commanding drum rhythms, and a palpable sense of urgency. “Dark Blue” will leave you wanting more as soon as the track stops. —Alessandro DeCaro

Ellise conjures a dark-pop spell with “Did It Hurt”

Ellise specializes in the kind of sultry, dark pop that made the world fall in love with artists like Billie Eilish. In under three minutes, Ellise tells a story of twisted but intoxicating love-hate relationships overtop of a thumping bass at the chorus. Fans of Mothica, DeathbyRomy and Maggie Lindemann will find a lot to love with this gripping cut. —Neville Hardman


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