Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Arctic Monkeys return with the lead single for their forthcoming album, The Car.
After the downright silly Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, Arctic Monkeys have returned with “There’d Better Be A Mirrorball,” the first single from their upcoming seventh studio album, The Car (out October 21st). Already, “There’d Better Be A Mirrorball” seems to pick up where Tranquility Base left off, guided by a piano (which has, of late, been Alex Turner’s primary songwriting instrument) and a slow burning trot from the rest of the band. The simple arrangement lends itself to Turner’s languid lines, and allows for a sea of strings to provide a more emotional component to the song’s climax.
Turner, ever the suave, deliberate lyricist, has taken us to the moment in a relationship where things have ended, and all that’s left are the fraught moments of departure on both sides. He takes us to those immediate final moments in the chorus, asking, “So do you wanna walk me to the car/ I’m sure to have a heavy heart/ So can we please be absolutely sure/ That there’s a mirrorball for me?”
It’s a mildly sad, mildly funny line, especially for the lead single of a much-hyped new Arctic Monkeys album — the way Turner hits the word “absolutely” implies a bit of desperation, but the main emotion that he displays throughout is resignation. It’s as if he’s accepted the end, he knows it’s coming, but there’s still a part of him that wishes for a fantastical climax to take the edge off.
Unlike the absurd Tranquility Base, Turner does not use his crooning, lounge-singer style to map out a surreal and ironic sci-fi narrative, opting instead for more sincerity — but even his most sincere observations are delivered with a fascinating tension. If the central idea of “There’d Better Be A Mirrorball” is “If you’re going to leave me, then there better be disco ball waiting for me in the car,” it’s a curious way to skirt around the real sadness that Turner likely feels and is running from.
Luckily, all of that emotion comes flooding into the song with its cinematic, nostalgic string arrangements, demonstrating that Turner and the band are experts at crafting a complete experience.
— Paolo Ragusa
Weezer, Noga Erez – “Records”
Whatever you may think of Weezer in the year of our Lord, 2022, you can’t deny that Rivers Cuomo is a master of writing a damn catchy pop hook. The band have unveiled a remix of their SZNZ: Summer EP track “Records,” featuring new verses by Noga Erez to add a fresh spin to the mix. “I hear records in my head everywhere that I go/ I’ve got records in my head spinning out of control,” goes Cuomo, in between Erez’s new crooning. “Ooh, I feel Rihanna, Ooh, I’m feeling Lana, Ooh, I feel Nirvana, Ooh, so you can fuck off,” he sings, later. So true, Rivers. — Cady Siregar
TSHA – “Dancing In The Shadows (feat Clementine Douglas)”
UK producer TSHA has joined forces with vocalist Clementine Douglas for the bustling “Dancing In The Shadows.” TSHA’s electronic impulses typically cast a wide net, and on “Dancing In The Shadows,” she leans into a breakbeat groove that enhances Douglas’ irresistible vocals. Though the song moves at a rapid pace, there’s a definable sense of longing coming from both musicians, and it compliments the song’s unceasing momentum. As TSHA continues to release outstanding singles from her forthcoming album Capricorn Sun (out October 7th), “Dancing In The Shadows” is one of her most dazzling entries yet. — P.R.
Teens In Trouble – “Old Starnes Cove Road”
With the release of Teens in Trouble’s debut EP, a future power-pop all-timer has officially arrived. Compiling their two most recent singles, “Decomposing” and “I’m Not Worried,” as well as two new songs, Teens in Trouble showcases an artist with a strong grasp of gratifying songwriting and an already well-developed voice.
“Old Starnes Cove Road,” in particular, serves as a perfect introduction to the artistic mind of Lizzie Killian. Slow and methodical, what starts out as a solitary, acoustic confessional transforms into a fuzzy, climactic anthem. It’s the type of hello that’s sure to make fans of all who stumble upon it. — Jonah Krueger
FLETCHER – “Sting”
Hype continues to build for FLETCHER’s upcoming third album, Girl of My Dreams. As the third pre-release single, “Sting” continues the trend FLETCHER has set for the record — it’s personal; the kind of detailed song that many artists would tone down before sharing. FLETCHER, though, hasn’t been toning anything down, be it recent heater “Becky’s So Hot” or any of the dialogue around the stories that shaped this new album, and it’s refreshing every time she shares another part of herself with us. “Maybe I like the way it stings,” she muses on the song. “It’s all I’ve got left of you and me.” — Mary Siroky
Cryalot – “Labrinth”
Sarah Bonito’s debut EP under her Cryalot moniker paints a frown over Kero Kero Bonito’s usual bubblegum maximalism. The innocence in her voice remains, as does a certain level of playfulness, but darker textures and moodier tones now pervade the instrumentals. “Labyrinth” demonstrates such a shift. The track sees Bonito referencing iconography from Greek mythology over a bass-heavy, trap-influenced instrumental. As always, her sonic palette is impeccable, as each timbre sounds meticulously thought out. It’s one of the most successful tracks on Icarus, and sparks excitement for where Bonito might take Cryalot next. — J.K.
Miranda Joan – “Overstimulated”
“Overstimulated” is the first track off Canadian soul-pop singer-songwriter Miranda Joan’s upcoming album of the same name. It’s a slinky and twisty track that sinks its claws in, featuring the artist singing over a beat that sits low in the listener’s stomach. An all-too-relatable premise, Joan shares that she penned the track during the days of lockdown, when she was ready to burst at the seams. Now that we are able to return to communal experiences, it’s the perfect track when preparing for a night out with the masses, and an exciting peak into the new music to come from the artist. — M. Siroky
Tin-Ear – “Fling Straw Man”
Tin-Ear are a band from Prince Edward Island, Canada, the same province that fellow indie rockers Alvvays call home. Citing American Football’s precursory Cap’n Jazz and bubblegum rockers Tiger Trap as some of their major influences, Tin-Ear find the surprisingly broad common ground between emo and twee, categorizing themselves into a sub-subgenre they’ve affectionately named — what else? — tweemo.
Punky roots, a scrappy D.I.Y. spirit, and tight melodies are all found on “Fling Straw Man,” Tin-Ear’s latest single. It feels like the type of hidden-gem release that might’ve been an underground favorite 30 years ago, which is to say: It’s the real deal. — Abby Jones
Pussy Riot, REI AMI, Kito – “PLAYTHING”
Many songs compete for “song of the summer,” but an oft-overlooked bracket is the song that closes out the season, shouting one last hoorah for hot summer nights before fall arrives to make us moody. “PLAYTHING,” the new track by Pussy Riot, featuring Kito and REI AMI, is here to take that spot. A certified hyperpop bop, the track has been described by Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova as “a fuckgirl anthem,” and with its earworm of a chorus (“You’re my plaything, boy!”), she’s right. — Maura Fallon
Top Songs Playlist: