The 5 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: EMA, Priests

Our intrepid music editor Jillian Mapes is in Barcelona for Primavera this week, so instead it’s your in-no-way-jealous former music editor on songs-of-the-week duties. She picked a good week to skip town, because there’s not exactly a plethora of exciting releases this week — but still, here are five songs that are worth giving a proper listen or two.

EMA — “Drown”

Yay, new EMA! Well, strictly this is a The Future’s Void outtake — it has apparently appeared as a bonus track on some editions of the album — but shit, whatever, it’s still an unheard song from one of our very favorite artists. It starts with quiet, almost whispered vocals that recall Erika M. Anderson’s former band Gowns, before erupting into a synth-driven, sci-fi groove that fits very nicely with the mood of the album as a whole.

Priests — “Modern Love/No Weapon”

Excellent DC punks Priests return with another blast of bracing, coruscating noise. You’re awake now, right? The song premiered at Rookie, where there’s also an interview with the band that’s well worth reading.

Wolves in the Throne Room — “Celestite Mirror”

In which black metal renaissance pioneers Wolves in the Throne Room release an instrumental album of stuff that sounds, well, absolutely nothing like black metal. Apparently some fans have been less pleased with it, but whatever — this track is a sort of Vangelis-esque sci-fi odyssey that sounds like something off the soundtrack to Solaris, and as such is more than OK with me.

Default Genders — “The Trees in the Driveway”

The music we’ve heard so far from James Brooks’ new/old project (basically it’s Dead Girlfriends under another name, which he adopted after the shitfight surrounding “On Fraternity” last year) has been fascinating, and perhaps wisely, he’s buried the vocals way down in the mix. They’re almost lost entirely in the chorus to this track, which is a shame, actually, as the lyrics are better than those on his other recent new tracks (which can all be heard on his YouTube channel.) Anyway, all this new work is good, and bodes well for his new album, which is apparently entitled Magical Pessimism and will be out at some point this year.

Meat Based Leftovers — “DESENRASCAR”

Well this is terrifying. If music that falls somewhere between Throbbing Gristle and the soundtrack to a horror movie that’s been ripped from a glitchy VHS is your thing, then rejoice, because Belgian lunatics Meat Based Leftovers have got you covered. Woohoo!