SASAMI - 'Free' (featuring Devendra Banhart)

From the opening guitar squeals and the intonation of SASAMI singing "I'm sure this happens all the time," we're immediately in the scene of a heartbreaking conversation between incompatible people. He's older and has "a good thing back at home," she's maybe a bit more naive, stating "I don't care what tomorrow brings," but the fact is that it's got to end, as painful as that can be. Devendra Banhart's vocal coils itself around SASAMI's smoothly, perfectly offering up the spectre of this attractive older person who's pulling away. Mid-song, those guitar squeals leer up again, portraying the roiling emotion of the moment, only to be forced back down. By the end of this excoriating scene, SASAMI seems to have reached some kind of acceptance, singing "you don't know what it means to be free," and leaving the listener to hope that she'll find a happier conclusion in the near future. - Rob Hakimian


W. H. Lung - 'Simpatico People'

As the opener of their debut album, 'Simpatico People' quickly sets out W. H. Lung's intentions: they're taking us on a trip into a cavernous studio creation that has the claws and muscle to become a fierce live force. 'Simpatico People' is kraut-indebted, beginning as a lightly hovering jam, before hitting its stride and chugging along on arpeggiating synthesizers throughout. This is the fuel that is burnt by propulsive percussion and some scorching guitar lines that push the track well out into the far reaches of space. The track is so hypnotic and exhilarating that you'll be 8-minutes deep without even realising, at this point Joseph E. is repeating "Am I on my own? Am I on my own?" as he's so far into the void that no other life is apparent - but any listeners to 'Simpatico People' will be right there with him, having been hauled into this realm by W. H. Lung's musical sorcery. - Rob Hakimian


AUGUST 08 - 'Blood On My Hands' (feat. Smino)

To say something is "a mood" is a meme that seems well past its expiration date, but there's hardly a better way to describe the haunted R&B of August 08. On "Blood On My Hands," his new collab with St. Louis MC Smino, August 08 finds him stuck between two loves and shouldering a burden that increases with time. Smino's tight verse and the thumping, echoey production courtesy of Sad Money make this as good of a reason to go for a pensive night walk as any. - Brody Kenny


Peter and Kerry - 'They Know God (But I Know You)'

Outside of some unintrusive keyboards and minimal vocal effects, the arrangements are stripped to Leatham's voice and gently rolling pianos with the sound bare enough you can literally hear the keys being pressed. Leatham has always possessed a stirring and gorgeous voice and in these settings, it flourishes untethered. A far cry from their comparatively restless debut, the added focus, and breathing room reveal how much their collective songwriting has grown. What's also gratifying about it is, despite how much time has passed since we last heard from them, Peter and Kerry sound as if they were here all along. - Jerome Monroe


Neon Prayers - ‘Incomplete’

What begins as a piano-backed ballad morphs into a droning electronic number, maintaining its dramatic flair. At two-and-a-half minutes in, cogs begin whirring with kinetic energy, losing speed every measure to entropy. It is a chrome ride, dwelling on feelings that can launch a downward spiral of thoughts. Eventually, the spinning slows for good and we are carried to the outro, which provides no extra comfort. - Zoë Elaine


Light Conductor - 'Light Conductor'

Amidst rippling piano and refracting percussion, a surging current of guitar cuts to straight to the point, like rocket boosters suddenly engaging for a return journey. The joy at the moment of departure is captured in the vocals (featuring Young Galaxy's Catherine McCandless), which radiate like ultraviolet beams across the sky. With the all-clear given by the 'Light Conductor', the band is ready to escape our atmosphere. - Rob Hakimian


Weyes Blood - 'Everyday'

New track 'Everyday' is Weyes Blood's record of the tricky trail through the world of modern dating. Her voice is radiant in its weariness at the endless longing, but 'Everyday' takes that dejection and spins it into gold through the brightness of '70s organs and choral backing vocals, ascending and descending through an utterly jovial chorus. Even though she runs through a series of disheartening encounters with prospective partners, she still maintains a positive perspective, assuring us that "true love is making a comeback." The winsome sound of Weyes Blood's new song is a true tonic for the modern blues, in which we "need love everyday". - Rob Hakimian


INTER ARMA - 'Citadel'

Last seen on UK shores supporting everyone’s favourite crossover black-metal band, Deafheaven, Inter Arma's reputation has grown and grown over their last couple of LPs, especially since their 2016 masterwork, Paradise Gallows. This week they announced their fourth record, Sulphur English (out April 12 via Relapse Records), and unveiled 'Citadel;’ a song that thrillingly embodies the terrifying inferno that roars across the new album's cover.

Inter Arma have always skilfully juggled the stylistic signifiers of various sub-genres of metal, to the point that they’re basically a genre unto themselves. On 'Citadel,’ we get the funereal chug of sludgy doom, the growl-and-riffageddon of death, the relentless blast beats of black, and the shredding, balls-to-the-wall soloing of good ol’ heavy metal. All in service of a song that in frontman Mike Paparo’s own words serves as a “clarion call to [himself] about overcoming depression.”

Every Inter Arma song feels you’re on some mystical ship captained by a bellowing madman, at the mercy of the push and pull of stormy seas; with its swaying rhythm and relentless violence, ‘Citadel’ is no different, except this time, the goddamn ship is on fire. - Andy Johnston


Honourable Mentions

Why you should listen: Because it feels like you're trapped in a dream.


Why you should listen: Because it feels like walking through a newly-discovered city at night.


Why you should listen: Because it feels like the song you hear in a movie where someone overcomes all the odds to win.


Why you should listen: Because it feels like the song you hear in a movie after you hear the song above.


Why you should listen: Because it feels like a glass of rum underneath a neon sign that says 'HUGE VIBE'.


Why you should listen: Because it feels like familiar ground yet entirely unique.


Why you should listen: Because Taliwhoah's voice is so damn good.