Sound Off: 10 Songs You Need to Hear Now

Sound Off: 10 Songs You Need to Hear Now

By Shaad D'Souza
Dec 01, 2023

It's impossible to be across all the new music out each Friday. Luckily, PAPER is here to help you out: each week, we round up 10 of our favorite new songs from artists — emerging and established — to soundtrack your life. From the surreal to the sublime, these songs cover every corner of the music world. The only criteria: they all have to absolutely rip.

Empress Of - "Femenine"

Empress Of’s latest single finds the perennially underrated Honduran-American singer and producer singing in Spanish over a heady, heavy club beat. After the sparkling earworm “Kiss Me”, it’s another tantalizing piece of Empress Of’s forthcoming record.

Tyla - "Truth or Dare"

Rising South African amapiano star Tyla already has one of the year’s biggest breakthrough hits in “Water” and she’s followed it up with “Truth or Dare" an equally addictive piece of slick, silky hypno-pop.

twst - "Was I Ever Alone?"

TWST0002 (Off-World), the new EP from twst, is a remarkable display of the Welsh musician’s talents as a pop songwriter. “Was I Ever Alone?” is the highlight – a disorientating blast of unnerving, electrifying energy.

Real Estate - "Water Underground"

Real Estate frontman Martin Courtney says “Water Underground” is “about writing songs,” and true to that concept, it’s a knottier, more conceptually murky moment from the stalwart indie band, rich and pleasingly elliptical.

Ruthven - "The Window"

Paul Institute signee Ruthven makes feather-light 80s-inflected pop that gives off a warm, endearing glow, and “The Window” is one of his best songs yet, patient and determined in equal measure.

Carpetgarden - "Cheerleader"

The new song by LA indie musician Carpetgarden is crunchy and yearning, describing what the singer describes as “gender envy” and putting a refreshing spin on classic teen tropes.

NewJeans - "Our Night is more beautiful than your Day"

The shapeshifting K-pop girl group drift into Afrobeats on “Our Night is more beautiful than your Day” from the new K-drama My Demon. As is often the case with NewJeans, this leftfield turn yields sterling results.

Lana Del Rey - "Take Me Home, Country Roads"

Lana closes out a banner year with this lovely, airy cover of a John Denver classic. The song’s sparse arrangement lets Lana’s gorgeous, resonant voice shine through.

Taylor Swift - "You're Losing Me (From The Vault)"

This fan-favourite Midnights bonus track has finally been given an official release, and it’s immediately up there with Swift’s best, most heartrending ballads – so much so that you have to wonder why it wasn’t on the original version of the album.

Thy Slaughter, Charli XCX - "Heavy"

The latest single from A. G. Cook and EASYFUN’s collaborative album as Thy Slaughter features uncredited vocals from Charli XCX. It’s a darker, crunchier sound for her than the vampy, campy Crash era, Charli smoldering over Cook and EASYFUN’s high-abrasion production.

Photo courtesy of Kaio Cesar