The eight best new songs we've heard so far in 2023

Tracks of the Week artists
(Image credit: Press materials)

Happy New Year!

It's nice to begin afresh, and in 2022 we'll continue to bring you the freshest of new rock sounds, pulled warm and ready-to-eat from the great rock'n'roll oven. If we made resolutions, we'd resolve to repeat this recipe every week. And you know what? We probably will.

Way back in December, we ran our final Tracks Of The Week roundup of 2022. You voted, as you always do, and the Winery Dogs emerged victorious, with King Kraken's Green Terror and Robert Jon & The Wreck's Who Can You Love filling the minor medal positions. 

Can the Winery Dogs repeat the trick? Well, maybe they can, as they're back to compete in this week's competition. But first, here's their winning entry from last time around.     

Alt

The Bites - Do Me A Favor

Hollywood’s new rag-tag rock’n’roll gang have dressed an ultra retro blues boogie in high-speed garage fizz – and it’s a lot of fun. Yes it’s dead basic. Yes it’s very familiar territory, and won’t win any prizes for video or lyrical ingenuity (the title is about the sum of it, words-wise), but when the riffs are this juicy and the chorus hits you so instantly, there’s little time to mind too much. And they’re so full of it that they introduce themselves, mid-song, like big shots – even though no one has heard of them. You can’t help but admire that. There’s a full album where this came from, due later this year.


The Lemon Twigs - Corner Of My Eye

The New York brother duo’s first new single in over two years, Corner Of My Eye is so beautifully soft, sweet and 60s/70s-esque you won’t believe they’re still in their twenties. Like grownup candyfloss for the soul, all dulcet haze and effortlessly sophisticated melody – billed as “a warm, guitar-led ode to a new love interest.” Imagine a heartbroken Brian Wilson crooning Bee Gees ballads on a sunny afternoon, and you’re in the right headspace. 


The Hip Priests - Shakin’ Ain’t Fakin’

Nottingham anti-socialites The Hip Priests have cooked up one of the angrier party tracks you’ll hear this year – a delicious shot of shouty, catchy punk’n’roll, best served with beer, on a bill with similarly dirty groovemeisters like the Hellacopters and Supersuckers. “Shaking to the sound n’ rattling with rage,” they say. “Keeping your sanity and keeping it real whilst global politicians try to kill (or sell) us all.” Like what you hear? Their new album, Roden House Blues, is out on May 5.


Ashley McBryde, Caylee Hammack, Pillbox Patti - Brenda Put Your Bra On

Taken from McBryde’s latest record Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville – a concept album about a fictional American hamlet and its inhabitants – Brenda Put Your Bra On is a deliciously funny, sassy tale of trailer park drama, set to a toe-tapping country rock groove with flecks of Dolly Parton. A sharp reminder of how transportive other people’s stories are. As McBryde puts it: “For the whole running time of the record, nothing else had to matter. You got to focus on other people’s drama and other people’s problems and got the reminder that everything’s all right.”


DeWolff - Night Train

The Dutch trio’s latest single calls to mind R&B/soul classics like The O’Jays’ Love Train, with bluesy southern rock edges, a quickened pulse and a psychedelic hippie sheen. Well, we say ‘trio’ – it’s very much an ensemble effort, with Pablo, Luka and Robin joined by a bunch of friends for a rich, brass-blasting sound, reflective of the old Al Green, Sam Cooke and Staples Singers songs they rate so highly. Part of their next album, Love, Death & In Between, which comes out in February.


The Winery Dogs - Mad World

The second single from the super-trio’s new album, III, is another marriage of jazzy virtuosity and straight-up rocking out. “The song is dealing with a certain attitude or way of thinking forced on individuals regardless of your own life experience or unique individuality,” says singer/guitarist Richie Kotzen. “I remember a time where opposing opinions and viewpoints were more accepted. A good old healthy debate was a great thing back then. This song is really shining a light on how there may be certain consequences to pay if you don’t think a certain way.”


Sweet - Don't Bring Me Water

Original teenage rampagers Sweet may no longer be teenagers, and judging by new single Don't Bring Me Water they're no longer on the rampage, but guitarist Andy Scott is in his 70s now, so waddya expect? Having said that, DBMW is a rock-solid piece of polished AOR, with a surprising heaviness, and former Cats In Space man Paul Manzi sings with easy authority. It could almost be Survivor. 


Daughtry - Separate Ways

Halestorm's Lzzy Hale has teamed up with Chris Daughtry to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Journey's classic Separate Ways, by blessing Planet Earth with a cover that rips and snorts in a way that Steve Perry could surely never have envisioned. As with everything that Lzzy touches it's an ear-boggling listen, but the two of them work really well together. "I was pumped she said yes," says Chris, "and I absolutely love how it turned out.”

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine (opens in new tab) and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.

With contributions from