The best new rock songs you need to hear right now, including Joanne Shaw Taylor, The Warning, Lesbian Bed Death and more

Tracks Of The Week artists
(Image credit: Press materials)

Any week in which AC/DC announce a tour has to be a good week, and last week was exactly that. Not only did Angus & Brian and their hired hands announce a series of European dates, but eight bands did battle in our regular Tracks Of The Week confrontation. What a time to be alive, eh?

We're delighted to reported that East Midlands' sensations The Struts strutted away with the grand prize, while Marisa & The Moths and Royal Republic battled it out for second and third place. We salute them all, but especially The Struts.  

And now it's on with this week's battle. We hope you enjoy the rock'n'roll. 


The Courettes - Shake!

An early taste of their next album, The Soul Of The Fabulous Courettes (coming out in September), the ultra-stylish R&B duo are on spectacularly sassy, groovy form for this toe-tapping, tambourine-shaking party track. Shake! finds wife and husband Flavia (vocals/guitar) and Martin (drums) resummoning their established cocktail of Cramps-meets-Stooges verve and beehived fifties rock’n’roll, and channelling it into one of their catchiest pieces yet. Much actual shaking – the good kind – to be expected.

The Warning – S!CK

Mexican sister trio The Warning have already opened for Foo Fighters, Muse, Halestorm and other similarly hard-hitting big cheeses. Now they’re teeing up for a massive headline tour with this shot-in-the-arm of propulsive, fire-spitting hard rock. Like the sound of that? The tour comes to the UK in April, including a show at London’s Kentish Town Forum. Are they about to do a Greta Van Fleet, or a Måneskin, and put rock’n’roll through the roof? Watch this space and see.

Big Big Train - Love Is The Light

It’s not possible to listen to Big Big Train’s new album without thinking of their former singer David Longdon (who died suddenly in 2021), but on this sweet, deeply stirring ballad, its new frontman Alberto Bravin’s experiences in the driving seat – ultimately tapping into feelings we can all relate to. He explains: “In 2018 my daughter was born, I had a happy life… But for no apparent reason I became deeply depressed. The most difficult challenge is not to heal, but to admit what’s happening. And you can do it only if you have real support from the people around you. My wife, Nicole, was always there for me and she helped me find the light.”

Lesbian Bed Death - She Loves Lilith

If that’s not the band name of the week – nay, the year – we’re not sure what is. Stoke-on-Trent’s Lesbian Bed Death rock out like Meliora-era Ghost at their riffiest on She Loves Lilith, with extra gothic shadows and witchy allure. Way more seductive than the technical meaning of their namesake implies, in other words. Like the sound of that? Catch them on tour in March, or check out their album Midnight Lust on March 1.

IDLES - Grace

With a video hinged on an eerie AI deepfake of Chris Martin in Coldplay’s Yellow video (with Martin’s blessing, and even his help in completing it), Grace is IDLES’ beautifully nuanced love song for the modern age. Intimate, pensive and smoky, with a quietly menacing bass line that pulses through hazy, atmospheric layers and trip-hoppy beats, it leaves a hopeful whisper in your ear – ‘No god, no king, I said love is the thing.’ The sense that we might be alone in the world, with our purest instinct, and maybe that’s ok. 

Luke Of Ulysses - Car Trouble

With psychedelic glamsters UIysses laid to rest, their mastermind Luke Smith teamed up with producer Tom Dalgety (Ghost, Royal Blood, Turbowolf etc) for a bunch of new tunes, including this ELO-vibed dose of punchy pop rock. “It was basically two friends just playing and having fun,” Luke says. “My mojo is now fully restored and I’m excited for making new music and the future in general.” Best ingested with its space-tastic music video, which features astronauts, flying hamburgers and Luke’s wife as a sexy French alien, among other pleasingly weird shenanigans.

Joanne Shaw Taylor - Heavy Soul

Time for some soulful blues now, from one of its most commanding 21st century advocates. Heavy Soul, the title track from Joanne’s next album (due out in June), is a rich, honeyed marriage of blues rock guitar and soulful pop sensibilities. "For me, it was about connecting the dots from Nobody's Fool back into the blues…” Joanne says. “It's a mix of contemporary soul-pop and roots music.” Catch her live in the UK all this month.

Castle Rat - Cry For Me

With its snowy forest setting and cast of pagan, mask-wearing, scythe-wielding misfits, we'd probably love the video for Castle Rat's new song even with the audio on mute, but Cry For Me unmuted is epic and undeniably excellent. It takes a while to get where it's going, with an acoustic post-intro intro that gives off Fountrains Of Lamneth-era Rush vibes, but ramps up the doom quotient upon arrival, all of it soundtracking the death-by-sword and subsequent resurrection of vocalist Riley Pinkerton a.k.a. The Rat Queen. Into The Realm, the debut album from this deviant New York troupe, is out in April, and if it contains more of this sort of thing we'll be very happy indeed. Also, they look brilliant.

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 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.

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