The best new rock songs you need to hear right now, including Royal Republic, The Pineapple Thief, Bob Vylan and more

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

We roll into 2024 as we exited 2023: filled with righteous rock'n'roll pumping through our veins and eager to mainline some more. 

Nearly 400 different songs made the various starting lineups in our Tracks Of The Week competition last year, and we'll repeat that this year, bringing you the freshest and most fantastic flavours from rock's ever-bountiful pantry. And remember: There's only 351 days until Christmas!

But first, some housekeeping. Congratulations are due to Bad Nerves, whose Antidote single triumphed in our Christmas roundup, and to Marillion, whose actual Christmas single didn't. And also to Welsh rock warriors Sonny Jim, who came in third. 

Below you can hear Bad Nerves once more, and then it's on with the show.    

2024's first eight contenders follow. Vote down there ⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇.


Royal Republic - My House

Oh hell yes, we’ll have some of this (and no, it’s not Al Jarreau’s none-more-80s Moonlighting theme, as those sax-y opening notes suggest...). Marrying the disco sheen of the Swedes’ previous album, Club Majesty, with heavier guitars, a lot more leather and a gloriously questionable rap section, My House is the 80s-pumped antidote to the January blues we could probably all use. Expect monster riffage, huge beats, a keytar and frontman Adam Grahn’s newly pimped up moustache that’s part Tom Selleck, part Poirot (it has to be seen to be believed). And is there an album called 'Love Cop' on the way, as that spoken-word outro suggests? We'll see...

Troy Redfern - The Strange

Rising blues rocker/slide-guitar star Troy Redfern comes over like a much heavier, filthier Marc Bolan – or a pirate raising hell in a really good rock boozer – all sleazy swagger and Jack Sparrow wardrobe. Big, glam-stomping basslines (played by Ash Dawn Clarke, also the fire-breather in the video) give Troy’s raw, louche yet super-hooky chops an extra shot of blood, peaking in a weapons-grade chorus. More to come on his next studio album, Invocation.

Ferris & Sylvester – Rain

With icily pretty vocals, folky harmonies and a rousing swell of gospel and rock’n’soul shades, Rain is the powerful latest taste of this Brit duo’s upcoming record, Otherness. “It is a song about how change is inevitable,” says singer Issy Ferris, “and you’ve got to embrace it to move forward. It’s a new year and it feels like the right time for this track to come out… change can be a scary and lonely thing. We hope this song can encourage and empower people when they’re in the thick of it.” Catch them on tour across the UK all February and early March.

Jayler - No Woman

If you thought Greta Van Fleet were only youths (as in, actual youths) to fall madly in love with the classic, debonair 70s sounds and styles of Led Zeppelin, think again. Midlands rockers Jayler are barely old enough to drive but they make an impressive fist of that elegant brand of retroism on No Woman. Whether they’ll move beyond the very well-trodden tropes here (down to the Plant-esque horndog moans that wrap things up) and find something of their own remains to be seen, but in the meantime there’s plenty to get stuck into here.

The Lemon Twigs - My Golden Years

Shit weather grinding you down? Plug into the new single from New York siblings The Lemon Twigs, and feel at least some of the gloom give way to early summertime vibes. Billed as a power-pop anthem about “making every minute count and living up to your potential”, My Golden Years sounds like the Beach Boys joining forces with The Byrds, all shimmery 60s sweetness and en-pointe sunbathed harmonies. Lush.

Paralandra - Dirty Love

Missouri rockers Paralandra rock hard, making a bright yet ultra-beefy racket on new single Dirty Love. The musical equivalent of an army of monster trucks revving into the dirt, before suddenly taking flight in the chorus. If Alter Bridge and Halestorm are your jam, these guys will definitely be up your street (tellingly, Alter Bridge producer Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette produced their last album in 2021).

The Pineapple Thief - Every Trace Of Us

The second single from The Pineapple Thief's excellent upcoming album It Leads To This is all over the place in the best possible way, like strings of tasty prog noodles coming together to form delicious prog ramen. It leaps about from one musical idea to to the next with restrained abandon, both brilliantly played and beautifully considered. "It was one of those moments where everything came together so quickly" says mainman Bruce Soord. "Jon (bass) came up with the hooky chorus bass melody, Beren Matthews, our touring guitarist, added some brilliant guitar work, before Steve (keyboards) added his sonic icing on the cake." Mmmm, cake. 

Bob Vylan - Hunger Games

The ever-excellent Bob Vylan return with Hunger Games, a typically furious attack on the politics of austerity and the politicians who benefit from it. Powered by a snapping riff that winds it's way towards a hypnotic, surprisingly psychedelic section in which Bobby Vylan offers hope ("You are stronger than you think you are / You are love / You are not alone / You are going through hell, but keep going") it's further evidence that one of Britain's fieriest bands might also be one of its greatest documentarians. New album Humble As The Sun is due on April 5.

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.

With contributions from