The best new rock songs you need to hear right now, including Bush, Joanne Shaw Taylor, CJ Wildheart and more

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

Macclesfield duo The Virginmarys have been regular participants in our Tracks Of The Week joust for the best part of a decade now, and it's nice to see them still pulling in the votes and triumphing in our most recent battle. So congratulations to them, and indeed to all of Cheshire.

In the nearly-but-not-close-enough positions came Sweden's Bonafide and Bournemouth's Skinny Knowledge, so congratulations to them also, although not as much. Obviously.  

So here's The Virginmarys' winning song again, before we – once again – enter the fray for another week of e-battle.   

This week's entries are below. Fight! Fight! Fight!


The Wanton Bishops - Beirut

A love-letter to Wanton Bishops mainman Nader Mansour’s home city, Beirut builds on a deep, pulsating bass groove with swirls of heady psychedelia and electronic twists, blossoming into a blissed out chorus – like The Doors by way of Lebanon. “It’s an ode to an eternal city,” Mansour says, “to its people and their way of life. The thing about this much adversity, is that it tends to scar, the kind of scars that never heal. But it’s often our own fault… In such cases the only thing that’s left to do is to offer more love… without expecting any reciprocation, in the hope that maybe, one day, the city will trust again and enough to love back!”

CJ Wildheart - Butterfingers

With all the solo projects, reunions, other bands, bust-ups and the persistent fact that two of them keep the same fucking name, you’d be forgiven for wondering what the hell is going on with The Wildearts. Forever divided? Inextricably linked? Something else? Either way, CJ’s new solo single is a bright n’ beefy banger, all London boozer chants, zingy guitars and misty-eyed nostalgia for a bygone Britrock age. Fresh off his upcoming album (bearing the not-exactly-cryptic title, SPLIT).

Kelsy Karter & The Heroines - Love Goes On

This Australian/British gang (masterminded by New Zealand singer/songwriter Kelsy Karter) just got off tour with Billy Idol, and if this song is anything to go by they probably picked up a few new fans in the process. Pop-tastic but totally rocking at the same time, Love Goes On jumps out of your speakers like the 80s lovechild of No Doubt and Def Leppard – all chain-smoking, leather trousers and a big, shiny chorus that’s so addictive it has to be bad for you… in a good way. We’re a bit in love.

Crossbone Skully - The Boom Went The Boom (feat Phil Collen)

The brainchild of Tommy Henriksen (Hollywood Vampire by day, as well as guitarist and musical director for Alice Cooper’s band) Crossbone Skully team up with Def Leppard axeman Phil Collen on this meaty, stompy new single. Drawing generously from the AC/DC gospel of rock, The Boom Went The Boom makes up in propulsive riffage what it lacks in lyrical/titular nous. Henriksen says: “Like dynamite beneath deceit, The Boom Went The Boom reveals the truth's explosive power in song, shattering masks and echoing the reckoning of lies, for when trust erodes, The Misfits Will Rise!"

Bruce Soord - Lie Flat

And now for something completely different.  If you need something a little quieter today (but no less impactful), this guy’s for you. The latest single from the Pineapple Thief frontman’s excellent new solo album, Luminescence (out now), Lie Flat is a masterclass in poise and atmosphere – pensive progressive rock with an electronic backbone, trip-hoppy beats and cascades of acoustic guitar, all pulled off with a real lightness of touch and Soord’s crystalline, storytelling baritone that seems to reach right into you.

Desperate Measures - Sublime Destruction

Punchy, punky and bursting with good old fashioned rage, the London-based foursome’s new single roars its message of social disenchantment straight into your chest, like a messier, angrier Billy Idol putting the world to rights with the Sex Pistols. “Sublime Destruction is about how normal everyday things we take for granted are slowly being taken away and eroded, whether it’s our rights, the environment or even the health system,” says frontman Eugene Butcher. “Blink and they will be gone.”

Joanne Shaw Taylor - Black Magic

Joanne Shaw Taylor returns to Tracks Of The Week with this bluesy, boot-stomping roots'n'roller, complete with gospel backing vocals, Carole King-esque piano and a sweet solo that makes us think of Stevie Ray Vaughan having a few beers in front of the Sweet Home Chicago jam in The Blues Brothers. "I originally wrote the music for my album Nobody's Fool and intended for it to be an instrumental called Butterbeer Blues,” says Joanne, singer/guitarist and Harry Potter superfan (we're guessing that's where the 'Butterbeer' thing comes in, anyway...). “But then, I decided to give it lyrics and transform it into a fun, traditional acoustic blues song." More of this is coming on her new  solo album, out in 2024 through her mate Joe Bonamassa's Journeyman label.

Bush - Nowhere To Go But Everywhere

Bush's Nowhere To Go But Everywhere was recorded to accompany the band's upcoming compilation Loaded: The Greatest Hits 1994-2023, which comes out next month. And so it's appropriately Bush-like, with a mournful melody that slowly winds itself into an exaltant chorus, and a video in which frontman Gavin Rossdale enters a de-aging facility. “While anyone can identify with clinging to the past which the song addresses, the extremes we’ve seen some people go to for external youth is unnerving," explains Rossdale. "It is a drag watching your own face age - and yet as, David Bowie said 'The thing about aging is you become the person you should have been all along.' Genius. And feels true."

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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