Songs You Need In Your Life: May 2024

Songs You Need In Your Life: May 2024
Our rolling list of this month’s essential new tracks.

The FADER’s Songs You Need In Your Life are our picks for the most exciting and essential new music releases out there. Every day, we update this page with new selections. Listen on our Spotify and Apple Music playlists or hear them all below.

Sango feat. Dave B: “Meanwhile”

The new single from Sango’s upcoming project North Vol. 2, out on May 24, is a double-sided smash featuring Washington rapper Dave B. Its first third flips a gospel sample into a pentecostal-level celebration of balling out; the comedown on the second portion, where the beat flips into slurried vocals and softer bass hits, is a tough one. “I feel nothing today,” Dave B sings, “I’m gon’ ball anyway / It’s in my veins.” — Jordan Darville

Isabella Lovestory: “Botox”

Upon first listen, Isabella Lovestory’s “Botoxxx” sounds like another glittery brat-pop bop. It’s that special brand of campy, hot-pink melodrama, with an edgy name and the plastic wrapping still intact. Once you open up Google Translate though, it’s clear that the Honduran musician isn’t trying to be a “Bravo TV reality star,” but the personification of the warped beauty standards that prey on femme insecurity. She talks about the cosmetic paralytic making her beautiful by hiding her imperfect sadness, about tricking her brain with booze and Botox to swallow that hurt, and her willingness to procure an expensive procedure that will literally freeze your face into a smile. It’s just packaged in the form of some bitchy braggadocio and Splenda-sweetened reggaeton riddims. — Sandra Song

RX Papi and 1600J: “All Day Long”

On the opening track of their new collab tape, Rochester’s RX Papi and The Bronx’s 1600J enlist Surf Gang producer Harrison for a bubblegum beat with a thumping low end. Against this setting, each MC adopts an identical, repetitive, Auto-Tuned delivery, flowing just ahead of the beat like a lightly toasted Sicko Mobb. The 2:22 track sets the stage for a series of similarly stoned short-form joints, lending the project a delirious, cloudy vibe that never lifts. — Raphael Helfand

HTRK: “Dream Symbol” (Loraine James remix)

The perenially shape-shifting Australian duo HTRK are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year with a collection of performances, installations, and remixes. “Dream Symbol,” a song from their 2019 album Venus In Leo gets a remix courtesy of Loraine James, who stretches the chilled-out electronic excursion of the original into a glitchy new landscape worth of Homogenic-era Björk. — Jordan Darville

Speed: “Real Life Love”

Australian hardcore band Speed pay homage to their truest friends on “Real Life Love,” a ferocious ode to brotherly love. Bobbing and weaving between the hefty power of Josh Clayton and Dennis Vichidvongsa’s pacy guitars, vocalist Jem Siow makes virtue of his loyalty and honesty while seeking the same in others. His disgust at the fakers who try to infiltrate the scene is apparent as he demands to know, “How’d you get so cold?” The whole thing is like a beating heart wrapped in barbed-wire, pumping with life but spiky to those with questionable intentions. — David Renshaw

Sevdaliza ft. Tokischa & Villano Antillano: “Ride or Die Part II”

For her new single “Ride or Die II,” Sevdaliza brings her experimental pop production to a dark, dembow-indebted track featuring rising Dominican rapper Tokischa and Puerto Rican MC Villano Antillano. Billed as a “down-tempo bi-lingual empowerment anthem for women,” the production is languid and unhurried, providing ample space for all three artists’ voices to shine, whether it’s Sevdaliza’s whispery hook, Tokischa’s hypnotic flow, or Villano Antillano’s tongue-twister delivery. Steamy and seductive, “Ride or Die II” maintains the same pulsing sensuality you’d expect from a classic dembow production, even if it feels slightly detached and out of reach, with its distant horns and the constant chug of its mechanized riddim. — Sandra Song

Christopher David Booth: “Ulterior Motives” a.k.a. “Everyone Knows That”

For the last three years, the actual name of “Everyone Knows That” has been the subject of a much internet debate. An ‘80s New Wave tune that took “lo-fi” to a whole new level, the viral, 17-second recording posted to WatZatSong in 2021 was so heavily distorted, its origins completely eluded the lostwave community, hundreds of YouTube sleuths, and a 49K member-strong subreddit. Now, the mystery has finally been solved by two dedicated Redditors, who figured out the song is called “Ulterior Motives” by Christopher Saint Booth and Philip Adrian Booth. And its source? A sex scene from a 1986 porno called Angels of Passion, where two angels are “sent back to Earth to provide some sexual satisfaction to the mortal humans,” obviously. — Sandra Song

Adult Jazz: “Earth of Worms”

A track from their new album So Sorry So Slow, “Earth of Worms” by Adult Jazz is a standout example of how the U.K. group makes elusiveness the very foundation of their sound. The time signature of the drums is an ancient steam engine, alternating between breaking down and staying perfectly in pocket, fuelling its angular post-R&B guitar work and lyrics that turn the mundane spiritual: “Your love once so ordinary / Is it a dewclaw or a luxury? / The ring light blown / The narration gone from me.” — Jordan Darville

Harmony: “Thot Daughter”

“Thot Daughter” is for anyone who has ever felt like an outcast only to realize they actually don’t want to fit in. Over a sleazy electroclash beat, Harmony makes fun of conservatives, the badly dressed, and weird guys on the internet while referencing her own brain rot and sarcastically declaring herself the “people’s princess of the housing crisis.” It’s a club banger for the terminally online, destined to soundtrack the infinite scroll. — David Renshaw

Charly Bliss: “Nineteen”

Anyone growing tired of Taylor Swift’s increasingly listless songwriting would be wise to switch to Charly Bliss. “Nineteen” is the first single from the band’s upcoming album FOREVER and is written from the perspective of vocalist Eva Hendricks looking back at her first true love. It’s a heartwarming song written with the perspective of age yet tightly bound to the broken fire hydrant of emotions from her teenage years. Saxophone licks decorate memories of diner dates, late nights, and acts of cruelty as the NYC band asks, “How are you still in my head after all these years?” — David Renshaw