Stream: Greatest Hits … This Week (Vol. 296)

Cover image by Milin John via

Summer is officially here, and we’re on overload today with Greatest Hits … This Week (Vol. 296). Hear the latest from Andrew McMahon’s dual projects, Soft Swells, Wand, Amy Allen, The Rare Occasions, Cassandra Violet, FIDLAR, The Garden, Redd Kross, Magenta Moon, The Only Ocean, Alice Glass, DEANO and Brijean. They’re joined by a host of artists who released new albums/EPs today: Talker, Silverplanes, Catpack, WYO, Kai Tak, Child Seat, Gracie Abrams, Swim Surreal and others.

What is this, our 23rd weekly playlist of 2024? You’ve got some catching up to do.

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness & Something Corporate, “Death Grip” — Songwriter Andrew McMahon’s career has had three stages: the pop-punk band Something Corporate (three albums), Jack’s Mannequin (three albums) and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (four albums and counting). “For years I have worked to put distance between every record and every band and moniker in the name of progress,” he says. “I’m a modernist at my core and it’s in my DNA to keep moving forward without looking back. That being said, I wrote ‘Death Grip’ in a moment when I had not only made peace with my past, but frankly, was feeling joy for how lucky I am that I have been gifted with three careers — three bands and lives that have fueled and marked my existence.” The collaborative single arrives ahead of Something Corporate’s upcoming reunion shows. Live Oct. 11 at the Palladium. Get in for the ride.

Cassandra Violet, “Hope Is a Thief” — Folk-pop siren Cassandra Violet’s first single of 2024, “Hope Is a Thief,” comes draped in pedal steel and cautious optimism. “It’s about how terrifying it can be when things go well — and about meeting the right person at the right time,” she says of the tune, which was co-written with Nashville’s Tony Esterly.

Soft Swells, “Speed” — Profilic songwriter Tim Williams, who this year has already released full-lengths from his projects Faire Osciller and Quiet Canyons, reboots his indie-rock project Soft Swells, last spotted releasing their third album, “Be Young,” in 2017. “Speed,” which is buoyant as anything Soft Swells has released, is recommended for fans of bands such as Nada Surf.

Amy Allen, “Girl With a Problem” — Amy Allen has written for the likes of Harry Styles, Olivia Rodrigo, Charli XCX, Halsey, Sabrina Carpenter, Tate McRae and more. Her solo work takes center stage Sept. 6 when she releases her self-titled debut album, made with producers such as Ethan Gruska, John Hill and Eg White. The brooding “Girl With a Problem” introduced the project; also see “Darkside.”

The Rare Occasions, “Macaroni Moon” — Pasta, meet Luna. The new single from the Rare Occasions (Brian McLaughlin, Luke Imbush and Jeremy Cohen) is a summery classic pop jam that advances a long tour starting in September. Live Sept. 12 at the Constellation Room and Oct. 21 at the Lodge Room.

THEY., “Diamonds and Pearls” — The duo of songwriter Drew Love and producer Dante Jones get back in a groove — a rather sumptuous one at that — with the new track “Diamonds and Pearls.” The duo says of the song: “It sets the tone for what’s to come from THEY. We started teasing a snippet of the hook last year and it got a great response from our fans, we hadn’t even written the verse yet. Excited to be finally releasing the full version.”

Catpack, “Next to Me” — Catpack (Amber Navran [of Moonchild], Jacob Mann and Phil Beaudreau) end their self-titled debut album (out today on Tru Thoughts) with a meow on “Next to Me.” (See also: “The Top,” “What I’ve Found” and “Midnight.”)

The Only Ocean, “Two Sides to Celebrate” — A year after the duo of Wesley Hill and Jordan Kaufman released the EP “It’s All My Fault,” they’re back with a new The Only Ocean single, “Two Sides to Celebrate.”

Wand, “JJ” — Cory Hanson and gang are full-on mesmerizing on “JJ,” the new single from Wand’s forthcoming album “Vertigo,” out July 26. Watch the video. And see them live Aug. 3 at the Troubadour.

The Garden, “Filthy Rabbit Hole” — Twin terrors Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, conspirators in the agit-punk vessel The Garden for more than a decade, are back with their first single in two years. The typically volatile “Filthy Rabbit Hole” arrived with the announcement that the duo will headline Vada Vada 2024 at the Shrine LA Outdoors on Nov. 23, also featuring Puzzle, Enjoy, Cowgirl Clue, Slater and 3l3d3p.

Alice Glass, “Remains” (feat. CLIP) — Two years after releasing her brash debut album, Alice Glass teams up with NYC rapper Clip on the wicked new track “Remains.”

FIDLAR, “Fix Me” — Speaking of perpetually impertinent, surf-punks FIDLAR have announced the Sept. 10 arrival of their fourth full-length, “Surviving the Dream.” The news arrived with double-barreled singles. Fix Me” and “Get Off My Wave.” Live Oct. 31 at the Bellwether.

Talker, “Say My Name” — Friendly reminder that Talker’s debut album, “I’m Telling You the Truth,” is out today, highlighted by singles such as “Twentysomething,” “Drag Your Feet” and “Everything Is Something (That I Never Saw Coming).” Live Sunday on Day 2 of the June Gloom festival at the Other Side and July 26 at Permanent Records Roadhouse, along with Kississippi.

Liam Finn, “Spiraling” — New Zealand-bred Liam Finn, currently on tour as a member of Crowded House, this week released his third single since November, “Spiraling,” a track he calls a “therapeutic screamy one.” It’s been a decade since the L.A.-based singer-songwriter released a solo album (excepting the soundtrack to the documentary “Susanne Bartsch: On Top.”)

Silverplanes, “Years to Awaken” — Silverplanes slow it down on “Years to Awaken” (video), the latest single from their album “Airbus,” out today. Long in the works, it’s the first full-length from the trio of Aaron Smart, Jesse Kramer and Ian Baca, who worked with producer Jack Douglas on the record.

Swerve, “23” — Frontman Greg Mahdesian says this of Swerve’s punky new single: “‘23’ is just fun for us. From the writing of it, to the recording, to the music video, it kind of really defined our point of view for the entire EP. It references a lot of experiences in our lives — from hotel parties to failed ambitions to just generally living irresponsibly for a while before realizing ‘whoops, maybe that didn’t pay off!’ … Obviously, life doesn’t end at 23, but when you’re 23 it feels like it might, and that might inspire you to act kinda stupidly.” The aforementioned EP, “The Darkroom” (introduced with the single “Just Pretend” and including the Stone Roses cover “I Wanna Be Adored”) is out today.

Black Adidas, “Are We There Yet” — Black Adidas (Courtney Ranshaw, Daniel Alexander, Octavio Gallardo and Stephen Hoke) are at work on their third album, and they landed this week with the menacing punk-rocker “Are We There Yet,” which sound like Social Distortion with synths.

Redd Kross, “I’ll Take Your Word for It” — The follow-up to “Candy Coloured Catastrophe” and “Born Innocent,” “I’ll Take Your Word for It” is the third single from the double-LP “Redd Kross,” out June 28.

Child Seat, “Anymore” — Friendly reminder that “Dancing at the Disco,” the second full-length from the duo of Madeleine Mathews (MAWD) and Josiah Mazzaschi (Light FM), is out today. Boasting tracks such as “Fever,” “Fool for Love,” “Something Good” and the title track, it’s locked and loaded for your next ’80s flashback weekend.

Together Pangea, “Voice Inside My Head” (feat. Reckling) — Kelsey Reckling joins Together Pangea for “Voice Inside My Head,” which channels a little R.E.M. and introduces Together Pangea’s new EP, “Misery,” out Sept. 13. The band’s tour for the 10-year anniversary of “Badillac” starts in July and hits the Echoplex on Nov. 22.

Magenta Moon, “More” — The duo of Elaina Whitesell and Joseph Petrarca, Magenta Moon released “Move Me” back in February, and they return this week with an alluring slice of goth-pop, “More.”

King Pari, “Better Than the Devil” — Having departed their native Minneapolis in favor of L.A., Joe Paris Christensen and Cameron Kinghorn — aka King Pari — are now in the Stones Throw Records fold. “Better Than the Devil” is their second release for the label.

Alexa Louise, “Silverlake” — Alexa Louise Borstad has released but three singles, and the singer-songwriter displays a gentle pop touch on her latest, the airy “Silverlake.”

DEANO, “Airborne” — Pool guy by day and maker of shimmering dream-pop when he’s not breathing chlorine, Dean Rogers — aka DEANO — today released a pair of new singles. “Airborne” fairly soars (also see the video for “Beachwood Overture”) and makes us want to hear more from Rogers, who’s also Mimi Nissan’s collaborator in Mimi Pretend.

Jordana, “We Get By” — In between touring with Local Natives, Remi Wolf, TV Girl and Wallows and collaborating with artists such as Dent May, Paul Cherry, TV Girl and Ethan Tasch, Maryland ex-pat Jordana Nye has been working on new solo music. “We Get By,” co-written with Emmett Kai, is a gleaming piece of folk-rock.

Beachwood Sparks, “Gentle Samurai” — Following up “Falling Forever,” Beachwood Sparks have given us another taste of “Across the River of Stars,” their first album in 12 years, out July 19. Live July 27 at the Lodge Room.

Brijean, “Euphoric Avenue” — “Macro,” the new album from percussionist/singer-songwriter Brijean Murphy and multi-instrumentalist Doug Stuart, is out July 12. “Euphoric Avenue” is the follow-up to “Roller Coaster,” and euphoric vibes abound. Live Aug. 1 at the Lodge Room.

Swim Surreal, “Back to Earth” — Songwriter Thomas Leonard today released the first album under his imprimatur Swim Surreal. “In the Half Light” was made with and co-written by Zero 7’s Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker. Glossy gorgeousness abounds.

Ginger Root, “Better Than Monday” — The follow-up to “No Problems,” “Better Than Monday” is the latest single from the album “Shinbangumi,” out Sept. 13.

WYO, “Red” — Today brought the release of “Gemini,” the third full-length from WYO, the duo of Andy Sorge and Scott McKay Gibson. Theirs is a cinamtic, sometimes celestial take on pop, and indeed there’s quite a video for “Red.” The album is WYO’s first since “Changes” in 2019, the same year their instrumental work was showcased in the score for the HBO documentary “Lindsey Vonn: The Final Season.” Live June 27 at Bar Lubitsch.

Gracie Abrams, “Us.” (feat. Taylor Swift) — Friendly reminder that Gracie Abrams’ sophomore full-length, “The Secret of Us,” is out today, and looky who the album’s lone featured vocalist is. Live Sept. 9, Sept. 11 and Sept. 12 at the Greek Theatre.

Kai Tak, “Until We Leave Here” (feat. Chelsey Boy) — We bring this week’s playtlist in for a shimmering landing with the closing track on “Designed in Heaven Made in Hong Kong,” the album released today by Kai Tak (Chris King of Cold Showers).