The best new rock songs you need to hear right now (2024)

By Polly Glass

( Classic Rock )

Contributions from

Fraser Lewry


Including The Virginmarys, Beth Hart, Keel and five other bearers of the good flag of rock'n'roll

The best new rock songs you need to hear right now (1)

Fifty-six years on from their reformation and 52 years since their only UK number one, The Sweet have triumphed once again, with new single Burning Like A Falling Star topping last week's only election that mattered, our Tracks Of The Week competition. The Hot Damn! fell just short in second place with their new single Automatic, while the Georgia Thunderbolts' Crawling My Way Back To You finished well back. The rest? We've already forgotten.

This week it's a new set of candidates. But will the new boss be the same as the old boss? Only you can decide.

Sweet - Burning Like A Falling Star (Official Video) - YouTubeThe best new rock songs you need to hear right now (2)

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Don't forget to vote. The ballot is down there ⬇️.

Sadler Vaden - Staying Alive

Guitarist with Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit by day, Sadler Vaden has just dropped his fourth solo album,Dad Rock, from which this gorgeous Americana rocker is taken. Stompier and more party-friendly than his work with Isbell,Staying Alive(no relation) nonetheless carries some of that bittersweet warmth that you’ll hear in his dulcet, intuitive 400 Unit stylings. Think of Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson’s side project The Magpie Salute, by way of Joe Walsh’sRocky Mountain Way, and you’re in the right territory.

Staying Alive - YouTubeThe best new rock songs you need to hear right now (4)

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The Virginmarys - Northwest Coast

Forget the sun-kissed haze and harmonies of the US West Coast, it’s all ferocious riffs, inner demons, crap weather and Vimto under the Blackpool pier on this blistering new single from the (where else?) Northwest rock duo.Over the summer they’ll be playing some shows with Ugly Kid Joe, followed by a headline UK tour from November. Plus there’s a new album coming. Plenty to get stuck into, in other words.

VIRGINMARYS - NORTHWEST COAST (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO 2024) - YouTubeThe best new rock songs you need to hear right now (5)

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Bywater Call - Everybody Knows

The Canadian rock n’ soul ensemble go hard on the soul portion of their sound (and the rock, for that matter), on this fulsome, Aretha-tastic latest piece of their new albumShepherd– yours to hear in full in August. “This song is about how you can tell yourself whatever you want to hear, whatever makes you feel better,” says guitarist Dave Barnes, “but ultimately, the truth is always waiting for you at the end of the day.” Fans of The Tedeschi Trucks Band, the Allmans and The Band, you’ll like this.

Everybody Knows - Bywater Call (Official Video) - YouTubeThe best new rock songs you need to hear right now (6)

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Creeping Jean - Always At My Door

The Brighton rock’n’rollers mix retro riffa*ge with Hare Krishna-era Beatles vibes on this chipper, psychedelically minded new track, drawing from memories of a…erm, ‘persistent’ fan. Another stylish taste of their upcoming album,Business Is Dead, and the sort of cool yet snappy nostalgia that’s gone down well on their support dates with Rival Sons. Catch them in action as headliners across the UK in July and August.

Creeping Jean - Always at My Door - Lyric Video (Official) - YouTubeThe best new rock songs you need to hear right now (7)

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The Courettes - California

“We wanted to bring all the sunshine and some psychedelic vibes from The Byrds, theLaurel Canyon, and tons of 12-string guitars to our songwriting,” singer/guitarist Flavi Couri says, of this sugared yet spiky, 60s-bouncing taste of her and her drummer husband’s upcoming album,The Soul Of The Fabulous Courettes. “But somehow the lyrics kept some black clouds. It talks about travelling and leaving your loved ones behind. Any musician on the road can relate to this.”

The Courettes - "California" - YouTubeThe best new rock songs you need to hear right now (8)

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Beth Hart - You Still Got Me

"I wasn't in a positive mood, and I was hanging out on the couch, crying pretty hard,” Hart remembers of the story behind this stirring marriage of raw, ragged soul vocals, silky strings and 60s R&B sensibilities. “Scott said, 'Hey, do you need a hug?' I said, I've got nothing inside left to love, and he said, you still got me. I said, hang on a minute; I'll be right back. I went downstairs and used those words and how he said it… It's true. If I've still got him, I've still got everything."

Beth Hart - You Still Got Me (Official Lyric Video) - YouTubeThe best new rock songs you need to hear right now (9)

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Keel - Moving Target

The first new music from glam metal legends Keel since 2010's Streets Of Rock N Roll album, Moving Target comes from Ron Keel's all-encompassing studio album Keelworld, which will feature new music from Keel, Steeler, the Ron Keel Band, Iron Horse and more, and is scheduled to enter Earth's atmosphere on August 2. With 80% of Keel's current lineup the same as that which enjoyed the band's mid-80s glory days, it's hardly surprising that Moving Target sounds like it was piped in from 1985 without taking much notice of the intervening decades, but we're not complaining.

KEEL - new song "Moving Target" from the 2024 album #KEELWORLD - YouTubeThe best new rock songs you need to hear right now (10)

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Starcrazy - I Ain't That Crazy

We've featured Sydney's Starcrazy in these pages before, and here's another reason we like them. I Ain't That Crazy starts off with a reasonably slinky drum and bass guitar workout before bursting into life with a riff somewhere in the middle of the Joe Perry/Slash Venn diagram, which, in turn, evolves into some chiming funk which, in turn, heralds a grunge-friendly power pop chorus. Elsewhere there are shouty vocal parts and unexpected piano parts. It's all over the bleedin' place, to be frank, but in the best possible way, like a giant tag team wrestling match where Aerosmith and Hanoi Rocks and the J.B.'s and Weezer and lord knows who else toss each other around the ring will-nilly, performing suplexes and half nelsons and all sorts of unexpected manoeuvres.

Starcrazy - I Ain't That Crazy [Official Music Video] - YouTubeThe best new rock songs you need to hear right now (11)

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The best new rock songs you need to hear right now (12)

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 herspare time she writes fiction and cooks.

With contributions from

  • Fraser Lewry

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