Press Pause And Hit Play: The Best New Songs You’ve Missed During Quarantine

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Updated on Sept. 9 at 10:49 a.m. ET.

Music still moves. While some musicians have decided, reasonably, to delay albums during the coronavirus pandemic, many more are choosing to create, inspire and uplift by moving up release dates or surprising us with unannounced songs. We’re all overwhelmed with the news and retreating to creature comforts, and you might not have made time to find or listen to new songs and albums in a while. Press Pause, a playlist updated daily, keeps track of new music released during the quarantine, as selected by the NPR Music staff. As is the NPR Music way, we skip across genres from track to track: pop, hip-hop, R&B, classical, punk, ambient, jazz, rock, reggaeton and whatever else offers an escape or reckons with our current condition.

Press Pause
Press Pause, a playlist updated daily, is our way of keeping track of new music released during the quarantine, as selected by the NPR Music staff. (Malte Mueller/Getty Images/fStop)

Stream this playlist via Spotify.

Press Pause Tracklist

Added Sept. 9
  • Janelle Monáe, “Turntables”
  • Bedouine, Hurray for the Riff Raff and Waxahatchee, “Thirteen (Big Star cover)”
  • The Big Easy, “It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt”
  • Good Sad Happy Bad, “Shades”
  • Oceans of Slumber, “A Return to the Earth Below”
Added Sept. 2
  • Adrianne Lenker, “anything”
  • Jazmine Sullivan, “Lost One”
  • Rolf Lislevand, “Tombeau pour Mesdemoiselles De Visée”
  • Dizzy Fae, “I’m Good”
  • Sun June, “Singing”
  • Arab Strap, “The Turning of Our Bones”
Added Aug. 27
  • Black Grapefruit, “Inside”
  • BKO, “Dirty Donso”
  • Julia Holter, “Gold Dust Woman”
  • Lotic, “Cocky”
  • Valentin Silvestrov, Piano Concertino: II. Pastorale
  • Conway the Machine, “Fear of God (feat. Dej Loaf)”

Added Aug. 24

  • Anderson .Paak, “Cut Me In (feat. Rick Ross)”
  • Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou, “Ancestral Recall’
  • Mariah Carey, “Save the Day – 2020 (feat. Ms. Lauryn Hill)”
Added Aug. 13
  • The Japanese House, “Dionne (feat. Justin Vernon)”
  • WaqWaq Kingdom, “Positive Sound”
Added Aug. 12
  • Vic Mensa, “No More Tear Drops (feat. Malik Yusef & Wyatt Waddell)”
  • The Goodbye Party, “Unlucky Stars”
  • David Lang and Caroline Shaw, “When I Am Alone”
Added Aug. 6
  • Bon Iver, “AUATC”
  • Jamila Woods, “SULA (Paperback)”
  • SG Lewis, “Impact (feat. Robyn & Channel Tres)”
  • Songhoy Blues, “Badala”
Added July 30
  • Laura Veirs, “Burn Too Bright”
  • Mariah the Scientist, “Always n Forever (feat. Lil Baby)”
  • Touché Amoré, “Limelight (feat. Andy Hull)”
  • Madeline Kenney, “White Window Light”
  • Loma, “Ocotillo”
Added July 24
  • Taylor Swift, “August”
  • Chronixx, “Cool as the Breeze/Friday”
  • Miel, “Must Be Fine”
Added July 23
  • Bartees Strange, “Mustang”
  • McCall, “One Eye Open”
  • Desert Noises, “Coffee”
  • Young Jesus, “(un)knowing”
  • Kylie Minogue, “Say Something”
  • Crass, “Do They (Glasser Remix)”
Added July 21
  • Sylvan Esso, “Ferris Wheel”
  • Cabra, “La Cabra Jala Pal Monte”
  • Smino, “Baguetti (with J.I.D. & Kenny Beats)”
  • Lydia Loveless, “Love is Not Enough”
  • Sarah Davachi, “Stations II”
Added July 16
  • Ebeneezer, “3am in LA (feat. Stefflon Don)”
  • Troye Sivan, “Easy”
  • Max Richter, “Mercy”
  • Mary Lattimore, “Sometimes He’s in My Dreams”
  • Pig Destroyer, “The Cavalry”
Added July 10
  • Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, “Oh Babe It Ain’t No Lie (Elizabeth Cotton cover)”
  • KAYTRANADA, “Look Easy (feat. Lucky Daye)”
  • Snoh Aelegra, “DYING 4 YOUR LOVE”
  • Wesley Gonzalez, “Change”
  • Mint Field, “Contingenica”
  • Marisa Anderson, “The White Lady Loves You More (Elliott Smith cover)”
  • Radio Slave, “Stay Out All Night”
Added July 7
  • Wye Oak, “AEIOU (feat. Brooklyn Youth Chorus)”
  • Anjimile, “Maker”
  • GAIKA, “Maria (feat. OMAAR)”
  • Møzaika, “Sommar”
Added July 1
  • Eric Church, “Stick That in Your Country Song”
  • Stacy Barthe, “Shoot”
  • Tigers Jaw, “Warn Me”
  • Sad13, “Ghost (of a Good Time)”
  • Toots & the Maytals, “Got to be Tough”
  • Yves Jarvis, “Victim”
  • Laraaji, “Lifting Me”
  • Annie, “American Cars”

Added June 19

  • Anderson . Paak, “Lockdown”
  • Shemekia Copeland, “Uncivil War”
  • Noname, “Song 33”
  • Riverby, “Nose to Nose”
Added June 12
  • Bettye LaVette, “Strange Fruit”
  • John Prine, “I Remember Everything”
  • Hendrix Harris, “Caliente En El Frio (feat. Cimafunk & Barbaro)
  • Lil Baby, “The Bigger Picture”
Added June 10
  • Leon Bridges, “Sweeter (feat. Terrace Martin)”
  • Jorja Smith, “Rose Rouge”
  • Terrace Martin, “Pig Feet” (feat. Denzel Curry, Daylyt, Kamasi Washington & G Perico)
  • Jenny Lin, “Mad Rush (Philip Glass)”
Added May 28
  • Gabriel Garzón-Montano, “Someone”
  • Shirley Collins, “Wondrous Love”
Added May 26
  • Whitney, “Take Me Home, Country Roads (feat. Waxahatchee)”
  • Natalia Lafourcade, El Balajú / Serenata Huasteca (feat. Los Cojolites)”
  • Land of Talk, “Diaphanous”
  • Gunna, “MET GALA”
Added May 21
  • Carly Rae Jepsen, “This Is What They Say”
  • The Weeknd, “In Your Eyes (with Doja Cat) (Remix)”
  • David Krakauer & Kathleen Tagg, “The Geyser”
Added May 20
  • Jason Molina, “Shadow Answers the Wall”
  • Kathleen Edwards, “Options Open”
  • Future, “Touch the Sky”
  • Matt Berninger, “Serpentine Prison”
  • Julianna Barwick, “Inspirit”
Added May 19
  • Lavender Diamond, “Look Through the Window”
  • Fusilier, “Upstream”
  • Ben Shemie, “Ties That Bind”
Added May 15
  • Perfume Genius, “Nothing At All”
  • Caribou, “Never Come Back (Four Tet Remix)”
  • Charli XCX, “anthems”
  • MAITA, “I’m Afraid of Everything”
  • Neil Young, “Try”
Added May 14
  • Deante’ Hitchcock, “I Remember”
  • Keaton Henson, “Career Day”
  • Pantayo, “V V V (They Lie)”
  • Starflyer 59, “This Recliner”
Added May 7
  • Fontaines D.C., “A Hero’s Death”
  • Jessy Lanza, “Face”
Added May 5
  • Lianne La Havas, “Paper Thin”
  • Becca Mancari, “First Time”
  • Luka Kuplowsky, “There’s a Rugged Road (Judee Sill cover)”
  • Jonah Yano, “shoes (feat. Tatsuya Muraoka)”
Added May 1
  • Megan Thee Stallion, “Savage Remix (feat. Beyoncé)”
  • serpentwithfeet, “Psychic”
  • I’m Glad It’s You, “Silent Ceremony”
  • Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Aymee Nuviola, “Azúcar Pa’ Tu Café (feat. Cimafunk)”
  • Megan McCormick, “Human Condition”
Added April 27
  • Khruangbin, “Time (You and I)”
  • Alan y Roberto, “El Corrido del Coronavirus”
  • Sheku Khanneh-Mason, “Melody”
  • Field Medic, “-h-o-u-s-e-k-e-y-z-“
  • Brendan Benson, “I Can If You Want Me To”
Added April 24
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, “Dreamsicle”
  • Kali Uchis, “Angel”
  • Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes, “Nightrider (feat. Freddie Gibbs)”
  • Super Mama Djombo, “Dissan Na M´bera (Suur Di No Pubis) (Daniel Haaksman Edit)”
Added April 23
  • Jónsi, “Exhale”
  • iLe & Natalia Lafourcade, “En Cantos”
  • Sondre Lerche, “Why Would I Let You Go”
  • El Shirota, “La Ciudad”
Added April 21
  • Low Cut Connie, “Private Lives”
  • Lara Downes, “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child”
  • Nick Hakim, “CRUMPY”
  • Ab-Soul, “Dangerookipawaa Freestyle”
Added April 20
  • Shelby Lynne, “My Mind’s Riot”
  • Gina Chavez, “Ella”
Added April 17
  • Fiona Apple, “Relay”
  • Westside Gunn, “George Bondo (feat. Conway The Machine & Benny The Butcher)”
  • Faye Webster, “In a Good Way”
  • Bishop Nehru, “MEATHEAD (feat. MF Doom)”
  • Die Wilde Jagd, “Himmelfahrten”
Added April 16
  • Playboi Carti, “@ MEH”
  • Little Kid, “Thief on the Cross”
  • Forever Honey, “Twenty-Five”
Added April 15
  • Ela Minus, “they told us it was hard, but they were wrong.”
  • Retirement Party, “Runaway Dog”
  • Caroline Shaw, “The Listeners: Sail Through This to That”
Added APRIL 14
  • Ruston Kelly, “Brave”
  • Discovery Zone, “Blissful Morning Dream Interpretation Melody”
  • Lou Turner, “Solar Eclipse”
Added april 13
  • Watkins Family Hour, “Keep It Clean”
  • Nate Smith, “Signs of Life: Secret Agents of Weathering”
Added April 10
  • Phoebe Bridgers, “Kyoto”
  • Hamilton Leithauser, “The Garbage Man”
  • Nine Inch Nails, “Still Right Here”
  • Jackie Lynn, “Dream St.”
  • DJ Python, “mmmm”
Added April 8
  • The Beths, “Dying to Believe”
  • IsisxOro5, “Eyes on the City”
  • Avishai Cohen and Big Vicious, “Teardrop (Massive Attack Cover)”
Added April 7
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, “Only Children”
  • Dua Lipa, “Break My Heart”
  • Perfume Genius, “On the Floor”
  • Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, “Phenom”
  • J Balvin, “Amarillo”
  • Run The Jewels, “Ooh LA LA (feat. Greg Nice & DJ Premier)”
  • Mac Miller, “Right”
  • Nick Hakim, “QADIR”
  • dvsn, “Between Us (feat. Snoh Aalegra)”
  • Kllo, “Still Here”
  • Laura Marling, “Held Down”
  • Fenne Lily, “Hypochondriac”
  • Lilly Hiatt, “P-Town”
  • Ramin Djawadi, “Wicked Games”
  • Sam Doores, “Other Side of Town”
  • Sam Hunt, “2016”
  • Old Crow Medicine Show, “Nashville Rising”
  • Waxahatchee, “Can’t Do Much”
  • Clem Snide, “Denial”
  • Jorge Drexler, “Codo Con Codo”
  • Bonnie “Prince” Billy & Matt Sweeney, “You’ll Get Eaten, Too”
  • Nana Grizol, “Future Version”
  • Cosmit, “Rolling Sea”
  • Becca Mancari, “Hunter”
  • Ben Lukas Boysen, “Clarion”
  • Ada Lea, “perfect world”
  • Yaeji, “WAKING UP DOWN”
  • Thundercat, “Fair Chance (feat. Ty Dolla $ign & Lil B)”
  • LASTMONDAY, “Audemars”
  • Brooklyn Rider, Reena Esmail: “Zeher (Poison)”
  • TOKiMONSTA, “Come and Go”
  • Ceci Bastida, “En Las Noches”
  • Yves Tumor, “Romanticist / Dream Palette”
  • dumama + kechou, “mother time”
  • Hiroshi Yoshimura, “CREEK”
  • Jerry Paper, “Puppeteer”
  • Protomartyr, “Processed By The Boys”
  • Kelsea Ballerini, “Half of My Hometown (feat. Kenny Chesney)”
  • Bob Dylan, “Murder Most Foul”
  • Ashley McBryde, “Hang In There Girl”
  • Jessie Reyez, “DEAF (who are you)”
  • Hideto Sasaki, “Little B’s Poem”
  • Lakecia Benjamin, “Acknowledgement (feat. Dee Dee Bridgewater and The Last Poets)”
  • NNAMDÏ, “Salut”
  • Childish Gambino, “12.38”
  • Pearl Jam, “Quick Escape”
  • Shabazz Palaces, “Chocolate Souffle”
  • Shabaka and the Ancestors, “The Coming Of The Strange Ones”
  • Knxwledge, “itkanbe[sonice]”
  • Octavian, “Papi Chulo”
  • Bicep, “Atlas”
  • Midwife, “S.W.I.M.”
  • Clarice Jensen, “Holy Mother”
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