Summer is in full swing – you’re sleeping with the fan on, you’re frequenting your local 7/11 for your Slurpee fix, you’re making a stop down at the public pool every time you get a chance, but most importantly you’re making summer playlists. The songs you choose to spin during this time of year have the power to subliminally make or break your summer. So we advise you choose wisely. And, as always, here’s our weekly two cents that will hopefully help to guide you as you make these crucial decisions. -Winston Robbins
Bon Iver – “Come Talk To Me” (Peter Gabriel cover)
This is the year of Bon Iver. His album exceeded expectations that were already incredibly high, he pulled an earth-shattering Bonnie Raitt cover out of left field on live television, hell, the man even earned himself his own Milwaukee holiday (today, incidentally) celebrating his career. So, it should come as no surprise that this cover of Peter Gabriels Come Talk To Me is inspired. Initially only a RSD release, this one will be the B-side to the Bon Iver track “Holocene”.
DOOMSTARKS Victory Laps (Madvillainz Remix)
I’ve played DangerDoom’s “The Mask” so much my iTunes asks me “Are you sure you want to play this track again?” every time I double check. Looks like I got a new Doom/Ghostface track to wear out. The timbre of their voices couldn’t be more disparate and isn’t that the best part? Doom sets it up and Ghostface knocks it down.
Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down”
Dee Dee, the voice in front of Dum Dum Girls, is showing her love for Mazzy Star here. If Slowdive covered “Fade Into You”, that’s the kind of game this song is playing. Dee Dee goes off the charts on the bridge with her goosebumps-inducing note when she wails, “There I go.” Even though it stretches to six-and-a-half minutes, it’s a well-earned gaze-laden song that will squeeze out what’s left of that raisin you call a heart.
Flying Lotus – “Lullaby”
Steven Ellisons been a busy boy. Whether it was remixing Radiohead, dropping a two hour long mixtape, or showing off his impressive live guns virtually everywhere, FlyLos shown no lack of work ethic. The saga continues with Lullaby, one of two tracks he released out of the blue. No word on whether its shaping up for a new album or official release, but we dont mind the ambiguity when the musics this good.
Girls – “Vomit”
Girls are always chasing after simplicity. When they capture it, such as they do on Vomit, its clear few can write a better heartsick love song than Girls. _______ is just looking for love in all the wrong places, so it seems, and his laments only slip above a whisper when he insists hes spinning round and round and down and down before a painful guitar solo squeezes out. It rolls on, shifting gears and speaking clearly the way a classic pop song should. Just like Dum Dum Girls Coming Down, Girls execute every second of its time wisely here, all the way into the Great Gig In The Sky ending.
Kanye West + Jay-Z – “Otis”
You knew it was coming – wed have to mention this thing even if it were a poorly constructed spoken word track about the ethics of bariatric surgery, simply because, well, they’re Ye and Jigga. Fortunately, Otis is not a spoken word track and had nothing to do with treating obesity. In fact, it may just become the crowning anthem to your summer – or, at least just this month. Sampling the absolutely legendary Otis Redding, Jay-Z and Kanye West showcase the first official cut from their forthcoming LP, Watch The Throne. This thing sucks you right in and doesnt let you go for the entirety of its all-too-short three minutes. Continue to Watch The Throne.
M83 – “Midnight City”
If you ever needed a song to cradle you while you conquer the world, I think M83 would be the perfect pick. Synth pop is usually welcome in my book, but M83’s shoegaze tendencies make for a perfect blend. It’s interesting to have M83 back on the scene with this track, especially since the rise of the soft-spoken vocal delivery of the chillwave genre has come into vogue since his last album in 2008. It’s too early to say that this track is the best of 2011, but to me this track defines with superiority the pulse of music in 2011. If you don’t believe me, there’s even a saxophone solo!
St. Vincent – “Surgeon”
I guess we have the whole of the Twitter universe to thank for this one being on the list. After a unique campaign to “unlock” the track, turns out St. Vincent fans and casual re-tweeters wanted this track enough. Annie Clark slithers out the the words, “Best find a surgeon/come cut me open,” and it looks like she’s not working with GarageBand anymore. That synth solo is straight out of a Zappa jam at the end, and everything sounds raw, less polished, and a bit like early Tori Amos. I wait with bated breath for the next taste.
VHS or Beta – ” Breaking Bones”
Lead single from VHS or Betas long-delayed follow-up to 2007s Bring on the Comets, is so jauntily pleasurable, you might forget where you are for a minute or two. The dance-punk duo delve deep into the world of disco for this cut. This album might help to ease the everlasting pain that LCD Soundsystem is retired. Who are we kidding? Nothing will ever do that except a reunion tour. But this track and the ensuing album will help tide you over til then.
Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Curren$y – “O.T.T.R. (Off To The Races)”
Guest heavy would be an understatement for this collaboration. Dream team would be a better phrase. Allegedly from a mysterious, yet-to-be-named mixtape involving all three MCs, O.T.T.R. (Off To The Races) is exactly what youd expect from the three skunk stalwarts. Smooth, catchy, and full of drug paraphernalia.