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Top mp3s of the Week (8/30)

on August 31, 2012, 12:02am
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mp3s 4 e1333124415256 Top mp3s of the Week (8/30)

“You are the music while the music lasts.” -T.S. Eliot

Converge – “Aimless Arrow”

convergecover Top mp3s of the Week (8/30)

When deconstructed, “Aimless Arrow” offers nothing to cling to. The drumming is manic, the guitars are insane, and frontman Jacob Bannon loses himself in his own angst. But Converge somehow tame this chaos into a metalcore assault that’s as direct as it is convulsive. Bannon is in full tantrum mode. His condition escalates, and by the end of the song, he’s growling not unlike a death metal vocalist. “Aimless Arrow” is the lead single from Converge’s upcoming album, All We Love We Leave Behind, out October 9th via Epitaph Records. –Jon Hadusek

Departures – “Pillars”

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Seething guitars and danceable beats are focused into a locked groove on “Pillars”, the lead single from Manitoba post-punkers Departures‘ debut album Still and Moving Lines (out on October 10th via Borana). The track builds and climbs until it reaches escape velocity. A typical rookie band would end the song here, but Departures leave a single guitar behind. It flickers, exposed, then fades out. –Jon Hadusek

Departures – “Pillars”

Dosh – “From the House of Caesar”

 Top mp3s of the Week (8/30)

Graveface Records survived the flooded destruction of a good deal of their record stock thanks to the kindness of friends, and now Ryan Graveface is paying it forward with a Charity Subscription Series in which his musically inclined pals pick out charities to support with the sales of their singles. Multi-instrumental wizard Dosh (who at times dazzles by backing Andrew Bird on drums and synth simultaneously) contributed the river rapids of “From the House of Caesar” to the project, and the building buzz of looped synths cheerily entrances. This song is blearily saccharine and heart-pumping enough that we won’t tell if you’re equally as interested in getting the single as you are contributing to charity. –Adam Kivel

Ben Gibbard – “Teardrop Windows”

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A calm Ben Gibbard kicks back on “Teardrop Windows”, a jangly tune off of his debut solo album Former Lives (out on October 16th via Barsuk). It’s a gentle, unassuming track, but not a lazy one. Vocally, the Death Cab for Cutie frontman rides the pits and valleys of his arpeggio picking, twisting the melody around his guitar. While it doesn’t necessarily show a new side of the familiar songwriter, “Teardrop Windows” exists in a safe spot between the folk-pop of the Byrds and Gibbard’s Death Cab output. –Jon Hadusek

Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch – “Sweet Nothing”

sweet nothing Top mp3s of the Week (8/30)

Scottish producer Calvin Harris teams with Florence Welch (she of Florence and the Machine) on “Sweet Nothing”, the latest track from Harris’ upcoming LP 18 Months (out on October 29th). It’s his track (complete with bouncing synths and a club-ready beat), but Welch dominates it, naturally. Her strong vocal range is suited for electronica, and she sounds comfortable amid the pulsing thumps. On paper, the chorus is weak (“I’m living on such sweet nothing/but I’m tired of hope with nothing to hold”), but Welch sings like she means it, giving the words weight. –Jon Hadusek

James Iha – “Speed of Love”

 Top mp3s of the Week (8/30)

Former Smashing Pumpkin James Iha took 14 years to follow his first solo album, but the lead single “Speed of Love” suggests that Look to the Sky (due September 18th via EMI) was worth the wait for those that’ll never let go of “Take Me Down”. The sugary track finds Iha’s sweetly crooned melancholia (“we’re traveling at the speed of love/ and sooner or later we’ll be crashing”) washing over dreamy acoustic guitar and cinematic synths. This is a slice of purely realized power pop, free of pretense. Steam it now at Paste. –Adam Kivel

Mount Eerie – “I Walked Home Beholding”

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“The world is frozen/ I left the studio/night had fallen/the storm had cleared/the whole town had been abandoned/except for me,” Phil Elverum whispers to begin the new Mount Eerie track “I Walked Home Beholding”, a dramatic loneliness and naturalism that few (if any) other vocalists could pull off believably. The snap-along noir blur that follows sounds pretty “Twin Peaks”y, a natural fit considering both products’ setting in Washington towns, the dark forests audibly surrounding. Taken from his second LP of the year, Ocean Roar (due September 4th from his own P.W. Elverum & Sun), the song manages to make “drifting in a changing world, alone” a palpable feeling rather than a cliche. –Adam Kivel

Supreme Cuts & Haleek Maul – “M00N”

 Top mp3s of the Week (8/30)

While Chief Keef and the drill scene may dominate the headlines, there’s a varied crop of Chicago hip hop on the rise, and production duo Supreme Cuts are looking to make the next big splash. Collaborating with Barbadian rapper Haleek Maul for a bruising spookhouse of a mixtape called Chrome Lips seems to be doing the trick (it doesn’t hurt that the trio got verses from the likes of Main Attraktionz and Kool A.D. to round things out). On “M00N”, a twisted sample of King Crimson’s “Moonchild” (of all things!), howls, and a snappy beat back Maul’s haunted lines. “Murky incense, let me strip you of your innocence,” he sneers before getting to the “reflection of my sin.” This is some rolling fog and huge moon stuff, dense and eerie. –Adam Kivel

Why? – “Jonathan’s Hope”

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The twinkly fairy tale opening on “Jonathan’s Hope” sets the inherent contrasts in Why?: there’s the sugary musical wizardry of harps and cooing harmonies paired with Yoni Wolf’s repetitions of “good God, what the hell, what the fuck?”, and also the chock-a-block beatsmithing of glockenspiel, claves, and whistling under his laconic singing. The first track from the upcoming Mumps, Etc. (due October 9th via Anticon/City Slang), the cut is a combination of the paradoxes that somehow make Why? an cheeky, smart burst of fun. –Adam Kivel

Wickerbird – “Tripoli”

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At the foot of Mt. Rainer, in a trailer, Blake Cowan became Wickerbird. What else would one do in such a desolate setting, except craft ambient folk songs? On “Tripoli”, the mountain air becomes lo-fi crackle—a canvas for Cowan’s self-harmonizing. Layered in multiples, his vocals have a Gregorian density that dwarfs the tiny acoustic accompaniment. “And my God, I fear what we were sent for,” he sings amidst duplicates of himself. Wickerbird’s debut, The Crow Mother, comes out on September 25th. –Jon Hadusek

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