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Top 10 MP3s of the Week (5/24)

on May 24, 2013, 12:00am
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cassettes Top 10 MP3s of the Week (5/24)

Looking for a Memorial Day playlist? It might not get better than this. Then again, if you’re planning on spinning nothing but Marvin Gaye and Billy Joel at your weekend BBQ, well, we can’t really argue otherwise. Regardless, you’ll find sometime to squeeze this in.

10. Human Human – “Forest”

humanhuman1 Top 10 MP3s of the Week (5/24)

Not to be confused with the too-gender-specific Man Man, Montreal’s Human Human produce epic indie rock of the type that has the dizzying energy that can only be generated by a double-mortal entity. “Forest” is the latest example of that loping pulse, opening on an Andrew Bird-esque pastoral, only to dive deeply into the mirror-pool beauty, rich strings and dense electric guitar dreamily rippling from the point of impact. Every line drips with emotional resonance (“My heart beats so fast / I feel yours too”), the song an encapsulated shot of new love. “Forest” is an early taste of Human Human’s debut self-titled EP due May 28th. -Adam Kivel

9. Earl Sweatshirt feat. Mac Miller – “Guild”

earl2-coachella2013-maider (Custom)

Describing Earl Sweatshirt’s latest single, “Guild”, is difficult. He lays down a dissonant beat that pulses uncomfortably; the bass and snares sound disheveled and purposefully off. Still, Earl latches on with an equally off-kilter flow. Collaborator Mac Miller takes the opening verses, while Sweatshirt closes it out, rapping with his vocals turned down an octave: “Wolfgang, bitch, like you know these paws.” “Guild” will be included on Earl’s debut album, Doris (which still doesn’t have a release date). -Jon Hadusek

8. Nate Young – “When Nothing Works”

nateyoung Top 10 MP3s of the Week (5/24)

If you’re not getting enough eerie noise from genre pillar Wolf Eyes, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist/maniac Nate Young is here with some bonus material in the form of a solo LP. Early sample “When Nothing Works” plays out like a minimalist soundtrack to a film about a haunted robot battling spider aliens, probably in hell or something, distorted versions of what might be Young’s voice swimming in and out of burbling percussive noise and screeching high-end synth. A five-minute creepfest, the tune builds and fades repeatedly, denying any hope that things might just get better. “When Nothing Works” is taken from Young’s upcoming NNA Tapes release Blinding Confusion, due June 25th. -Adam Kivel

7. Candy Claws – “Transitional Bird (Clever Girl)”

candyclaws Top 10 MP3s of the Week (5/24)

Though that parenthetical had me entirely ready for some sort of velociraptor-y goodness, the glittery shoegaze provided by Colorado’s Candy Claws does anything but disappoint. Like floating on cotton candy down a Slurpee river, or better yet like a blissed-out early Animal Collective jam, the tune slips into the breezy nostalgia tubes lodged deep in your brain and engages every buoyant, euphoric receptor you’ve got. While Ryan Hover’s vocals float pretty far out in the reverberated clouds, bubblegum bursts of percussion and swooping bass lines cut through the saccharine synth ether to meet him. “Transitional Bird (Clever Girl)” is the first taste of Candy Claws’ June 25th twosyllable LP, Ceres & Calypso In The Deep Time. -Adam Kivel

6. Cold Cave – “Black Boots”

cold cave black boots

If you read our recent interview with Cold Cave’s Wesley Eislold, you might’ve gathered that he’s a somewhat dour, emotional guy. Fitting that he’d write a chilling song like “Black Boots”, the A-side of Cold Cave’s new 7″. An old-school drum machine snaps and cracks as Eislold croons through goopy amounts of delay. It’s hard to understand his exact words, though the few that are discernible paint a bleak picture reminiscent of ’80s post-punk acts like Joy Division and Magazine. -Jon Hadusek


5. Smith Westerns – “3am Spiritual”

softwill Top 10 MP3s of the Week (5/24)

Compared to their previous single — the excellent “Varsity” — Smith Western’s latest track, “3am Spiritual”, is a far more subdued affair. The band carries a drifting piano ballad through the song’s first half, layering additional backing tracks and instrumentation with each measure. Finally, it swells into a crescendo before bursting when frontman Cullen Omori reaches this couplet: “You don’t look like you used to be / You don’t look like you did on TV.” Smith Westerns circle back to the track’s quiet intro, leaving only a solo piano and Omori’s voice. The Chicago quartet’s forthcoming LP, Soft Will (out June 25th via Mom + Pop), is shaping up to be the pop album of the summer.-Jon Hadusek

4. Diarrhea Planet – “Separations”

diarrhea richcover Top 10 MP3s of the Week (5/24)

For the record, “Separations” isn’t on this list because Diarrhea Planet is a serious favorite of both Patrick Stickles and Consequence of Sound CEO Alex YoungNo, the song made the cut because it’s a damn fine slice of manic garage balladry, a song that manages to incorporate the phrase “quit your bitching,” cement mixer bass, and shivering guitar solos, all while still sounding somewhat mellow. Taken from the Nashville outfit’s upcoming sophomore LP, I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams (due sometime this summer via Infinity Cat), the whole band seems to shout along the lyrics to this extra riffy tune, meaning it’s totally fine for you to follow suit. -Adam Kivel

3. Boards of Canada – “Reach for the Dead”

Boards of Canada Tomorrow's Harvest

Boards of Canada have been pretty cryptic lately, sending fans through all kinds of ARG-esque hoops in order to hear new music. Not so with “Reach for the Dead”, the lead single from the duo’s forthcoming album, Tomorrow’s Harvest. A perfectly paced piece of ambient techno, “Reach” builds upon a danceable breakbeat as sci-fi synths weave a subtle melody in the background. It’s moody and atmospheric: a fine addition to Boards of Canada’s already legendary discography. -Jon Hadusek

2. Deafheaven – “Sunbather”

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Each extra dose of Deafheaven’s magnificent Sunbather seems to further establish the band as something more than the sum of their genre parts, and the album’s title track is no exception. Sure, George Clarke’s black-metal howl places things in a certain context, but what about that huge post-rock build and release? And the grand washes of guitar suggest a certain majestic pomp, but then the double-kicked drum onslaught busts things into an undeniable fist-pumping Valhalla. The 10 minutes of “Sunbather” spill out of the speakers like an epic poem, the lines between the terrifying Grendel and the heroic Beowulf sublimely blurred. -Adam Kivel

1. Glass Candy – “Warm in the Winter”

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Johnny Jewel (of Chromatics) has a vision for his label, Italians Do It Better. It’s one of nostalgia and vintage analogue synthesizers, which makes the label an ideal home for Glass Candy. The ascending/descending keyboard scales during the intro to “Warm in the Winter” (an old track that’s being revived for the After Dark 2 compilation) could’ve worked in a Chromatics song; however, vocalist Ida No quickly claims the track as her own. She’s a confident singer, and here, No wields a strong falsetto. “We love you,” she shouts during the refrain. Definitely the most cheerful selection in this week’s countdown. -Jon Hadusek

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