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Top 10 MP3s of the Week (6/14)

on June 14, 2013, 12:00am
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cassettes Top 10 MP3s of the Week (6/14)

Although the week was far more exciting for reunions and festival news, we still rummaged up enough new tracks to put together this week’s Top 10 MP3s of the Week.

10. The Cairo Gang – “Take Your Time”

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Often known for backing Bonnie “Prince” Billy, The Cairo Gang have the chops to stand out on their own. To prove that, the group is set to release their latest in what has been a string of great LPs, in the form of Tiny Rebels. Early track “Take Your Time” plays out like Woods hanging out with the Beatles in a sun-dappled field, crackling psych-folk melting with classic harmonies and bubbling melody. Frontman Emmett Kelly weaves his vocals in and out of the bright, goopy goodness, warmly insisting that he’s trying to find something “close to me, but much closer to you.” Tiny Rebels is due July 23rd via Empty Cellar. -Adam Kivel

9. Ryan Power – “New Attitude”

ryan Top 10 MP3s of the Week (6/14)

Ryan Power’s ballad “New Attitude” revisits the warm synth tones of Air’s Moon Safari, the perfect tools to create a pillow-y backdrop for his croon. Things get steamy: “Pull our drawers down on the floor/ Begin to explore the natural life.” This is bedroom music, and Power’s David Sylvian-esque voice is ideal for such eroticism. The track will be included on forthcoming LP, Identity Picks, out July 25th via NNA Tapes. -Jon Hadusek


8. Wise Blood – “Alarm”

Wise Blood

Christopher Laufman gives himself a preemptive round of applause to open the dizzying “Alarm”, a bold move that luckily pays off. Inclusion of all that hoorah-ing in a lesser track wouldn’t be cool, but the latest track from Laufman’s Wise Blood project builds to a whirling, humming, carnivalesque high that deserves some applause. After building on a ceaseless whine and pounding piano chord progression, the inclusion of honking clarinet and other wind instruments opens the door into deeper caverns. Laufman’s muffled hope that “keeping my fingers crossed/ will get me out of this place” croaks out of the depths, sounding like he’s had enough time down there to be familiar, but not comfortable. “Alarm” is the latest sample of Wise Blood’s debut album, Id, due June 25th via Dovecote Records. -Adam Kivel


7. Modern Hut – “History”

modhut Top 10 MP3s of the Week (6/14)

Modern Hut’s Joe Steinhardt wasn’t blessed with a beautiful voice; his singing is a nonchalant, half-spoken drawl. Wisely, Steinhardt writes songs with his limited skill-set in mind, focusing on poignant lyrics rather than complex melodies and musical frills. “History” is a good example of his style: ramshackle folk-punk that’s painfully aware of the deficiencies in modern culture (particularly the pervasion of consumerism and the death of romanticism). “They were writing their own history/ Nothing was left to mystery,” he sings. “Everything was planned/ And it all felt like a scam.” Modern Hut’s debut LP,Generic Treasure, drops on August 8th via Don Giovanni. -Jon Hadusek


6. Neko Case – “Man”

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New Pornographer Neko Case is set to return with her first solo disc in four years, and the rugged, bruising “Man” is our first preview. The tune rumbles through the brush on a Western tinged gallop, all the while insisting lyrically on agency and power (albeit in sly, gendered noun quippery): “I’m a man/ As in citizen of mankind/ It’s what kind of animal I am/ It’s that simple, oh.” M. Ward contributes guitar to the track, and the slick interplay between slippery leads and choppy backing chords propels things sweetly. “Man” is taken from the Apple-challengingly titled The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You, due September 3rd via ANTI-. -Adam Kivel

5. ScHoolBoy Q feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Collard Greens”

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For being Black Hippy brethren, ScHoolBoy Q and Kendrick Lamar don’t collaborate nearly enough. “Collard Greens” is a rare joint venture—from the former’s upcoming LP, Oxymoron—and sees the duo in top form (no surprise), rhyming over the bounce of a club-ready beat. Q opens the track with about 50 drug references before getting all pornographic: “Click my link and spread your buns/ Lose your denim, make it numb.” Kendrick’s verse is less explicit, but no less entertaining, full of punchlines and linguistic-defying wordplay (“I am more than a man, I’m a god/ Bitch touché, en garde”). -Jon Hadusek

4. Washed Out – “It All Feels Alright”

washed out paracosm

Earnest Greene, aka Washed Out, goes grandiose on “It All Feels Alright”, the lead single from his sophomore album, Paracosm (out August 13th via Sub Pop). Over 50 instruments were used to record the album, a good deal of which can be heard here. An auto-harp and sitar peak through the blissful arrangement as Greene waxes optimistic, singing about warm weather, weekends, and how everything “feels alright.” Put this one on your summer playlist. -Jon Hadusek

3. No Age – “C’mon Stimmung”

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So, the title for the new track from No Age might be the world’s first half-Pixies/half-Karlheinz Stockhausen reference. Or maybe I’ve just spun Come On Pilgrim too many times and forgotten that stimmung can just be a term for musical atmosphere. But regardless, the song still rocks pretty damn hard. The Los Angeles duo run through the grungy gauntlet on “C’mon Stimmung”, Randy Randall’s barely tonal squall filling in for a guitar solo, Dean Spunt’s maniacally straight-ahead pounding never flinching. “And you wouldn’t believe your eyes/ That I’m still alive,” Spunt sneers, burrowing his very existence into your veins. This and ten other tracks make up No Age’s upcoming An Object, due August 20th via Sub Pop. -Adam Kivel

2. Serengeti – “Crush Em”

serengeti Top 10 MP3s of the Week (6/14)

Chicago emcee Serengeti literally has split personalities. He’ll drop an album under his project proper, sharing anecdotes from his personal life, and then for his next release, he’ll become alter-ego Kenny Dennis: a loveable 50-year-old rapper who drinks O’Douls and reminiscences about Chicago sports and hip-hop’s golden age. “Crush Em”—the lead single from the forthcoming Kenny Dennis LP (out June 25th via Anticon)—is a series of non-sequiturs and vignettes from Dennis’ fictional life. One verse, for example, depicts a hearty breakfast with friends (“Late breakfast, eggs, bacon/ Tommy drink coffee, Kelly drink tea, Craig eat carrots”), while in the next they’re all playing basketball (“Five-on-five, Kelly’s in the low post, Craig and Tommy on the perimeter, Gino on Nico, cherry pick on defense”). That might sound uneventful, but there’s humanity to Serengeti’s words. He never glorifies this Kenny Dennis character; rather, we see him for what he is: a regular guy clinging to nostalgia and the simple things in life. It’s pretty damn charming. -Jon Hadusek

1. Speedy Ortiz – “No Below”

speedyortiz Top 10 MP3s of the Week (6/14)

Everything is set up to get a depressed reaction off of “No Below”, the latest from Massachusetts’ Speedy Ortiz. Sadie Dupuis has shown some negative emotions in the past, but this one features the line “I was better off as being dead” repeated over slope-shouldered guitar and lumbering percussion. But, pay closer attention and you’ll find the line sandwiched between “true I once said” and “but I didn’t know you yet.” The song succinctly and hauntingly chronicles the creeping tendrils of depression, as well as the light at the end of the tunnel: “I’m glad for it all/ if it got us where we are.” -Adam Kivel

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