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Top Songs of the Week (6/5)

on June 05, 2015, 11:45am
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Someone lit a real fire underneath the authors of this week’s Top Songs. Whether it’s Jay Rock mourning fallen friends, metal shredder Matt Pike and High on Fire continuing to scorch, or indie punks Nopes turning their guitars to 11 in the garage, things got a little aggressive this week. But, of course, there’s always that delicate interplay between extremes, and the smooth seduction of The Internet and beautiful electronics of CFCF balance things out perfectly.

10. Hag Face – “Rip It”

Hag Face

Hag Face comes from Calgary, Alberta, with a name that sounds like an insult but gets worn with pride. The foursome have songs with titles like “Psycho Bitch” in their catalog, which they scream like you’re daring them to prove how well it fits. “Rip It” is another crazed deconstruction of a two-word phrase, except this time Hag Face gets even more minimal. Don’t worry about the lyrics; you’ve already read the only discernible ones in full. The song lets the band flex its shrieks over a base of queasy back beats, changing tempos at will until the last ounce of viscera has oozed out of those two words. “Rip It” comes from Hag Face’s split 7-inch with Babysitter, due July 30th from Pleasance and Resurrection. –Sasha Geffen

9. CFCF – “The Ruined Map”

CFCF The ruined Map

Michael Silver’s existence as an electronic producer has been colored by acoustic experimentation, and “The Ruined Map”, from his next album as CFCF, practically channels Sufjan Stevens’ guy-plus-guitar pensiveness on Carrie & Lowell. The combination of Silver’s warm voice and the central acoustic guitar almost brings it into pastoral singer-songwriter territory. In the end, the story here lies not in the lyrics Silver sings, but rather in the sonics, the track pushing forward with a shimmer that suggests the new album, Radiance and Submission, might be the most beautifully recorded CFCF release yet. It’s out July 31st via Driftless Recordings. –Michael Madden

8. Nervosas – “Night Room”


When you think punk, the first city you think of probably isn’t Columbus, Ohio. But Nervosas are out to change your mind. The self-professed “dark-punk” trio cast a large shadow in their hometown, and that’s exactly how they like it: shadowy. “Night Room”, the lead single from their upcoming self-titled album, hits that goth-y intersection of The Cure and Wipers that just begs for a listen while walking down a moonlit street. Vocalist Jeff Kleinman digs his teeth into the dramatic tune, and Mickey Mocnik’s guitar needles around a combustive rhythm. “A place to be alone/ Forever changing in this night room,” Kleinman moans as the song draws to a hazy conclusion, the trio ready to wander back out into the Columbus dusk. You’ll be able to get “Night Room” and the rest of Nervosas on July 10th via Dirtnap. –Adam Kivel

7. Beirut – “No No No”

beirut Top Songs of the Week (6/5)

It’s good to hear the return of Zach Condon’s voice, a singular instrument in indie, missing in action for too long prior to “No No No”. The song, the title track of Beirut’s forthcoming follow-up to 2011’s The Rip Tide, is boosted by horns, but it feels like a tease regardless of any textural boldness, not quite three minutes in length and the extent of the lyrics being as follows: “Don’t know the first thing about who you are/ My heart is waiting, taken in from the start/ If we don’t go now, we won’t get very far.” Having found lasting romance with a Turkish woman following a physical and mental breakdown in 2013, Condon sounds recharged and enamored with the possibilities life holds. No No No is out September 11th via 4AD. –Michael Madden

6. Dux Content – “Snow Globe”

Dux Content Snow Globe

London netlabel PC Music is in a constant state of flux, and Dux Content is only the latest ambiguously named collaboration to bubble up. The collective’s central figure, A.G. Cook, teams up with lesser-known name Danny L Harle for “Snow Globe”, a new track that starts off as innocently as a Christmas carol and finishes by shattering all over the cliches it invokes. “Take me all the way to the edge of the sky,” sings an anonymous vocalist, while square-wave synths blare against crystalline trills. “We can’t go home/ It’s clear we’ve got no more time to take it slow,” the voice sings. “We’ll be just like the rain when we fall together.” “Snow Globe” is a Disney-fied horror, like a deep cut from Frozen with all its edges peeling back to reveal the nightmare underneath. –Sasha Geffen

5. Nopes – “Jingle Berries”

Nopes Nectar of the Dogs

The Bay Area’s well of great scuzzy garage rock never seems to run dry. Add to the list of Thee Oh Sees, Mikal Cronin, Ty Segall, et al, young Oaklanders Nopes. The quartet is about to release their debut EP, the excellently cover-ed Nectar of the Dogs, and “Jingle Berries” gives an early taste of their Warheads candy formula: lo-fi sourness on the outside, pure melodic sugar underneath. Sure, the vocals are shouted and the guitars are cranked in the red, but through that burns a core of bop-along warmth. The five-song Nectar of the Dogs will be available on June 16th via Magnetic Eye Records. –Adam Kivel

4. Lil Wayne – “Glory”

Photo by Philip Cosores

“Glory”, the first single from Lil Wayne’s upcoming Free Weezy Album, gives permission to breathe a sigh of relief after the rest of Wayne’s 2015 so far, which has been marked by some strong music but also continued label woes and Young Thug’s strange Weezy worship/disrespect. Naturally, then, the beat here, a gospel-sampling whirlwind, sounds like a lot of drama, and Wayne attacks it with the fiery determination we should expect from a guy who knows he’s fighting an uphill battle after years of less-than-legendary material. No adlibs, no chorus, but the energy of his flow — which he uses to unflinchingly reference the Boston Bruins, Warren Beatty in Dick Tracy, and whatever else he feels like mentioning in the moment — is as addicting as any hook might’ve been. “Glory” was premiered exclusively on TIDAL. You can also hear it at LilWayneHQ–Michael Madden

3. High on Fire – “The Sunless Years”

High on Fire Luminiferous

Out June 16th via Entertainment One, The Sunless Years teams two of alt metal’s most respected shredders. At the helm of Oakland three-piece High on Fire is Matt Pike, founder of influential doom metal outfit Sleep. Further contorting “The Sunless Years” raw riffs is Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, who serves as producer for the entirety of the album. Marking this frantic sludge metal interplay is a twisted narrative of an inspiring acid trip — although, dropping some LSD to this track might elicit some demented projections. Creeping through the murk for over four minutes, the track crescendos into a relatively optimistic closing stanza — Pike and co. surviving this bleak era. –Derek Staples

2. The Internet – “Special Affair”

The Internet Ego Death

Odd Future as we knew it may be no more, but that doesn’t mean the notorious LA collective won’t be churning out more music through its various sub-projects. We got a new track from The Internet this week, our first taste of the forthcoming Ego Death LP from Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians. Ego Death looks to be a star-studded affair, with guest spots from Janelle Monáe, Tyler, the Creator, Vic Mensa, and more, but “Special Affair” keeps things relatively minimal. It’s a slow, seductive affair with a wandering bass line at its core. “Fuck what’s in your phone/ Let me take you home,” sings Syd. “Girl, your cover’s blown/ But you already knew that.” Her command over the song doesn’t take more than a whisper; her delivery is magnetic, and she makes it sound effortless. –Sasha Geffen

1. Jay Rock – “Money Trees Deuce”


Jay Rock’s new slow-burner, “Money Trees Deuce”, doesn’t feature the emotive delivery of former collaborator Kendrick Lamar (“Money Trees”), but the track certainly borrows from Lamar’s juxtaposing perspective of the inner city hustle and a laid-back flow. “I told my niggas if you hold me back/ From pursuin’, ain’t no comin’ back,” Rock constantly reminds his (likely expanding) entourage during the track’s hook. As explosive as the lifestyle might be (“Streets is like a jungle/ It’ll eat you like Hannibal”), Rock maintains a casual tone throughout most of the track. His timbre does intensify when reminiscing about the many friends and family members he has lost. Still, Rock remains hopeful: “Stay up, wake up, cake up, get paper, and I swear to God things will fall in your favor.” Gain some more Jay Rock wisdom when his long-awaited sophomore LP eventually surfaces. —Derek Staples

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