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Top 10 Songs of the Week (1/22)

on January 22, 2016, 1:00pm

Even while we were still mourning David Bowie, none of us expected to have another musical heavyweight to cry over. But then we lost Glenn Frey, and the tributes poured in once again. To get a little bit of sunshine into the mix, we’ve got a bunch of new songs to highlight, and even one that itself pays tribute to a lost friend. So, read on, take some solace that creativity and art will live on forever, and enjoy the rest of your day, even if a few tears are still flowing.

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10. REZZ feat. Delaney Jane – “Lost”

REZZ

Thanks to regular Soundcloud uploads, the blogosphere has been the figurative fly on the wall as Niagara Falls native Isabelle Rezazadeh (bka REZZ) has experimented with her tormented dance-floor vibes. What started out as Gesaffelstein-inspired darkwave has evolved into slithering electropop. Available through deadmau5’s mau5trap imprint, “Lost” (feat. Delaney Jane) does borrow some of the energy from the boss’ Sofi-featuring releases. It’s more than just the female vocal — it’s the tensions that exist between soft melodies, exasperated yearnings, and rumbling low-end synths. –Derek Staples

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09. Kal Marks – “Mankind”

Kal Marks Everybody Dies

As their name suggests, Boston-based melodic sludge rockers Kal Marks clearly have a wry streak — their 2014 EP is titled Just a Lonely Fart, and their upcoming full-length is Life Is Alright, Everybody Dies. Lead singer Carl Shane could be sneaking some gallows humor into “Mankind”, but it’s difficult to tell from his mangled, incoherent vocals that channel more anguish than snark. Shane has called the track “an angry song about being kind to the rest of humanity.” Clearly, the best way to jolt people out of their inertia into compassion is through a scraping, snarling guitar and a moody, unrelenting bass line. Kal Marks will release Life Is Alright, Everybody Dies on February 19 via Exploding in Sound and Werewolf Records. —Karen Gwee

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08. Public Access TV – “On Location”

Public Access TV

It’s kind of difficult to Google the band name Public Access TV. But the New York quartet make up for every ounce of internet search difficulty in pure rock swagger and fun. Their latest doesn’t make the Bing-ing any easier, but “On Location” is full of the kind of limber, shining guitars and rubbery bass that will instantly hook into your head, Jeeves be damned. “Don’t stop/ Do what you wanna do,” John Eatherly repeats. Fans of an older group of New York rockers, The Strokes, will wanna pay attention now. These guys might just have the formula to hit their same highs. Public Access TV’s self-titled debut should be out sometime later this year. –Adam Kivel

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07. Whitney – “No Woman”

Whitney

Many mourned when garage pop trio Smith Westerns broke up back in 2014, but 2016 bodes well for heartbroken fans: former frontman Cullen Omori is releasing a solo album on Sub Pop sometime this year, and former guitarist Max Kakacek has teamed up with ex-Unknown Mortal Orchestra drummer Julien Ehrlich to create Whitney. Their latest single, “No Woman” is a melancholy number about traveling and transitions. Its pleasures are simple: Ehrlich drifts in a modest falsetto over Kakacek’s nimble, understated guitar line, their meandering punctuated by hopeful horns, which help lift the song out of its breakup-induced ennui. No title or date has been announced yet, but Whitney will be releasing new music this year on Secretly Canadian. –Karen Gwee

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06. Four Tet + Designer – “Mothers”

four tet mothers song designer Top 10 Songs of the Week (1/22)

Four Tet has proven time and time again that he’s a master of the slow build. On last year’s Morning/Evening, the producer played with gradations as subtle as the changing sky. Now, he’s teamed up with Australian beatsmith Designer for the new single, “Mothers”, where a skittering, swaying pulse packs an immense amount of detail into a similarly measured shift. “Mothers” lets its polyrhythms drift in and out of sync until its central clockwork winds down. This duo is in no rush, and the space they create with their combined effort is worth hanging out inside for as long as it takes to see itself through. –Sasha Geffen

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