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Top 10 Songs of the Week (2/26)

on February 26, 2016, 1:00pm
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With the announcement of Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, the world got yet another massive supergroup, this time composed of members of Alice in Chains, Mastodon, Mars Volta, and more. While it may not exactly be a supergroup, we like to think of the 10 entrants into our weekly list as composing a sort of super-team, this week offering skills ranging from esoteric black metal to big beat hip-hop. But just think if we could actually get Azealia Banks to team up with the Melvins … We can dream.

10. Waldgeflüster – “Der Traumschänder”

Waldgefluster

My German is a little bit rusty, but if I’m not mistaken, Waldgeflüster means something akin to whispering forest. Add in an umlaut and a witchy font, and you’ve got the beginning of a rad metal band. Luckily, the German quintet follow up on that promise with new cut “Der Traumschänder”. Part of a new split with Panopticon, the track is a slow-building slice of black metal grandiosity. Over 12 minutes, Waldgeflüster deliver an epic tale of haunted groves, shadowy nightmares, and shuddering quakes. Grab the full split with Panopticon on March 11th via Nordvis and Bindrune Recordings. –Adam Kivel

09. Kero Kero Bonito – “Lipslap”

Kero Kero Bonito

Depending on your attitude toward music made for casual and widespread consumption — or pop music, for short — Kero Kero Bonito’s new track, “Lipslap”, is merely a peppy, bubblegum pop song for the dance floor, or it’s also a smirking indictment of how society willfully ignores or can’t be bothered to decipher meaningful messages in pop music. Sarah Midori Perry lays out our excuses, so innocent in their entitlement: “I can’t hear you because this beat is taking over,” “I’m not one to lipread and you don’t come with subtitles.” But Kero Kero Bonito aren’t leveling an attack on anyone because, after all, “it’s all lipslap.” Even though Perry’s voice is so distrustfully perky, her enunciation so troublingly precise, it surely can’t be just that. Can it? –Karen Gwee

08. Car Seat Headrest – “Vincent”

Car-Seat-Headrest-Matador

Will Toledo’s upcoming album as Car Seat Headrest is called Teens of Denial, and although it’s early days yet, “Vincent” sounds like something of a breaking point: an attempt to shed denial and delusion for painful clarity. Over eight minutes of alternately shimmering and shredding guitar lines and frenetic drumming, Toledo sings candidly about introversion, mental illness, appearances, and the hopelessness of existence. But he’s been stifled a long time, and that doesn’t go away so easily — “I find it harder to speak when someone else is listening in the back of a medicine cabinet,” he sings, gratefully seizing upon Vincent Van Gogh to put a face to an inexpressible mental struggle. This tension between silence and speech makes the noisy, thrilling “Vincent” all the more captivating. Teens of Denial will be out on Matador Records sometime this year. –Karen Gwee

07. White Lung – “Hungry”

Ben-Kaye-Governors-Ball-White-Lung-3

“I wanted a record that sounded like it was made in 2016,” White Lung guitarist Kenneth William told St. Vincent in a recent Q&A. From the sound of lead single “Hungry”, his band has accomplished just that. White Lung brush their curling howls to the side in favor of enunciated vocal hooks and New Order-styled guitar solos. There’s no more noise. There’s no more grit. It’s rock through a pop filter. The decision to record in this way allows White Lung to flaunt their songwriting skills all the more. Fittingly, the lyrics address the struggles of chasing fame for applause versus chasing fame simply to be seen — and White Lung are too self-aware to let either dictate their path. –Nina Corcoran

06. Mike & The Melvins – “Limited Teeth”

mike melvins Top 10 Songs of the Week (2/26)

The debut record from Mike & the Melvins has been gestating for 16 years. Considering the typically manic release schedule of the Melvins, that alone would make this one special. But, with “Limited Teeth”, we’re finally getting to see the heights reached on the long-shelved record from King Buzzo, Dale Crover, and here Kevin Rutmanis and godheadSilo’s Mike Kunka. “I don’t like your kids, but you do,” they chant at the song’s apex, over a predictably raging sludge metal riff. The track’s a good reminder, too, of Crover’s drum wizardry, here ripping fills at lightning speed. Mike & the Melvins’ Three Men and a Baby can be yours April 1st via Sub Pop. —Adam Kivel

05. Fatima Al Qadiri – “Power”

Fatima Al Qadiri Brute

There is a revolutionary spirit veiled just beneath the tropical electric marimba at the lead of Fatima Al Qadiri’s “Power”. “When I’m in a really, really fragile state of mind, I end up making music,” remarked Al Qadiri when premiering the single. The bleak, downtempo arrangement reflects that mood. But don’t equate that melancholy with a forfeiture of power; through this instrumental arises the voice of retired LAPD Sgt./rights advocate Cheryl Dorsey: “A lot of times I see police departments circle the wagon, not because they are really interested in protecting that officer, but they’re interested in protecting that entity.” These statements on the harsh realities of 2016 continue when Brute arrives March 04 via Hyperdub. –Derek Staples

04. Gold Panda – “Time Eater”

gold panda good luck do best album Top 10 Songs of the Week (2/26)

For too many folks, life is just one constant hustle. Any moment that doesn’t net a positive ROI is judged as wasted time. While its title seems to mirror that notion, Gold Panda’s newest offering, “Time Eater”, delights in those moments between obligations. Realized after two trips to Japan, the lead single from Good Luck Do Your Best (available May 27th via City Slang) embodies the enlightenment that builds during casual walks in new surroundings and long chats with quick friends. If you happen to be the last body in a dimly lit office, here is a moment of Asian-inspired serenity before the hustle must re-commence. –Derek Staples


03. Glitterbust – “The Highline”

kim gordon glitterbust

Kim Gordon couldn’t give up music if she tried. Thank god. The Sonic Youth bassist-guitarist, Body/Head improv-noise leader, and Girl in a Band author is back with another musical contribution, this time as a part of duo Glitterbust. Joined by Alex Knost of Tomorrows Tulips, she kneads her way through nine minutes of lo-fi fog filled with heavy feedback. “Forget,” Gordon calls out, her voice shaking before flatlining into a smoker’s drawl. It’s less a meditation than it is a reminder, a to-do list, a hopeful task for the hours that lay ahead. If “The Highline” is what plays in their heads while walking New York City’s already peaceful linear park of the same name, then the duo surely must be in dire need of a massage. –Nina Corcoran

02. Azealia Banks – “The Big Big Beat'”

04-Azealia-Banks

There have always been two undeniable facts about Azealia Banks: She can rap quickly and she’s got a voice of gold. On “The Big Big Beat”, Banks ushers in her return by running quickly through a series of wordy tangles while a thick, bouncy beat guides the way. By the chorus, she’s lacing things up in a gorgeous vocal melody, complete with winks and trills. It sounds like the creative energy of a woman who never stopped working in the time that’s passed since 2014’s Broke with Expensive Taste. “212” was the reason why you fell in love with her, and “The Big Big Beat” is why those feelings linger. –Nina Corcoran

01. The Body – “Hallow/Hollow”

the body no one deserves happiness Top 10 Songs of the Week (2/26)

Rhode Island metal duo The Body do not stop. Whether it’s one of their many collaborative releases or an album of their own, it seems they’re intent on building a discography large enough to rival even the most prolific artists. Their first non-collaborative album in three years, No One Deserves Happiness, drops March 18th via Thrill Jockey, and early cut “Hallow/Hollow” lives up to the bleak promise of the record’s title. This one is weighty, a massive head-banging riff and Chip King’s shrieked vocals paired against Lee Buford’s stomping drums. Assembly of Light Choir leader Chrissy Wolpert steps in to lead the way at the track’s closing, the crystalline counterpoint to King’s feral wails and the squealing feedback. –Adam Kivel

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