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Top 10 Songs of the Week (6/10)

on June 10, 2016, 12:30pm
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You might’ve noticed that there was no Top 10 Songs of the Week post last week. Sorry! Half of the team was overseas, covering the always amazing Primavera Sound (coverage of which you can scope out here). While we covered plenty of heavy hitters at the festival (Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, and Sigur Ros, oh my!), we spent plenty of time digging out the up-and-comers, the exciting new acts that will one day take festivals by storm. This week, we return to the Top 10 Songs with a batch of songs that also fits both sides of that dichotomy. So, click on and prepare yourself for the future of festival season.
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10. DJ Shadow feat. Nils Frahm – “Bergschrund”

dj shadow mountain will fall Top 10 Songs of the Week (6/10)

In the last few months, DJ Shadow has released a few cuts off of his forthcoming album, The Mountain Will Fall, which is due out June 24th via Mass Appeal. Some of the tracks include the title track and the Run the Jewels-featured “Nobody Speak”. This week saw the release of “Bergschrund”, a collaboration with German composer and producer Nils Frahm. The track features an overall galactic vibe with enough glitches and electronics that creep or ricochet in and out. Featuring DJ Shadow’s staple production, it has a sinuous and hypnotic groove that coalesces filtered sweeps, stuttering but bludgeoning beats, and woozy and ambient soundscapes. –Alejandra Ramirez


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09. Spook the Herd – “App Tofu”

unnamed Top 10 Songs of the Week (6/10)

Half of Boston’s bands get slapped with a ’90s throwback tag. Sure, they favor that crunchy, gritty grunge tone and pull it off impeccably well, but there’s an impressive awareness of melody that makes the city’s acts stand out. Spook the Herd is proof. Jesse Weiss (Palehound, Grass Is Green) and Abe Kimball (Vending Machetes) formed the band between tours, funneling all their creative juices into various singles that hurl and wretch with colorful, heady hooks. Weiss’ attention to production on “App Tofu” keeps them floating above the rest. It’s barely a minute and a half, but it wastes no time with filler. There are heavy guitars, smashing drums, and twisted vocal turns that make it addictive in its relentlessness — exactly the type of well-written material that earns Boston’s rock scene a cult following. —Nina Corcoran



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08. Jurassic 5 – “Customer Service”

Jurassic 5

It’s been a decade since Jurassic 5 last released an album, but with several live shows on the horizon, the rap group teamed together to release a new song. “Customer Service” comes from the group’s Power in Numbers recording sessions. Technically, that means it’s not a new recording, but the unheard track drops right into their usual fusion of culturally informed verses and thick funk, so it feels like it is anyway. All five members trade verses, most sticking to their usual cadence on sports shoes and Cadillacs, which a sample of Edwin Birdsong’s “The Spirit Of Do…Do” guides with vintage bass and occasional soul guitar strums. It’s the perfect return to form by one of rap’s most iconic groups. —Nina Corcoran


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07. Knox Brown feat. Anderson .Paak – “No Slaves”

knox brown

“No Slaves” is a cross-continental affair. As his Facebook page notes, having worked with the likes of Wiley, Chip, Bashy, and Jacob Banks the UK’s Knox Brown is one of the most prolific producers you have never heard of. Now adding California’s rising sensation Anderson .Paak to that lengthy list of collaborators, Brown’s days of anonymity are surely limited. Brown’s production pallet of soulful hip-hop beats and jazz-influenced futurism serves as the perfect accompaniment to .Paak’s consummately impassioned delivery. Against a lush brass backdrop, .Paak condemns the mental slavery that knows no national borders. The dialogue continues August 5th when Knox’s Searching EP officially arrives. –Derek Staples


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06. GØGGS – “Needle Trade Off”

ty segall emotional mugger video 14 Top 10 Songs of the Week (6/10)

If you happen to live near Los Angles, Chicago, San Francisco, or Brooklyn, you have the fortune of thrashing around to GØGGS live in the upcoming weeks. For the rest of us, the flailing and beer-spilling that is sure to take hold during “Needle Trade Off” (pulled from the band’s self-titled debut) will have to be relegated to more personal spaces. Another nod to the ’80s hardcore that pulled them together, the trio of Ty Segall, Chris Shaw, and Charles Moothart fill the track’s 2:14 runtime with a barrage of garage rock riffs and shout-along vocals. One blast is never enough, with repeat listens obligatory once the rush of the guitar/percussive breakdown fades away. Secure GØGGS’ debut July 1st via In the Red. –Derek Staples



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05. Max Wonders – “Kid Again”

Max Wonders

Mortality can be a mighty influence, and the latest proof of that is Max Wonders’ “Kid Again”. On the latest preview of the Chicago-raised rapper’s Hues to Blame, Wonders looks at the greener grass of childhood as he grows older — though we’re talking about “older” only through the frame of reference in the Chicago rap game, as this guy isn’t of the retirement plan set just yet. “I just want to be a kid again,” as if running away from the soulfully spectral beat from Saluki. But then Wonders sounds a little growlier than usual, as if the years in the rap game are catching up with him, taking him “closer to the morgue.” Keep your eyes peeled for Hues to Blame for more of this intense introspection. –Adam Kivel


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04. Cheena – “Car”

cheena car

As a Pharmakon fan, I never expected to see Margaret Chardiet featured in a supergroup of any sort, let alone a supergroup whose outsider rock would be downright approachable if it weren’t just a little slimy — but, you know, in that way that great New York guitar music always is. Beyond Pharmakon, Cheena’s members come from Crazy Spirit and Hank Wood & The Hammerheads, offering together some of the city’s grittiest riffage and intense visceral moments in one place. The lead single to their debut, Spend the Night With…, “Car” is the kind of thing that’s perfect for trying to grab the last 40 from the convenience store fridge and scramble out the door. The steamy production and claustrophobic guitar work is perfectly suited to the sweaty August 5th release date of Cheena’s debut, coming via Sacred Bones. –Adam Kivel


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03. The Stone Roses – “Beautiful Thing”

stone roses beautiful thing Top 10 Songs of the Week (6/10)

So far, our two previews of the return of The Stone Roses have been a cautionary tale on the dangers of simplicity. May’s “All for One” was a plodding, repetitious bore, something that sounded more aimed at amping up kids in strollers than the die-hard fans that had been waiting years. Follow-up “Beautiful Thing” falls on the right side of the dotted line, thankfully, a laid-back chiller with enough interesting psychedelic frill surrounding the iterations of the song’s title. Mining the same territory as Beck’s disco-inflected hits, the song should get the dancefloor grooving. There’s still no official word on a new Stone Roses album, but we’re inclined to believe that these two tracks are the start of something bigger, and considering the disparity in quality, we’re interested to see how that all turns out. –Adam Kivel



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02. Wye Oak – “Watching the Waiting”

wye oak tween album 2016 Top 10 Songs of the Week (6/10)

Surprise album releases have been a trend within mainstream pop, R&B, and rap. Rare is the indie rock surprise LP, yet here we are with Tween, a brand-new Wye Oak full-length, in hand. “Watching the Waiting” sums up Tween with a galloping rhythm section and controlled return to guitar. Above all else, it highlights what separated Wye Oak from the rest of indie rock bands back in the aughts and still today: Jenn Wasner’s gorgeous, lush, dream-like vocals. The album closer sounds brighter than anything the duo’s ever done. And yet, it sounds more at home in their catolog than anything before it. Wye Oak are transitioning not to Rihanna or Beyoncé levels of fame, but they are coming to terms with their sound and style, an embrace of musical confidence that leaves them sounding all the better. —Nina Corcoran



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01. Clams Casino feat. Vince Staples – “All Nite”

Nina Corcoran, Vince Staples 1

Clams Casino will release his long-awaited, forthcoming album, 32 Levels, on July 15th via Columbia. In the past months, he’s released the ominous and languid instrumental “Blast” accompanied with a trippy visual and the Lil-B-assisted “Witness”. In addition to the BasedGod, the album will include A$AP Rocky, Sam Dew, Mikky Ekko, Kelela, and Future Islands’ Samuel Herring. This week saw the release of “All Nite” featuring Vince Staples. Ominous and minimal, the track could have fit well into the Long Beach rapper’s Summertime ’06. The song features Staples’ cool and chilling delivery with just enough braggadocio in the hook: “Ain’t gotta prove this shit/ We do this shit all night, all night.” –Alejandra Ramirez

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