Top 10 Songs of the Month: The Killers, Saba, Queens of the Stone Age

on August 31, 2017, 10:30am

05. LCD Soundsystem – “Tonite”


”Touch me, touch me, touch me, touch me tonight!” I know we’ve all been over this a million times by now, but it’s still unbelievable that LCD Soundsystem are back. And, as if to wash away the years of sobbing, they’re incredibly present. In fact, they’re here “tonite”, ready for the dance floor. The rolling rhythms and squidgy synths keep bodies moving while James Murphy returns to the therapy couch to dissect love, pop, you, himself — only he’s the therapist as well, and that only makes the analysis that much more mesmerizing. But just as with the best LCD tracks, you’ll have plenty of fun grooving out to the layered rhythms even without digging into his brain. You can grab “tonite” and the rest of American Dream tomorrow. –Lior Phillips
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04. Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – “Over Everything”

Finally, after months of waiting, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile detailed their forthcoming collaboration, Lotta Sea Lice, due out October 13th. Consisting of new songs, covers of Belly (“Untogether”) and Jen Cloher (“Fear Is Like A Forest”), and covers of themselves (“Peeping Tomboy”, “Outta the Woodwork”), you get the sense that this was a fun project that blossomed into something that was simply too good to quit. That’s kind of the best way to describe their new joint single, “Over Everything”, a summery, feel good anthem that lasts around six minutes and capitalizes on the best of their respective abilities. What are we saying? They’re both unbelievable lyricists, scorching guitarists, and sing with iconic voices … which is why this is such an enjoyable stroll, and why they earn every second of their sprawl. It’s also a straight-up relatable jam, a meditation on how music tunes everything out: all the bullshit, all the drama, all those feelings that insist you’re alone and miserable. Yeah, music is good like that, and we’re happy two indie titans are making more of it together. Damn. –Michael Roffman
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03. Queens of the Stone Age – “The Evil Has Landed”

At a certain point, middle-aged bands reach a level where they no longer need to change. They know what they can consistently deliver on, fans know what to expect, and it’s a mutually beneficial understanding. Queens of the Stone Age, 21 years into their career, are one of those bands that could keep supplying the same quirky, riff-heavy alt rock they always have, and you’d hear no complaints. That tacit understanding made it all the more surprising and endearing when they released Villains’ swinging first single, “The Way You Used To Do”, and, later, an Instagram clip of frontman Josh Homme, equal parts Elvis and the Fonze, popping the collar of his leather jacket and sliding across a dance floor. Second single “The Evil Has Landed” confirms what the first had hinted at. If you up the tempo of Queens’ style, you can get an extremely danceable track. Bouncing, funky, and packed with Homme’s undeniable falsetto, the Mark Ronson-produced cut finds a groove and continues to subvert expectation, right up to its funky sprint to the finish. To quote the band, “Feet don’t fail me now!” –Matt Melis

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02. Saba – “There You Go”

Less than a year after he released his debut mixtape, 2016’s Bucket List Project, Saba has produced two anthems that evolve his endearing mythos beyond the city limits of Chicago. Back in January, he dropped “Monday to Monday”, a moody jam befitting of the harsh winters that ravage the Second City, and eight months later, he’s returned with “There You Go”. Co-produced with Oakland multi-instrumentalist Daoud, the song is a decidedly more sunny affair, grooving off piano and horns seemingly stripped right out of a ’90s Spike Lee joint. “Im in a deeper zone than on my last one,” he admits early on, alluding to the fact that this is the first song he’s released since the tragic death of his cousin. He’s in no dour mood, though, leaning heavily on realism as he champions the idea that he’s in for the long haul, leaving us with this: “I’m partially studious, partially ignorant/ I’m not here for the 15 minutes/ All my team is winning, Imma need a minute.” With songs as reassuring and organic as “There You Go”, Saba can take his sweet ass time for all we care, because really, he’s not far off from turning lines like “I drop a classic that’s Abbey Road” into agreeable truths. –Michael Roffman

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01. The Killers – “Run for Cover”

In terms of first singles, “The Man” accomplished all The Killers could hope for in 2017. It has already become a bit of a cultural touchtone, and found a nice home at alt radio. But the 80’s Bowie swagger of the song still feels like an outlier in what were know and love about the Las Vegas band, which makes “Run for Cover” that much more impactful. Harkening back to their Sam’s Town anthems, “Run for Cover” is an up-tempo barnburner, the kind of song that demands the windows rolled down and the peddle pushed to the floor. It’s surprising considering the band failed to find a single this definitive on their previous LP, 2012’s Battle Born. Hell, Brandon Flowers even dares to get topical by shouting “fake news” in the song’s bridge. For a group that’s returned with every new album seeking to redefine some aspect of themselves, it’s refreshing to hear a song this at peace with its own identity. On “Run for Cover”, the Killers embrace their crowd-pleasing nature, living up to the Wonderful Wonderful album title.