Top 10 MP3s of The Week (4/5)


    The top mp3s have gone through many incarnations since the beginning of Consequence of Sound in 2007. What used to be an exhaustive roundup of all the singles, remixes, covers, and undiscovered gems emailed to us any given week evolved into a compilation whittled down to our 10 favorite new songs. For 2013, we’re again changing up the format with the hope of giving our selections some added weight. We’re still posting about our 10 favorite songs, but they’ll be ordered in quality from 10-1. Who takes home #1 this week? You’ll have to click ‘Next’ to find out.

    10. Oberhofer – “Ear Plugs”


    Oberhofer’s “Ear Plugs” just can’t sit still. It’s full of overactive musical parts and passages, most notably the voice of frontman Brad Oberhofer. He’s got a strange way of carrying a melody, emphasizing words at random and occasionally breaking into a booming baritone. “Can you hear me now?” he repeats during the sweeping chorus, so much more than aping an ad for phone service. “Ear Plugs” is the lead single from Oberhofer’s forthcoming sophomore album, Nostalgia (out April 23rd via Glassnote). -Jon Hadusek


    9. Fasano – “Last Evening”


    This week’s essential lo-fi, four-track recording is a selection from Matthew Fasanos cassette-only debut album, The Barn. With only an electric guitar and his voice, Fasano recalls the early works of Grizzly Bear. “Finding out love is a fluke, anymore,” he sings, defeated, like so many emotive singer-songwriters before him. Despite the dubious cassette sound quality, producer Nick Sylvester carves out a lush sonic palette for Fasano’s self-harmonized vocals. -Jon Hadusek

    8. Medicine – “Long As The Sun”


    You might remember L.A. shoegazers Medicine as the band playing in the industrial night club in The Crow. Or maybe not. Maybe you remember them as the prominent, noisy, melodic whizzes that last brought you new music in 1995. But Medicine fans fret no more; frontman Brad Laner is back with the original lineup, and new track “Long As The Sun” is the triumphal fanfare. Ripping synths, waves of guitar noise, and a sauntering bass fill up most of the space, the multi-part epic surprisingly joyful for something this loud. “Long As The Sun” is the first taste of the trio’s reunion album, To The Happy Few (due August 6th via Captured Tracks). Consider this writer one of those few. -Adam Kivel

    7. CocoRosie – “After the Afterlife”


    We’ve all got different ideas about what happens after we die, but Sierra and Bianca Casady cooing “welcome to the afterlife” just before a funky, ramshackle dance beat kicks in? The sisters’ work as CocoRosie continues to defy pop expectations in its ability to craft songs out of outsider vocals and whatever pieces of sound happen to be produceable nearby, but their interest in the surreal and the mythical certainly remains. The song manages to pair lilting piano, wobbling synth trills, and icicle drum machines seamlessly, but only because its covered in goops of slightly toxic glue. The song is the second early taste of the sisters’ fifth studio LP, Tales Of A Grasswidow, due May 27th via City Slang. -Adam Kivel

    6. The Child of Lov – “Fly”


    When word came that both Damon Albarn and DOOM would be featured on the debut album from The Child of Lov, I’ll admit that I raised an eyebrow. The two aren’t dead opposites on the musical spectrum, but it would take some talented work to get the two appearances in sync. The neo-soul stomp of “Fly”, that aforementioned album’s latest single, clears up a lot of that uncertainty. Cole Williams layers sweltering rhythms, horn stabs, and much more, all while a bassy rumble and a high-pitched moan urge you to “spread your wings and fly.” The Child of Lov’s self-titled debut will be out May 7th via Double Six/Domino Records. -Adam Kivel

    5. Lou Barlow – “Crack and Emerge”


    It’s always a delight when Sebadoh/Dinosaur Jr. songwriter Lou Barlow lets us into his ever-transparent world of mopey introspection and dour romance. His latest offering, “Crack and Emerge”, comes via the Joyful Noise “Cause and Effect” series, and it’s a lovely acoustic ballad in the vein of Sebadoh classics like “On Fire”. The surprise here is the sheer amount of color and inflection in Barlow’s voice — a Gram Parsons-esque twang we’ve never heard from him before. -Jon Hadusek

    4. Zomby – “W I T H L O V E”


    An ominous track, Zomby’s “W I T H L O V E” showcases the UK producer’s ability to tease dense atmospherics out of minimal sound. Muted synths pulse and shiver — drenched in reverb to create a dissonant echo effect — but that’s it. No steady percussion, no melody. Just open space and darkness. The track will be included on Zomby’s forthcoming release, a set that currently has no details beyond a a release date sometime this summer through 4AD. -Jon Hadusek

    3. World’s Fair – “’96 Knicks”


    You don’t have to be a ’90s NBA geek to appreciate the new track from Queens rap collective World’s Fair, but I can assure you that it sure doesn’t hurt. On “’96 Knicks”, the rappers compare their place in the game to the scrappy, aggressive, conflict-laden altercation between the New York Knicks and Miami Heat. Their promise to “Clear the bench/ Catch a tech” fits the jagged edge soul beat, each verse transitioning from basketball imagery to a description of their weed consumption, get some money, or keep the party going. The track is featured on NY radio DJ Peter Rosenberg’s New York Renaissance mixtape, while World’s Fair have a group tape called Bastards of the Party due sometime this summer. -Adam Kivel

    2. SZA – “Aftermath”


    “I apologize for waiting to tell you for so long/ I am not human,” SZA croons to open “Aftermath”, the latest from the New Jersey vocalist’s upcoming S EP. While the talk of sucking on tendons and the comfort of death feels in the vein of Purity Ring (much like one of last month’s Top MP3s, “Ice.Moon”), the production here is a shimmery, ’90s influenced electro-R&B pastiche. Plus, SZA admits to being both omnipotent and “made of bacon” on this song, so it’s the stuff of some dudes’ fantasies. Thanks to breathy haunting like this, the anticipation for S‘s April 9th arrival should continue to grow. -Adam Kivel