Lots of emotional pits and valleys on this week’s countdown, from star-studded collaborations (Elvis Costello & the Roots) to songs about divorce (Sebadoh) and odes to the awkwardness of puberty (FIDLAR). Dance, laugh, shed a tear. This one goes everywhere.
10. FIDLAR – “Awkward”
Adolescent anxiety seeps from FIDLAR’s latest single, which is a re-recording of a track that originally featured Kate Nash. “I’ll probably end up fucking up and make it super awkward,” sings the ever-optimistic Zac Carper. Whiny girlfriends, barfing at parties, awful haircuts — sounds like junior high. And God knows that shit was awkward.–Jon Hadusek
9. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “Harrison Ford”
As Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin‘s second single in support of their upcoming album Fly by Wire, “Harrison Ford” takes inspiration from the relentlessness and daring nature of humanity’s greatest inventors. The band puts their indie-rock guitar demeanor aside and gently glides through soft grand piano steps and hip-swaying percussion that stimulate a dreamy aura. The song’s lyrics approach mental mysteries and stir curiosity from them as vocalist Phillip Dickey ponders “how the heart beats; I’ll never know”. In order to find these answers, he challenges the status quo in realizing “you don’t have to be good” because, in the end, the best answers come when we just pretend. Fly by Wire is set to hit record store shelves on September 17th.–Sam Willett
8. Freddie Gibbs and Madlib – “City”
Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and producer Madlib have taken a quality-over-quantity approach to their creative partnership. They haven’t released much — just a few stray singles and EPs — but it’s all been excellent, and a full-length debut is slated for release later this year. In the meantime, we’ve got “City” — yet another one-off song, this time from the Adult Swim Singles Program. From an emcee’s perspective, Madlib’s beat is difficult: unforgiving snare breaks and a sped-up jazz bassline. But Gibbs handles it, cranking up his usually husky flow to match the tempo. Never one to limit himself lyrically, he references rising gas prices and economic tension, displaying a socio-political awareness to match the blunt-smoking gangsta-ism that defined his earlier material.–Jon Hadusek