Don’t start locking in all those year-end lists just yet. Much of the US was forced inside this week, away from the chill; fortunately, great singles just kept rolling in to help us pass the time. It’s been a lackluster year for hip-hop (arguably), but a stellar week for Kevin Gates, Pusha T, and Wu-Tang Clan. In other genres, selections by the likes of Charli XCX, CVIRO and GXNXVS, Sleigh Bells, and SZA also give this week’s list a sufficient kick to help you through your next weather delay. Let’s just hope it doesn’t last anywhere near 36 hours.
10. CVIRO and GXNXVS – “Benjamins”
Be it the future-folk of Chet Faker, the club cuts of Flume, or the left-field R&B of CVIRO (“Cairo”) and GXNXVS (“genius”), the Aussies definitely like to experiment with their beats. GXNXVS’ garage swing contours effortlessly around the layered vocals of CVIRO, each finding their own casual way to a few handfuls of “Benjamins”. Finger snaps and underlying beatbox challenge the fluidity of CVIRO, the production’s tranquility calming this intermittent grind. –Derek Staples
9. A Place to Bury Strangers – “Straight”
The pummeling guitars and spurts of piercing feedback on “Straight”, the lead single from Brooklyn’s A Place to Bury Strangers’ fourth studio album, Transfixation (out February 17th via Dead Oceans), catapult the song into a hypnotic groove while singer Oliver Ackermann lends some psychedelic vocals to bring it all together. With new drummer Robi Gonzales and the band’s brand of noisy, effects-laden rock still intact, look for their new LP to be a return to form. –Josh Terry