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Top 10 Songs of the Week (3/6)

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    The thaw is finally within sight. In the homestretch of a brutally cold, bleak winter, it finally seems like spring sunshine might actually be around the corner. That means it’s time to start digging out some of the brighter, warmer material, and our countdown is beginning to reflect that. Whether that’s the dreamy indie pop of Eternal Summers or the playful dub of Nocturnal Sunshine — heck, even the names are reflecting the undeniable return of that big ball of fire. Add in some equally undeniable returns from the likes of Kanye, Chromatics, and more, and you’ll be a few steps closer to putting the parka in storage.

    10. Former Ghosts – “Past Selves”

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    Some of Zola Jesus’ best vocal work is hidden away on Former Ghosts’ debut, Fleurs. Now, she returns to pitch in with some of her earliest collaborators. Freddy Rupert has brought back Former Ghosts for one final 7-inch with both Zola and Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart. “Past Selves” ripples with thick analog synths that sound like they’re on the verge of falling apart, while Rupert and Nika Danilova duet in more or less the same register. “I hate my gender and all my past selves,” they sing, their voices collapsing into each other as the instrumentation stutters and glitches. Former Ghosts might be dissolving with the release of this single, but “Past Selves” is one heck of a song to go out on. –Sasha Geffen

    9. Thee Oh Sees – “Web”

    Thee Oh Sees new album

    Back in 2013, word got out that John Dwyer and Thee Oh Sees were going on an indefinite hiatus, a shock to the many fans of one of the most prolific garage rock acts in the game. But, true to their frenetic pace, that hiatus seemed to last all of a few minutes, and now Dwyer and co. are back with yet another new album. The first taste, “Web”, opens on a rippling bass march and Dwyer’s characteristic psychedelic guitar slashes. It’s all pretty predictably stony — at least until Nick Murray breaks into a shimmying beat and Dwyer breathily whispers out the staccato lines, like some sort of disturbed disco daydream. “Web” and the rest of Mutilator Defeated At Last will be available for purchase on April 19th. –Adam Kivel

    8. Nocturnal Sunshine – “Take Me There”

    Nocturnal Sunshine

    The home of the original deep, brooding dubstep, UK’s bass producers are reclaiming those vibes and fortifying a genre that many claimed to be “dead”. Following an extended hiatus away from her dubstep-centric Nocturnal Sunshine alias, London’s Maya Jane Coles has returned to her grimey, two-stepping tactics on “Take Me There”. The lead single from her long awaited self-titled Nocturnal Sunshine full-length, a playful female vocal skips through the extended subterranean bass lines and psychedelic synth puddles — this certainly isn’t the dubstep that blew-up Stateside a half-decade ago. Nocturnal Sunshine will be available May 26th via I/AM/ME. –Derek Staples

    7. Westkust – “Swirl”

    Westkust Last Forever

    From the ringing distortion that opens “Swirl”, it’s clear that Westkust aren’t messing around. They bring a sun-drenched, fiery pop grin to bounce off of the pummeling that fellow Swedes Makthaverskan deliver — and that connection isn’t just due to the fact that the two bands share a couple of members. Gustav Anderson’s vocals have been readily compared to a tighter Michael Stipe, while Julia Bjernelind offers a starry counterpoint. “Swirl” is the first taste of Last Forever, available via Luxury in Scandinavia on 4/22 and in the US via Run for Cover sometime this summer.  –Adam Kivel

    6. Ava Luna – “Coat of Shellac”

    Ava Luna - band 2015

    Barely a year after the release of its last album, Electric Balloon, Ava Luna will draw LP3 out into the world. The forthcoming release is called Infinite House, it arrives April 14, and we got our second taste of it early this week. “Coat of Shellac” is a slicker number than first single, “Billz”; it unclenches some of the nerves that tend to keep Ava Luna wound tight, giving itself up to its own groove. Bassist Ethan Bassford keeps the whole arrangement trained on a tasteful sprinkling of notes, interlocking with drummer Julian Fader to propel the buoyant neo-soul tune into the air. This is Ava Luna at its most lighthearted and free, and for the often anxiety-riddled New York art pop group, it’s a great look. –Sasha Geffen

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