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Top 10 Songs of the Week (7/31)

While Drake and Meek continue to go at it, other artists' patience is being rewarded

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    Last night, Meek Mill finally clapped back at Drake with the diss track “Wanna Know”. No other music came out this past week that was as anticipated as Drake’s two tracks against Meek or Meek’s inevitable retaliation, but there were plenty of songs that presumably took longer to put together. Sure, Drake made it look easy with “Back to Back Freestyle”, but whether it’s the poetic touch of Craig Finn or Angel Haze or the intricate teamwork of Disclosure and Sam Smith, this week’s list has tracks that suggest creating great music is hardly an instant, automatic process.

    10. Kylesa – “Lost and Confused”

    Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 12.35.19 PM

    Psychedelia is often resigned to the hazy corners of the music world, the nostalgic ’60s vibes where the worst things get is a little woozy. When Savannah, Georgia sludge metal trio Kylesa go psychedelic, though, it’s a decidedly bad trip. “Lost and Confused” lurches back and forth between tempos. Straight-ahead rhythmic chugging gives way to slow, eerie strolls, and then everything gets sewn together with brain-itching guitar riffage. Kylesa will release their upcoming album, Exhausting Fire, October 2nd on Season of Mist. –Adam Kivel

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    09. Big Awesome – “Wookie Blaylock”

    Big Awesome Party On

    For a while, we had to debate whether we were having an emo revival. Then we had to debate whether to use the phrase emo revival. Instead of fighting, can we all just agree that bands like Big Awesome are putting out rad tracks like “Wookie Blaylock” that share similarities with bands that embodied the best of emo decades ago? You’ll have Victor Villarreal flashbacks on some of the guitar wrinkles on this one, and the South Carolina trio play with a raw energy that gets you swept up in every shouted lyric. “There’s no punker punk band than Propagandhi,” a kid says in the party white noise closing the track, and songs like this bring back the youthful insistence and certainty that come with assessments like that. Big Awesome’s upcoming album, Party On, is due August 7th via Jetsam-Flotsam.  –Adam Kivel

    08. Justin Jay feat. Chris Lorenzo – “Storm”

    Justin Jay Storm

    The youngest member of the Dirtybird family, Justin Jay has momentarily stepped away from the label and its infectious booty bass sounds to pursue new textures and styles. Joined by Chris Lorenzo, “Storm” sits on the fringes of house music, blending stuttering breakbeats, deep bass line rolls, and ethereal female vocals. With the sound of thunder in the distance, these six minutes are like the calm before a torrential downpour — when the wind delivers the fragrances of summer and adds a subtle chill to everything it touches. Download “Storm” for free now via Black Butter Records. –Derek Staples

    07. vōx – “Claws”

    Vox

    “There are wild things in me,” seethes Sarah Winters at the chorus to her latest single as vōx. She sings around a synthesizer’s rendition of plucked strings, bright and sharp and sterile, while a subtle, itchy beat mutates beneath the swell of her voice. “You can have me like a beast/ All it really takes is your/ Claws out, claws out.” Winters’ lyrics oscillate between threat and submission; she urges an unseen “you” to draw closer, but never really makes it clear who’s wearing the claws. –Sasha Geffen

    06. Craig Finn – “Maggie I’ve Been Searching for Our Son”

    Craig-Finn-Solo-Faith-Future

    Craig Finn (The Hold Steady, Lifter Puller) has always been a thoughtful lyricist, but in his solo work, his words take on even more importance than usual. Case in point: “Maggie I’ve Been Searching for Our Son”, a pastoral slow-burn that brings to mind Bruce Springsteen’s The River. Here, as he’s done in the past, Finn seeks to make the personal universal. A snare drum keeps pace as he sings about “someone who’s been flailing around spiritually looking for answers,” as he put it when announcing his second solo album, Faith in the Future, out September 11th via Partisan. It’s a memorable tale from one of rock’s most empathetic wordsmiths. –Michael Madden

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