Top 10 Songs of the Week (9/4)


    Looking at the song titles in this week’s Top 10 Songs, you’d think we might be in a pretty foul mood. “Revenge”, “Destroyer”, “Piss”, “Bite”, and “Unrequited” all make appearances. But, the reality is quite the opposite: We’re thrilled by this bunch of powerful tunes that range the emotional spectrum. Check out Horse Head’s doom metal or Travi$ Scott and Kanye West’s urine-fest, and you’ll get some of that anger. Conner Youngblood and Oneohtrix Point Never, meanwhile, are a bit more contemplative, though still plenty engaging.

    10. Modern Baseball – “Revenge of the Nameless Ranger”

    modern baseballConsidering their name, I hoped Modern Baseball’s “Revenge of the Nameless Ranger” would be about a lesser known member of the Texas Rangers — outfielder Drew Stubbs, perhaps — doing something heroic to help his team beat a team that released him in the past. Instead, the New England emo quartet delve into a broken relationship, jumping from memories of parking lot make-outs to the empty drawers where someone’s clothes used to be. “The quarrels with myself are turning into feuds/ Investigate your tone of voice for subtle clues,” Brendan Lukens begins, eventually twisting into a sort of resignation: “You don’t want to change me/ And I don’t want to change you.” This is one of those that’ll be a fun listen for those currently happy, and a powerfully cathartic one for those going through a rough patch, the sort of duality that Modern Baseball thrives on. –Adam Kivel

    09. MeLo-X feat. Little Simz – “FFFS”


    A bold multimedia artist, New York’s MeLo-X approaches his instrumentals with a painter’s foresight. The complimentary broken melodies within “FFFS” serve as the shooting stars against a celestial backdrop. Unlike the randomness of reality, MeLo-X dictates every shift and vocal manipulation. Controlled at the source, the perceived chaos is a result of his process. The alluring angst of Little Simz further calming this dramatic free fall from space. Expect this track to finally touch down in the upcoming weeks on MeLo-X’s Curate EP. –Derek Staples

    08. Travi$ Scott feat. Kanye West – “Piss on Your Grave”

    Kanye Travis Scott

    God forgives, Travi$ Scott and Kanye West don’t. On “Piss on Your Grave”, the pair fantasize about directing hateful golden streams at exploitative record execs both during their greedy lives and postmortem. It’s only right that it’s one of the most direct songs on Scott’s brand-new Rodeo, though it doesn’t get there immediately. It begins with a stormy psych blues groove comparable to Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun”, then explodes outward in San Andreas proportions. West steps to the mic first, barking almost like Waka Flocka as he outlines that corporate exploitation. Then, Scott, a Houston native who’s one of the most progressive newcomers in Southern hip-hop (despite accusations that he’s a style biter who can’t rap), combats doubters more generally: “Look at little Scotty now/ The same fuckers used to doubt/ All preaching that they proud/ I pull my zipper down and whip it out.” When you gotta go, you gotta go. –Michael Madden

    07. Leather Corduroys – “We Don’t Know How To Stop”

    leathercords7 -- sasha geffen

    Chicago’s Leather Corduroys aren’t drill rappers, but they’re increasingly efficient and infectious anyway, capable of making songs that appeal to everyone who appreciates a good old-fashioned banger. On “We Don’t Know How to Stop”, a Two Fresh-produced ode to their unassailable come-up, Joey Purp and Kami de Chukwu sound like stars, trading verses as they count the fruits of their labor. For those of us who originally found Leather Cords through Noisey’s “Chiraq” documentary series, watching Purp walk around Chicago practically dressed like a bumblebee, “We Don’t Know How to Stop” might feel relatively lowest-common-denominator. But there’s no containing these dudes’ personalities. Here, they twist their quirks into familiar and instantly catchy forms. –Michael Madden

    06. Horse Head – “Destroyer Television”

    Horse Head

    With “Destroyer Television”, Phoenix, AZ trio Horse Head have created a track as unforgivingly scorched as their hometown. Between massive, distorted riffs and viciously howled vocals, Wilson Hensleigh’s guitar and Chris Gisriel’s bass link up in a snaking desert blues groove. Throughout, Andrew Parker pummels his kit, the sort of drumming that sounds like shards of cymbal might spray out of your headphones. Fans of sludge and doom should take notice. “Destroyer Television” is one of four tracks on the group’s Missionary EP, which drops on their BandCamp page September 25th. For now, stream this early preview at Nine Circles–Adam Kivel

    05. dd elle – “Unrequited”

    dd elle

    The term “unrequited” is burdened with a (deserved) negative reputation — Dan Casey (aka dd elle) — captures that haunting essence with this 3:38 plodder. Commencing with a bright, cheerful synth melody, the track never again reaches those heights. Instead, Casey steers through a path of lonely blips, distorted scales, fractured whispers, isolated guitar flourishes, and jarring one-off samples. Despite some of its rough edges, this is a track deserving of your love. Explore dd elle’s heartbreak deeper when his new EP, u, drops September 25th via Slow Release. –Derek Staples

    04. Conner Youngblood – “Stockholm”

    Conner Youngblood

    Nashville singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Conner Youngblood took a crack at the harp for his latest single, an instrument that’s rarely heard on pop songs and even more rarely sounds good on them. The sparse, cyclical “Stockholm” lends itself to the sound, though, even if Youngblood says he’s never seriously practiced the harp. Taken from his forthcoming The Generation of Lift EP, “Stockholm” lets Youngblood’s layered voice and the cascades of harp fold into each other, teasing out the crispness of each individual sound before washing them away in a wall of synthesizers. –Sasha Geffen

    03. Empress Of – “Standard”

    Empress Of

    “I’ve been eyeing your plate of diamonds,” warns Lorely Rodriguez on her new song as Empress Of. “Standard”, from her forthcoming debut, Me, indulges in a few sumptuous synthesizer tones, but doesn’t rely on texture to carry its momentum. Aided by muted fuzz bass and looped background vocals, Empress Of dives down a few sharp corners on her way to the chorus. And when she gets there, she doesn’t take the easy route out; the beat trots behind her, unsteady, while sprays of tuneful electric drums rain down from the sides. “Standard” is dense but not clogged, lean but not tricky — it works as a tight machine, leaving more tension in its wake than it started with.. –Sasha Geffen

    02. Oneohtrix Point Never – “I Bite Through It”

    oneohtrix point never Top 10 Songs of the Week (9/4)

    You can almost see Dan Lopatin barricaded in a windowless room, high on no sleep, thrashing around in a nest of electronics until the noise on the other end becomes “I Bite Through It”. Our first sample of Oneohtrix Point Never’s forthcoming album, Garden of Delete, ranks among the most aggressive music Lopatin has ever made. It keeps the playful edge of 2013’s R Plus Seven, but sharpens its teeth on industrial noise, breaking apart into vocal snippets and even a brief blast of electric guitar. Like all of Lopatin’s work, “I Bite Through It” remains largely inscrutable, wordless except for the hoarse, insistent syllable “I,” absent of references and hostile to the world outside itself. But there’s a beauty in the way it coils and uncoils, the way it squirms like something alive, glinting, and secret. —Sasha Geffen

    01. Kelela – “Rewind”


    The time is here for singer Kelela to cross over to a new realm of public attention, seeing as The Weeknd — another artist who, while maybe an R&B singer on the surface, also draws from experimental electronic production styles — is so big right now. With an easily remembered hook, drum patterns that are impossible not to move to, a distinct bridge, and another switch-up at the outro, her latest single, “Rewind”, is an unstoppably catchy, multi-suite thumper that appears on her upcoming Hallucinogen EP (out October 9th via Cherry Coffee/Warp). Even with the song’s perpetual motion, Kelela is laser-focused on the topic at hand: the impressions that even minimal interaction with a new romantic interest can leave lingering in one’s mind. “I’m getting stage fright when you walk up to me,” she sings. That must be the only time she’s ever so petrified; on “Rewind”, her talents couldn’t be any more obvious. –Michael Madden

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