Top 10 Songs of the Week (10/16)

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The end of the year is swiftly creeping up on us, and we’re still waiting for a whole slew of overdue surprise albums. But until those busy stars pay us what they owe us, we’ve still got plenty of new tunes to chew on. This week brought return hits from indie pop powerhouses Chairlift and MØ, as well as a breakout single from young pop punk upstarts Slutface. EMA weighed in on mass shooters, Eddi Front shone some light on mental illness, and Rome Fortune sank into his melodic side — a good mix even for the most impatient among us.

10. MØ – “Kamikaze”

mo diplo kamakazi

As far as Diplo collaborations go, “Kamikaze” keeps things fairly relaxed, though Danish singer can’t help but leak in a little doomsday. “We got one, two, three until the end of the world,” she sings, as though that’s no cause for alarm, just an excuse to party a little harder while we’ve still got time. Diplo supplies one of his snaking synth riffs, for his part, taking a tip from his work with Jack Ü and practically dueting with MØ’s vocal melody at the end of the chorus. “Kamikaze” could have slipped in easily next to a certain Bieber-assisted megahit, but as a standalone, it makes a breezy addition to MØ’s growing arsenal of singles. –Sasha Geffen

09. Bicep – “Malima”

Bicep Malima

It’s always heartwarming when we can celebrate some altruism generated from the dance floor. Exploring a new sound some have dubbed “tropical techno,” “Malima” is still the result of classic hardware: the KORG Poly 800, MPC 200XL, TR606, and some analog pan drums. Being totally unaware of how Bicep attacks these legendary machines makes no difference; the ignorance only expedites the emersion into this mid-tempo groove. Grab the track now via Juno and help a battered soul halfway across the globe. Released in conjunction with charity label Craigie Knows, all proceeds go to the War Child organization, which supports children whose lives have been impacted by conflict. –Derek Staples

08. METZ – “Eraser”

Metz // Photo by Philip Cosores
Photo by Philip Cosores

Toronto noise rock trio METZ typically sound at least a little post-apocalyptic, as if their tunes are emanating from the bowels of a bombed-out city where the last remaining humans have to gnash their teeth and scrabble through rubble. That’s no different on new single “Eraser”, which opens with a shelling of scattered drums and frontman Alex Edkins viciously chanting the song’s title and only sinks further into the mire. Only a few months off the release of the frenetic, frantic METZ II, the group seems like they’ve still got plenty left in the tank. The menacing, start-stop burner will be backed by a tune called “Pure Auto” on a single due January 22nd through Three One G. —Adam Kivel

07. EMA – “Active Shooter”

EMA-active-shooter

This track isn’t the only politically charged selection on this week’s list, but it is certainly the most explicit. Not only does EMA’s “Active Shooter” rip sound bites from President Obama’s recent address in the wake of the shooting at Umpqua Community College, it unapologetically repurposes police training footage to further reinforce its post-industrial chaos. The distorted chants are buried beneath battered electronics; however, the repetition of “any kid in America” reinforces the frightening notion that, at this moment, anyone seems capable of these heinous acts of violence, and thus safety remains an elusive dream. When politicians have stalled on further gun control legislation, Erika M. Anderson keeps the dialogue alive. –Derek Staples

06. Chairlift – “Ch-Ching”

chairlift ch ching new song Top 10 Songs of the Week (10/16)

Chairlift broke its silence this week. After almost three years of hiding among the background noise, the Brooklyn duo came swinging back with “Ch-Ching”, a slick and unrelenting number that shines a light on just how much has happened in the time since they’ve been gone. Caroline Polachek put out a solo album under the name Ramona Lisa; she also wrote and produced a song for Beyoncé. Her handiwork has been exposed to a far wider audience than ever before, and now she returns with her main gig to a markedly different music climate, one where blogs can become big business and surprise drops are all but the norm. Chairlift sounds ready to handle it, though. “Ch-Ching” stomps in with a nonchalant hip-hop swing, all synth horns and finger snaps, poised to deliver Polachek’s leering whisper: “Getting what you want can be dangerous.” –Sasha Geffen

05. Rome Fortune feat. D.R.A.M. – “24-7”

Rome Fortune

The last two times Atlanta rapper Rome Fortune made the Top Songs of the Week, he did so with very different bedfellows: esoteric producer Four Tet and “U Guessed It” yelper OG Maco. This time he reveals yet another side of his sound, in the Auto-Crooned “24-7”. Fortune released the tune on his birthday, but rather than a party vibe, the track rides on Snubnose Frankenstein’s low-key skitter and plink. “I’m good on your love if it’s 24-7,” D.R.A.M. leads on the hook, while Fortune goes on to explain that he’s not looking for anything serious. “Play me, no never, uhh/ You transparent ass character,” he smirks, before the infectious hook returns. –Adam Kivel

04. Eddi Front – “Fits”

Eddi Front

Paper Trail Records’ new charity compilation Thanks for Listening, whose sales benefit mental health resources over in Ireland, came packed with its share of stunners this week. Among the previously unheard tracks on the record is “Fits”, the latest from Las Vegas songwriter Eddi Front. Her contribution stands out in the tracklist for its simplicity; armed with multitracked guitar and her voice, she traces a complex emotional state that finds hope inside layers of numbness. “You can toss up your hands, but they’ll always fall back again,” she sings. “Try to keep that pretty head up towards the moon.” She encourages you to crawl your way out of despair not with an affirmation about individuality, but with the reminder that everyone is tied into the laws of physics that made them, and that the world wants us to keep moving inside its flow. “The end of the line is only for the dead,” she assures us, and the darkness in her voice only intensifies the light around its edges. –Sasha Geffen

03. Sángo – “Agorinha”

Sango Agorinha

Part of the increasingly influential Soulection collective, Seattle’s Sángo imbibes his emotive trap productions with a deep love of Brazilian culture. While the South American nation is home to some of the most gorgeous sights and humans on the planet, it is also battling urban sprawl and slums. “Agorinha” (roughly translated as “Just Now”) is pulled from those shadows. Even those unaccustomed to Portuguese can sense the urgency that builds throughout the track’s male/female lyrical pulse. Expect “Agorinha” to be accompanied by similarly incendiary outlooks on the modern human condition when Da Rocinha 3 (named after the country’s largest slum) drops November 10th. –Derek Staples

02. Sophie – “Just Like We Never Said Goodbye”

Sophie Just Like We NEver Said Goodbye

Sophie makes fun songs, songs about sex and kink and desire, songs about fantastical world domination. But this might be the first sad Sophie song we’ve heard. That doesn’t mean the UK producer has shelved the loopy analog synth sounds; it just means they’re employed in the service of a sentimental and bizarrely touching vocal performance about reuniting with a teenage lover and feeling as though everything could be simple again. The closer off Sophie’s forthcoming singles collection, Product, “Just Like We Never Said Goodbye” applies Sophie variables to the pop ballad form, churning out a demented look back on first love gone wrong.

Plenty of lines have been drawn between Sophie’s work and K-pop, and the producer absolutely taps the genre’s aesthetics, but there’s something fascinating about the vacancy that a vocalist would normally occupy here. K-pop builds characters; Sophie supplies vocals but leaves them anonymous, letting you grasp for straws as to who is doing all this feeling, who is responsible for the emotionality in the songs. That disorientation inverts the usual mechanics of pop and its stars, leaving a hollow at the center of each song that only your own desire can fill. –Sasha Geffen

01. Slutface – “Get My Own”

Slutface [Photo - Wlliam Glandberger]

“We refuse to be scared to walk home alone/ We refuse to say we’re okay, we won’t be subdued,” Haley Shea shouts on the new track from her band, Slutface, backed by a wall of female voices shouting along. The song’s propulsive rhythm and blistering guitar suit the insistent feminist anthem, fueling the fire that already burns plenty bright in Shea’s voice. The song is “direct in saying women deserve more space than we are given,” she explained. “And we are going to step up and take it.” The energetic, intense tune is the B-side to Slutface’s new single, with “Shave My Head” on the flip. The single’s being released today (!) through Propeller Recordings on their new 0E0E (cleverly pronounced “naughty naughty”) singles club. –Adam Kivel

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