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Top 10 Songs of the Week (7/29)

Headed to Lolla? We've got a 10-pack of tunes to keep you grooving on the way there

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As we write this, we’re now in the thick of Lollapalooza, the time of the year in which a flock of music lovers descend upon Chicago. Though they’ll be camping out all day in Grant Park (along with some of our lucky staff), soaking up sun and digging some live music, some of us are sitting guard in the office, scouring the internet for all the best new tunes. The results? A batch of 10 great songs ready to keep you company if you’re stuck inside or soundtrack your ride on the way to your big day out.
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10. Slothrust – “Horseshoe Crab”

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Photo by Sasha Geffen

Slothrust are prepping for their third LP, Everyone Else, which will serve as a follow-up to the their 2014 LP, Of Course You Do. The Brooklyn trio have now shared their first single off the album, “Horsehoe Crab”, a subdued track that later sprawls into a mélange of jazz strumming and Leah Wellbaum’s strained vocal ascensions. While the song begins with languid progressions, slight ricocheted percussion, and conversational narratives, it later erupts into an earnest jam as Willbaum’s random meanderings turn into a low-end growl. “I bit my tongue last night, woke up with blood on my pillow,” she sings. “I woke up thirsty. Words make less sense to me these days.” Everyone Else drops October 28th via Dangerbird –Alejandra Ramirez


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09. Latmun – “Dream Supreme”

latmun dream supreme

The techno hippies of Desert Hearts know how to party, as exemplified by the 100 consecutive hours of music they curate for their bi-annual festivals. Four years since their foundation, the crew have finally released their debut Family and Friends compilation for the growing fanbase to rinse between festivities. London’s Latmun was honored with the distinction of leading the disc, and his “Dream Supreme” is an amalgam of rump-shaking tech house and psychedelic synth wanderings perfect for momentarily disassociating from one’s mind and body. A more uptempo number than some of the spiritual deep house to follow, “Dream Supreme” gets the sweat pouring for the forthcoming endeavor. –Derek Staples

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08. The Range – “True Value”

The Range

Sampling amateur Youtube videos, The Range’s Potential was also accompanied by a documentary entitled Superimpose, a project which looked at the artists whose music he chopped. While the film was premiered in March, it will be released next week, accompanied by an EP including remixes and four new original tracks. One of these songs is “True Value”, a layered and textured blend of feather-light keys, ruminating strings, and echoed electronics that could easily be a B-side off of his former album. The small assemblages of synths and loops are never rushed or overly stacked upon each other, but each addition flows naturally, fading in and out.  –Alejandra Ramirez

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 07. Saba – “Symmetry”

Saba

I got the chance to see Saba live for the first time a month or so ago, and the young Chicago rapper/producer came across like a flash of white lightning. His beaming smile, bouncing moves, and explosive hooks made him an absolutely magnetic presence. That continues on the sterling “Symmetry”, Saba limberly ripping off bars over a twinkling production courtesy of Ken Ross. “Baby don’t rush it,” he repeats in the chorus, and if the moment is as entrancing and sweet as this, there’s no reason to suspect anyone would want to rush past it. –Adam Kivel


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06. Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes – “Sundance Kid”

carl sagan's skate shoes

Austin’s Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes have happened upon a great inspiration combo for penning noise rock Western tales: lots of Neil Young and even more weed. As the title suggests, “Sundance Kid” reminisces about the train robbers of yesteryear, one of the few groups of folks that gave as few fucks as these Austin noise punks. The murk of distorted guitar and Steve Pike’s affecting howls line the core of the track, but muted stoner grooves and a Southern steel guitar twang join into the fun. Secure CSSS’ self-titled debut on August 19th via Super Secret Records. –Derek Staples


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05. Jenny Hval – “Conceptual Romance”

Jenny Hval // Photo by Kris Fuentes Cortes

Photo by Kris Fuentes Cortes

It’s strange to listen to “Conceptual Romance” and realize that the meditative synth pulsing in the background takes inspiration from someone who passed away after its creation. Jenny Hval channels the mood of Suicide right from the very start of her newest song, the opening lyrics treading middle ground between “Ghost Rider” and “Dream Baby Dream”. Thudding synth and the reverb of percussion shake, eerie backing vocals call out like deceased ghouls, and Hval lets each tone ripple outward, creating a song that’s as geared towards introspective reflection as it is meant to confront the effects of mental strain. It’s a fitting look at what to expect from the rest of her dark upcoming LP, Blood Bitch, when it drops September 30th via Sacred Bones, but, if you listen closely, it’s like a humming hymn in honor of Alan Vega. –Nina Corcoran

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04. Jlin – “Downtown”

Jlin // Photo by Kris Fuentes Cortes

Photo by Kris Fuentes Cortes

Over the last few years, Jlin has been busy honing the art of footwork beats. For Adult Swim’s Singles Series, she returns with one of her glitchiest standalone numbers, “Downtown”, and channels the fury of racing games in the process. From the opening chords and spliced piano work, Jlin molds “Downtown” into a beat-heavy dance, one that sees the bass notes bouncing upwards the moment they hit their lowest point, in part encouraged by the pitched up hi-hats and hand-claps. Throw some Michael Jackson-styled yelps into the mix and it’s a perfect footwork anthem. You’ve got a month left of summer to chill out; “Downtown” is your excuse to maximize that, be it with a controller in hand playing Super Monkey Ball or throwing a backyard dance party with friends. –Nina Corcoran

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03. Mac Miller feat. Anderson .Paak – “Dang”

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Photo by Philip Cosores

The funky “Dang!” may come from the upcoming record from Mac Miller, but you don’t need to listen long to know that this one originated with Anderson .Paak. “I can’t keep on losing you/ Over complications,” the burgeoning star croons, dropping a breathy iteration of the song’s title intermittently. That said, Larry Fisherman sounds pretty damn smooth over this groove too, especially when he starts to slur his flow a couple of minutes in, the whole thing getting a little extra slippery between the synth stabs. Mac’s new Divine Feminine hits shelves September 16th via Warner Bros. Records. –Adam Kivel

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02. Biosphere – “Sweet Dreams Form a Shade”

biosphere music

In a genre filled with few distinctions and numerous contributors, Geir Jenssen crafts artwork disguised as music, separating himself from the bunch without intentionally doing so — perhaps letting that modesty propel his music even farther. The Norwegian electronic producer behind moniker Biosphere has over three decade’s worth of practice creating ambient songs. His newest, “Sweet Dreams Form a Shade”, comes from his first album in almost five years, Departed Glories, due September 23rd via Smalltown Supersound. Jenssen picks up where he left off, reaching into the heart of ambient’s biggest draw — warm, sanded tones that speak to nostalgia and REM sleep — to weave those fibers into his own take. Synths fade in and out, giving the illusion of landscapes whipping past through a train window. Given he took inspiration from the beautiful and terrible past of Krakow, Poland, when writing this record, it comes as no surprise that “Sweet Dreams Form a Shade” shines a light on both angles, bringing beauty to an otherwise eerie sound and launching Biosphere back into the ambient spotlight he’s always earned his place in. –Nina Corcoran


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01. Krill – “Happy”

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Photo by Ben Kaye

It’s almost unfair that there are new Krill songs this good. The Boston indie rockers called it quits last year after five years and culminating in the sublime A Distant Fist Unclenching. While we’re never going to complain about new music from these guys, it’s a bummer to know that they were in the process of recording even more great tunes. But the five songs they’ve released as Krill are good enough to almost make up for it, especially the jangly, explosive “Happy”. The song mentions a “universe of evil” and how “you and your friend are basically complicit,” the heady, paranoid lyrics fitting for their cramped, compulsive jams. Grab the entirety of Krill on their Bandcamp–Adam Kivel

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