Kim Gordon, Jenny Hval, and Nocturnal Habits Top Our Songs of the Week (9/16)

Here are 10 songs that might leave both you and Jack White tearing up a bit


    Jack White recently came out of relative hiding for a performance on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, fighting back tears on acoustic performances of “Love Is the Truth” and The White Stripes’ “You’ve Got Her in Your Pocket”. And if an old pro like Jack can still get caught up in the beauty and power of music, what excuse do any of us possibly have? With that in mind, we think you might just find an emotive experience somewhere in our latest batch of new songs, so make sure to have your handkerchief handy.

    10. Wrekmeister Harmonies – “Light Falls I — The Mantra”

    Wrekmeister Harmonies // Sasha Geffen

    Photo by Sasha Geffen

    Wrekmeister Harmonies mastermind J.R. Robinson left Chicago for the great wide open of Oregon recently, and the big-sky feelings permeate the first taste of his upcoming Light Falls. “Light Falls I — The Mantra” eschews the push-and-pull of orchestral metal and focuses mostly on the pull. Robinson, bandmate Esther Shaw, and guests Ryley Walker and Cooper Crain (of Cave and Bitchin Bajas) build a stretched, gentle drone, Robinson speaking in a low rumble: “Stay in, go out, get sick, get well, light falls.” It’s an understated, softer version of what you might expect from Wrekmeister Harmonies, but suffice it to say there are plenty of beautiful moments here — and some serious surprises later in the record. Light Falls is available in full today via Thrill Jockey. –Adam Kivel

    09. Peals – “Become Younger”


    Baltimore duo Peals prepped their sophomore album — Honey, out September 16th via Friends Records — to be full of refined pop melodies. William Cashion (Future Islands) and Bruce Willen (ex-Double Dagger) took their time over the last three years in Willen’s home to create cuts that mimic the album’s title. Just look at “Become Younger”. The song keeps a sweet melody as a constant while guitars trickle downwards in a stream-like fashion. It’s hazy and lush, the type of bare-bones song that makes you feel content as it traps you in its sticky fingers, in a rare moment of reflection that lasts for six minutes. Sometimes you need a break from it all. “Become Younger” offers you that with a side of inner peace, too. –Nina Corcoran


    08. Tinashe – “Company”


    The follow-up to Tinashe’s 2014 record, Aquarius, has fallen prey to some serious delays, but at least in the meantime she’s putting out some serious jams. If Joyride carries half the sultry groove of the new “Company”, it should be a real spicy one. The ode to no-strings-attached lust continues to position the R&B singer as an heir to the Janet Jackson/Madonna line, a sultry trap-esque production rolling underneath her slinky delivery. Listen in over at HotNewHipHop. Joyride should be out sometime this fall, likely with a whole bunch more anticipation boiling up under the nation’s collective collar. –Adam Kivel 


    07. Kevin Morby – “Tiny Fires”

    Kevin Morby // Photo by Kris Fuentes Cortes

    Photo by Kris Fuentes Cortes

    We’ve been caught in the ebb and flow of Kevin Morby’s music ever since he put Singing Saw out earlier this year. The Bob Dylan look-alike has more folk up his sleeves, and as any true performer does, he’s too excited about the song to wait until a future record to share it. Standalone “Tiny Fires” graced the live stage several times at this point, but its recorded version sees Morby capturing its sunny tones with perfect production and a glean in his lyrics. “I never crossed a river so wide, so wide/ I never echoed through a valley/ But oh you know/ I’d walk for miles just to see it,” he sings. “Though it’s not my style/ I could be it.” While guitars cascade behind him in a country waterfall, Morby seems more wishful than ever — and we can’t help but think this side of him should stick around. –Nina Corcoran

    06. Albert af Ekenstam – “Made of Gold”


    So free yourself tonight,” pleads Albert af Ekenstam through aching, yet earnest emotive suffocation. He understands how precious pain can become, to the point that it weighs us down, like gold, when the emotional labor of treasuring despair doesn’t shine anymore. “Made of Gold” appears on his upcoming debut album, Ashes, due out October 14th. With much of the album rebuilding from the ruins of losing his mother early in life, we meet the artist attempting to relight the embers with brooding piano suspended beneath a layer of gorgeous, heartfelt vocals. From Gothenburg to Stockholm, Albert af Ekenstam brings the influence of Bon Iver into a room with Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky — a contrast that only makes his pop balladry more affecting. –Lior Phillips


    05. D.R.A.M. – “Cash Machine”

    D.R.A.M. // Photo by Philip Cosores
    Photo by Philip Cosores

    We’ve loved D.R.A.M. for quite a while (seriously, I don’t think “Cha Cha” has ever left my brain), and it’s good to see the dude is getting some national love. His collab with Lil Yachty, “Broccoli”, was the proof that the dude does indeed do real-ass music, but “Cash Machine” further cements it. Think this success is changing D.R.A.M.? This one suggests so, yeah: “Now it’s ironic cause I only conversate with those hundreds.” Walloping piano, some cash machine sound effects, and Big Baby’s rough-hewn crooning complete a sweet picture of a guy on the come-up. —Adam Kivel