Radiohead, Bon Iver and Moses Sumney Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week 9/30

These tunes sound great no matter what you're wearing

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Whenever some new service hits the internet, it seems like the first smart-ass comment is something along these lines: “You can even do BLANK naked!” Fill out a mortgage application, get car insurance, buy some polo shirts, all in the nude! But, really, that’s never been an exciting marketing tool or made much change. Katy Perry aims to achieve both the excitement and the change with her own unexpected nude achievement: voting. Sure, it might be a Funny Or Die sketch, but we understand the impulse. If you feel like listening to these 10 stunning new tracks in the buff, we wouldn’t mind one bit.

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10. Bad Sea – “Solid Air”

bad sea solid air2 Radiohead, Bon Iver and Moses Sumney Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week 9/30

Unfamiliar with Dublin’s Bad Sea? No need to be embarrassed or worry about having to catch up: “Solid Air” is their debut single. The duo of Ciara Thompson and Alan Farrell have found a stride from tune one, delivering a slightly sun-singed indie pop tune. Thompson’s vocals ripple and curl over a breezy, humid beat, Farrell’s guitar chasing her in the song’s second half. But not everything is as sweet as it may seem. “You make yourself king who carries worlds across his shoulders/ You’re only just a man, you’re not even very strong,” Thompson notes in the last verse. “Would you like to be a girl whose life was taken by her boyfriend/ You could never know, and you won’t really care.” There’s a tension to the song, like the contradictory waves of solid air in the hook. –Lior Phillips


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09. Kero Kero Bonito – “Trampoline”

Kero Kero Bonito // Photo by Lior Phillips

Photo by Lior Phillips

It’s possible to satisfy your sweet tooth without getting a cavity. As Kero Kero Bonito prep for their upcoming album, Bonito Generation (set to drop on October 21st), they fling another synthpop dance jam into the masses, this time amping up the sugary beats more than usual. “Find your rhythm, momentum is the key,” sings billingual singer and rapper Sarah Perry. Her words lock together with the handclaps and uptempo pace of the track, bringing sunny splashes reminiscent of ’90s power pop fitting somewhere between the Spice Girls and PC Music. Kero Kero Bonito find the perfect middle ground of a pump-up song that doesn’t poke your nerves. –Nina Corcoran


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08. Stars of the Lid – “Twin Plotkin_V2”

stars of the lid Radiohead, Bon Iver and Moses Sumney Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week 9/30

With a UK tour beginning next week, ambient veterans Stars of the Lid dug up some unreleased material to share in anticipation. Better yet, it’s inspired by Twin Peaks. The song, a nearly 10-minute gloss titled “Twin Plotkin_V2” on SoundCloud, comes with handwritten CD cover art that credits all sounds as coming from “SOTL except Fender Rhodes E. Piano by Mr. Plotkin.” What begins with ominous bass soon melts into a fuzzy sheen of warm synth, all slowed down to mirror the show’s ever-present fog. If you feel tempted to blast it, reel back. Stars of the Lid designed the track for low-volume listening (“of course!” reads the note) to help you drift off to sleep, possibly into a dream about a homecoming queen’s murder. –Nina Corcoran


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07. Dungen – “Jakten genom skogen”

Nina Corcoran, Dungen 1

Photo by Nina Corcoran

After a five-year absence, Dungen returned last year with Allas Sak, a collection of psych rock songs, but the Swedish group aren’t done yet. They’re releasing a full-length on November 25th called Häxan, and by the sound of single “Jakten genom skogen”, it’s an even deeper exploration into their head-swimming grooves. Inspired by their work on an original score to 1926 animated film The Adventures of Prince Achmed, the song brings imagery to life without a single word uttered. Finger-plucked guitar trickles over quiet keys before the track picks up tempo, speeding forward like a rush of wind picked up around you. It’s the exact type of magical facelift you may need after a rough week of work. –Nina Corcoran


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06. Russ – “Gone”

russ gone Radiohead, Bon Iver and Moses Sumney Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week 9/30

Photo by Donte Maurice

Westbrook isn’t the only Russ who’s about to have a big year. Russ the up-and-coming rapper continues to rise with the excellent, self-produced “Gone”. The smooth-as-hell tune gives Russ plenty of time to wave goodbye to the people who doubted him. “Exes best friends now, I don’t give a fuck/ I don’t gotta get revenge, my life does that enough,” he drops, only topped by a line that he’ll always be around cause he’s stuck in your search bar. Peep that emoji-esque cover and you’ll get an idea of the succinct nature with which Russ delivers his put-downs and bravado. –Adam Kivel

https://soundcloud.com/russ/gone-prod-russ

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05. Oozing Wound – “Diver”

oozing wound whatever forever Radiohead, Bon Iver and Moses Sumney Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week 9/30

Chicago’s Oozing Wound deliver a heady dose of dark riffage this week as they ramp up to what will surely be another beastly album. Whatever Forever drops October 14th via Thrill Jockey, and “Diver” will shred and churn at your organs until all you can do is bang your head along to the furious rhythm. The world of Twin Peaks also makes its second appearance in our countdown this week after the Stars of the Lid tune, the video entering the world of the Black Lodge. Oozing Wound have deserved more attention for their intensely fun and intensely intense music, and if it includes more like this, Whatever Forever may just deliver those listeners. –Adam Kivel



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 04. Radiohead – “Ill Wind”

Radiohead // Photo by Lior Phillips

Photo by Lior Phillips

Radiohead are the type of band that can release a thrilling B-side to a mellow, contemplative record that still winds up in a list like this. They just don’t put out many clunkers, even the tracks that don’t make their records. Listening to “Ill Wind”, it’s clear that the song didn’t fall off of A Moon Shaped Pool due to any lack in quality, but rather that it just didn’t fit in. The slinky, almost bossa groove at the song’s open makes that distinction clear, Thom Yorke’s exquisite falsetto slippery through the breeze. “Ill Wind” is available as a bonus on the special vinyl edition of Radiohead’s latest. –Adam Kivel



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03. Bon Iver  – “8 (circle)”

bon iver new york tour Radiohead, Bon Iver and Moses Sumney Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week 9/30

Photo by Nina Corcoran

What’s new here is that Justin Vernon has tempered and honed his flourishes. His new music as Bon Iver is characteristically ugly-beautiful, crystalline vocals splashing across the brutal and heartbreaking conundrums of life — and “8 (circle)” is no exception. “What on earth is left to come?/ Who’s agonized and gnawed through it all/ I’m underneath your tongue,” Vernon sings. Compared to the other singles from third LP 22, A Million (out today), it’s modest in its experiments, never sacrificing a well-tuned ear for the sake of being challenging. –Lior Phillips



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02. Sammus feat. Homeboy Sandman – “Weirdo”

sammus weirdo Radiohead, Bon Iver and Moses Sumney Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week 9/30

Photo by Zooloo Brown

If you don’t think nerd culture is here to stay, look at all the outcasts having their culture cake and eating it, too. Sammus is here to remind us of that on “Weirdo” — the first track off her debut LP, Pieces in Space, out on Don Giovanni on October 28th — by shining a light on introverts and people of color alike, all behind a moniker that intentionally nods to Metroid’s iconic, metal-clad protagonist. She raps about learning and the excitement of exploring hobbies in what should be a safe world. There to back her up is Queens rapper Homeboy Sandman. His verse on acceptance gives the song more energy, a mirror image of Sammus: a flashy finger in the air claiming coolness for the sake of differences, for kids blasting video game music like the beeps in the background, for every minority that deserves to feel the power of a majority simply for the sake of safety and inclusion — because one day we will get there. –Nina Corcoran



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01. Moses Sumney feat. Thundercat – “You Want It Darker”

thundercat moses sumney lonely world Radiohead, Bon Iver and Moses Sumney Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week 9/30

It is a goddamn lonely world sometimes isn’t it? The dark void can scream louder than any other voices around you, and it’s hard to survive in this brutal dystopia that is 24-7 digital connectivity. “Lonely World” is granite, yet gauzy; Los Angeles singer-songwriter Moses Sumney sings about loneliness, but his weighted words balance Thundercat’s bass, Ian Chang’s drums, and Tosin Abasi and Joshua Willing Halpern’s guitar beautifully. Sumney revels in his idiosyncrasies; you can hear it in his glorious falsetto soaring over lush guitars and choral percussive layers. Words that shouldn’t stretch do, and the space between them veers off in unexpected directions. The build-up rumbles with delicious menace, and his new EP, Lamentations, shows how much this young artist has grown to match his ambition. —Lior Phillips

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