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Drake, Joanna Newsom, and Run the Jewels Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week (10/28)

Plus, Kevin Morby, Allison Crutchfield, and Forth Wanderers try to prove Roger Daltrey wrong

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    It seems that every other week, some old white dude decides that rock and roll is dead. This time it was Roger Daltrey, who announced the demise in in an interview with The Times. He went on to add that “the only people saying things that matter are the rappers,” and while the rad rap tracks in our countdown this week bear out the value of the genre, the old Who-head ought to take a look at our list every week, as it regularly features great rock tracks. Give us a holler, Dalt! We’ll set you straight!

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    10. Kevin Morby – “Beautiful Strangers”

    Kevin Morby // Photo by Philip Cosores

    Photo by Philip Cosores

    Earlier this year, the world mourned one of America’s worst attacks: the Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando. Though time has passed, many of those wounds, both literal and community-based, remain open. One of the people to feel its pain is singer-songwriter Kevin Morby. After hearing about the tragedy, he took to the studio to record two new songs, one of which is “Beautiful Strangers”, a winding, intimate folk number that picks up momentum as it goe. This goes out to “people who liked to laugh, dance, and love in the way that we all do, but can’t anymore,” he wrote on his Bandcamp. It may seem strange at first to grin or move in time to his song, but let it grow. Morby’s songwriting catches a hold of the heart in funny ways and, when given time, convinces you it’s time to move, even if your body’s biggest dance move is a subtle sway back and forth. –Nina Corcoran

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    09. Drake – “Sneakin'”

    07212016 drake erwincenter saramarjoriestrick20160720 0006 Drake, Joanna Newsom, and Run the Jewels Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week (10/28)

    Photo by Sara Marjorie Strick

    Drizzy took some unacceptable shots at the ailing Kid Cudi, but remember, he just turned 30. “Man, I’m only 29, have some patience with us,” he raps on new track “Sneakin'”, recorded prior to reaching the big 3-0. (Which by the way, this is all reminding me that I am roughly the same age as Drake and yet have never even once released a hit single or high-fived DeMarcus Cousins from my courtside NBA seats … But I digress.) Over some London On Da Track niceness, Drake and the up-and-coming Atlanta rapper 21 Savage drop some lines about keeping the fake friends away and being the best. “Shit ain’t been the same like before/ I still love it but I used to love it more,” Drake adds — and if this is the sound of him half-assing it, we’ll all be completely floored when he gets back to feeling it. –Adam Kivel


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    08. Forth Wanderers – “Nerves”

    forth wanderers Drake, Joanna Newsom, and Run the Jewels Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week (10/28)Why throw hard punches when the sadness you’re conveying speaks for itself? New Jersey act Forth Wanderers sigh with every guitar line and heavy slosh of percussion, and their newest cut, “Nerves”, maintains that style. The song wags its tail like a dog seeking forgiveness while knowing it’s in the wrong. A catchy guitar melody sings repeatedly, the tempo holds its own, and vocal harmonies appear halfway through, bringing intimacy into the mix for a true plea of acceptance in the wake of a relationship. Forth Wanderers revive slacker rock without trying too hard. Then again, isn’t that the point? –Nina Corcoran



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    07. Run the Jewels – “Talk To Me”

    run the jewels rtj3 new album 2016 Drake, Joanna Newsom, and Run the Jewels Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week (10/28)

    Cartoon Network exec Jason DeMarco introduced Killer Mike and El-P, essentially pushing together what would become one of the most powerful rap duos in the world today, Run the Jewels. It’s only fitting, then, that Mike and El have turned to the Adult Swim Singles Series to preview their third record together. The fiery “Talk to Me” is a Trump-dissing “soundtrack to World War 3 and the apocalypse,” according to Mike, and we can’t think of a more fitting metaphor. “Rhyme animal, pit bull, terrier,” Mike opens up the first verse, bodying the spray-tanned menace with a few lines. El follows, adding some lines that make it clear RTJ are here to win: “Talk real good ’cause I’m smart and stuff/ We a good crew to fuck with, better to love.” RTJ3 is looking like it’s inching closer to your ear-holes, so get yourself ready. –Adam Kivel


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    06. A$AP Mob feat. A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator, Playboi Carti, and Yung Gleesh – “Telephone Calls”

    asap rocky tyler Drake, Joanna Newsom, and Run the Jewels Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week (10/28)

    Posse cuts aren’t the rarity that they once were, but getting one where each individual voice sounds unique and tied to their own shit, but still come together stylistically is a little less common. That’s just what happens on “Telephone Calls” with A$AP Rocky, Tyler, the Creator, Playboi Carti, and Yung Gleesh. Structurally, Rocky gets a phone call from each of the other rappers who then drop a verse. I’m not typically a Tyler backer, but he sounds great on this track, taking on a little Southern drawl and repping McLaren cars and the Odd Future Carnival. The upcoming A$AP Mob group tape, Cozy Tapes Vol. 1, drops on Halloween and should be a blast. –Adam Kivel



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    05. Allison Crutchfield – “Dean’s Room”

    ac merge Drake, Joanna Newsom, and Run the Jewels Highlight Our Top Songs of the Week (10/28)

    The Crutchfields of Alabama seem like a pretty hip clan, at least if we’re to judge by their indie rock ambassadors, Allison and Katie. The twin sisters formed the awesome P.S. Eliot back when and then split off, the former to work on Swearin’ and the latter with Waxahatchee. Now, Allison is adding another project to that scrapbook, and under her own name to boot, finally getting that Crutchfield surname its proper due. Debut track “Dean’s Room” pairs the new wave/post-punk rhythm and energy of “Age of Consent” with some rubbery pop punk bass and a little bit of distortion. But Allison’s sweet vocals are the star of the show. “I’ve never been addicted to anything like this before,” she sings, a feeling you’ll be well acquainted with by the time you click play on the track the 15th time. Allison Crutchfield’s Tourist in This Town hits shelves January 27th via Merge Records. –Lior Phillips



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