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Top 10 Songs of the Month: MØ, St. Vincent, Future, and Young Thug

These songs will help get you through that long, barren winter that's just around the bend

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    It’s that strange time of year at Consequence of Sound. As fall winds continue to shift without warning, blowing us about Chicago like rag dolls and teasing winter, the pop-culture world actually turns far more predictable. Out roll the movies we’ve been anticipating all year (or at least have been told to) while, if forecasts hold true, album and song releases will continue to dwindle until we reach absolute zero – that point in December where we half-suspect nobody will ever leak a single or post an album stream again. It’s a bleak, near-certain future that makes it all the more important to be thankful for the delectable bounty of October: surprises dropping well ahead of Christmas, triumphant returns, and young artists staking their claims to that next echelon of stardom. This is the nourishment – the musical blubber – that’ll assure we make it through the long, cruel winter. So, dig in, and, by all means, make room for seconds and thirds.

    –Matt Melis
    Editorial Director


    10. Tears for Fears – “I Love You But I’m Lost”

    How many couples still “got it” after 13 years? The correct answer is “not many.” Apparently, Tears for Fears leaders Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith are the exception, as they proved this past month with their first song in that many years: “I Love You but I’m Lost”. The first of two new songs that spearhead their forthcoming greatest hits collection, Rule the World, the track actually sounds a little like Parisian rockers Phoenix. But that’s like saying The Beatles’ “Real Love” sounds like an ELO anthem. These guys were first, and it feels good to have these guys back. That chorus is vintage Tears for Fears, packing all the bruising emotional oomph that made the English pop juggernauts so essential in the ’80s. Call us crazy, but we’re actually excited for a greatest hits album in 2017. Alas, we live in a mad world. –Michael Roffman 


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    09. Future and Young Thug – “Patek Water (feat. Offset)”

    Future and Young Thug logged substantial studio time together this year after squashing their beef last fall, so their fans were reasonably excited when Super Slimey dropped the same day it was announced. While the project was never going to live up to the hype, it still delivered cuts like “Patek Water”. Featuring hypnotic production led by a whimsical flute and a standout verse from Offset, the track finds Thug trading bars about Ric Flair’s Rolex with the Migos members boasting about his baguette-cut diamonds. On the chorus, Future’s lines about Patek watches and fancy cars are intertwined with Thug’s distinctive ad libs. Hopefully, more of the “epic music” producer Southside has teased is on the way because “Patek Water” only scratches the surface of what the duo can accomplish together. –Eddie Fu


    08. King Krule – “Dum Surfer”

    “Rarely has dissatisfaction and frustration felt so appealing,” our own David Sackllah wrote about The Ooz, the new highly rated album from King Krule. And we’re far from the only ones heralding singer-songwriter Archy Marshall’s second full-length under the Krule moniker. Marshall has a preternatural ability – not unlike a young Beck Hansen – for mixing disparate genres and twentysomething ennui into a chaotic sludge that listeners slowly sink into and soon find they don’t want to be rescued from. Visceral second single “Dum Surfer”, complete with “undead” music video, combines eerie, industrial sounds, volatile jazz, and danceable phrasing about a mashed night out that disorients and entrances as if Marshall was a zombie Pied Piper leading listeners to their dooms or maybe just the next pub with fucking trash on the jukebox. It’s an inexplicably irresistable bit of chaos. –Matt Melis
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    07. Fever Ray – “To the Moon and Back”

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Karin Dreijer Andersson’s beloved music project makes a surprise return after a prolonged gap of silence. Yeah, she and her brother Olof did that with The Knife in 2013, seven years after their last full record. And now, with the surprise album Plunge, her first album as Fever Ray in eight years. The resulting set is full of countless pleasures, but perhaps none deeper than the sterling “To the Moon and Back”. The track’s myriad synthesizers at times recall woodpeckers in the midst of a deep electro wood, at others a burbling cartoon sea, and at yet others an interstellar voyage. “Hey remember me?/ I’ve been busy working like crazy,” she begins on the track, and it’s obvious that’s the case. —Lior Phillips


    06. Tee Grizzley – “Win”

    LeBron James and JAY-Z both co-signed Detroit rapper Tee Grizzley for his breakout hit, “First Day Out”, an equal parts celebratory and introspective anthem. Tee’s latest single, “Win”, follows a similar recipe with urgent, piano-driven production and motivational lyricism, but this time around, the young spitter focuses more on recent accomplishments. There’s a swell of pride in his voice when Tee raps about being the first person in his family to make “legal bread” during the chorus, as he adds, “Without me, my family wouldn’t have food/ Anybody go against me gotta lose.” Good luck to anyone who tries to stand in his way. –Eddie Fu
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    05. St. Vincent – “Slow Disco”

    We’re never surprised to find hidden gems in a St. Vincent album. After all, Annie Clark is a perfectionist when it comes to her music, so it stands to reason that her albums are going to be fully stocked with essential deep cuts. That’s been the case for the last 10 years, starting with 2007’s Marry Me and continuing with this past month’s MASSEDUCTION. “Slow Disco” arrives late in the album and packs a penultimate punch, gutting the soul with its tale of two parallel lives. “Am I thinking what everybody’s thinkin’/ That I’m so glad I came, but I can’t wait to leave,” she sings over a bed of strings that wouldn’t be out of place on a Verve track. It’s so gorgeous that it kind of does a disservice to the follow-up, closing track “Smoking Section”, namely because you’re bound to hit replay again and again and again. –Michael Roffman


    04. Julien Baker – “Turn Out the Lights”

    When a new album lands singles across multiple months on our Top Songs of the Month rundowns, it’s fairly safe to predict that that record will possess staying power beyond the typical press cycle. In Julien Baker’s case, that’s practically a dead cert. Her new album, Turn Out the Lights, came out last Friday and confirmed what both lead single “Appointments” and its follow-up, the album’s title track, practically screamed: the record would be a major breakthrough for Baker in terms of arrangements, lyrics, and channeling her incredible voice. Across a brutally honest record that, as our own David Sackllah writes, “drowns in anxieties, but finds hope and embraces each day’s little victories,” songs like “Turn Out the Lights” showcase Baker’s growth, especially the newfound confidence to unleash her powerful voice to match the emotion of her words. The song, like its namesake, is a stunning achievement by a young artist just scratching at the surface of her potential. –Matt Melis


    03. SZA – “Love Galore (feat. Travis Scott)”

    We knew “Love Galore” was a seriously special song back when SZA released her superb debut LP, Ctrl, in June. In fact, the slippery smooth song paired the TDE signee’s sensual vocals with Travis Scott’s machismo (and let’s not even get started with that video). Now, SZA brings the track back via the verse that never was, adding even further to the steaminess. “Freaky for the night/ Shit, it all depend on you,” she flows over that already memorable, slinky beat. She’s already working on a follow-up — and with Mark Ronson and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, no less! SZA is clearly feeling herself, and we’re all the happier for it. –-Lior Phillips
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    02. Brian Eno and Kevin Shields – “Only Once Away My Son”

    Brian Eno makes gorgeous music. So does Kevin Shields. That’s why when it was revealed that they combined forces for Adult Swim’s 2017 Singles Program, we kind of freaked out. The world’s a miserable, god forsaken place right now, and songs like “Only Once Away My Son” just don’t belong. It’s like some ancient recording of an alien world, where silence is replaced by what can best be described as aural embalming fluid. It’s too sharp for meditation and yet too gentle to wince at — in a word, it’s stirring. And that’s kind of what we need right now, a time that demands our attention and yet also insists that we remain calm. Maybe that’s looking too much into it, but if we’re not looking deep, why else would we be listening to Eno and Shields? Hey, how about that new My Bloody Valentine album next year? –Michael Roffman


    01. MØ – “Linking with You”

    “On my own/ Pretending that I’m not at home/ Act like I don’t check my phone,” sings on “Linking with You”, the highlight of her surprise new EP, When I Was Young. Yeah, MØ we’ve all been there, trying not to think about that special someone and yet also dreaming that they’ll just call you already. The EP is MØ’s first release since her 2014 debut LP, No Mythologies to Follow, and songs like this show just how the Danish indie pop artist’s confident vulnerability made her one to watch. Over a rolling wave of summery percussion and burnt, pitch-shifted samples, MØ delivers yet another raw, lovelorn, fascinating dance-along jam full of emotions. –Lior Phillips

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