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.
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
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