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Song of the Week: Yeah Yeah Yeahs Return With Perfume Genius For “Spitting Off the Edge of the World”

Reneé Rapp, Purple Disco Machine, and LØLØ also released essential tracks

yeah yeah yeahs Spitting Off the Top of the World
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, photo by David Black
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    Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs make their triumphant return.


    Yeah Yeah Yeahs are back with their first slice of new music in nine years: after signing to Secretly Canadian earlier this year, the NYC indie legends have returned with “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” which features alt pop extraordinaire Perfume Genius.

    Though they’ve been gone for a large part of the last decade, their return does not come with the urgent, electrifying dance punk that characterized their previous two albums; instead, they appear to be taking a page from M83’s effervescent shoegaze, letting the song’s slow tempo lend itself to seismic, patient synth explosions.

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    It’s almost as if “the edge of the world” is a metaphor for their time away from releasing music together, and this is their attempt to reconnect with those awe-inspiring, climactic feelings that it gives them. The world has undoubtedly changed in these nine years, and our demands for music that meets us where we are as a culture has never been higher.

    It’s fitting that Yeah Yeah Yeahs are determined to create widescreen music that feels aligned with the moment, and “Spitting Off the Edge of the World” is a wonderful attempt. Combine that with Perfume Genius’ unmistakeable poise and gentle deliveries, and you get a spacey, dazzling return from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

    — Paolo Ragusa


    Honorable Mentions:

    Reneé Rapp – “Tattoos”

    Jimmy Award winner, Broadway queen, and current star of the wonderful Sex Lives of College Girls on HBO — Reneé Rapp’s resume is stacked. The release of her new single, “Tattoos,” has been highly hyped thanks to some traction on TikTok, and she didn’t let fans down with the final product. It’s her debut single, something she’s said has come with plenty of trepidation, especially since the song itself is a vulnerable one.

    In acting, Rapp can swing from humor to heartfelt emotion with apparent ease, and her foray into original music has begun planted in the latter of the two. Regardless, her refreshing honesty has opened up a whole new side of her artistry for us to enjoy. — Mary Siroky

    LØLØ – “THE FLOOR IS LAVA!”

    LØLØ repurposes a childhood game into one so many of us are familiar with in adult life — the challenge to manage anxiety, try not to panic, go to work, make it all happen, eat well, follow your passion. In other words, the floor is lava. Try not to get burned.

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    The track is fiery, to be sure, feeling in the realm of Olivia Rodrigo and co., aka the current wave of pop-punk inspired girlies channeling all their best Avril Lavigne and Hayley Williams. It has that alt edge to it that feels transportive to the early 2000s, wonderfully loud and just a bit messy. “THE FLOOR IS LAVA!” is a chorus people will want to scream, and they’ll have the chance to do so this summer at Lollapalooza and the Sad Summer Festival Tour. — M.S.

    Purple Disco Machine x Bosq – “Wake Up! feat. Kaleta”

    It should be illegal to listen to Purple Disco Machine’s new track “Wake Up!” without your dancing shoes laced up. The patron saint of disco has arrived with another thumping new dance track, this time enlisting the help of producer and multi-instrumentalist Bosq and West African singer/guitarist Kaleta.

    Though many of Purple Disco Machine’s tracks seem destined for a late-night club experience, “Wake Up!” absolutely basks in the sunshine, giving the song a warm hue that radiates from dawn to dusk. It’s designed to lift you up from the very start, and a true celebration — we wouldn’t want to wake up without it. — P.R.

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    Viagra Boys – “Punk Rock Loser”

    Stockholm-based sleaze-punkers Viagra boys slow it down but keep it skuzzy on “Punk Rock Loser.” The third single from their upcoming album Cave World, “Punk Rock Loser” struts on a slanted groove while frontman Sebastian Murphy sings of a certain brand of scuzzy self-assuredness. With a saturated bassline and splintering guitars in the chorus, the song is as spunky and sardonic as you’d expect from Viagra Boys.

    The SNASK-directed music video sees Sebastian Murphy strutting in a sweaty, sandy western scene. Sticking out among swole, scruffy cowboys, the Swede swears he’s a savage to the suspicious spectators. It’s silly, but successful in its search for shit-eating smiles. — Jonah Krueger

    Pinkshift – “nothing (in my head)”

    Pinkshift has signed to Hopeless Records and is coming out swinging with their first single under the label “nothing (in my head).” Grungy and hard as nails, the riffs drive hard before Ashrita Kumar comes in with a melody reminiscent of turn-of-the-millennium pop-punk. It’s Paramore if they listened to more metal, Deftones if they ditched nu-metal for full-blown emo. With the pop-punk aesthetic gaining increasing mainstream attention, it’s refreshing to hear a band bring such raw energy to their performance. With label backing and credible friends like PUP, Pinkshift seems prime to take the scene. — J.K.

    Big Joanie – “Happier Still”

    UK punk trio Big Joanie have been making a name for themselves in London’s close-knit DIY scene for a while now, and released their great debut album Sistahs in 2018. Their latest single, “Happier Still,” is classic Big Joanie, full of punky riffs and throbbing drums that recall the likes of Bikini Kill and The Raincoats. It contains an infectious chorus that’s inevitably about, well, just how fine it is to not feel fine: “But I’ll feel fine/ So I’ll feel fine/ And I’ll feel fine/ Now I feel fine.” — Cady Siregar

    Nikki Lane – “First High”

    “First High,” the lead single off Nikki Lane’s forthcoming album Denim and Diamonds, revels in the nostalgia of a flurry of firsts — a first kiss, a first drink, a first rock ‘n’ roll show, your first time. Over the stomp of a country rock groove, the singer chases after that elusive rush again. “Sometimes I think that I should take a ride/ Hundred miles an hour with no headlights/ And I might feel the same way I did back then/ Never gonna happen again,” she sings, as she reaffirms the old adage: youth is wasted on the young. — Glenn Rowley

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