Top 10 Mp3s of the Week (12/1)


mp3s 4 Top 10 Mp3s of the Week (12/1)

Okay, so we missed a week. But I’d be willing to bet that you were so busy scarfing down leftovers last Friday that you forgot to read anyway. In any event, we’re back with a vengeance. Going through the past two weeks in mp3s has proved both fruitful and enlightening. I could bore you with a pre-Christmas speech, but let’s save that for next year and get straight to the music.

-Winston Robbins
Senior Staff Writer  

Black Star – “Fix Up” and “You Already Knew”

black star you already know Top 10 Mp3s of the Week (12/1)

Last week for Black Friday, Black Star finally offered up its single “Fix Up” for download, and later issued the Aretha Franklin-inspired “You Already Knew”. Although we’ve heard the single previously, thanks to a stop with Mr. Colbert, the latter track came as a nice surprise. Together, the two cuts offer some insight into what a new LP from the group might sound like: wonderful. Working with a throwback sound, you can almost hear the years of experience under their collective belt. Add a little production by Madlib (“Fix Up”) and Stones Throw labelmate Oh No (“You Already Knew”), and they’re soaring in style. –WR

“Fix Up”:

“You Already Knew”:

Bowerbirds – “Tuck Darkness In”

bowerbirds the clearing cos Top 10 Mp3s of the Week (12/1)

This song is destined for greatness and to be prominently displayed in a highly visible location for a long time. I’m of the mind that a lot of fauxlk rock bands aim for discounted climaxes at the expense of actual songwriting — not Bowerbirds. Through their career they’ve never leaned on the slow-build, so when they finally put it into action here it’s well-earned. It’s all tight, until they untie the song and let it go at the end. -JL

Bowerbirds – “Tuck the Darkness In”

Mikal Cronin – “You Gotta Have Someone”

mikalcronin1 Top 10 Mp3s of the Week (12/1)

Pacing is the trick, and because Mikal Cronin came out of the gates with such a fantastic LP, there’s no need for SF psych-prince to start leaping into alternate styles and mixes. This track continues the jangly, pop-garage race where his LP left off, and its just as catchy and lovable. -JL

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – “Thuggin'”

freddie gibbs madlib drop a surprise ep Top 10 Mp3s of the Week (12/1)

So we all know that Madlib is and always will be a mainstay name in cutting edge hip-hop production. And we also know that Freddie Gibbs has been slaughtering mixtapes like a madman lately. And before, we could only imagine what a collaboration between the two might sound like. No more. “Thuggin'” lays to rest any doubt that you may have been harboring about either artist. In short, it’s pretty great. -WR

Florence and the Machine – “Take Care” (Drake cover)

florence the machine Top 10 Mp3s of the Week (12/1)

So, you’re probably obsessed with Drake right now. And Skryim. Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, you ought to hear this. Florence does a very interesting rendition of Drake’s latest album’s title track, only after expressing her appreciation for three of the artists responsible for its creation: Jamie xx, Rihanna, and of course, the man himself, Drizzy. Worth a listen or two. -WR

Robin Pecknold and Alela Diane – “These Days” (Jackson Browne cover)

pecknold Top 10 Mp3s of the Week (12/1)

We still have yet to establish a solid rule about live songs. But I vote yes to live. Some of the songs I listen to most are live recordings – Live At Folsom Prison, How the West Was Won, etc. I wouldn’t necessarily place this track next to those mammoth recordings, but it’s pretty damn solid. The Fleet Fox frontman and the Rough Trade darling pair off for a moving Northwestern folk rendition of Jackson Browne’s “These Days” that is splendid. -WR

Plants and Animals – “Lightshow”

artworks 000014717685 elx6j5 original 1024x1024 Top 10 Mp3s of the Week (12/1)

Punching into the Canadian band’s strolling folk rock are these warm, tall sips of guitar solos. They sound as if they’re conjured from the shag-carpet of an old 70’s studio — it’s palpable as shit. To that end, the folky elements aren’t shellacked together, and individual musicianship reverberates all through the track.  I’m anxious to hear the rest of the album when it’s out at the end of February. -JL

Pop. 1280  - “Bodies in the Dunes”

 Top 10 Mp3s of the Week (12/1)

Some of my favorite releases this year — The Men, Iceage, White Sons — all are re-uping the term “pigfuck” as a genre and style. As opposed to escapism, Pop. 1280 embraces the shit and decay around them, and the chugging Suicide meets Misfits skronk regails supports that ethos perfectly. Their debut LP, The Horror, is out January 24th. -JL

Pop. 1280 – “Bodies in the Dunes”

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – “Dream On”

totally enormous extinct dinosaurs Top 10 Mp3s of the Week (12/1)

If you haven’t seen this kid’s mini-doc, you better get on it right quick. An impressive, creative dance musician if there ever was one. Talk about up and comers. On “Dream On”, he takes a typical house feel, twists in a slick chord progression, and slides in just the right amount of the Hot Chip aesthetic. Best part? It’s free here. -WR

 Woods – “Christmas Time Is Here” (Vince Guaraldi cover)

 Top 10 Mp3s of the Week (12/1)

Never has someone so accurately sounded like the kids on The Peanuts than Jeremy Earl from Woods. Uncanny. This song should be covered more often by everyone because it’s one of my favorites. Also that second chord,  Eb 9 flat 5, is the best chord there is. –JL

Woods – “Christmas Time Is Here” (Vince Guaraldi Cover)