Top 10 mp3s of the Week (6/15)


mp3s 4 e1333124415256 Top 10 mp3s of the Week (6/15)

With countless new songs dropping every week, it can be hard to pick just ten to bring you. This week, for instance, was especially difficult, as there were some jams that were shoo-ins for the final cut but also some tracks whose inclusion required extra deliberation. However, the following batch should hold up well, with summer-happy cuts from Passion Pit and Superchunk as well as sturdy rap bangers from the likes of Maybach Music and Detroit newcomer FowL. As per always, enjoy, and we’ll see ya back here next week.

-Mike Madden
Staff Writer

The Alchemist feat. Danny Brown & ScHoolboy Q – “Flight Confirmation”

artworks 000024931380 izylq0 original Top 10 mp3s of the Week (6/15)

California producer/MC The Alchemist is set to release Russian Roulette July 17th on Decon, and the album is chock full of big names from the indie rap world. Two of the biggest make appearances on the title track, as Detroit’s Danny Brown and L.A.’s ScHoolboy Q drop in for some verses, including Q quoting ODB and Brown . The real star of the show, though, may be Alchemist’s swanky horn and string sample. -Adam Kivel

Dusted – “Pale Light”

dusted Top 10 mp3s of the Week (6/15)

As Dusted, the team of Brian Borcherdt (of Holy Fuck) and producer Leon Taheny move in a decidedly less electronic world from the former’s other project, and more similar to the latter’s time working on Final Fantasy records. The second cut from their debut full-length, Total Dust (July 10th, via Polyvinyl/Hand Drawn Dracula), “Pale Light” is a lonely bit of rough-hewn languish, Borcherdt’s voice distorted and moaning over a choppy guitar. Swinging, diving violins add to the sense of pain, the whole thing fuzzy and mirroring lyrics about an attempt to “break the surface.” -Adam Kivel

FowL – “Spark Up”

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On the strength of perfectly mixed drums and cyclical guitar loops that evoke Freddie Gibbs’ “For My Niggas”, “Spark Up” is the best candidate thus far to put Detroit rapper FowL on a broader map. One look at the title and it should be obvious what the song is basically about, but while there are weed references here, FowL also adds some doses of straight-up Midwestern confidence, courtesy of his coarse yet supple technical skills: “Every breath I take, I take it like the last one/ So I’ma son yo’ ass in case I never have one.” Produced by Clockwork Muzik (Chip Tha Ripper, Gibbs, Ray Cash), it’s off FowL’s forthcoming Tall Tale LP. -Mike Madden

Maybach Music Group – “Power Circle”

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Posse cuts are common in rap, but nine-minute tracks with six different MCs? While the piano-powered beat here might not be the most special thing you’ve heard any of these guys rap over, it’s definitely a treat to hear all these guys jump on a single track, just going in without making room for a chorus. After Ricky Rozay’s kinda blase opening verse (“You niggas Spud Webb, comin’ up short/ I think ya Dee Brown/ Jump if ya want”), the rest of the MMG camp comes in with solid bars, the best of which come from Meek Mill and, especially, Kendrick Lamar. Also, when was the last time Gunplay took to a beat this quiet? From the forthcoming Self Made Vol. 2 comp. -Mike Madden

Mission of Burma – “Second Television”

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Post-punk mainstays Mission of Burma are about to release their fourth post-reunion full-length, Unsound (due July 9th, from Fire Records), and “Second Television” is the second track released from the album. The relatively jangly barrage of guitars, smooth vocals, cymbal crashes and propulsive bass lead to a scream and clang climax, the whole band powering through to a massive rock conclusion. -Adam Kivel

Passion Pit – “I’ll Be Alright”

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The second single from Passion Pit’s Gossamer (out July 24th via Columbia), “I’ll Be Alright” couples a familiar lyrical concept with atypical, rushing musical textures to create something at once adventurous and easily approachable. Essentially a breakup song, it finds Michael Angelakos trying to be content with his partner leaving him but ultimately realizing he might not be so well off if it happens: “You should go if you want to/ I’ll be alright,” then, “I won’t let you go/ Unless I’ll be alright.” Musically, the song is a twin of Yeasayer’s “Ambling Alp”, with unrelenting, experimental electronics working as a canvas for pop structure. Also, anyone who’s been bothered by Angelakos’s falsetto in the past shouldn’t have much of a problem with it here, as “Alright” has it as polished and fleshed-out as ever. -Mike Madden

Public Enemy – “Get It In”

public enemy 2012 Top 10 mp3s of the Week (6/15)

While legendary outfit Public Enemy have been promising not one but two discs to celebrate their 25th anniversary this year, the heavily delayed rap album release schedule surely provided some room for uncertainty. But then “Get It In” appeared, the first taste of those discs (it’s unclear which album it comes from). Featuring Bumpy Knuckles, the funky beat finds Chuck D and Flavor Flav sounding stronger than dudes over 50 might be expected to. If the rest of the music on these two albums sound as simultaneously old-school and fresh, we’ll be in for a treat. -Adam Kivel

Stalley – “Everything New” (Lex Luger remix)

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As recent as just a few months ago, Lex Luger’s adversaries were branding the Virginia producer a one-trick pony, only capable of the intense, oft-dark hi-hats-and-loops formula he worked out on tracks like Waka Flocka Flame’s “Hard in Da Paint” and Rick Ross’ “B.M.F.”. However, with more modestly produced songs including Schoolboy Q’s “Grooveline Pt. 1”, Luger has been proving himself more versatile lately. The latest evidence of this is the new remix of Stalley’s Savage Journey to the American Dream cut “Everything New”, wherein Luger replaces the Chad Hugo-provided piano of the original with blunt strings and thudding low-end, meanwhile coming up with something that knocks, bangs, slaps, etc. Oh, and Stalley sounds nice too. -Mike Madden

Stalley – “Everything New” (Lex Luger remix)

Superchunk – “This Summer”

 Top 10 mp3s of the Week (6/15)

Fuzzed-up, structurally typical lo-fi jams are what you expect from Superchunk, but “This Summer” is something of an aberration for the Merge veterans. With steady handclaps, ripping guitar solos, and Mac McCaughan’s fairly compact melodies, these three minutes are nothing complicated but also far from gimmicky. And, though they’ve band around for over 20 years now, the band has never sounded much more youthful — see especially the pure exuberance of the “Hell yeaahh!” about a minute in. -Mike Madden

Wild Nothing – “Shadow”

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Two years after the strong release of Gemini, and it would seem Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum still has the key to breezy dream-pop. Nocturne may not be ready for release til’ August 28th (via Captured Tracks), but its lead single, “Shadow”, is ready to infiltrate your ears with its warm, rollicking guitar hook. As Tatum’s vocals loll talking about how “I try to feel something for you,” the violins that echo his guitar are carrying the heavy emotional weight of the track. The light, floating insistence of the song bodes well for Wild Nothing’s sophomore album, its retro feel and epic tone carrying off on a sunny afternoon. -Adam Kivel