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Top MP3s of the Week (10/25)

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cassettes Top MP3s of the Week (10/25)

This weekend’s countdown is bound to get you out of your chairs and to clear out some dancing space. Some artists threw away their traditional guitar-dominance and took on new genres. Others stuck to their guns and kept our heads thrashing. And of course, there’s Arcade Fire, who continue to steal our hearts with each new tease of Reflektor. Dance with us from #10-#1.

10. White Denim – “Looking For A Place To Start”

Blackout

The latest step towards White Denim’s hotly anticipated new album, Corsicana Lemonade, proves that the band’s guitar wizardry is infinitely entertaining. While their past releases are coated in crunching distortion (“Pretty Green”) and blues rock cruising (“At Night in Dreams”), “Looking for a Place to Start” finds them in a more psychedelic playground filled with woozy wah effects and funky bass textures, its sustained organ pumps resembling those of The Doors. While White Denim has always had a slight resemblance to The Black Keys, they hit upon the formula with the same deep conviction. –Sam Willett

9. Mr. Dream – “Fringy Slider”

mrdream Top MP3s of the Week (10/25)

Brooklyn noise rockers Mr. Dream incorporate some dance elements into “Fringy Slider”, the lead single from their forthcoming album, The Ultimate in Luxury. Evoking Interpol’s best work, drummer Nick Slyvester lays down a staunch backbeat as the guitars rise and fall chaotically. The band retains the tension of their past material, while moving their sound into a new, more accessible direction. –Jon Hadusek


8. Endless Bummer – “Such a Drag”

EndlessBummer

Cali garage rock icon Ty Segall put together a recording space (called the Sweat Lodge), which is great news, because now he’ll be able to produce and record his favorite bands — not unlike what Jack White’s doing at Third Man Records. One of Segall’s first production projects at the Lodge is Endless Bummer’s debut EP, Ripper Current. Their sloppy garage punk has some extra crunch to it on “Such a Drag”, a sort of Agent Orange via Black Lips romp. –Jon Hadusek


7. U2 – “Ordinary Love”

U2

Moving past the dramatic sound effects of the trailer, U2′s contribution to Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, “Ordinary Love”, perfectly captures Nelson Mandela’s enduring passion to create a humane home for the South African people. Bono’s tenor yearns to emphasize his sacrifices to obtain freedom, longing to “reach the golden shore.” The rest of the band heightens this power as they transform its timid piano cues into a profound testament, lifting a dozen new voices into the mix. The track is bound to be a happy tear-jerker when the film hits the big screen on November 29th. –Sam Willett

6. Perfect Pussy – “I”

PerfectPussy

Syracuse punk band Perfect Pussy are riding a wave of hype following CMJ, and their cassette-released debut, I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling, is already on its fourth backorder. The album’s scuzzy opener, “I”, pits a wall of guitar fuzz against garbled tape hiss. Although singer Meredith Graves’ monotone yells are obscured by the lo-fi aesthetics, her energy and passion is audible, aggressively driving the song. –Jon Hadusek


5. Jessie Ware – “True Believers”

Jessie Ware

Jessie Ware’s Devotion is a testament to her heart’s persistent efforts to obtain true love, whether she was “Taking in Water” to keep it alive or desiring to be treated with deserved respect that someone would “Still Love Me”. “True Believers” is the reward she anticipated. Ware’s lyricism illustrates how she and her lover have moved to a new wonderland, where they can be alone and live in nature for eternity. She sings with conviction and passion, proving her love to be undying and contagious to anyone who believes in the same happiness. –Sam Willett

4. Kurt Vile – “Feel My Pain”

kurt vile by shawn brackbill 600 Top MP3s of the Week (10/25)

Kurt Vile has already made his mark on 2013 with the Top Star-earning Wakin on a Pretty Daze, and he’s not done yet. Vile will release seven outtakes from the Wakin sessions on the forthcoming EP It’s a big world out there (and I am scared), and his first tease of that release comes in the form of “Feel My Pain”. The six-minute track is built around meticulous guitar lines that Vile couldn’t stop playing after he first discovered them. “I remember playing over and over back when writing it, and then even more so when i had finished it, sort of possessed,” Vile writes in the accompanying liner notes. –Jon Hadusek

3. White Lung – “Down with You”

white lung art

“Down With You” is the B-side to White Lung’s forthcoming “Blow It South” 7”, and much like the A-side (which we praised in an earlier countdown), its blistering punk is played with speed-metal virtuosity. “I wanna ride/ Down with you,” sings a volatile Mish Way, with hints of Deborah Harry in her voice. Guitarist Kenneth William — improving with every song — hurls spiraling chords in rapid succession. At just two minutes long, it’s somehow an exhausting song, but also totally satisfying. –Jon Hadusek


2. James Vincent McMorrow – “Cavalier”

James Vincent McMorrow

Early in the Morning, James Vincent McMorrow’s debut album, was a folk record that illustrated beautiful sunrises through smooth vocal harmonies, gentle acoustic guitar melodies, and other characteristics of “beard rock.” The same seamless falsetto and string textures make an appearance his new single, “Cavalier”, but the folk has been retired for a more sensual approach. Delicate Rhodes steps and spacey electronics provide the perfect mood for dissecting his first love, teasing the line between troubled relationship and pure connection. This one fits in with deep, soulful crooners like James Blake, so get ready to dive in and feel the love. “Cavalier” is the first taste of McMorrow’s new album, Post Tropical, due January via Vagrant Records. –Sam Willett

1. Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

Arcade Fire

A steady, inquisitive gaze at that which cannot be understood is a key theme of Arcade Fire’s return on Reflektor (which can be freshly streamed in its entirety here), especially here as they toy with what’s supposed to happen in the “Afterlife”. After contemplating giving up on life and seeking answers to rhetorical questions, Butler shouts, “after all, the bad advice had nothing at all to do with life,” leaving it up to the band to deflect our doubts. Arcade Fire proves that understanding what’s fucked up in life isn’t important, so we should dance while we still can. —Sam Willett

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