Top 10 Songs of the Week (8/29)


With Labor Day only a few days away, we all must accept that summer has come to a close. Was it everything that you wanted it to be? Whether you are rolling into September with a broken heart, semester stress, or a positive new outlook  (we hope for the latter), this week’s list has got something for you. Drown those sorrows to Cass McCombs, mend to the tender tongue of Kevin Morby, shake off the angst with Ryan Adams, or just do something freaky to the new Flying Lotus collaboration. Whatever you do, just keep doing it to great music!

10. Real Estate – “Paper Dolls” (The Nerves cover)

real estate

The great thing about modern bands covering old, obscure songs is that it can often introduce listeners to bands they’ve never heard of and give fans insight into what their favorite artists are listening to. Here, Real Estate deliver a fine rendition of The Nerves’ “Paper Dolls”, which was written by Jack Lee — most famous for writing Blondie’s hit “Hanging on the Telephone” (originally a Nerves song, as well). It’s noticeably rockier and upbeat compared to Real Estate’s typically mellow tunes, but the guitar interplay is pure Real Estate, or pure Nerves, depending on your perspective. Lee and bandmates Peter Case (who’d later form The Plimsouls) and Paul Collins (who’d form The Beat) had the jangles down decades ago, and their influence can be heard in young bands like Real Estate, who show real class here paying tribute to their predecessors. –Jon Hadusek

9. The History of Apple Pie – “Jamais Vu”

historyofapplepie Top 10 Songs of the Week (8/29)

Though the single art for The History of Apple Pie’s “Jamais Vu” (as seen in the Soundcloud below) looks straight out of a Wes Anderson film, the London-based band’s music evokes a different kind of nostalgia than the ‘60s-inflected soundtracks of Anderson’s oeuvre. Instead, they look back to a blend of ‘90s alt rock and shoegaze. The second single off their forthcoming LP, Feel Something, which is out on September 30th via Marshall Teller, “Jamais Vu” boasts a multitude of buzzing, sprightly guitars and frontwoman Steph Min’s graceful and near-weightless vocals. It’s a blitz of searing energy with a smartly saccharine pop center. –Josh Terry

8. Ryan Hemsworth feat. Tomggg – “Cream Soda”

Ryan Hemsworth // Photo by Ellie Pritts

Take all the innocence of a 1950s American soda shop, combine it with the excess of a Tokyo arcade, and you have this Ryan Hemsworth/Tomggg collaboration. Landing six weeks ahead of Hemsworth’s short Japanese tour, “Cream Soda” is fizzing with classic Nintendo electronics and a melody more delectable than a Hello Kitty lollipop. Take this to the dance floor, and the crowd might just get spirited away. –Derek Staples

7. Flying Lotus feat. Herbie Hancock and Thundercat – “Moment of Hesitation”

flying lotus youre dead

A multi-faceted luminary, Flying Lotus (aka Steven Ellison) has already informed the industry that his forthcoming fifth LP, You’re Dead!, is going to “mess up the game.” This statement was confirmed ahead of the album’s October 7th release (via Warp) when Gilles Peterson debuted “Moment of Hesitation” during his BBC Radio 6 presentation. Featuring Herbie Hancock and Thundercat, the genre-bending affair delves more deeply into Ellison’s passion for hard-bop jazz and those imperfect human elements. Abandon your expectations and then skip to the 1:11:38 mark. –Derek Staples

6. Cass McCombs – “Night of the World”

casspuppetssplit Top 10 Songs of the Week (8/29)

Despite all his eccentricities, California-bred singer-songwriter Cass McCombs knows what to do with a straightforward song structure. Case in point: the bluesy “Night of the World” and its oddly expansive scope. One of two new McCombs songs on the upcoming Cass McCombs vs. Meat Puppets 7-inch (out October 28th via Domino), it’s short of two-and-a-half minutes long, but the 36-year-old’s teasing lyrics are just vague enough to imply some gloriously complicated relationship: “You’re no ordinary girl/ My mind is in a whirl.” The steadiness of the electric guitar and drum pattern, meanwhile, keeps the focus on his words and affords the track a positively foggy atmosphere. –Michael Madden

5. Baptists – “Harm Induction”


Hardcore, grind, and thrash collide on Baptists’ new single, “Harm Induction”. The first minute and a half blazes by, blast beats churning without so much as a fill or stray cymbal crash. This neo-nihilistic Vancouver quartet is tight. Every instrument — including the exasperated, graveled vocals — is pushed to its extreme technically and rhythmically. Think Motörhead, but twice as fast. The song ends on a breakdown, a sudden and instantaneous breaking point, as if combusting from the unrelenting tension of the noise metal freak-out that precedes it. Listen to the song here. Baptists’ new album, Bloodlines, drops October 13th via Southern Lord. –Jon Hadusek

4. Deafheaven – “From the Kettle onto the Coil”

deafheavenketlesong Top 10 Songs of the Week (8/29)

Although Deafheaven’s “From the Kettle onto the Coil” compares to last year’s game-changing Sunbather thanks to its alternately ominous and exhilarating genre-jumping, it winds up close to the black metal end of the spectrum thanks to George Clarke’s goblin-like vocal. While the band is technically still a duo, give credit to drummer Daniel Tracy for his performance here — just one of the six-and-a-half-minute track’s boomingly obliterating elements. “From the Kettle onto the Coil” is the latest in the Adult Swim Singles Program–Michael Madden

3. Blood Sister – “Paralysis”

Blood Sister

San Francisco’s Blood Sister (originally a solo project of Night Manager’s Evana Edwards, but now featuring members of Ganglians, The Mallard, and Warm Soda, too) pride themselves on being loud, loud, and loud. It’s a sign of progress, then, that the jugular-slicing “Paralysis” might be their loudest and most intense track yet, a kind of noise rock jai alai match. Its sheer force is tornadic, but it’s a controlled chaos, while the phantomlike vocal is key to the track’s identity despite the lyrics being practically impossible to transcribe. Blood Sister’s self-titled EP is out September 30th on Bloodmoss Records. –Michael Madden

2. Raury – “Armor”


Just 18 years old, Raury possesses a talent that’s both raw and incredibly compelling. His just-released debut mixtape, Indigo Child, finds the Atlanta-born singer and songwriter creating a vivid but scatterbrained amalgamation of styles, from folk pop and hip-hop to soul and arena rock. It’s equal parts Frank Ocean and Chance the Rapper, with the anthem-like tendencies of bands like Mumford and Sons or Imagine Dragons, but without the cheese or mediocrity. “Armor” is the prime example of these eccentric fusions, with Raury’s soulful vocals, silky flow, jutting electronics, and shooting star-like guitars. It shouldn’t work, but it pieces together near-seamlessly. “Armor”, and the rest of the album, can be streamed here–Josh Terry

1. Kevin Morby – “Parade”


Kevin Morby splits his time between being the bassist for Woods and a solo performer (along with being a member of the now-inactive band The Babies). With both of his main projects, Morby makes whimsical folk rock, and now, on “Parade”, the Brooklyn-based journeyman has really come into his own. Billed as “an elegy of sorts for one of his music influences, Lou Reed,” “Parade” bounces along with the same sentimental flair as Reed’s Coney Island Baby offerings. It’s a finely rendered tribute to ‘70s soft rock, with mellow pianos, a dramatic guitar solo, and big, choral backing vocals. It’s the first single off his forthcoming Still Life, out October 14th via Woodsist. –Josh Terry