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Top 10 Songs of the Week (10/9)

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The CoS office is based in Chicago, so we were surrounded by some serious sports fervor this week. The Cubs won a playoff game, the Blackhawks raised a championship banner, and the Bulls started their preseason — and some of us even cared about one or two of those things! We at the Top Songs feature, though, took our competitive spirit into the battle over which songs should rise to the top of our list. Some of the winners are unsurprising (Run the Jewels stop in yet again), while underdogs also make their way into the fray (get a listen to new Brainfeeder signee IGLOOGHOST). Click on and enjoy!

10. Obenewa – “Save Me”

Obenawa

London singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Obenewa pairs with Machinedrum on her latest outing, and the unlikely partnership proves surprisingly fertile. Instead of sliding into typical Machinedrum territory, Obenewa dominates “Save Me”, drawing in Travis Stewart’s production skills as another tool in her arsenal. She floats around snippets of her own voice while electronic percussion flutters in the background, gently lifting her words to the forefront. Here’s hoping these two are sitting on more collaborative sessions yet to be released. Check out the song here. –Sasha Geffen

09. Raury feat. Big K.R.I.T. – “Forbidden Knowledge”

Raury // Photo by Philip Cosores

Raury // Photo by Philip Cosores

Raury sounds more sedate on “Forbidden Knowledge” than we’ve heard on his most recent batch of singles, and for good reason. His newest offering stares racism and its more subtle machinations straight in the face, drawing poetic links between cancer cells and prison cells, between national pride and overseas imperialism, between historical perceptions of race and present-day American blackness. “There’s a power in the black folk/ But that’s forbidden knowledge,” he raps over a muted beat washed with synth pads and studded with funk bass. Like the rest of what we’ve heard from Raury’s forthcoming record, All We Need, though, “Forbidden Knowledge” offers a kernel of hope: “Are dreams another kind of preview to heaven?” he wonders, and keeps dreaming. —Sasha Geffen

08. The Coathangers – “Watch Your Back”

the coathangers band Top 10 Songs of the Week (10/9)

The Coathangers are splitting a new split 7″ with Black Lips, in what can only be described as an all-star Atlanta garage rock explosion. Our first taste of the trio’s contribution, “Watch Your Back” runs on Minnie Coathanger’s rubbery, rippling bass line, while Crook Kid Coathanger’s guitar slithers over the verses like something straight out of a James Chance and the Contortions no wave freak-out. The chorus turns those guitar squiggles into aggressive chops, as Rusty Coathanger smashes at her cymbals. The track was inspired by the three-piece’s recent trip to Japan, and Black Lips’ song was called “Freedom Fries”, so they came up with a condiment-inspired color scheme for the vinyl: half wasabi green, half mustard yellow. The culinarily-minded 7″ hits shelves November 13th via Suicide Squeeze. –Adam Kivel

07. IGLOOGHOST feat. Cuushe – “Gold Coat”

IGLOOGHOST

The newest recruit to the Brainfeeder roster, IGLOOGHOST’s moniker hints at something cold and ominous. A colorful blend of juke, footwork, and sadboi hip-hop textures, the producer’s beats (and general aesthetic) are aligned with the frozen treats hustled from the side of a slightly rusty ice cream truck during the peak summertime heat. Pulled from IGLOOGHOST’s forthcoming CHINESE NU YR EP, “Gold Coat” (feat. Cuushe) is our first glimpse into the world of Xiangjiao —  a gelatinous worm apparently at the center of this concept album. Unlike many Brainfeeder artists, who take free jazz motifs into the club realm, this work amplifies the odd electronic endeavors beginning to boil over from Japan. International traveling is expensive, so just grab this EP October 30th–Derek Staples

06. Run the Jewels – “Rubble Kings Theme (Dynamite)”

Run the Jewels // Photo by Killian Young

Run the Jewels // Photo by Killian Young

Rap superduo Run the Jewels won’t be releasing their third proper album this year, but to expect Run the Jewels 3 soon, following Run the Jewels in 2013 and Run the Jewels 2 in 2014, is getting greedy anyway. Let’s just be thankful we have “Rubble Kings Theme (Dynamite)”, the first single from the official soundtrack to the documentary Rubble Kings, which examines ’60s and ’70s Bronx gang culture and hip-hop’s embryonic stages. Here, Killer Mike and El-P maintain their expected high energy over a Bomb Squad-esque beat from Little Shalimar, touching on the documentary’s theme of adversity in harrowing circumstances. Mike: “The preachers sound silly in service/ Convincin’ my momma that all of the drama must certainly serve higher purpose.” El: “Sorry sirs, but we don’t sing along to anthems or your pledges/ In your garbage rose the rulers of the restless, do not test us.” Rubble Kings: The Official Soundtrack — produced by Little Shalimar and also featuring Bun B, Mr Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Ka, and more — is out October 30th via Mass Appeal. –Michael Madden

05. Majical Cloudz – “Downtown”

Majical Cloudz // Photo by Ben Kaye

Majical Cloudz // Photo by Ben Kaye

It’s a terrible thought, but Majical Cloudz frontman Devon Welsh just has one of those immediately affecting voices that historically burns our far sooner than it should. The sparse electronic ambiance of “Downtown” lets his vocal tones fully saturate the heart and mind — in that order. The minor key creates a dark atmosphere, yet the lyricism offers an uplifting outlook on a fresh infatuation. Like the object of Welsh’s affection, it is perfectly acceptable to let this track dominate your existence for a while: “He was obsessed and it was okay.” Discover this new companion when Are You Alone? drops October 16th via Matador. –Derek Staples

04. King Louie – “Tony Tone Tone”

King Louie

Widely considered the true originator of drill music, Chicago’s King Louie has outlasted most of his imitators. It’s no wonder: He’s consistently clever and inventive with his flows (and ad libs), which holds true for “Tony Tone Tone”, the two-minute opener on his new 6 God Tony EP. The lunging, haunted, piano-tapping beat is perfectly serviceable, but Louie takes it to places that future remixers won’t have the charisma to. As for that EP’s name, it’s another in a long line of signs that Louie has linked up with Drake and signed with OVO. With “Tony Tone Tone”, though, he shows he doesn’t need a cosign to own the lane he paved. –Michael Madden

03. Nicolas Jaar – “Fight”

nicolasjaar01 Top 10 Songs of the Week (10/9)

Considered a phenom at the time of his debut album, 2011’s Space Is Only Noise, the Chilean-born electronic producer Nicolas Jaar has become an even more skillful master of the slow reveal. I liked “Fight” on first listen, but the eight-and-a-half-minute voyage of rupturing synth progressions, creeping drums, and splintered vocal loops seems to change — and get better — every time I listen to it. It’s been a prolific year for the 25-year-old Jaar; he released the Nymphs II and Nymphs III EPs in May and June, respectively, not to mention June’s Pomegranates, an alternate soundtrack to Sergei Parajanov’s 1969 film The Color of Pomegranates. “Fight” might just be another new Jaar composition on the surface, but it’s a low-key masterpiece, too. –Michael Madden

02. Wrekmeister Harmonies – “Run Priest Run”

Wrekmeister Harmonies // Sasha Geffen

Wrekmeister Harmonies // Sasha Geffen

Wrekmeister Harmonies’ J.R. Robinson regularly performs in Chicago’s Bohemian National Cemetery. As you might have surmised from that sentence, the guy gets pretty dark; his droning doom metal compositions also, however, carry the meditative, spiritual, devotional power of the religious rituals enacted in such a space. “Run Priest Run”, the first taste from his latest massive metal orchestra (featuring members of Einstürzende Neubauten, Indian, Cave, and many more), doesn’t disappoint. Building from eerie, staticky ambience to groaning sludge noise, the nearly 13-minute track builds and burns like a funeral pyre. Wrekmeister Harmonies’ new album, Night of Your Ascension, drops in full November 13th through Thrill Jockey.  –Adam Kivel

01. Pill – “Hot Glue”

Pill Hot Glue

“Whatever you fear the most/ I can sense it on you!” sneers Veronica Torres in the opening moments of Pill’s newest single. Ben Jaffe soon joins her on saxophone, but he’s not there to jazz things up; he uses his mouthpiece as a texturing tool, destabilizing what little structure “Hot Glue” starts out with. Pill sounds fevered and mean here, the grain of the recording scraping up against Torres’ acid howl and guitarist John Campolo’s sour tone. “I can take myself there/ But I want you to,” Torres pleads at the closest thing Pill gets to a chorus in the song’s three and a half minutes. She knows the ins and outs of the kind of desire that makes you sick, and on “Hot Glue”, she beckons you to come get sick along with her. –Sasha Geffen

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