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Top 10 Songs of the Week (11/27)

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Though it might seem like a cliche, we at the Top Songs crew spent our holiday giving thanks for all of the sweet new tunes we’ve been able to share with you — this whole year, and this week in particular. We know you’re all still probably working through a stuffing-induced coma, so we’ll keep it brief: We’re thankful for you reading this too. Read on ahead for 10 brand new tracks as our way of showing gratitude.

10. Kamasi Washington – “Theme From ‘Color Guard'”

Kamasi Washington

Earlier this year, Kamasi Washington released the stellar LP The Epic. The saxophonist has gotten a lot of buzz off the back of that jazz stunner, including a gig scoring the short film Color Guard. On the theme, Washington lays down a smooth sax riff paired with swooning trombone. It doesn’t sound like Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown scores, but it carries some of the same nostalgic sweetness that his music now evokes. Though this isn’t as epic as Epic,  this isn’t saccharine stuff; Washington’s just talented enough to even make this sort of crowd-pleasing stuff still exciting. –Adam Kivel

09. The I Don’t Cares – “King of America”

The I Don't Cares

In a move that seemed designed specifically to please CoS editor-in-chief Michael Roffman, Paul Westerberg and Juliana Hatfield have teamed up as The I Don’t Cares. While it’s explicitly up that dude’s alley, the pairing just plain works. Their latest track, “King of America”, is a charming, jangly number designed for the fall: all alt folk warmth. While we’ll have to wait a bit for their debut album, Wild Stab, you can pick up this classic jam (seriously, it feels a lot like that classic Westerberg stuff) today, for just 99 cents on iTunes–Adam Kivel

08. Electric Eye – “Bless”

Electric_Eye_Press_Shot (001)

Electric Eye’s psych rock endeavor, “Bless”, is a testament to the power of nature. Spawning from the heat and desolation experienced during their wanderings of America’s great southwest, and taking form during a hurricane in Bergen, Norway (which is reported to have shaken the walls of their studio), “Bless” exists in a gorge of dark atmospherics and unsteady ambiance. Here, frontman Øystein Braut’s vocals remain perpetually muffled beneath shuffling drums and guitar dissonance. No voice able to projects over the magnitude of these settings. Channel that energy February 5th via Jansen Plateproduksjon. –Derek Staples

07. Casket Girls – “Deep Time”

Deep Time

“Say goodbye to your mother with tear-stained hands,” the Greene sisters begin on their latest single as Casket Girls, “Deep Time”. The song unravels into handfuls of questions of time and space from then on, as if we’re drifting off into some interdimensional time warp along with their hazy indie pop tune. There’s an existential terror to the song, but their harmonies are entrancing, keeping things just off-kilter rather than totally unsettling. “Deep Time” is featured on the Casket Girls’ split EP with Stardeath and White Dwarfs, What Keeps You Up At Night, due November 27th via Graveface RecordsAdam Kivel

06. Daniel Avery – “Clear”

Daniel Avery

It’s been just over two years since London’s Daniel Avery amplified the Fabric sound across the globe with his debut full-length, Droid Logic. A minimal techno provocateur, the Avery sound has become that of blissful, almost romantic psychedelia. While many say drum machines and modular synths have no soul, “Clear” is far more than just some sterile, mechanical dialogue. Gone are the producer’s earlier leanings toward electro snares and claps; a rolling hypnotic fog is paradoxically quite thick on this six-minute single. Whether hooked into a living room soundsystem or jostling elbows on the dancefloor, a sense of isolation begins to take hold between the analog glitches. Certainly a much needed reprieve from the familial chaos of Thanksgiving. The “Sensation”/”Clear” 12” is available now via Erol Alkan’s Phantasy label. –Derek Staples

05. Bossie – “Tell It All”

Bossie

Even scarier than the prospect of dying is the idea that your mind could go before your body does. The fear of getting trapped in a nondescript, memory-less conscious state has powered all kinds of powerful and chilling films in recent years, but there hasn’t been a ton of music dedicated to the brain’s premature decay. Anne Douris, aka Bossie, breaks the silence on the topic, but not in the way you’d think. “Tell It All” is an upbeat and life-affirming declaration, a promise to share the inner life that’s not guaranteed to last. Douris’ buoyant, colorful synthesizers and disco bass line transform her latent fears into affectionate pop affirmations, because if our time with our faculties is limited, we might as well spend some of it dancing. –Sasha Geffen

04. Mothers – “Too Small For Eyes”

Mothers

Regret and resignation shade “Too Small For Eyes”, the first song off Mothers’ upcoming album, When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired. The Athens, GA band began as the solo project of Kristine Leschper, whose affecting vocal performance carries this new track. “I hate my body/ I love your taste,” she sings, dragging out her vowels, world-weary, her vibrato trembling over fragile mandolin and ambling piano. The poignant lyrics that filter through her sometimes-unintelligible cadence mark Mothers as a band to watch and perhaps eventually give your heart to. Their new album is out February 26 via Grand Jury in the US and Wichita in the UK. –Karen Gwee

03. Wild Nothing – “To Know You”

wild nothing Top 10 Songs of the Week (11/27)

Not every musician can pull off the two-chord wonder. As Wild Nothing, Jake Tatum has always been interested in how far he can stretch a simple idea, whether it’s a textural, compositional, or lyrical one. Here, he dives full-force into exploring texture, winding big, throaty, fuzzy guitars around that back-and-forth bass line and carving out space between the notes. The first single from Wild Nothing’s forthcoming Life of Pause, due out February 19th, breaks up time not with melody but with tone. Tatum sings high and then slides into a post-punk darkness; he lets the guitars and bass break away to let the drums widen their scope; he positions one simple synth line as the song’s hook, folding his own voice into the supporting cast. “To Know You” moves on its own power with more forward thrust than most of what Wild Nothing’s cooked up to date. –Sasha Geffen

02. Money – “I’ll Be the Night”

Money Band

It’s easy to imagine Jamie Lee writing most of his songs while gazing out at a smog-streaked night sky. The yawning centerpiece to Money’s debut album, “Goodnight London”, saw him singing to the winking buildings of New York City through a lonely midnight, and now the UK songwriter has staked his claim as the night itself. “I’ll Be the Night” teases questions of love and immortality. It gets heady without getting dense, tapering its philosophies into four-word barbs like “I’m perfect without power,” which sounds like something you’d say in a drunken conversation with Silver Jews’ David Berman. And when Lee sings the song’s title over and over again at the song’s finish, it’s like he’s willing himself beyond his human form into something more beautiful, more lasting. –Sasha Geffen

01. CL – “Hello Bitches”

CL HEllo Bitches

Who’s the most badass woman in pop music today? Well, that’s a loaded question — music’s not a competition, because the stage is big enough for all the powerful ladies out there. But CL’s nevertheless determined to put her name in the running. The 24-year-old is the most prominent member of K-pop group 2NE1 and made an early, semi-successful bid for American ears in May with Diplo-produced earworm “Doctor Pepper”. On new single “Hello Bitches”, CL raps in both English and Korean over a ferocious beat that owes some debts to M.I.A., dancing with incomparable attitude with her ReQuest crew in the video. “Hello Bitches” succeeds where “Doctor Pepper” doesn’t: While the latter’s RiFF RAFF and OG Maco guest verses threatened to crowd her out, this time CL’s made sure no one’s sharing her spot.  –Karen Gwee

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