Top 10 Songs of the Week (7/22)

Floating Points, Screaming Females, and Mild High Club caught our ears this week


So, Macaulay Culkin sat down for his first interview in 10 years recently. Some were really interested to hear what he had to say about Home Alone, others his relationship to Michael Jackson. We were mostly just wondering when we’d get to feature some of those eternal Pizza Underground jams in our countdown again. Bring us a slice soon, Mac! While we wait, we’ve still got plenty of exciting new tunes to fill the space, so listen on!

10. of Montreal – “My Fair Lady”

of montreal tour dates 2016 Top 10 Songs of the Week (7/22)

It’s been two decades (!) since of Montreal first formed. Over those years, the band have changed shape and sound countless times, but Kevin Barnes’ kaledescopic look at the world has never unwed itself from existentialism or the strength of love. Though their past records have begun to feel muted, Of Montreal return with “My Fair Lady”, their second single off Innocence Reaches — out August 12th via Polyvinyl — which feels like a return to form. The song’s animated synth and joyful percussion recall Hissing Fauna, complete with a tempo change, but where it really acts like their past selves is in the lyrics. Barnes sings about the weights of relationships and the strain of both maintaining one and ending one. “Because you were damaged, I have to give all the love that was meant for you to somebody else,” he sings, vocal flair present as ever. “Because you’ve been so abused.” The way he sings it, though, lets you know it’s equally directed towards himself and, in turn, all of us. Oh, the universality. –Nina Corcoran


09. Öona Dahl – “Let the Light In”

oona dahl all day i dream

This past weekend, Berlin’s Öona Dahl took over Gratitude Migration (the Jersey Shore’s take on Burning Man culture) during the heralded golden hour. A model of curation, Dahl’s mystical deep house and techno intensified the shift to these nocturnal hours. On “Let the Light In”, Dahl arranges the regular “boots and hats” through-line of tech-house with an affecting, disembodied female voice and soothing string arrangements, garnering herself a fitting home at Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream imprint. “Let the Light In” will be available on vinyl and digitally June 29th as part of a three-track EP. –Nina Corcoran


08. The Saxophones – “Best Boy”

the saxophones if you're on the water

There’s a timelessness to lo-fi music that makes it feel as if the record’s been pulled out of storage — even if it was pressed last week. Husband-and-wife duo The Saxophones lend that same vintage feel to their music. Their warm, minimalist work brings to mind the type of bedroom songs a friend played in college or the CD you find in a sale bin but grow to treasure more than any other album you own. Their debut EP, If You’re on the Water, comes out this week, and they’ve shared single “Best Boy” to celebrate. Like the album art suggests, it’s a song to hold someone close to, with an easy sway of folk drone and dream pop hopefulness. With lyrics like, “Who’s to say what I mean?/ I’m just a body that feels this way/ And you know it hurts when you speak at me and I don’t understand,” the song feels both confessional and fearful, done up in a sound akin to The Carpenters and The Microphones. Naturally, that type of emotional awareness makes Alexi Erenkov and Alison Alderdice’s work one to treasure the moment you first hear it.  –Nina Corcoran


 07. De La Soul – “Royalty Capes”


After listening to “Royalty Capes”, I’m convinced that De La Soul haven’t in fact gone a decade without a record. There’s just no rust, so I’m assuming there are a bunch of unreleased records out there. There just have to be, right? Entering on regal horn fanfare, the trio unleash a song that feels like a more controlled version of something from Madvillain, Dave’s production riding flutters of sax smoke and a limber bass. Plug Two and Posdunos each take a verse, one smoother than the next. “Behold this divine alignment scrolled secretly in cloud formations,” goes the female spoken word interlude. That heady, ascendant tone works perfectly for the track, the horns returning a few moments later to salute the return of the rap royalty. De La’s and the Anonymous Nobody… drops August 26th via their own AOI. –Adam Kivel


06. PWR BTTM – “Projection”

pwr bttm

There’s a new split EP from Jawbreaker Reunion and PWR BTTM called Republican National Convention, but I’m pretty sure Mike Pence didn’t sign off on it. The duo’s pop punk verges on the emo of the Kinsellas, twisty guitar lines and lyrics about anxiety and wanting to stay inside fitting melancholically. “When the kids go out to play, I like to stay inside/ Even though it looks like fun, I’d probably burn and die/ Cuz my skin isn’t made for the weather,” Ben Hopkins reels; but rather than frustration with the fragility of the physical self, Hopkins seems to shrug spitefully. “It’s raining men/ I’m stuck inside staring at the ceiling/ Might as well just go to sleep,” drummer Liv Bruce sings at the song’s end. Here’s hoping this one’s actually on the convention playlist. –Adam Kivel


05. Sin Fang feat. Jónsi – “Candyland”

sin fang spaceland

Currently typing this from Cleveland, OH, any reason to revisit the Hopelandic world of Jónsi and drown out the sounds of hate spewing from the Republican Party is more than welcome. The ever-charming frontman features on the “future R&B” of fellow Icelander Sin Fang (real name: Sindri Már Sigfússon). Jónsi lends his signature falsetto to the emotive indie electronica of “Candyland”, the lead single from Sin Fang’s Spaceland (out 9/16 via Morr Music). Having once dabbled in a more ambient aesthetic, the duo’s newest collaboration sees a noticeable uptick in BPMs and the colorful interplay of delicate synths and quickly dissolving dissonance. “Candyland” allows Sin Fang to escape from his panic-attack tones, a safe space for all those impacted by the ever-present chaos. –Derek Staples


04. Desiigner – “Tiimmy Turner”

desiigner timmy turner Top 10 Songs of the Week (7/22)

It’s been a big year for Desiigner — releasing the FM radio-friendly “Panda”, releasing his first mixtape, New English, becoming a part of the XXL Freshmen 2016 team. Now the Brooklyn rapper has released the studio version of “Tiimmy Turner” after teasing it on his viral XXL Freshman freestyle. The song was definitely worth the wait and serves as a worthy follow-up to his chart-topping banger complete with more Auto-Tuned warbles and quotable hooks. Dark, industrial electronics and high-pitched squawks coalesce into a haunting flow that later culminates into a sweeping and soaring ascension. –Alejandra Ramirez


03. Mild High Club – “Skiptracing”

mild high club skiptracing

For those that don’t know Los Angeleno Alex Brettin’s work as Mild High Club, the Stones Throw signee has released two new singles off his forthcoming album, Skiptracing, out August 26th. On the title track, reverb-tinged and champagne-kissed melodies coalesce into a languid jam. The song has echoes of Tame Impala and of Montreal’s psychedelic leanings, with lazy-eyed chord changes and twang guitar solos. Thanks to feather-light synths, the song is perfect for sunshine on the patio, afternoons by a clear, blue pool, or long cruises in convertibles down Sunset Boulevard. –Alejandra Ramirez


02. Screaming Females – “Skeleton”

screaming females1 Top 10 Songs of the Week (7/22)

Marissa Paternoster has one of the most unique voices in indie punk, and on new track “Skeleton”, the Screaming Females frontwoman takes that tool to an entirely new level. A B-side to last year’s solid Rose Mountain, the track shifts on a dime between her throaty vibrato to an all-out scream, the guitar ripping along the whole way. If you’re not trying to recruit her for your black metal band, you’re not doing your homework. The wordless harmonies near the close of the track add an eerie breath, but her shredding makes sure you remember that she can burn the whole place down. “Skeleton” comes from the deluxe reissue of Rose Mountain, which will be available on the Screamales’ upcoming tour–Adam Kivel


01. Floating Points – “For Marmish Part II”

floating points kuiper

As David Sackllah wrote in his review of Floating Points’ Kuiper (out now via Luaka Pop): “Through its antithetical nature, [“For “Marmish Part II”] is a sublime companion, the relaxing comedown after the first half’s expansive splendor.” Nearly nine minutes longer than its predecessor, “Part II” highlights Sam Shepherd’s continued comfort as a songwriter. No longer strictly beholden to the moods of the dance floor, lush orchestral opulence is offered the expanse to circle the track before dissipating into a solo dejected horn. –Derek Staples