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Top 10 Songs of the Week (8/12)

Green Day, The White Stripes, and Stranger Things flooded our headphones this week

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If anyone had money down saying Kurt Cobain’s spawn would wind up playing music, that relatively safe gamble probably won’t pay off all that much. But if you predicted a cover of Jimmy Eat World for his progeny’s first recorded performance, well, you might just be earning some cold, hard cash. Sure enough, Frances Bean recorded herself playing a bit of “The Middle”, in a Fred Flinstone shirt no less. It’s only four seconds, but it sure happened! If you want something equally (or, let’s face it, more) thrilling and something that lasts significantly longer, check out our list of new songs below.
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10. The White Stripes – “City Lights”

Jack White

Love ’em or hate ’em, The White Stripes benefited from a sizable share of luck to land the fame they still hold. Meg White’s straightforward drumming and Jack White’s snug riffs didn’t strike as anything out of the ordinary. There’s a chemistry between the two, though, that elevates their work, adding a bit of elementary charm that, with enough repetition, feels staple. Early cuts demonstrate this clearly, and new-but-old song “City Lights” does so. Originally written for 2005’s Get Behind Me Satan, the song was uncovered for a 2015 Record Store Day vinyl reissue and now will surface on Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 due out September 9th via Third Man Records. The acoustic number sees White whittling down a guitar’s strings, layering his voice with scratchy backing parts and mellow bellows. Meg’s shaker keeps the beat throughout. Again, it’s simple like much of the duo’s catalog, and yet it feels memorable on first listen. There’s a playfulness in those guitar trills, a happiness in the way his words taper, a sense of safety in a shaker that patiently keeps the time, eventually fading out as quickly as it started. –Nina Corcoran

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeJWx-gTK9o


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09. Joyce Manor – “Fake I.D.”

02-Joyce-Manor

Photo by Philip Cosores

At what point does pop punk fail to be either pop or punk? Well, the latest from California’s Joyce Manor doesn’t have a whole lot of raw punk bite. Neither does it have a hook, instead sprawling out refrain-less. And yet the angsty, sarcastic, power guitar tune will instantly bring back echoes of jamming along to all the pop punk greats that came before. (And if that’s not thrilling enough, they sing about how someone thinks Kanye’s better than John Steinbeck and Phil Hartman, duh.) “No I.D.” will be featured on the outfit’s fourth LP, Cody, due October 7th via Epitaph. –Adam Kivel

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08. Isaiah Rashad – “Free Lunch”

Isaiah Rashad // Photo by Philip Cosores

Photo by Philip Cosores

The last time we heard from Top Dawg Entertainment rapper Isaiah Rashad was 2014’s Cilvia Demo. Two years later, he’s finally released a new single entitled “Free Lunch”, a track that’s promised for his forthcoming sophomore record expected September 2nd. Produced by Cam O’bi, the song has a soulful beat that compliments Rashad’s stream-of-consciousness flow and hazy-eyed musings on free meal tickets and hustling until the end of the day. The Tennessee native has met the high expectations placed upon him with this jazzy cut, accentuating his staple in-the-pocket flows and languid vibe. –Alejandra Ramirez 

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 07. Zula – “Basketball”

Zula Grasshopper

No American city is more ripe with wannabe weirdos than Brooklyn. Perhaps that’s for good reason. The city that never sleeps turns sleep deprivation into spastic beauty, and the art rock acts that triumph often are ones too busy in the studio to realize their growing fandom. Four-piece Zula will soon join that ranking. Their upcoming album, Grasshopper, waves at psychedelia and noise without losing its undercurrent groove, and new single “Basketball” showcases that hypnosis in just under seven minutes. While singer Nate Terepka sings about self-deception and the fight for honesty, the band pulls themselves out of a swampy mess of piano and articulated drums into something that sparkles, a sound that starts chopping up disco guitar, jazz-like bass, and swollen percussion. By the time the song wraps, you’re left in a daze after some seriously worthwhile crescendos and noise spatters, leaving you wondering why you ever listened to straightforward indie rock and loved it. –Nina Corcoran 


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06. Deadmau5 – “Saved”

Deadmau5 // Photo by Derrick Rossignol

Photo by Derrick Rossignol

During the lengthy build of his new studio, Deadmau5 teased his followers with a snippet and subsequent unmastered cut of “Saved”. When that version of the ambient epic surfaced in February, the single was heralded by many as the best Deadmau5 cut since “Strobe”. Long gone is the urgency of fellow fan-favorite “Sofie Needs a Ladder”, Deadmau5 now focusing his efforts on delicate progressive builds and synth complexities that continue to evolve beneath the over-arching trance melodies. When so much media has been reduced to 90-second social clips, Deadmau5 still understands how to take control of a track, a room, and the entire EDM blogosphere for nearly 10 minutes. “Saved” is available now on the mau5trap compilation WAF005–Adam Kivel



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05. Against Me! – “Haunting, Haunted, Haunts”

Against Me! // Photo by David Brendan Hall

Photo by David Brendan Hall

Against Me! will have a new record out shortly, the highly anticipated Shape Shift with Me due September 16th. Laura Jane Grace and co. must be pretty stoked on the material they’ve got stored up for that record to give out a song as great as “Haunting, Haunted, Haunts” to the Adult Swim Singles series instead of saving it for themselves. “I once was drunk on you … When I sobered up, you were already gone,” Grace sings before an arcing guitar solo bridges the way to another broken verse. The galloping tune sounds deceptively rallying, but the last line (“I’m shit out of luck”) suggests that it’s a bit of a brave face. –Adam Kivel

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04. Green Day – “Bang Bang”

green day new song bang bang stream Top 10 Songs of the Week (8/12)

Photo by Frank Maddocks

Concept albums didn’t die, and Green Day are eager to prove it. With their new LP, Revolution Radio, set to drop on October 7th, the best pop punk band of all time explores the modern-day battlefield we all know too well. Right from the get-go, lead single “Bang Bang” makes a statement, a wordy look at accepted insanity as told from the perspective of a mass shooter. Martyrdom and mass violence are terrifying on their own, and when made into a sing-along track standing on radio feedback and a menacing bassline, it shakes with nerves. Above all else, it marks a return to form. Green Day come sliding in with the confidence they had during their American Idiot days. The guitar riffs hop around chords that both feel good and stay unexpected, delivering what could easily become one of the best pop punk songs of the summer. Is anyone surprised? As our own Collin Brennan put so succinctly: Green Day doesn’t suck. You suck. –Nina Corcoran

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03. Lost Boy ? – “It Before”

Lost Boy Photo 2

Lost Boy ? are gearing up to release their forthcoming album, Goose Wazoo, on September 9th via State Capital Records and Little Dickman Records. This LP follows their 2015 full-length debut, Canned, and last week the Brooklyn outfit released the title track, featuring jaunty, seesawed melodies as Davey Jones delivers nasal-toned and earnest vocals. This week, they’ve doubled down with the excellent “It Before”. Not even rounding up to two minutes, the song is a straightforward indie punk gem perfect for a dingy garage party, full of distortion-crunched riffs, anthem-worthy choruses, and warped melodies cut straight for cassette. –Alejandra Ramirez

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02. Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – “She’ll Kill You”

stranger things second season Top 10 Songs of the Week (8/12)

The Netflix Original Series Stranger Things excelled at venerating classic coming-of-age and sci-fi motifs without writing itself into a corner of nostalgic malaise. This could not have been successful without the accompanying synthwave soundtrack — certainly one of the best in recent memory. Those dark vibes, courtesy of S U R V I V E’s Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, are now available on the first volume of the Stranger Things Soundtrack and can be revisited on the regular during your own adventures. Just as the series might lead viewers to revisits of Stand by Me or The Goonies, this two-minute selection echoes John Carpenter and his ilk. Now, it’s time to invest in those driving gloves and aviators! –Derek Staples


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01. Vic Mensa and Joey Purp – “773 Freestyle”

vic mensa joey purp 773 freestyle song Top 10 Songs of the Week (8/12)

As a dude with a 773 affixed at the beginning of my phone number, I was pretty excited to hear a new track from two of Chicago’s best rappers with the area code in the title. Vic Mensa and Joey Purp more than do their city justice, going hard over a swank soul sample and dropping references to Yu-Gi-Oh!, Mikkey Halsted, lean, and Ben and Jerry’s. Purp and Mensa trade verses, having fun and pointing out the horrors of Chicago’s violence (“Let them boys keep the attention, glorifying all of the horror stories”). This one celebrates everything about the city. Or to put it more simply: “773 that’s the code.” –Adam Kivel

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