Top 10 Songs of the Month: Childish Gambino, Pusha-T, Gorillaz, and Mitski

The summer is heating up with politics, rap beefs, and even some guitar slinging

Childish Gambino in "This Is America" Video
Childish Gambino in “This Is America” Video

    After a winter that felt like it would last forever, it now feels like summer actually arrived early this year, and things are just beginning to heat up. The festival season is now in full swing, the year’s most anticipated releases are dropping left and right, and we even had a bona fide rap beef surface to ensure May went out with a bang. While all of this means long hours for us at CoS, for you it means enough good stories and tunes to fill your playlists again and again.

    Here’s what we had spinnin’ on the regular in May.

    –Matt Melis
    Editorial Director

    10. Nicky Jam – “Live It Up” featuring Will Smith and Era Istrefi

    Release: Single available on Sony Music Latin

    Okay, so we don’t particularly care about soccer any more than most Americans. It was fun when we were six and got orange slices at halftime, but most of us — except for that one cousin everyone’s got who wears a Manchester United jersey all the time — grew up and moved on. But let’s not forget that soccer is the global pastime, and there’s no bigger sporting stage in the world than the FIFA World Cup, which means Nicky Jam’s “Live It Up”, love it or lump it, will be one of the most-played songs from now until the final seconds of the World Cup tick down in mid-July. With more flavor than the tastiest Russian borscht and assists from Era Istrefi and Big Willie Style himself, this Diplo-produced banger will have you dancing up and down the pitch, even if you don’t know what a pitch is.–Matt Melis 

    09. Nick Lutsko – “Jerry (Maybe We Should Get Married)” ft. Bethany Cosentino


    Release: On YouTube from Super Deluxe

    It’s not the ’80s anymore. Hell, not even the ’90s. But it seems that they live on in the form of Seinfeld reruns, no matter what the present year is. Parodies may not be as common after the height of “Weird Al” Yankovic and the like, but Nick Lutsko’s “Jerry (Maybe We Should Get Married)” is a true gem that deserves attention. Snippets of iconic character Elaine’s musings on romance are set to music and sung by Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino to create a bop that is both funny and endearing, much like the legendary show itself. –Clara Scott

    08. Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – “Shiggy”

    Release: From Sparkle Hard, out now via Matador

    A blend of grit and grandness, a hearty dose of fuzz-infused guitar, and an addictive rhythm that will seep deep into the veins is the ultimate formula for creating a damn good rock song, and it’s one that Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks proved to have down to a finite science on “Shiggy”, a standout track from their latest album, Sparkle Hard. The track exudes edge into the otherwise sonically light album, the band’s first in four years since the release of Wig Out at Jagbags. “Shiggy” doesn’t just hint at Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks’ harder side — it places it on clear display. –Lindsay Teske

    07. Iceage – “Pain Killer” (feat. Sky Ferreira)

    Release: From Beyondless, out now via Matador

    With its entrancing, psychedelic undercurrent and brassy flourishes aplenty, Danish rockers Iceage masterfully craft a grandiose soundscape in “Pain Killer”, a single from their fourth studio album, Beyondless. The album is the band’s first since 2014’s Plowing into the Field of Love, and “Pain Killer” is just one of the tracks that reminds us why Iceage’s new work was so well worth the wait. Bleeding endless cool, “Pain Killer” finds its flair in nuance. Background vocals from artist Sky Ferreira, bold percussion, and guitar riffs that fuse style and sting all serve as contributing factors that make the track command the attention of the ear — and it does so effortlessly. –Lindsay Teske

    06. Gorrillaz – “Humility”


    Release: From The Now Now, out June 29th via Parlophone

    Gorillaz fans are used to extended waits, so it came as quite a shock earlier this week when the band announced that their next album, The Now Now, would be coming out in late June, a little more than a year removed from their last multi-media project, Humanz. It was all the more surprising then when news of a North American Tour and another installment of Demon Dayz Festival emerged today, along with a new music video and two brand-new tracks. Head ape Damon Albarn has described the pending album as a “summer record” with songs that’ll feature his voice up front in the mix. The video for single “Humility” surely bears him out as we skateboard along the beach with 2-D (Albarn’s virtual alter ego) to a laid-back ocean-side groove as a busking Jack Black tags along. Don’t be surprised if you’re humming this nonstop until the full album drops in a month. –Matt Melis


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