5Best

When we take songs into consideration for this column, we’re open to including tracks we wouldn’t necessarily cover on the site. For this week’s collection, we teetered on the precipice of adding new AFI single “I Hope You Suffer” to the list, but in the end, it didn’t make it. Justin Vernon’s project Volcano Choir released a video for “Byegone,” making them re-eligible for the week, as well, but we seemed to be more in tune with big beats. Check out our five favorites of this week, including ’80s-indebted quirk, Scandinavian pop powerhouses, and more, below.

5. Luke Temple – “Katie”

Implementing ’80s nostalgia, be it John Hughes soundtrack sonics or Miami Vice car chase music, is now a longstanding indie trend but Luke Temple has refreshed that influence with the peculiar pop of “Katie.” And the song demands oddity, as its subject matter is Internet romance — not OKCupid-longing, but, seemingly, something a little bit more salacious. It’s that blend of the past and modernity, with Temple’s high-pitched yearning “Kaaaaaaatie”s and the song’s thick bass, that make it such a fun listen. The spelunking you have to do through the lyrics and dialogue samples to figure out whether this online love affair is dubious or not is just an extra. – Claire

4. Annie – “Invisible”

There is nothing perfunctory about the party that “Invisible” brings. The club cocktail from Annie and producer Richard X gets house as dark as it can go without losing all of its essence with three sets of vocals, including one which screws Annie’s coo into one of a haunting siren. If you want a bit of fight music at the rave, go to the one that’s spinning this. – Claire

3. Regal Degal – “Unseen”

Over the past three years, we’ve watched Regal Degal shift and explore strains of post-punk that cut taut like Wire and clanged artily like No Age, always with an eye on melody and repetition. (Their label history underscores this growth: first with NYC outré imprint RVNG, then on the No Age guys’ Post Present Medium after a move to LA.) In 2013 they’ve shifted to Brooklyn’s Terrible Records, at least for the ace new single “Unseen.” The itinerant post-punk trio’s settled into a more languorous groove here, steeped in Isn’t Anything’s primordial shoegaze jangle and warp, pretty and revealing harmonies. It’s a good look, and a good label affiliation, but don’t get too attached; they tend to shift shape (and it tends to work out). – Amrit

2. Icona Pop – “All Night”

At this point, “I Love It” isn’t something you love or hate anymore; it just is. So credit these Swedish kids with recognizing their own summer-conquering power and trying to do the same thing again. Except “All Night” is that other song’s relentless chirp turned inward. That spangly synth-line is practically graduation-slide-show material, and the dubstep hammer-drop is the most emotionally satisfying since, I don’t know, “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites.” – Tom

1. Forest Swords – “The Weight Of Gold”

Matthew Barnes’s dub/electronic/ambient project Forest Swords sort of appeared out of nowhere in 2010 with the bewitching Dagger’s Path EP, and it disappeared just as suddenly and mysteriously. Barnes, it seems, had been suffering hearing problems, and was forced to put Forest Swords on hold. He returned to the project in 2012, and spent a year working on Forest Swords’ debut LP, the forthcoming Engravings, which he apparently mixed on his laptop outdoors in the English countryside. “The Weight Of Gold” reflects that origin story — it’s a sound built with electronics, yet born of the natural world. It’s also a hypnotic and moving piece of music, the most immediate of Barnes’s young career; the dubby rhythm section carries a delicate harpsichord and spectral vocals to delirious heights. The dreamlike, autumnal tones recall Burial’s 2007 classic, Untrue. “The Weight Of Gold” is as undefinable and addicting as that record, and suggests Engravings might be its equal. – Michael

Comments (5)
  1. My song of the week is definetly Awkward by FIDLAR.

  2. Happy to see people is knowing more about Forest Swords.

  3. I havent listened to any of this, guess I’ll give all of it a try

  4. The new Annie song is absolutely smashing. Much better than Tube Stops and Lonely Hearts. Also, don’t forget “Safe With Me” by Sam Smith.

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