The 5 Best Songs Of The Week
On Monday, DJ Khaled dropped “I Wanna Be With You,” the second single from his upcoming album Suffering From Success. The song, which we did not even consider for this week’s column, features Nicki Minaj, Future, and Rick Ross and arrived on the heels of one of the weirdest album promo tactics to-date: an MTV-produced video in which Khaled proposes to Minaj. The clip was met with a number of reactions — that Khaled was a creep and a stalker; that Nicki had filed a restraining order against him; that it was a publicity stunt. The latter, clearly, was true and would have been all so aggravating if it hadn’t inspired Boston-based DJ and producer Durkin to concoct “Khaled’s Lament,” the secret best song of the summer. It’s bursting with dreamy synths and skittering production as samples of Khaled’s proposal wispily ride the beat. It not only jams super hard, but it’s hilarious. That song didn’t make it to the list, either, but tracks by returning indie rock big leaguers, someone who probably has asked Nicki Minaj to marry him, and three other artists did. Get into the list below.
“Woodbine” is the first track to be released from Soma, the second album from Richmond, VA stoner-doom band Windhand, and as it’s a hell of a way to get acquainted: Within one second, “Woodbine” has leveled everything in its immediate vicinity, and it spends the next nine minutes crushing everything else. The guitars have the mass of mountains, and from those heights, riffs descend with the inescapable force of an avalanche. Frontwoman Dorthia Cottrell delivers resin-sticky melodies in spacey, spectral gusts, while the rhythm section just blasts forward, not slowly, but inexorably, in long, powerful strides. – Michael
Seven years later, Melissa Dyne has replaced music person Jona Bechtolt. But the real difference is that Khaela Maricich is seven years older and smarter and better at writing songs — and she was smart and good at writing songs seven years ago. “Make It Up” is a prime ’80s-prom love song, assembled with craft and empathy, given absolutely perfect lyrics, and rendered on what sounds like a Casio that you could find for 20 bucks at a pawn shop. Maybe this is the real future-pop: A homemade anthem, one that would sound great polished-up but one that doesn’t need the polish. – Tom
What’s the best possible way to end a song called “All Me”? Allow the guy who usually has the weakest bars to go last and then sucker punch-satiate your listener by coming back on the track and ending it was a verse that just fades into silence. That’s what Drake did on this Key Wane-produced cut — allowed 2 Chainz and Big Sean to bookend him while he machine-gunned out braggadocio (including “I’m on a roll / like Cottonelle / I was made for this shit”) and then swooped back in to close it out. Big Sean gets a pound for bigging up his girlfriend’s obviously-much-larger paycheck. 2 Chainz gets everything because he’s perfect. – Claire
It’s hard to talk about “The Wire” without throwing out a bunch of comparisons that make HAIM sound fussily retro-minded: Fleetwood Mac, the Pretenders, and (as was pointed out to me) the Eagles. And yeah, all those comparisons are earned and accurate. But “The Wire” never feels old or overly reverent; instead, it’s one of the freshest, funnest things to be released this summer: all head-bobbing handclaps, lite bass drops, funk guitar wah, string stabs, and vocal mini-runs over an infectious melody. Sisters Danielle, Alaina, and Este Haim trade vox on the verses like tag-team wrestlers, and come together in a rush of harmony on the bridge. It’s pure energy, really, pure joy. – Michael
Nine Types of Light had an understated soul-music glimmer that’s aged better than you might realize, but you could still call this a comeback, if you really want. Because that dessicated anthemic wail is back! Tunde Adebimpe’s soaring above chasms again, while Kyp Malone and Dave Sitek have once again worked up a guitar-whirlwind that sounds like OK Computer-era Radiohead got trapped in a Bushwick warehouse. No indie band builds toward grand catharsis like these guys do, and now that they’re apparently interested in getting that catharsis again, we can count ourselves lucky. – Tom