The 5 Best Songs Of The Week

The 5 Best Songs Of The Week

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FRAAAAAAAAAANK!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!?!?!? IS IT REALLY YOU??!!!!

Here are the 5 best songs of the week, pre-Endless.

5. Bon Iver – “10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄ (Extended Version)”

For Emma really does feel like Forever Ago. In the decade since he first sequestered himself in that snowy Wisconsin cabin, Justin Vernon has moved further and further away from the spare beard-folk of his debut and further and further towards something more synthetic and impressionistic and grandiose. His music has always seemed delicate and fragile, but now it’s actually broken, all warped surfaces and jagged edges. On “10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄ (Extended Version)” — perhaps the goth cousin of “Beth/Rest”? — fragments of meaning flicker in and out of focus as Vernon’s processed-to-death vocals swirl around the fuckified muck of glitched-out electronics. It’s fractured and alien and strange, and yes, really, really beautiful. –Peter

4. Cymbals Eat Guitars – “Have A Heart”

“Have A Heart” is a love song that co-opts ’80s jangle and drive to make for one of the lightest, sweetest tracks that Cymbals Eat Guitars have put out to date. “I’m so out of sync, and you’re so out of sync with me,” Joseph D’Agostino sings for the misfit in all of us that just wants to find someone whose flaws are compatible with our own. He’s hung up on his past (“Things we did when we were young and evil”), but feels like he may be able to overcome those flaws with this new relationship: “Empathy never came so naturally ’til I met you.” “Have A Heart”‘s optimism is tempered with a sullen moodiness, sort of like almost taking flight but keeping your toes on the ground, but it still unabashedly entertains the notion that all those crazy romantic stories about love may actually be true: “Can’t believe the shit that we were promised might really exist.” –James

3. Rae Sremmurd – “Black Beatles” (Feat. Gucci Mane)

You look at that title, and it looks like a provocation. “Black Beatle, bitch, me and Paul McCartney related,” says Slim Jxmmi. “Rockin’ John Lennon lenses, like to see ‘em spread-eagle,” agrees Swae Lee. (Nobody even mentions George or Ringo.) But it’s not like the Beatles imagery is a concept here, like they’re doing anything in particular to evoke the Beatles. They say it because it’s a fun phrase. It connotes luxury, and playfulness, and melodic brilliance. And Rae Sremmurd have all three of those things going for them. The track, from their capo Mike Will Made-It, is a lush and fluffy bed of evocative synth-noodles. Swae and Jxmmi turn it into a playground, yelping and crowing all over it without ever overwhelming the song with their energy. And Swae’s sung hook is a thing of beauty, its hedonism edging into melancholy without ever quite getting there. Meanwhile, elder statesman Gucci Mane is just happy to be there, chortling about yellow Lamborghinis and a girl with green hair, “a real weirdo.” Gucci Mane came home to find out that the weirdos had taken over, and he could not possibly sound happier about it. Once upon a time, the white Beatles were weirdos, too. –Tom

2. LVL UP – “Hidden Driver”

Along with leveling up to Sub Pop for Return To Love, LVL UP have expanded their scope and ambition. Thus the album kicks off with “Hidden Driver,” a soaring Aeroplane powered by incessant strumming and inspired metaphysical mumbles. Dave Benton is every bit the evocative lyricist as Jeff Mangum, but instead of Anne Frank fan fiction and semen-stained mountaintops, he fixates on more universal questions that are frankly no easier to wrap your head around: Is there an omniscient creator God out there? To what extent is he involved in our lives? Whose fault is it that this world is a mess? If only the answers could resolve as cleanly, compactly, and satisfyingly as the music in this grandiose little guitar symphony. –Chris

1. Danny Brown – “Pneumonia”

Many rappers claim their flow’s the sickest, but they’re hypochondriacs compared to Danny Brown. There’s actually a rich history of people singing about illness in other genres too, but I’m only scared of actually contracting a disease from Detroit’s finest, and I mean that in the best way possible. Dude is awesomely gross. “Pneumonia” doesn’t have the most energetic beat — it’s more hypnotic than hyped — but Brown injects it with an urgent muck from a syringe only he can handle. Honestly, coming from anyone else, I don’t know if I could stomach: “Slurp that pussy up, call it lo mein/ If that coke burn my nose I’ma complain.” But the entrancing, menacing magic of those creepy bells and synths, Brown’s high-pitched nastiness, and the deranged return of Schoolboy Q’s “yock!” ad lib among others make it all too gutter to resist. Brown truly does exhibit atrocity, and there’s no chance I’ll turn away from it because this is atrocity at its best. –Collin