Top 10 Songs of the Week (5/30)


    Week after week, we’re able to draw comparisons between the artists we cover in Top Songs and artists we cover elsewhere. This week, though, saw the release of standout tracks composed by acts who did a great job of either sounding like themselves or employing songwriting techniques that will always sound warmly familiar (as JJ does with the piano progressions of “All White Everything”). Besides Woods (who have always brought to mind classic pop-rock strummers of the ’60s and ’70s), it’s been a week that made cross-pollinators elsewhere in the music world look indecisive.

    10. BOYTOY – “Blazed”

    boytoyThrow “Blazed” on the summer smoking playlist. The big guitars and distant echoed vocals are equal parts Lush and Queens of the Stone Age, and the psychedelic instrumental bridge goes beyond the rigid song structures typical of contemporary garage acts. BOYTOY is fresh on the scene, but have already attracted the attention of Burger Records, who are putting out the Brooklyn rockers’ debut LP as a cassette — a rite of passage for many an aspiring guitar band. –Jon Hadusek


    09. Adult Jazz – “Spook”


    In the middle of Adult Jazz’s “Spook”, the band states that they write songs to trick, and after experiencing the zaniness of the song’s structure, that makes a lot of sense. “Spook” employs this strategy through a number of instrumental movements, whether it’s guitar orchestration a la Dirty Projectors or ambiance built from reverberated piano keys. The track is featured on their upcoming debut album, Gist Is, which is set for release on August 4th via Spare Thought. –Sam Willett

    08. Lower – “Soft Option”


    With the cold, taunting “Soft Option”, Copenhagen’s Lower have a catchy punk scraper on their hands; there’s no reason to believe frontman Adrian Toubro wanted to write something hooky, even though he groans lines like “Step aside, take precautions” with all possible deliberation, meanwhile bringing to mind Joe Strummer’s snottiest deliveries. Musically, it’s a throttling clump of itching guitars and snapping bass, the turbulence mirroring the relationship between Toubro and the song’s subject. Seek Warmer Climes, Lower’s debut album, is out June 17th via Matador. –Michael Madden

    07. 1987 – “Michelle”


    Even though the lyrics to the latest from 1987, “Michelle”, are largely indecipherable, the melancholy producer showcases his feelings for the song’s mysterious subject through the track’s lyrical mood and tone. While its foundation is delicate and dreamy, he gradually escalates his emotions to a point where he needs to cry out her name. —Sam Willett

    06. Woods – “Tambourine Light”

    Woods Tambourine Light

    On the heels of With Light & With Love, Woods prepped a new 7″ single of jammy favorites that didn’t make it onto the masters. “Tambourine Light”, one of those tracks, dances with the lingering shadows and spirits of unsettling mourning. Singer Jeremy Earl uses stunning harmonies to call out to the sun, echoing sunny tracks like the full-length’s “Only the Lonely”. Check out the “Tambourine Light”/”Tomorrow’s Only Yesterday” split on July 8th via Woodsist and Captured Tracks. –Sam Willett

    05. JJ – “All White Everything”


    “What you know about that? No, you don’t know a thing,” insists JJ’s Elin Kastlander on “All White Everything”, as her confusion at the start of the song (“Time to pray, time to say what’s been on my mind”) finally melts away. Opening as a tender piano ballad, it grows into something more crowded but no less considered, and it’s a natural progression. V, the third JJ album, is out August 19th via Secretly Canadian/Sincerely Yours. –Michael Madden


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