Top 10 Songs of the Week (6/6)

An early preview of what's to come for the second half of 2014.

    With festival season just picking up (Bonnaroo is next weekend, after all), we have a lot to look forward to this summer. Some artists, on the other hand, are already looking further into the future, as far as 2015, and implanting new ideas in fans’ heads early. Many bands on this list are exploring new territory and reveling in the rewards, whether it involves setting up the perfect hype track or exploring dreams on a darker, more mature level. Coast through these selections and look forward to an exciting festival season, second half of 2014, and beyond.

    10. Sasha Go Hard – “Facts”

    sasha go hard
    “No metaphor, I’m talkin’ facts,” concludes Chicago rapper Sasha Go Hard on “Facts”, getting to the heart of the drill scene’s theme of straight-up coldness. The song is a success for its lyrics, but more than that, it goes hard thanks to Sasha’s clawing delivery and Timmy Da Hitman’s beat, reminiscent of Hit-Boy’s production on Drake’s “Trophies”. As with similar no-hook series like Lil Herb’s “4 Minutes of Hell” and Lil Durk’s “52 Bars”, “Facts” shows that Chicago’s new school is attuned to traditional tactics, too. Sasha drops her Feel So Good mixtape on June 9th. –Michael Madden


    09. Guerilla Toss – “367 Equalizer”

    Guerilla TossBoston noisemakers Guerilla Toss settle into a funk groove on “367 Equalizer”, a one-off track for Infinity Cats’ bi-monthly cassette series. That’s not to say, however, that the band has cleaned up their trademark dissonance. Each instrument is being plucked and tortured to achieve the most random series of notes, but rhythmically, everything syncs up with that snappy backbeat as Kassie Carlson yelps in a shambled half-cadence. –Jon Hadusek

    08. Braid – “No Coast”

    Braid No CoastThe instrumental suspense loaded behind the long-awaited new material from Braid, “No Coast”, proves that the band’s time away was spent well, allowing them to remaster their chemistry and conjure up new ways to keep us on our toes. In an interview with EW, they credit this to avoiding autopilot and infusing new excitement into their sound. The band finds this adventure contagious, even though it may cycle through the “happy and lonely,” and are eager to challenge their perception of their surroundings. Take a listen at EWNo Coast is due July 8th via Topshelf Records. –Sam Willett

    07. Avi Buffalo – “So What”


    To add to Sub Pop’s list of exciting upcoming releases, Avi Buffalo have announced their return, At Best Cuckold. The album’s first reveal, “So What”, lends some satisfying maturity to their sound. While Avi Zahner’s pen as playful and imaginative as their self-titled debut, the band’s easygoing rock and roll tones have been mystified in dreamy reverb similar to Capture Tracks leaders like DIIV and Wild Nothing. This change of pace keeps them far away from “waking up feeling normal,” so let’s hope that more experimentation and dreamy landscapes will appear when At Best Cuckold hits the shelves on September 9th. –Sam Willett

    06. Trap Them – “Let Fall Each and Every Sedition Symptom”

    Trap-Them-Blissfucker“There may be many questions about Trap Them, but there are only two answers: There is none more ugly and, most certainly, none more bitter.” The press release for Trap Them’s new record, Blissfucker (produced by Kurt Ballou, of Converge fame), reads like the ultimate crust manifesto — words to rival the misanthropic disgust projected in the band’s music. The whole album is an unrelenting display of angst, though its final moments, the six-minute closer “Let Fall Each and Every Sedition Symptom”, are the most climactic. Slowing the tempo, the band latch onto a head-bobbing riff that revels in stoner metal oomph before hitting a wall of guitar feedback. Rather than fading out here, this noise builds back up into one last sprint of blastbeats and hardcore abandon. Stream the track here–Jon Hadusek

    05. Dilly Dally – “Next Gold”

    dilly dallyToronto’s Dilly Dally find a grunge-pop middle ground on “Next Gold”, a one-off cut released on their Bandcamp. The track’s 4/4 time and tight structure are pitted against the wildly passionate singing of frontwoman Katie Monks. She plays loose with melody, stretching and toying with her phrases through a cracked vocal delivery that makes it hard to discern her lyrics. The juxtaposing elements create a controlled chaos that’s both aggro and catchy, with the syncopations during the chorus hitting a jittery sweet spot reminiscent of Mary Timony’s old band, Helium. –Jon Hadusek

    04. How to Dress Well – “Face Again”

    howtodresswellNot only is “Face Again” a smattering of hooks (from Tom Krell’s admission that “I don’t even know what’s best for me” to the whoa-ohs later on, it’s one of the catchiest How to Dress Well songs to date), but it’s also a big, bold track with haunted, pitched-up vocal loops and drums that sound lab-engineered. Krell’s voice here is as confident as ever, and the emotional range he conveys — one of uncertainty and a desire for connection — only adds more torque. “What Is This Heart?”, the third How to Dress Well album, is out June 24th via Weird World. –Michael Madden

    03. Caribou – “Can’t Do Without You”

    caribou our loveDan Snaith has reliably evolved over the course of his career as Caribou, jumping from psych pop to IDM and Krautrock. He moved to the dance floor with his 2010 full-length, Swim, and he gets back to it with “Can’t Do Without You”, an increasingly human exercise in repetition. Though the track is sparse at the beginning, it surges around the 90-second mark, inflating until its headrush synths reign over all. It’s masterfully paced, too: Hooks and melodies that surface at the beginning are exponentially more potent by the end. “Can’t Do Without You” is our first taste of Caribou’s Our Love, out October 7th via Merge. –Michael Madden

    02. My Gold Mask – “Dissipate”

    My Gold MaskMy Gold Mask take a direct approach to synth pop, following New Order’s bullshit-free template of dance beats and guitar lines. The Chicago outfit show restraint on new single “Dissipate”, relying on a mid-tempo riff that eases into the verses and vice versa. Producer Sanford Parker deserves some credit for his minimalist tactics. Instead of heaping on a bunch of overdubs, he adds just enough reverb on the guitar to give it a dense, metallic tone and puts Gretta Rochelle’s voice right out front. Her melodies carry the track. –Jon Hadusek

    01. Drake – “0 to 100/The Catch Up”

    As proven by Nothing Was the Same highlights like the dissection of his flow on “Tuscan Leather” or the audacity of “Worst Behavior”, Drake is the perfect hype man for glorifying his own talents. Before we can shake him, though, his producers bring his egotism into playful, intriguing territory, making it harder to resist. His latest, “0-100/The Catch Up”, ignites our excitement for what’s to come: “Listen up, boy, you’re better off eavesdroppin’/ We already got spring 2015 poppin’.”
    While the song’s first half drills backhanded confidence akin to “Started from the Bottom”, the second half showcases sexier R&B seduction, which producers Boi-1da, Noah “40” Shebib, and Ninteen85 coated with wobbling synth tones and gorgeous James Blake vocal samples. It all echoes Drizzy’s strategy of working through the writing process with comfortable space and ease. It’s a perfect anticipatory track, serving fans up with a healthy dose of new charisma while creating a yearning for more. –Sam Willett


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