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Top 10 Songs of the Week (8/7)

Wolf Eyes, Frog Eyes, and Clams Casino -- an unusual buffet, but an exhilarating bunch of tunes

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    This week’s list of Top Songs is packed full of musicians who forged their own path. Wolf Eyes have been consummate noise-makers for nearly two decades, now arriving at Third Man Records of all places. FKA twigs works with a more approachable sound, but does so with a decidedly unique voice and aesthetic. And no one’s going to take a look at or listen to Danny Brown and think the guy broke big by playing it safe. In any genre or scene, the artists on this week’s list have carved that path into the mysterious wilderness, and listening to the songs ahead will give you a glimpse at those exciting realms.

    10. Frog Eyes – “Two Girls (One for Heaven and the Other One for Rome)”

    Frog Eyes band carey mercer

    Before recording upcoming album Pickpocket’s Locket, Frog Eyes frontman Carey Mercer was in radiation treatment for throat cancer. In fact, if that didn’t work, he explained to Noisey in a recent interview, he’d need surgery on his throat, which would theoretically completely change his voice. While he seemed jokingly interested in that prospect, let me say thank goodness that electric voice of his remains intact. Either way, his beautiful, poetic lyrics would remain, as evident from the new “Two Girls (One for Heaven and the Other One for Rome)”. His evocative talk of bishops, crystals, honey, and smoke rides like a winding river among lithe saxophone, upright bass, nimble drumming, and his trademark guitar, which arrives like brief bursts of summer thunderstorm. Pickpocket’s Locket arrives August 28th via Paper Bag. –Adam Kivel

    09. Windhand – “Crypt Key”

    Windhand

    Relapse Records has a knack for unearthing heaviness that appeals even to the non-metal crowd. That continues with the newest offering from Windhand. Hailing from Richmond, the five-piece brings that relaxed Southern pace to their driving psychedelic metal. The slow build, paired with a bare acoustic guitar, steers ears inward before guitarist Asechiah Bogdan kicks on the amp and contorts “Crypt Key” into a provocatively grungy beast. Vocalist Dorthia Cottrell never strains among the riffs, her (relatively) delicate timbre lurking amid the dark nuances of her bandmates. There, she feels “safe from everyone.” “Crypt Key” will be available on Grief’s Infernal Flower, out September 18th. —Derek Staples

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    08. Danny Brown and Clams Casino – “Worth It”

    Danny-Brown-Clams-Casino-Worth-It

    Like a comedian dealing with intense personal problems behind their jokes, Detroit rapper Danny Brown can sound downright troubled even if he is, as he’s proclaimed, the “rap Martin Lawrence.” He’s in that troubled headspace on “Worth It”, his new Adult Swim Singles collaboration with Clams Casino. It recalls earlier Brown songs like “Torture”, barbed with the risks of temptations, including “fast cars and ice” and “new girls every night.” Sure, Brown’s notepad sessions have led to a Don Shula-caliber winning percentage, but are his indulgences masking something that needs resolving? Over Clams’ fascinatingly stomach-turning production, Brown ponders the question for himself. –Michael Madden

    07. Pleasure Leftists – “Protection”

    Pleasure Leftists

    Pulled from Pleasure Leftists’ forthcoming The Woods of Heaven album, due out August 21st via Deranged, “Protection” comes as a wild declaration of willpower. “Give me your hand, I’m alive/ I will survive, will survive, will survive,” howls Haley Morris, like she’s trying to convince anyone who will listen, but especially herself. Like a stateside counterpart to Sweden’s Makthaverskan, the Cleveland band pairs post-punk guitars with hurricane drum beats and powerful vocals. After a bright bridge progression, the song ends starkly on one last chorus, letting the ghost of its melody hang over the silence it leaves behind. –Sasha Geffen

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