Sometimes there are songs that are so good that it doesn’t matter who performs them. Other times, there are performers so captivating that it doesn’t matter what they’re delivering. But, as we saw when Beyoncé and Eddie Vedder covered “Redemption Song”, there are times when the Venn diagram covers both of those strengths, and we’re left with something downright magical. Such is the case with another batch of the week’s best songs, ranging from the spiritual funk of Flying Lotus, Thundercat, and Shabazz Palaces’ WOKE to the emotionally resonant indie rock of Radiator Hospital. Dig in below for some dazzling tunes.
10. The Muscadettes – “Earthquake”
Despite currently calling Montreal home, twin sisters Chantal and Kathleen Ambridge stay true to their sunny California roots on “Earthquake”. The latest single from their band, The Muscadettes, sounds all sunny and sweet, but there’s a darkness lingering under the satin harmonies, jangly guitar, and twinkling keys. “Surrender, my tender/ Your heart is my revolver/ I pull the trigger to the beat,” they sing, the jaunty rhythm never suggesting there could be pain coming with each and every snare hit. “Earthquake”, and the rest of their Side B EP, officially drops November 6th from PaperCup Music. –Adam Kivel
09. Cousin Stizz – “The Wave”
Cousin Stizz’s great mixtape from June, Suffolk County, was banging, druggy, and frequently funny. The Boston rapper takes a darker turn on “The Wave”, which, while still assured in tone, outlines the rigors of his grind, one he continues through various temptations, friends’ jail sentences, and sleep deprivation. “Y’all could just stop with the questions/ Been smoking this weed ‘cause I’m stressin’,” he goes, but he’ll be right back to it once the fumes disappear. Tee-WaTT and M-Ali’s beat is a spacey, flickering thump that opens pockets into which Stizz embeds his nonchalant style, despite his woes. –Michael Madden