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Metallica, Danny Brown, and Bon Iver Top Our Songs of the Week (8/19)

Ten great new tunes to boost the communal well-being

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    top-10-songs-of-the-week-2014-novThis week we learned that going to concerts regularly will lead to a happier life — at least according to one study. In a survey of 1,000 Australians, Victoria’s Deakin University found that those who attended any sort of communal musical experience reported higher levels of satisfaction with their lives. And lest you go thinking that a VR trip to Coachella will be good enough, the study insisted that the “communal” aspect of the experience was the key. While we might not be dancing to these tunes in the same room, maybe you’ll get some benefit from all of us listening to these great new songs together.
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    10. Metallica – “Hardwired”

    metallica

    Metallica are finally back. The band have announced their first album in eight years entitled Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, which will drop on November 18th via Blackened Recordings. Hardwired will be a double album and serve as the follow-up to 2008’s Death Magnetic. Alongside the announcement, Metallica have released their lead title single, a thrashed throwback to the ferociously raw Kill ‘Em All. Hetfield wields his staple apocalyptic growl as the song is filled to the brim with whiplash riffs, frenetic kick drums, high-tempo pummeling power chords, and crash-and-burn solos. –Alejandra Ramirez


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    09. Clearance – “Owner/Operator”

    clearance-band

    Still riding high on the 2015 release of their excellent debut album, Rapid RewardsChicago outfit Clearance are returning with a briefer, yet no less sweet new release. Their new 7-inch, Are You Aware, is due in only a week, so you best get yourself prepared. And what better way than with the Malkmus-indebted “Owner/Operator”, a jangly drifter that runs on Arthur Velez’ tight drumbeat. But the true star, as might be expected from anything so obviously soaked in Pavement nostalgia, is the laconic delivery of guitarist Mike Bellis, who even manages to drop a Kinks reference into the mix. Grab Are You Aware at your local record store via Tall Pat Records.  –Adam Kivel


    08. Kool Keith feat. MF DOOM – “Super Hero”

    kool-keith-mf-doom-super-hero

    Set to release his 22nd studio album, Feature Magnetic, on September 16th via Mello Music Group, Kool Keith has shared the third single, “Super Hero”. The song features the forever-elusive rapper MF DOOM, adding to his list of team-ups in the past months that already included Madlib, Ghostface Killah, and Atmosphere. The track proves a perfect pairing for both hip-hop veterans as they each drop lines brimming with references to Spider-Man, the X-Men, and Doctor Octopus and wax philosophical over foreboding electronics and starburst synths. –Alejandra Ramirez 


     07. [Hi:Emotions] – “NOTU_URONLINEU”

    When you see an album title in the vein of NOTU_URONLINEU surfacing via Kode9’s Hyperdub label, one must anticipate a complex IDM onslaught. Produced totally in the dark by London’s Leon Smart, who also produces under the Scratcha DVA alias, the eight-minute-long cut concurrently transverses noise, jazz, trance, dub, hardcore techno, and apparently every synthesized texture Smart could get his fingers on while shrouded in that darkness. The bastard child of Flying Lotus and Autechre, the track scoffs at its own charming abnormalities. The titular single from Smart’s forthcoming LP closes with an ironic sound bite: “I knew that wasn’t gonna sound good.” Explore the totality of NOTU_URONLINEU at your leisure on October 7th. –Derek Staples 


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    06. Mannequin Pussy – “Emotional High”

    manequin pussy romantic

    The magic of punk is hard to explain to people who don’t already listen to punk. If you’ve got friends who remain unconvinced the genre’s anything other than yelling and simple chords, show them Mannequin Pussy’s newest song. The Philadelphia-based group know how to write concise punk songs that carry all the grit and energy of the genre with their own brand of melodic pop guiding the instruments. Barely over a minute long, their new song “Emotional High” — off their upcoming LP, Romantic, out October 28th via Tiny Engines — makes good on its name, and it tackles gratitude in the process. Marisa Dabice belts her lines with joyful jubilation, an honest delivery that strengthens each line about friendship and general appreciation. “I really can’t explain it/ It’s an emotional high,” she sings. “There’s nothing to it/ If I could, I’d tell you all the time.” If only gratitude sounded this blissful and fun when it left everyone’s lips. –Nina Corcoran



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    05. PWR BTTM – “New Hampshire”

    PWR BTTM // Photo by Philip Cosores
    Photo by Philip Cosores

    In 2015, PWR BTTM released one of the best albums of the year, Ugly Cherries, on Father/Daughter Records. Now fans can grab a European vinyl reissue with two bonus songs attached, one of which is “New Hampshire”, a beautiful take on encroaching death. Of course, the duo aren’t too phased by life ending. Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce cushion words like “Someday all the birds up in the sky will just die, oh well/ And the sun, it’ll burn out, oh well/ And you and I will die, oh well” with padded percussion and twinkling xylophone that speak to peace of mind, not fear, along with a moving, slow-plucked guitar line. By the time both members start harmonizing, “New Hampshire” forges its subtleties. This isn’t a bedroom sigh about existentialism. It’s an act of reverting to childlike wonder to ignore the realities of life — and that hits even harder. By now, we shouldn’t be surprised when PWR BTTM gift us a song that’s sneaky in its intricacies and makes us appreciate life more. The two dance their way through cuts like that all the time. Maybe this time we should do the same, even when it’s a slow ballad like this one. –Nina Corcoran


    04. Bon Iver – “22 (OVER S∞∞N) [Bob Moose Extended Cab Version]”

    Nina Corcoran, Bon Iver 05

    Photo by Nina Corcoran

    So, it seems like Justin Vernon has been digging into the likes of James Blake and Oneohtrix Point Never. Dude’s getting into some glitchy, twitchy stuff, chopping up that angelic voice of his and turning it into a strange new instrument. Plus, he’s working in more iconography and abstruse artistic signposts. Heck, take one look at the title of new track “22 (OVER S∞∞N) [Bob Moose Extended Cab Version]”. But he pulls it off on the chiming, droning tune, an endless loop of his voice producing a serene lilt, saxophone, guitar, and pitch-shifted samples curling around the edges. This track and the rest of 22, A Million hit shelves on September 30th via Jagjaguwar Records. –Adam Kivel


    03. Slow Mass – “Portals To Hell”

    slow mass portals to hell

    When you’ve got a lot of emotions, the best way to address them all is to play music — and, if need be, in multiple bands. Into It. Over It. drummer Josh Sparks and guitarist Josh Parks teamed up to form a new band called Slow Mass along with Mercedes Webb and Dave Collis. With their debut EP, Treasure Pains, set to drop on September 9th via Landland, the Chicago act shared “Portals to Hell”, a speedy, heavy post-hardcore number that throws as many punches as it does soften the blow from them. Despite harsher tones (that voice scratched itself one too many times), Slow Mass shape “Portals to Hell” into a poppier, semi-math hit. Even lines like “You’ll never know what I could do for you” carry a type of romanticism that makes the punchy sound all the more fitting. Thank goodness they found a new outlet for a sound this catchy. –Nina Corcoran


    02. Big Gigantic feat. Logic & ROZES – “All of Me”

    Big Gigantic // Photo by David Brendan Hall
    Photo by David Brendan Hall

    If you haven’t seen Big Gigantic live, you simply haven’t been to enough music festivals (writes the white dude with three-foot-long dreads). Composed of master saxophonist Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken, the duo’s fusion of jazz, hip-hop, and EDM bubbled over from Boulder to quickly take hold of the headier corners of the festival circuit. It was during a live setting in their home state when Lalli and Salken crossed paths with lyricist Logic. The encounter gave life to a beat that had been begging for a featured voice for over two years; the slightly distorted enchantment of ROZES further enhances the somber sax and simple synth blips beneath the collab’s elongated bass wake. “All of Me” can be found on Big G’s forthcoming guest-heavy LP, Brighter Future, available August 26th. –Derek Staples


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