Bam! Just like that, artists began dropping tracks from the sky upon us all this past week. With the slight dry spell we have hit here in the late summer, it is nice and refreshing to have a breath of new music scattered upon us. It also is a pleasant reminder of some albums we have to look forward to this fall. So I decided to take advantage of these new single track releases by throwing out this list. There were in fact quite a few other songs dropped this past week as well, so you should dive into those as well, but these were my favorites. This was an impromptu list that I just constructed myself, so if something on the list does not sit well I am held solely responsible, and no blame should be put on the rest of the LxL team. Enjoy:
5. Nine Inch Nails – “Everything”
The most shocking song I’ve heard from NIN in … probably ever. Not due to any shocking lyrics or grossly aggressive industrial beats, but because of how poppy it is. That is right, welcome the poppiest, most new wave influenced song to ever exist in the Nine Inch Nails catalogue. I have to say I love it. The sound fits Reznor well, and although it may take a bit of getting used to from NIN, it’s a new trick for an old dog, and I love it.
4. M.I.A. – “UNBREAK my Mixtape”
M.I.A.’s brilliant use of sampling continues in “UNBREAK my Mixtape” with the use of Blur’s “Tender”. And the title of the sample fits the vibe of the song pretty well I must say. Her voice sounds soft and vulnerable, something that M.I.A. has explored before in efforts like “It Takes A Muscle”, but in this track, it’s even a bit more monotone. The track also ends with a snippet of Karen Dalton’s cover of Otis Redding’s “I Love You More Than Words Can Say”, which is beautiful albeit a bit confusing. All-in-all it’s a bit of a weird composition but somehow fits together very nicely. It is also another prime pre-drop from her upcoming album Matangi, and just another reason to be excited for it.
3. Big Sean ft. Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica – “Control”
Big Sean, Jay and Kendrick bring together this little ball of fun stacked with some sick samples, a great beat, and some powerful lyrics. Kendrick holds nothing back in a verse that takes the center stage. He may be the star of the track, with one of the best rap verses I’ve heard all year, but Jay and Big Sean are no sloutches either in this non-album highlight from Big Sean’s Hall of Fame.
2. Matthew E. White – “Hot Hot Hot”
This track is one of the more uniquley great songs I have heard in a while. It is a slow moving monotone track that breathes the depths of an intense amount of music genres with minimal effort. Matthew’s voice is also so uniquely great and genuine that it is hard not to be taken back by it, even despite the low energy vibe of the track. Look for new material from White this October, and try not to overlook it this year as I did last year.
1. Cults – “I Can Hardly Make You Mine”
“I Can Hardly Make You Mine” already shows that Cults are indeed able to recreate the sound and catchiness of the pop sensation “Go Outside” almost effortlessly. The success of Cults’ debut self titled album was largely slingshot from “Go Outside”, but the rest of the album was in fact more than just a sag from the tent pole as well. Let’s hope their new album Static follows suit. This track shows that they are coming back with more of that bright and bubbly yet shoegazy sound for all to enjoy, and I for one am quite excited for it.