Every week, there are hundreds of thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves. It’s too much for just your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks worthy of the thumbs down button. Don’t worry, we’re going to save you the hassle. We listen to some of the most hyped and interesting songs each week, and tell you what ones are worth using your bandwidth on. Here are our top 5 songs to stream.
Sharon Van Etten – I Don’t Want to Let You Down
Have you ever been on a hot streak? Everything seems like it’s going your way, every risk pays off, and every random chance results in reward. You might not be able to explain it, and you definitely don’t question it, but sometimes you’re just in the zone. Right now, Sharon Van Etten is in the zone. Everything she puts out, from last year’s breakthrough release Are We There to this week’s fresh EP I Don’t Want to Let You Down has shown an artist on fire. In this case, though, we know why: She’s just damn good.
On the heartbreaking 5-song collection, Van Etten finds her strength as a musician in the weaker moments of her life, and her songs benefit greatly from her willingness to be vulnerable. It shows clearly on the title track I Don’t Want to Let You Down, a track that veers almost into folkish-pop territory, but maintains an openness that makes it a song only Van Etten could sing because of the personal touches she applies to it.
The Arcs – Stay In My Corner
The Black Keys may consist of just two members, but when frontman Dan Auerbach goes off on his own to play was the Arcs, he brings a full band for accompaniment. The side project has a new record in the wings, and Stay In My Corner serves as the sampler before the full course is served. It finds influence in similar sounds that drive the Black Keys, digging into blues and rock influences, but Auerbach flexes his vocal muscles a bit more as he belts some soulful high notes.
Dean McPhee – Effigy of Clay
In a world of acoustic guitar strumming singer-songwriters, Dean McPhee prefers to plug in with electric. The solo act armed with his six-string is able to use that unique attribute to his advantage, creating soundscapes untouched by the acoustic offerings. On Effigy of Clay, one of the strongest offerings off his third album Fatima’s Hand, McPhee builds up a richly textured soundscape from an eerie, creeping intro that strikes in waves and never feels repetitive through its runtime.
Jenny Hval – That Battle is Over
Jenny Hval is often a provocateur for a variety of reasons: her lyrics, her use of samples, her affinity for noise. She’s not a fan of structure and is happy to let you know it. Her songs can swing wildly in style and sound in a brief period. On That Battle is Over, which is from her recently released album Apocalypse, girl, she shows off versatility. Hval goes from spoken word style to a purring whisper and everywhere in between, all over the top of swinging drums, humming organs, and synths.
The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
The metaphor of love as a drug is not a new one, but a case could be made that few pull off the concept as effectively as the Weeknd —perhaps because he’s done it so often. Can’t Feel My Face debuted at the end of Apple’s WWDC keynote, and even Apple fanboys could make the case that it was the best part of the show. The beat pulses beneath Abel Tesfaye, as he sings about the numbness his lover gives him — and how he enjoys the feeling (or lack thereof).
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