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.
Death Grips – I Break Mirrors with My Face in the United States
The Death Grips are a difficult band to fully understand. They’re an experimental hip hop group out of California, that much you can peg on them. But in four years, the group has continued to produce oddball, left-field music that challenges any sort of genre labels and often creates more questions than answers. They are an enigmatic presence in hip hop, but that’s all coming to an end. After forming in 2010, the band is officially breaking up in 2015. (Or maybe not; they’ve just announced new tour dates.) However, they’re going out with a bang.
The Powers That B is the fourth and supposedly final studio record from the group, and the double album pulls out all the stops. It’s packed with the head-turning sounds that have made Death Grips so polarizing and so appealing. I Break Mirrors With My Face in The United States is a fine example of the group in a petri dish: A confusing and provactive title, an unrelenting and feverish beat that will either get your blood boiling or give you anxiety, and distorted vocals. If you haven’t heard of the group before, now is your chance to catch up before they’re gone for good.
Boz Scaggs – Full of Fire
Boz Scaggs has been a persistent presence in the music industry since the early 1960’s. He’s been around long enough to watch his influence come and go, and start to come back again. Now on his 22nd solo record, Scaggs proves that he still has what it takes to stay fresh after all these years. On Full of Fire, he sounds as motivated as ever. A bluesy, Memphis vibe driven by a pulsing drum and funky bass line makes the track sound ageless.
Sufjan Stevens – John My Beloved
Sufjan Stevens is one of the most interesting and multidimensional acts working today. The singer-songwriter can put to use just about any instrument you hand him, but his bread and butter comes with an acoustic guitar and his pen and pad in hand. His new album Carrie and Lowell is packed with examples of his stellar songwriting, and those skills come through in John My Beloved, a tender and soft-spoken song that deals with Stevens’ relationships, both interpersonal and with a higher power.
The National – Sunshine On My Back
Major acts have really started to embrace the “surprise musical release” schtick — not that we’re complaining. The National is the latest act to get in on the unannounced drop, and they bring along special guest Sharon Van Etten, an always welcome vocal presence. “Sunshine on my back is the only kind I like / Sunshine in my brain is the lonely kind of pain,” sings Matt Berninger in his gentle strain before Van Etten joins him for the back half off the track.
Killer Mike and MNDR – Lock and Load
Killer Mike has turned himself into a can’t-miss presence. Any time he’s adding a verse to a song, you best listen up. The track, which will appear on Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack album Alchemist and Oh No Presents: Welcome to Los Santos, features MNDR’s mellow and seductive voice, laced in reverb and dropped atop a synth soundscape. Then, Killer Mike hops in and provides the grittier viewpoint that he’s become so accustom to delivering.