5 songs you need to stream this week: Frank Ocean, The Shins, and more

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Every week, there are thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves — and it’s just too much for your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks that deserve a thumbs-down click.

But 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 which are worthy of your precious listening time.

Here are our top five songs to stream this week. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our Spotify page for a playlist of our weekly picks, which can also be found at the bottom of this post.

Frank Ocean — Chanel

R&B superstar Frank Ocean released a song called Chanel last week on Beats 1 radio, his first new single since the debut of his much-lauded 2016 album Blonde. A mellow crooning single with extremely subtle musical layers, this one centers on the soft tones of Ocean’s voice, with lyrics that describe the complicated personal and professional juxtapositions that the singer witnesses in everyday life.

The Shins — The Fear

The Shins recently appeared on Southern California’s KCRW radio, playing songs from their new album Heartworms. On this live take — an acoustic version of the album’s closing single The Fear — the band employs a trio of strings to add a wistful musical layer to the song that helps elevate the instantly recognizable vocal tone of frontman James Mercer to beautiful new heights.

Surfer Blood — Frozen (and more)

This live take of Surfer Blood’s Frozen is the kind of thing you put on when you need to clean a kitchen, and you want to dance while doing it. Raw, upbeat, and full of catchy melodic elements, it captures your ears and forces you to your feet — the kind of thing that makes even menial household tasks enjoyable.

Dolly Spartans — Hanging Out

A clean-cut garage rock song with great vocals, the Dolly Spartans’ Hanging Out feels destined to soundtrack a solid number of skateboard videos — and it would also absolutely rock a college party. The New York band uses clean hooks and a quick-paced baseline to drive the pop single, resulting in a clean bit of music that feels plain fun to listen to.

Cold War Kids — So Tied Up (Los Feliz Blvd) (Featuring Bishop Briggs)

The Cold War Kids may have risen to prominence as a dirty-rocking indie band, but there are some serious pop hooks going on in So Tied Up (Los Feliz Blvd), which relies heavily on the soul-styled vocals of singer Bishop Briggs. This acoustic version of the track, which employs violin and acoustic piano, comes closer to what we’d expect from an older iteration of the band — skipping the heavily produced claps and background vocals from the radio-friendly studio version in favor of something more organic.

That’s it for now, but tune in next week for more tunes — and check out the playlist loaded with our recent selections below:

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