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 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 5 songs to stream this week — and remember to subscribe to our Spotify playlist for all of our weekly picks.
The influence of now-deceased beatmaker J Dilla is everywhere in the sounds of 21st century hip-hop. An iconic producer whose productions force head-bobs out of virtually everyone within earshot, Dilla’s estate has long allowed rappers to re-record over his beat breaks over the years. But this latest cut, Gangsta Boogie, marks the first time that rapper Snoop Dogg has blessed Dilla fans with his voice in any official capacity. A G-Funk influenced track which features the voice of Dilla alongside Compton’s legendary weed smoking emcee, the song is an instant classic — the sort of thing that could have been made 10 years ago or just yesterday, and it would still jam all the same.
In the past five years, Charles Bradley has emerged as the biggest name in Daptone Records’ ongoing soul revival. A 67-year-old singer with classic James Brown style and spectacularly showy stage presence, Bradley continues to shine bright on Ain’t It A Sin. The song is an old-school cut which features awesome horn lines, screechy vocals, and a boat load of tangible musical passion.
A breezy new single from songwriter Jordan Lee’s Mutual Benefit project, Lost Dreamers showcases the musicians endless well of gentle vulnerability. It’s rare to hear new songs which float so freely and feel so effortless, a testament to the deep sonic layering with which the songwriter organizes his complete musical thoughts.
Julien Baker — The Ballad of Big Nothing (Elliot Smith cover)
Portland singer-songwriter Elliot Smith has been covered by many people in the music world since his tragic death in 2003. But where most Smith covers play out as sad, second-rate tributes to the deceased musician’s gorgeous pop ballads, Julien Baker’s smoldering version of Ballad of Big Nothing is as brilliantly clean as it is dark and melancholy. In her version of the classic song, Baker adds big background vocals and effects, lending it a more modern sound. But instead of transforming the song into an over-the-top pop ballad, Baker drapes her voice gently over every word, just like Smith himself.
French musician Anthony Gonzalez has done well to mold his band M83 into the current generation’s outlet for classic 1980s electro-pop. On Go!, the latest single off of upcoming album Junk, the producer features the iconic fingers of shredding guitar god Steve Vai, the hero of 13-year-old Ibanez owners everywhere. Vai’s guitar lends M83’s new synth-driven jam a quality which is corny to the point of awesomeness, generating positive responses even from the biggest haters of leisure suits and Duran Duran.
That’s it for now, but check back every week for more new tunes to stream!