Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks

Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of March 16–20, 2015. Headphone-tested, FLOOD-approved.

While most of the music world was out in Austin, Texas, this week for SXSW, some amazing tracks were dropped by some of today’s most-hyped rappers (Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt), indie-dance staples (Tanlines, James Murphy), and the one-and-only Björk.

Check them all out below.


 

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James Murphy, “We Used To Dance”

Earlier this week, former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy shared a brand-new song from the soundtrack for the upcoming Noah Baumbach film While We’re Young, which he scored. This latest taste of the score is a dreamy, synth-heavy instrumental track that seamlessly channels Brian Eno, complete with a title that could sum up Murphy’s professional career, “We Used To Dance.”

Björk, “Family”

Starting next week, you can pick up a physical copy of VulnicuraBjörk‘s near-perfect surprise release from this past January. To celebrate, the Icelandic artist released a “moving album cover” for one of the LP’s tracks. “Family” is an epic two-and-a-half-minute sonic trip into Björk’s heart due to a bad breakup. Frantic string sections and haunting backing harmonies envelope listeners into the whimsical, yet fragile aching and longing for love.

Earl Sweatshirt, “Grief”

Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, better know as Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt, announced details about his upcoming sophomore album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, this week and dropped the LP’s angst-filled first single, “Grief.” The track is simple, a solid beat with Kgositsile’s strong flow on top, but there are a lot of stresses and themes to unpack within the nearly five-minute track. Thankfully, there is a lengthy instrumental outro to help listeners gather their thoughts.

Tanlines, “Slipping Away”

Tanlines—the electropical duo of Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm who soundtracked your summer of 2012—have announced the follow-up to Mixed Emotions and, yep, it’ll be here just as the weather begins to warm in earnest. The news of Highlights, the band’s second full-length, comes with the single “Slipping Away,” a track that finds the duo working in far less sample-driven territory, and instead exploring guitar-based arrangements and textures.

Kendrick Lamar, “King Kunta”

With a super funky beat, an easy-to-remember chorus, and lyrics about dealing with how success changes people, “King Kunta” is one of the best songs on Kendrick Lamar‘s (excellent) surprise release, To Pimp a Butterfly. Lamar knows how to expertly discuss race relations, history, his personal life, and the current state of the rap industry within one track: “Bitch where was you when I was walkin’ / Now I run the game, got the whole world talkin’, King Kunta”

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