Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks

Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of August 3–7, 2015. Headphone-tested, FLOOD-approved.

With Lollapalooza over and Outside Lands just ramping up, August has already been a solid month for live shows and new jams. Some of our favorite offerings from the Internet this week were reworked covers (HAIM), singles from upcoming LPs (Battles, Lou Barlow, Tijuana Panthers) and EPs (The Ukiah Drag), and some stand-alone tracks (Cool Ghouls, Martin Courtney).

Check them all out below.


HAIM, “‘Cause I’m A Man” (Tame Impala cover)

Not really a remix, not really a cover, HAIM’s version of Tame Impala‘s “‘Cause I’m A Man” throws Danielle’s falsetto in place of Kevin Parker’s inimitable voice and slows the original track’s beat down significantly. Signature HAIM clap breaks, glitchy reworkings, and echoey harmonies bring Parker’s self-aware lyrics front and center. The result is a jarring, yet satisfying sonic collage of the two groups.

Battles, “The Yabba”

This week, New York loop-scientists Battles previewed several songs from their third LP La Di Da Di on their website including opening track “The Yabba.” The trio plays with a slower, more jam band-like beat within the album’s first official single, but “The Yabba” showcases the group’s rapid-fire experimental guitar riffs and exceptional melodies without the use of any words at all.

The Ukiah Drag, “Open Room in Hell”

The Ukiah Drag’s newest single from their upcoming EP Crypt Cruiser is dark, chaotic, and blunt. The shrieking guitars and droning vocals of “Open Room in Hell” create an infernal atmosphere that lives up to the track’s title and makes for dubiously good jam.

Lou Barlow, “Moving”

As early as 1991, Lou Barlow was proclaiming his Point Break-style plan to “Ride the Darker Wave,” but now that he’s middle-aged, the Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr. member appears to have mellowed out a bit, and is instead suggesting that we all Brace the Wave. That’s the title of Barlow’s upcoming solo LP—his fifth—from which we already have an amazingly deadpan album trailer to go along with today’s release of the first full track, “Moving.” Musically, the song delivers exactly what the trailer promises: a drum-less, soothing cut of outsider-tinged, nylon-string bedroom rock. And like he’s said, “The attitude is gratitude…or anger, as the case may be.”

Tijuana Panthers, “Set Forth”

Long Beach three-piece Tijuana Panthers have released a single so unabashedly summery that you won’t be able to help but blast it out the windows on your next trip to the beach. Complete with groovy bassline and dreamy chorus, “Set Forth” embodies all the energy and wild abandon you’ll be missing come winter. The track is the second release from the upcoming album POSTERS, which is set to come out August 28.

Martin Courtney, “Vestiges”

Yesterday, Real Estate frontman Martin Courtney revealed that, like his bandmates before him, he has been working on solo material for some time. “Vestiges,” a standalone single from the indie-rock crooner, is our first taste of solo Courtney, but we’re betting it won’t be our last. Real Estate fans will recognize the mellow, melodic guitar work and easygoing melodies within the track.

Cool Ghouls, “Creature That I Am”

Don’t let the name fool you, Cool Ghouls are more Grateful Dead than they are ghostly. The San Francisco trio’s latest release, “Creature The I Am,” treks along with jangly guitars and folky harmonies, creating a charming psych-pop tune sure to get fans pumped for the group’s upcoming tour dates.

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