Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks

Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of May 11–15, 2015. Headphone-tested, FLOOD-approved.

It seems that this was the week of the singer-songwriter. Save for one awesomely fuzzy single from an up-and-coming quartet (La Luz), our absolute favorite tracks came from troubadours with vastly different styles: the laid-back romantic (Mac DeMarco), the newcomer with a country twang (Fraser A. Gorman), and the untouched legend (Tom Waits).

Check them all out below.


Tom Waits, “Take One Last Look”

Beyond being one of the most eccentric and talented singer-songwriters alive, Tom Waits has been one of David Letterman‘s dear friends for over thirty years. To celebrate his tenth appearance on the Late Show—and to send Letterman off into the golden world of retirement in style—Waits performed a brand-new, never-before-heard track written especially for him perfectly titled “Take One Last Look.” The song, which Waits performed only with help from an upright bass and an accordion, is a touching and simple tribute ballad to moving on into the unknown with optimism and support. It’s hard not to get teary-eyed when he sings “And take one last long / At the place that you are leaving,” in his gravelly voice, to the man who innovated the late night talk show format.

Mac DeMarco, “The Way You’d Love Her”

Unlikely rock star/Viceroy spokesperson/Jimmy Buffett enthusiast Mac DeMarco has seemingly been on tour playing Limp Bizkit covers for eight years now, but somehow in the few months since Salad Days came out last year, the twangy Brooklynite has found some time at home to put together a new collection of tunes, this one an eight song “mini-LP” called Another One. That release will come out in the dead of summer, August 7, and following a predictably wacky teaser video, DeMarco has now shared “The Way You’d Love Her,” a no-frills, no-chaser shot of mellowed-out porch rock, complete with what has to be the corniest guitar solo he’s ever laid down.

Fraser A. Gorman, “Shiny Gun”

“Now I’m on the run / I’m gonna shoot my love with a Shiny Gun.” Underneath the catchy melody, charming harmonies, and soulful organ line, Australian singer-songwriter Fraser A. Gorman‘s latest single is an upbeat, folky story of heartbroken outlaw. His velvet croon delivers the gritty lyrics so melodically, and his Dylan-esque looks make the track’s video (featuring good friend Courtney Barnett) even more delightful.

La Luz, “You Disappear”

For their sophomore LP, Seattle’s retro-rock quartet La Luz called Ty Segall in for guidance and fuzz-filled production. Our first taste of this collaboration—Weirdo Shrine, which is out August 7 via Hardly Art—is the unbelievably fun, rapid-fire single “You Disappear.” Surf guitar riffs complete with whammy bar accents and wispy blurred vocals make this track an excellent addition to a summer playlist.

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