Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks
Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of October 5–9, 2015. Headphone-tested, FLOOD-approved.
We’re another week into fall. At this point, your favorite college football team has a loss, you’ve left the house overdressed at least once, and you’ve already blown your monthly #PSL budget. Recuperate with the week’s best songs, including new singles from Majical Cloudz, Jonny Greenwood, Woozy, and The Coathangers, as well as one-offs from Courtney Barnett, Run the Jewels, and Ex Hex.
Here we go!
Majical Cloudz, “Downtown”
You may want to check out “Downtown” only if you’ve recovered from the equally devastating “Silver Car Crash.” Here, Devon Welsh’s appeals and declarations—”And if suddenly I die, I hope they will say/That he was obsessed and it was okay,” he sings—are delivered so directly and with such sincerity and loyalty that it makes you want to close your computer and take a reflective walk around the block.
Courtney Barnett, “Shivers” (Rowland S. Howard)
Courtney Melba announced a Third Man Records Blue Series single, with “Boxing Day Blues Revisited” on the A-side. The flip is this cover of Boys Next Doors’ “Shivers,” which was originally sung by fellow Aussie Nick Cave.
Ex Hex, “All Kindsa Girls”
Mary Timony‘s Helium was formed in Boston in the early 1990s. She’s gone through a number of bands since those days, but as part of her new outfit Ex Hex’s contribution to Merge’s massive Or Thousands of Prizes compilation from last year, Timony paid tribute to Beantown heroes The Real Kids by covering their power-pop classic “All Kindsa Girls,” the first track from the latter group’s 1977 self-titled debut. Mercifully, the Ex Hex version has finally been released digitally.
Run the Jewels, “Rubble Kings Theme (Dynamite)”
There’s a heaviness to RTJ’s newest track, “Rubble Kings Theme (Dynamite),” not only due to the heart-rattling and steady bass beat, but also thanks to the song’s serious lyrical content. “Surrounded by violence and murder” are the first words that come out of Killer Mike‘s mouth, setting the scene both for the song and for Rubble Kings, the New York gang-life film the track is taken from.
The Coathangers, “Watch Your Back”
With Deerhunter settling (quite successfully) into adulthood like it’s a garment they’d always wanted to try on, there’s a sudden need for the brash and snotty in the ATL. The Coathangers’ spritely “Watch Your Back,” taken from a split 7″ with fellow Hotlantans Black Lips, finds the trio spitting at one another across the uneven distance cut by a serrated hi-hat beat and trickles of Slits-like guitar.
Woozy, “Painted White”
The latest single from New Orleans trio Woozy is hashtagged “emotional” on Soundcloud, and whether they mean it as a joke or not, the song’s redlining mash of cymbal sibilance and clipped vocal chorus comes across like the Japandroids anthem we didn’t realize we were missing, while washes of finger-picked guitar and a marching snare drum in the bridge deliver on the idea that you don’t have to be noisy to be a sad punk.
Jonny Greenwood, “Roked”
Paul Thomas Anderson’s documentary about Jonny Greenwood (whose credits as a composer of scores include three of Anderson’s own films) follows the Radiohead guitarist as he records with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur, producer Nigel Godrich, and Indian group The Rajasthan Express. The album—which, like the film, is called Junun—won’t be out until mid-November, but the trailer gives us a glimpse into how the looping, manipulated track was put together.