Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks
Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of November 16–20, 2015. Headphone-tested, FLOOD-approved.
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching and families sure to be fighting, some of our favorite artists have given you the gift of great songs to drown out the screaming through new singles (David Bowie, TEEN, Junior Boys, School of Seven Bells, Savages) and stand-alone compositions (Thundercat).
Check them all out below.
While you will probably never get the image of a writhing and shrieking scarecrow with no eyes and a bushy beard out out of your mind, take solace in the fact that “★” is a really good song. Beyond the fact that no one can evoke as much terror from a few well layered vocals and experimental flute solos as David Bowie, at about the five-minute mark, “★” turns into slinky, horn-driven jam. “I want eagles in my daydreams / Diamonds in my eyes” he croons over a disco beat, funky bass line, and swelling strings. You can tell that Bowie is having fun as he dances around that dusty attic. It’s infectious and exciting.
Last month, Junior Boys announced Big Black Coat, their first LP in five years, and shared the album’s title track. Earlier this week, the Ontario duo have released Big Black Coat‘s single, the gently insistent “Over It,” which finds Jeremy Greenspan cooing in a slight Autotune tremor over a kind late-night beat.
Savages gave us “The Answer,” our first peek into their highly anticipated sophomore record Adore Life, about a month ago. On Tuesday, the London quartet are back with Adore Life‘s second single, the acronymic “T.I.W.Y.G.” Like “The Answer” before it, it’s a slow-building declaration of love—not so much as an emotion, but as an empowering force.
When School of Seven Bells‘s Benjamin Curtis passed away in 2013, he and bandmate Alejandra Deheza were hard at work on the followup to 2012’s Ghostory. Deheza took some time to recuperate following Cutis’s death, and in 2014 she finished the record with Justin Meldal–Johnsen. Now, Deheza is set to release SVIIB, the band’s final record, in February. The gorgeous, ethereal “Open Your Eyes” is the album’s lead single, and you can hear it below. “This is a love letter from start to finish,” Deheza said of the record on the band’s website. “It’s the story of us starting from that first day we met in 2004, and that’s the story of School of Seven Bells.”
After the terrorist attacks in Paris last week, the entertainment and arts community offered their condolences and prayers for the city. One of the most powerful responses to the gruesome events came from Thundercat. At the top of this week, the Los Angeles–based musician released a short instrumental as a tribute to the victims of the attacks. It’s a simple and reflective minute-and-a-half piece that offers calm in this time of crisis and chaos.
TEEN, “All About Us”
Synths and pitch-perfect harmony layers are at the center of TEEN‘s dancey new song released earlier this week. “All About Us” is the lead single from the quartet’s third LP Love Yes due out in February of 2016 and it continues the band on its experimental pop trajectory. Teeny Lieberson has said that the new track is about “the underplayed, quiet misogyny that women experience too often,” and the power of the band’s unified voice helps this message of exposing inequality shine through even more.