Kelly Rowland, "Dirty Laundry"
It's pretty baldly manipulative for Kelly Rowland to nab The-Dream and make a sultry confessional about an abusive ex-boyfriend that's also about her complicated relationship with Beyoncé and call it, with all the subtlety of a closed fist to the eye socket, "Dirty Laundry." That doesn't make it any less ballsy or interesting, though; please, listen now. In related news: Hiring The-Dream to write your songs for you is always a good idea. Hell, hiring The-Dream to do anything for you is probably a good idea. I'd pay that guy an exorbitant amount of money to clean my rain gutters.
Mikal Cronin, "Change"
The new music video for this Cronin joint, off this year's MCII, features a sweet tale of redemption, set against the backdrop of a scuzzy, doughnut-fueled house party, starring a shy kid who's feeling invisible. (Cause he's literally invisible. It’s a metaphor, yo.) But the ad I saw before I could watch the video had some dude juggling three Rubik's cubes while solving them at the same time. Very very tough to compete with.
A$AP Ferg ft. A$AP Rocky, French Montana, Trinidad James, and Schoolboy Q
At what point does just the mere sight of the roll call on a good ol' fashioned posse cut stop sending your heart into little flutters of anticipation? Because that is the exact point I want you guys to push me into the sarlacc pit.
Tweens, "Don’t Wait Up"
I'll admit, I only gave "Don't Wait Up" a listen because I liked the band's name. (For the record: Tweens is a perfectly shoulder-shrug "fuck off" kind of name for a rock band, and it was only a matter of time before it was claimed.) But then it turned out to be a pretty cool song! See, judging a book by its cover isn't so bad. I'd even go so far as to argue that the cover is a pretty big part of a book's general value and appeal.
Torche, "Keep Up"
All the good vibes of a perfect wave or a perfectly executed banister slide or a thousand best friends high-fiving at the exact same time — now available in song form!
The Weeknd, "Kiss Land/John Carpenter"
Do you think Abel Tesfaye is into Halloween/Escape From New York/The Thing classic Carpenter? Or is he just really a big fan of Big Trouble in Little China?
Khalil Nova, "Gunnin 4 a Palace"
Eddie Berman and Laura Marling, "Dancing in the Dark"
Bruce's original is, of course, a super-sad song pretending to be happy (the Courteney Cox element confuses things further). Here, Eddie and Laura strip away all synths, and leave it feeling like something Heartbreaker-era Ryan Adams would have wanted Emmylou Harris to get in on.
The Loney Island ft. T-Pain, "I Fucked My Aunt"
Andy Samberg's got a Fox cop comedy with the guys who do Parks and Recreation. Akiva Schaffer directs big-budget Ben Stiller comedies. Jorma Taccone basically got to tell Ben Williams's daughter he was gonna give her sex nightmares. So why do these dudes still bother putting out Lonely Island tracks? Probably — and this, I'd argue, is one of the top five best reasons to do anything — because it's fun as hell.
Disclosure, "F for You"
What does the "F" stand for? Why, it stands for "go Funnel a beer, the weekend starts right now," of course.