Franz Ferdinand, "Love Illumination"
It's not that rare for even a healthily successful band to be mildly haunted by the specter of their first big joint. Franz Ferdinand, though, have forever been outrunning just the first 53 seconds of the first time you ever heard them — that perfectly yearning intro bit on "Take Me Out," before the track switches over to the band's more recognizable disco-punk, and never, ever, as much as you'd want it to, ever goes back. Next month, they're back with their fourth album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions, which will surely be another collection of underrated, deceptively seamless dance jams. And, still, we'll pine for those 53 seconds.
Trina feat. Meek Mill, "Ass Fat"
Where has Da Baddest Bitch been all these years? Dude, I don't know. Probably taking care of the manifold duties of Da Baddest Bitch, like kneecapping pretenders to the throne, neatly stacking loose piles of 100s, and resoiling her front lawn so as to maintain its remarkably bright green hue. Now stop asking questions, and start Miley Cyrus–ing.
Hot Sugar, "56K" (Remix)
This thing has features from [inhales] Nasty Nigel, Lansky, Antwon, Chippy Non-Stop, Ne$$, Kitty (of "Okay Cupid" microfame), and Das Racist's buddies Lakutis, Big Baby Ghandi, and DVS [exhales]. Which means it's basically like the boutique-hipster-rap Internet combined its powers, formed a Captain Planet, and had him punch you in the face while reminiscing about dial-up.
One Direction, "Best Song Ever"
This is the video for tween-annihilating machine 1D's new single, and I have all kinds of problems with it. OK, so: The concept here is that the dudes in the band dress up as various clueless record industry personality types; then, in costume, torment themselves with terrible advice (also, flirt with themselves, in girl form); then, finally get their comeuppance by getting all their shit smashed, by themselves. First of all: I get why breaking the well-paid exec's art figurines is a cool thing to do — he's got money, he's good for it — but that poor assistant's laptop? C'mon, dudes. Second: We're dressing up as Les Grossman now? This is a cool thing we're doing in 2013? Third: The general concept here was lifted from Tenacious D's "Greatest Song in the World," and I want some royalties paid out. Otherwise, though, this is great and I'll surely listen to it a billion times.
As you may or may not recall, Norwegian indie-popster Annie was the proto–Charli XCX/Sky Ferreira: She had the looks, she had the hooks, and she had the Pitchfork love. What she didn't have, despite the undeniability of bangers like "Chewing Gum," was the radio. Anyway: Welcome back, dude. We all missed you very much.
Friends, "The Way"
In exactly what capacity is undisclosed, but blog-hit-whisperer Dev Hynes (a.k.a. Blood Orange) had something to do with this new one from Friends. Unsurprisingly, then: It sounds like Prince, and will make you want to SAD SLOW DANCE FOREVER.
Mac DeMarco, Covers Medley
Apparently, you've never heard "Taking Care of Business" until you've heard Mac DeMarco screech it while ad-libbing lyrics about sucking his cat's dick. Good morning!
Kavinsky, "Odd Look"
Vincent Belorgey got you spooked on the Drive soundtrack with "Night Call," then came back strooong with this year's OutRun, a full-on exploration of his Kavinsky character (according to HungerTV, the backstory is that, simply enough, he's "a guy who gets into a car crash [in his vintage Ferrari Testarossa] and comes out of it a zombie"). Here, off an upcoming EP, that album's "Odd Look" gets remixed by The Weeknd with some vocals delightfully reminiscent of Mr. Michael Jackson, who knew a thing or two about zombies on the dance floor.
Chief Keef, "Go to Jail"
If there's any justice in the world, Chief Keef would take his wailing spot on "Hold My Liquor" as a career-orientation missive, and only make raw-as-hell AutoTune anti-rap gobbledygook from now on. Oh, wait, look — he already got started on it! OK, great, there's some justice in the world.
Volcano Choir, "Byegone"
As for Keef's "Liquor" mate Justin Vernon, he's on to some new collaborations: Volcano Choir, his band with his buddies Collections of Colonies of Bees. And while there's certainly less evocatively painful mumbling here than on Yeezus, somehow it's still worth your time.
OK, we're out! Have a good weekend, and don't forget to subscribe to the only OFFICIAL Grantland Songs of the Week Spotify Super Jam Playlist.