HAIM, "The Wire"
I'd like to imagine HAIM — the sister-fronted Cali retro-pop-rock outfit that's signed to, of all places, Roc Nation — woke up one morning, decided to write a song that's better than the fourth season of The Wire, seminal U.K. music magazine The Wire, and leading tech publication Wired, and the practical good of all wires everywhere put together, and came up with this. Boom; enjoy.
Fol Chen, "The False Alarms"
Just your friendly, once-a-decade reminder that making people think about The Craft/the prime of Ms. Fairuza Balk's career is never a bad idea.
Zammuto, "Need Some Sun"
Nick Zammuto, formerly of genre-quashing collage-rock duo the Books, is solo now, and, if this propulsive little bass workout that's more than a little reminiscent of the Frenchies in Phoenix is any indication, feeling spry and loose and nimble (but also, if its lyrics are any indication — all "corn fields" are a "fire on my head" — more than a little paranoiac). Anyway: Who wants to sunbathe with Nicky Z.?
Nelly ft. Pharrell and Nicki Minaj, "Get Like Me"
Three important takeaways here:
- Nelly continues to pretend like nothing has changed since the days when Country Grammar was selling 100,000 copies a week, 10 weeks in. And it seems to be working?
- There was a time when Pharrell would show up to lamp in the video for nearly every track that he produced and masterminded. That time is now. Welcome back, Pharrell's ubiquity. Never leave us again.
- Hey, a butt used as bongos! Very DIY.
Diarrhea Planet, "Babyhead"
True fact: Despite it being their absolute undisputed favorite word, many 9-year-olds can't even spell "diarrhea," let alone locate it on a map. What happened to the American education system?!
Ibn Inglor, "WAXX"
LIZ & Ryan Hemsworth, "Day N’ Nite"
LIZ, Mad Decent's ’90s-R&B-throwback'er, and Ryan Hemsworth, your favorite Internet-famous instrumentalist's favorite Internet-famous instrumentalist, tag-team on a woozy little infidelity joint that'll immediately make you nostalgic for Selena. Shut the blinds, close your eyes, and pretend like it's Friday night at the teen center.
Shy Glizzy, "1 Foot in, 1 Foot Out"
D.C.'s Glizzy — who just dropped his new mixtape, Laws 2, featuring Yo Gotti, Kevin Gates, and Migos — could be actively waging an anti–Amos Barshad campaign and he'd still have my seal of approval. I mean, he's got the word "shy" right there in his name! Forget all "hottest new rappers" lists; I'd much prefer a tally of the "hottest endearingly-self-aware MCs."
Doe B ft. Project Pat, "Return of Da Mac"
It took this long for some enterprising young rapper to nick Mark Morrison's all-time classic? Doe B: You, sir, are a visionary and a gentleman.
Kanye West, "New Slaves"
Kanye showed up at his young buddy Travi$ Scott's L.A. show unannounced to do "New Slaves" — and, uh, that happened. If your weekend is even 1/87th as live as the kids in that room, you're doing it right.