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9 songs that ruled our playlists this week

January 23, 2015

Check out our “Trending” Playlist for this week. Put on the player and read a bit about each song below.

1. “Gong” by Favela

I’ve been putting this song on at least every other day for the last three weeks, I’m just so stuck on this tune. Favela is a Leeds-based producer, and “Gong” is some stunning work, marrying ambient atmospherics with the delicate plucking of strings and a unique cascading drum beat. Proving again that obscurity is the new trend, little is still know about this artist. Maybe we’ll get his name one day.

2. “Total Zombie” by Day Wave

In these dark days of winter, I gravitate towards those songs that remind me of summer. I guess if you’re living in Oakland, like songwriter Jackson Phillip, you can always be inspired by warmer surroundings and come up with lo-fi and sun-tinged beach pop songs, like “Total Zombie.”

3. “Sea Creatures” by SOAK

I first heard teenage singer-songwriter Bridie Monds-Watson (aka SOAK) last year when her song “Blud” hit the blogs, with news that she’d signed to CHVRCHES imprint Goodbye Records. The Northern Irish artist wrote this song when she was 14, and it details the abuses of love. Some people, she sings, “throw it around like it’s worthless.”

4. “Shaky Ground (Hey Na Na Na)” by Freedom Fry

This song from Freedom Fry gets my vote for most commercially viable in this playlist, or at least most likely to end up in an advertisement, thanks to its catchy male-female chorus and its simple organic instrumentation, peppered with a healthy dose of “ohs,” “heys,” and “na na nas.”

5. “Leaf Off / The Cave” by José González

You might be able to tell by now that I’m a bit of a José González fan. Last week I included his cover of TLC’s “Waterfalls,” while tipping my hat to some of his new material in “Every Age” back in November. This week, I got to hear his latest single “Leaf Off / The Cave,” from his February 17th release of Vestiges & Claws, which musically reminds me of his stunning earliest work in 2003’s Veneer.

6. “Is This How You Feel? ” by The Preatures

This older track popped back on the Hype Machine’s top 50 today by way of one blogger, the 54th actually to have featured this song since April of 2013. I absolutely love this song, it never gets old. Great for your “Getting Ready To Go Out” playlist.

7. “Hotfoot” by Doldrums

I’ve been familiar with a lot of the music that Canadian artist Airick Woodhead (aka Doldrums) has put out in the past few years, but I’ve never been the biggest fan. I think it’s been a bit too far out there for my tastes, but today, “Hotfoot” really turned my head. Fans of Chemical Brothers and Thom Yorke will dig this track.

8. “Empty Nesters” by Toro Y Moi

Chaz Bundick really loves to reinvent himself. Originally, he established himself in chillwave, and made Toro Y Moi a household name in that genre. Next was Les Sins, a more dancefloor-friendly project. Now we’ve got his album What For?, a new 10-track Toro y Moi LP set for release April 7 on Carpark Records. It, according to a press release, “draws inspiration from Big Star, Talking Heads and Todd Rundgren, as well as Brazil’s Tim Maia and France’s Cortex.” His song “Empty Nesters” sounds like something new with something from a different time entirely.

9. “101” by WALLA

I put this track at the end because I think once you’ve been through this playlist, this will be the song you’re singing into the weekend. L.A. band WALLA sing about driving down a highway and actually nail that feeling of the 101. I’ve taken that coastal route a few times, and this song would fit perfectly blasting in the background.

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