Songs of the Week: The Knocks, Lace Curtains, FKA Twigs, and (Even) Young(er) Lorde
The Knocks ft. Powers, “Classic”
The Knocks are a production duo from New York who, about this time last year, got in a slight bit of trouble for revealing (or at least sharing?) a photo of the Daft Punk robots out of their protective headgear. But this summer, with “Classic” — a supremely breezy slow groove with, dare I say, a touch of the “Steal My Sunshine” keyboard line? — they’re making noise for much more apt reasons. That said: Word is, if you play “Classic” backward, you can hear a muffled recitation of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo’s INSEE code.
Mark Duplass, “The Clock”
Way before he was living the indie-movie-mogul-multi-hyphenate dream (mumblecore domination, prestige-movie cameos, sitcom checks), Mark Duplass was an aspiring rock-n’-roller, both with a band called Volcano, I’m Still Excited!! and under his own name. And this week, for an interview with KCRW, he threw it back to his roots and dug up “The Clock,” from his ’99 album, Me & Her.
As he told KCRW, it was Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” that changed everything for him: “Me and my friends are sleeping over at one of my friend’s houses and we’re watching Saturday Night Live. We’re sneaking his dad’s vodka, and the musical guest is this woman who comes onstage with a guitar and no shoes on. She’s probably 19 years old, and we’re Metallica fans. So, all of us start to make fun of her and this stupid earnest song that she’s singing about “fast car … what is this?” And I engage just as much as everybody else does. When the song’s over I excuse myself and go to the bathroom and I cry for about 10 minutes.”
Juicy J ft. Nicki Minaj, Lil Bibby, and Young Thug, “Low”
Thugga Thugga may still be trapped in industry limbo, but that hasn’t stopped him from being everywhere all of the time. Here, over a Dr. Luke beat, he provides J with a psycho hook. And if that wasn’t big time enough for you …
T.I. ft. Young Thug, “About the Money”
… he also popped up on The Tonight Show to help out his pal T.I. on “About the Money.” How come Young Thug doesn’t get to play beer pong with you, huh, Jimmy Fallon? How come Young Thug doesn’t get to play beer pong??
Destructo ft. YG, “Party Up”
The ultimate in EDM/L.A. hood-rap crossover dream fulfillment: Destructo and YG throw a bus party, fill it with rabbit masks and glow-in-the-dark pool noodles and butts, then pick up a stranded commuter in said bus. That dude is not getting to work on time, but I bet he’s cool with it.
The Ready Set ft. Kitty, “Trash Talking Love”
The Ready Set is a 24-year-old kid from Indiana named Jordan Witzigreuter who makes drippingly cheesy keyboard pop, is a Warped Tour megastar, and has the most perfect emo hair of all time. Also: Four years ago he released a single called “Love Like Woe,” and, for better or for worse — with shame or regret or pride, I do not know — it’s been stuck in my head ever since. This new one, featuring former blog starlet Kitty, finds him trying to do, like, Adam Levine MOR pop? Someone re-download the T-Pain app on this kid’s phone, please.
Lace Curtains, “Wilshire and Fairfax”
The track title’s a nod to the intersection where Biggie was murdered, but let’s take a minute here to infer ourselves into another part of the pop culture firmament, via Mr. Mark Wahlberg: So tell me — what’s a lace-curtain motherfucker like you doing in the Staties?” Staff Sergeant Dignam has a style of his own. I’m afraid we all have to get used to it.
And They Were Masked ft. Lorde, “Piece of Mind”
Pigeons & Planes directs our attention to And They Were Masked, a duo from New Zealand that was down with Lorde way before we were giving her Grammys stateside. This maybe sounds a bit like Foals, which is never a bad thing, and it is an altogether accomplished, embarrassing piece of music. Congrats, Lorde: Even during your throwaway pre-fame phase, you were aggressively precocious.
FKA twigs, “Two Weeks”
The ascendant British crooner FKA twigs released her proper debut this week, LP1, and it’s pretty dope, and so pretty much everyone’s obsessed with her right now. She also played some tunes and sat down with Zane Lowe over at the BBC, proving that if this professional musician thing doesn’t pan out, she can always have a flourishing career in selling me tapes of her reading the phone book in her perfect accent.
The Chainsmokers ft. Siren, “Kanye”
“I wanna be like Kanye / I’ll be the king of me always / do what I want and have it my way / all day / like Kanye”