Songs of the Week: Karen O, Lee Bannon, The 1975, and One Filthy Ben Franklin for Your Labor Day Listening Pleasure

Karen O, “The Moon Song”

Stereogum explains: “[Spike] Jonze is about to unveil his next film — Her, with Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with a computer — and Karen has written a song for it … in the movie, Phoenix and computer-voice Scarlett Johansson sing it as a duet. But Karen’s also recorded her own delicate, lovely version of the song.” Thanks, Karen: Now we know exactly when during Her we’re going to break down into endless, inconsolable sobs.

Lil Twist ft. Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, “Twerk”

This happened this week. I don’t know. Might be too soon. You don’t have to listen. Really, you don’t. It’ll be around. It’ll get in your brain. You’ll hear it. You’ll hear it. This week? This week, maybe too soon. You don’t have to listen. It’s OK. Really. But, for the record, this happened this week. This happened this week.

Los Campesinos!, “What Death Leaves Behind”

Los Campesinos! haven’t dropped an album since 2011’s Hello Sadness, and I can only imagine they’ve spent the past two years recklessly spending all that sweet, sweet cash they got by selling a song to Budweiser. If I find out each and every Campesino doesn’t have his own helipad, riverboat, and hoverboard at this point, I am going to be very disappointed. And, no, I don’t know why I’m so invested in the members of Los Campesinos! spending their money on inconvenient transportation methods.

Lee Bannon, “LR/AD (Garden Blocc Edition) F”

There’s drug music, there’s drug dealing music, and then there’s music for when you did all the drugs you were supposed to deal so now you owe your dealer a lot of money and the only way you can get it is by buying more drugs and selling them, only now that you have the drugs you’re thinking maybe it’d be best to bundle these up and skip town, maybe lay low in the Bahamas for a few weeks, or maybe it’d be best to just go ahead and do the drugs now.

Franz Ferdinand, “Oblivion”

Franz Ferdinand – Grimes cover – Session… by radioouifm

The lads from Glasgow cover Grimes’s indie-pop smash, and it’s really sweet and tender. This must always be a nice moment for musicians, having another artist so respectfully interpret your music. Of course, this is only the second best thing that’s happened to Grimes this week, after … accidentally wearing the same pants as 2 Chainz!

The 1975, “M.O.N.E.Y.”

In an incisive review of The 1975’s self-titled debut, The Guardian‘s Michael Hann drops one hell of an apt, band-encapsulating reference: “[The album] is so precisely calibrated to 1983 that you can all but hear Tommy Vance’s voice: ‘This is the Radio 1 official top 40 — and that was the 1975, tasting good in that all-important No 15 slot with Chocolate …'” OK, no, I don’t actually get that reference at all, because I wasn’t alive in England in 1983. But you can imagine people who do get it really enjoying it, right?!

R. Kelly ft. 2 Chainz, “My Story”

You know how every once in a while someone will suggest that, instead of sticking to the outdated album format, musicians should just go ahead and release an endless string of tracks, online, pretty much as soon as they’re done, so as to more effectively utilize modern delivery methods and consumer habits? OK: Usually, from a purely sentimentality/nostalgia point of view, I like to reject that out of hand. But Mr. Robert Kelly is one artist for whom it’d make perfect sense. Long ago, he perfected his craft, so it’s not like we’re really looking for another cohesive piece of work, or some kind of up-to-date statement of purpose. We just wanna keep hearing him sing, forever.

Da Villins ft. Labba, “New York Generals”

World’s Fair, “Sammy Sosa”

Double dose of grouchy, scratchy throwback Big Apple rap. Bump this while wearing a Carhartt jacket, on a freezing mid-winter subway platform, while watching two freakishly large New York City rats have sex.

Ex-Friends, “Dirty Ben Franklin”

According to Philly’s Ex-Friends (great name, by the way), the name of this song is “[just a reference] to dirty Ben Franklin. Did you not pay attention in American history class? The man was filthy.”

MØ, “XXX 8”

Diplo’s developing a burgeoning reputation as a hit-whisperer, so when he gets in the lab with Danish electro-pop ingenues with hard-to-spell names, you pay attention. I don’t know if it’s quite right for pop radio, but as the kickoff to your Last Friday Of Summer (!!!) Our Youth Is Over Let’s Rock Till We Literally Die Of Starvation afternoon dance party, it’ll do quite nicely.

Filed Under: Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, R. Kelly, Songs of the Week

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad