Selena Gomez, “Slow Down”
Not that it matters at all, but the ACTUAL WORDS to this song: “If you want me, I’m accepting applications / So long as we can keep this record on rotation / You know I’m good with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation / Breath me in, breathe me out / So amazing.” Maybe Selena can get Harmony Korine to write not just her dialogue but her lyrics, too?
Nine Inch Nails, “Came Back Haunted”
If you haven’t heard: After roughly a four-year hiatus, Nine Inch Nails are now officially back, with a big ol’ tour, a new album called Hesitation Marks, and this here new single. Of course, Trent Reznor wasn’t really gone at any point: Between his film-scoring work for David Fincher and his side project How to Destroy Angels with his lady Mariqueen Maandig, he stayed arguably as ubiquitous as ever. Which, yeah, great for the fans — but not for Reznor’s mental state. Next hiatus, Trent, I wanna hear about the enjoyment of actual leisure-time activities. I’m talking picnics, crossword puzzles, carriage rides. All of that shit.
Parquet Courts, NPR World Cafe
Parquet Courts’ debut album, Light Up Gold, has deadpan rockers for days, and while they’re still touring in support of it, they’re also doing stuff like going on NPR to drop embryonic new jams. (Listen here.) Unfortunately, while on the esteemed network, never at any point did Terry Gross ask P.C. pressing, incisive questions about their childhood and creative motivations. Next time, maybe?
!llmind, Beats for Kanye
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Producer !llmind made “The Morning” off Cruel Summer, and a whole bunch of other beats for Kanye to hear — but, uh, ultimately not use. Now, he’s releasing them as this free EP, with lovingly stylized cover art of Kanye and everything. It’s a little bit … what’s that word? The kids say it all the time? Ahh, yes, yes: thirsty. But more importantly: It’s a nice little listen.
Never doubt Beck’s ability to pop out of nowhere with a perfect little low-key earworm for your morning commute chill-out vibez. This guy’ll be 90 and still be all “Oh, what’d you say this is? A space ukulele? Yeah, no, here, let me rock it real quick.” Related: The phrase “Defriended” reminds me of Alanis Morisette’s “Uninvited,” and that’s generally a pretty good thing.
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Front of the House? Fuck Outta Here.
David Bowie and Queen, “Under Pressure” (Vocals Only)
The Internet digs deep into its own core and comes up with the a cappella version of this karaoke showstopper. I can’t tell you this was ever something I thought I needed to hear. Now, though, after having heard it — well, I mean, I don’t wanna blow things out of proportion, buuuuuut nothing will ever be the same again.
Iamsu!, Kilt 2
To be honest, I haven’t gotten a chance to really dive into this new tape from Iamsu!, the great new hope of North Cali party rap (but, like, party rap where the party’s sometimes at your friend’s cousin’s ex-boyfriend’s garage on the sketchy part of town, and you won’t get in unless you bring the dude a new snorkel). But the cover is cartoon ‘su! being fanned by some very elegant ancient Egyptian feline sun goddesses, so that’s already a big win.
2 Chainz ft. Pharrell, “Feds Watching”
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The only way I can describe this beat is “Rick Ross is super pissed this wasn’t on his first album”–core. Also, while we’re sorta talking Pharrell, THIS: “Justin Timberlake’s first album — all those songs, with the exception of ‘Like I Love You,’ were songs I made for Michael Jackson. His manager didn’t like them. Somehow I think Michael didn’t like them either, though. Because when I finally met him, he sang all those songs back to me, and said, ‘Those songs should have been for me.’ And he just laughed … He just fell on the couch, and he was really tall — six-foot-something. Filled up the whole couch. And he fell, rolled on the floor, kicking like a kid, laughing. But he sang those songs to me and he sang them just like Justin.”
David Lynch & Lykke Li, “I’m Waiting Here”
How come more comedians don’t do David Lynch impressions? Renowned, beloved public figure + extremely distinctive speaking manner = boom, comedy gold. Maybe it’s something where David Lynch wants to cast Shrek in his new movie? Or, like, they messed up David Lynch’s order at White Castle? I’m telling you, people, it’ll slay! (This is why I never made it as a comedy Svengali, isn’t it.)