Top 10 Tracks – September 2019

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Top 10 Tracks – September 2019

Jackson Wyatt, Digital Editor-in-Chief

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September is the ending and the beginning. With students and educators getting into the swing of things (whether or not technology will cooperate) and the last days of warm weather winding down, everything tends to feel either like a careful transition or a wonky in-between. Regardless of how the current changes are affecting you, hopefully the following ten tracks will satisfy you to the fullest extent.

 

  1. slowthai feat. Denzel Curry, ‘Psycho’

Just as the title suggests, the recent collaboration between Northampton up-and-comer slowthai and rap juggernaut Denzel Curry is nothing short of insane. Over a thundering beat and head-rattling bass, thai and Curry shoot out lines flexing their wealth and threatening their enemies. It is a typical show of bravado elevated to a terrifying extent through the instrumental, with whining, horror-movie-esque string samples propping up the heavy production and shouted verses. All together, it is the concept of bombast fully realized, hitting twice as hard as many trap bangers hope to reach. If you fail to see the power slowthai and Denzel Curry lay out, you must be psychotic. 

 

  1. Hobo Johnson, ‘Mover Awayer’

Sometimes, a special someone comes along and makes the boring moments of life feel like time well-spent. Then, that person ends up moving away, leaving nothing but memories of the way they used to make you feel. That sentiment is crushing, but Sacramento singer-songwriter and rapper Hobo Johnson’s new track ‘Mover Awayer’ paints the beautifully vivid colors of those memories instead of focusing on the drab grays. Over a steady trap beat and twinkling piano keys, Johnson highlights the life-altering abilities of love, hitting the nail on the head with the unbearably adorable line, She makes my Mondays feel like Fridays / She makes my Ruby Tuesdays taste like Benihanas.” Is it cheesy? Maybe. Accurate? Yes. Like a special someone, ‘Mover Awayer’ will definitely get stuck in your head, and you will not mind it one bit.

 

  1. Father, ‘Handful’

Seemingly bubbling up from the depths of the earth, Atlanta rapper Father’s new single ‘Handful’ is the definition of a down-and-dirty banger. Shots are being fired, and all with a smile plastered on his face. Subterranean bass and a clunking beat underscore Father’s braggadocious claims, revving up and down like a trap-fueled motorcycle as layer after layer of shivering autotune is added to his voice. It is all wonderfully ridiculous, so cocky and subtly unusual that you cannot help but grin along. Father may be a handful at times, but there is no denying his charm.

 

  1. Inhaler, ‘Ice Cream Sundae’

Just as the title suggests, the new single from Dublin four-piece Inhaler is an absolute sugar high, dancing on a tightrope above crowds of clapping hands and camera flashes. As a whole, ‘Ice Cream Sundae’ is the idea of glitz played out to its fullest extent, as shimmery and iridescent as indie rock can get without ever feeling too sickly. Over reverb-soaked synths and driving guitars, frontman Elijah Hewson sings, “I’m in the pursuit of happiness / I’m gonna get it.” The result is electric, and in that moment, it feels like you are on the exact same path.

 

  1. Charli XCX feat. Big Freedia, cupcakKe, Brooke Candy and Pabllo Vittar, ‘Shake It’

Her recent eponymous album saw the language of pop music tweaked to a refreshing extent, and nowhere did English singer Charli XCX scatter the formula apart more than on the feature-heavy, freakazoid banger ‘Shake It.’ Through layers of crunchy vocal editing, whining synths and clattering percussion, each artist gives it their all, screaming, jiving and flowing through Nömak and A. G. Cook’s intricate production. Each transition is an excellent shock to the senses, and while ‘Shake It’ is a polarizing listen, it is free-spirited and boundary-breaking in ways that you truly have to hear to understand. Way to shake things up.

 

  1. Allie X, ‘Fresh Laundry’

Beyond the elements of sound and composition, pop music’s tropes can be subverted through lyrical content, and Canadian singer Allie X is one of the best artists currently doing so. On her new song ‘Fresh Laundry,’ the typical theme of escapism through partying is replaced by a deep sense of longing and isolation, with Allie singing of how she wishes to get calls from friends and go out at night, blending in with everyone else. Those calls never come, though, and ‘Fresh Laundry’ stays a wonderfully moody chamber piece that never lets up on its foggy, almost alien tone. A pity party has never sounded better.

 

  1. binki, ‘Sea Sick’

Like a glimmering hook hidden deep inside of a worm, the opening beat to singer-songwriter binki’s track ‘Sea Sick’ will grab your attention and yank you out of the water. Once on dry land, he lets his heart out into the salty sea air, wooing a lover through comparing them to both the temperature of a sauna and Old Bay seasoning. All at once it is flirty, funny and irresistibly funky through binki’s Gorillaz-esque flow and confident sense of swagger. The title may refer to a truly unpleasant feeling, but ‘Sea Sick’ lands perfectly, leading listeners through an exceptionally smooth ride.

 

  1. Great Grandpa, ‘Digger’

‘Digger’ sees Washington indie band Great Grandpa reaching deep into a sea of earthy, charcoal-gray tones, pulling up handfuls of mystical lyrics concerning star signs, special rocks and woes over imagining the soul wandering off into the night. Every line is slightly vague but buzzing with a downtrodden, abysmal energy, shuffling along until the instrumentation splits wide open like a jagged, purple geode. Alex Menne’s vocals burst with a caustic sense of sadness, raising up to the ceiling in a howl very reminiscent of The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan. Simply put, ‘Digger’ is a beautiful amalgamation of glittery pieces and sharp parts, strung together to create a listen you will not forget anytime soon.

 

  1. Roy Blair, ‘I DONT KNOW ABOUT HIM’

Donning a neon green frock and dyed hair on the cover of his new EP, Los Angeles singer-songwriter Roy Blair seems to be going through some changes. The opening track to that EP, ‘I DONT KNOW ABOUT HIM,’ is a perfect indicator of this growth, showcasing a glossier, more abstract production alongside his typically confessional lyrics. Blair’s voice is as smooth as a rain slicker, and the song’s pulsating synths and pitch-shifted vocal clippings are a beautiful background, giving off a cool, rainy tone. Even still,‘I DONT KNOW’ will leave you warm like a long, knowing embrace. The title may say differently, but Blair is a confident talent that knows what he wants.

 

  1. Belle & Sebastian, ‘Safety Valve’

“I wrote a song to you / I poured my soul in it / Now I’m feeling flat / I want my soul back.” From that opening line, you can instantly gauge the strengths of Glasgow indie heavyweights Belle & Sebastian’s new track. The songwriting is playful, candid and sweet going down, surely helped along by frontman Stuart Murdoch’s honeyed voice and the warm, twee instrumentation. Violin and guitar strums seem to intertwine like newspaper clippings tossed into the glowing hearth, warding off any early-autumnal chill. As music should be, ‘Safety Valve’ is a delicious slice of escapism, building its own world of wool sweaters and falling leaves in the listener’s head. After your first listen, you surely will not mind exploring it again and again and again. 

 

(All sources from featured artists’ Genius and Spotify pages)

For more track reviews:

Top 10 Tracks – April 2019

Top 10 Tracks – May 2019

Top 10 Tracks – June 2019

Top 10 Tracks – July 2019

Top 10 Tracks – August 2019