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10 Songs You Need In Your Life This Week

Tracks we love right now, and why they matter. In no particular order.

January 17, 2015
1. Trey Songz, "Slow Motion"

My first thought when I hit play on Trey Songz' "Slow Motion" was, Huh? It's basically an acoustic DJ Mustard song, tender and not nearly as aggressively explicit as we've come to expect from him. It's like a YouTube cover, or a leaked demo of a Justin Bieber song. But, a whole lot of listens later, I'm struck by how intimate it is; it's like he's singing to just me, not to you and her and every one else in the club. It's a little too steamy for repeat listens at the office, but it's nice, and you know what to do with it. ;-) —Zara Golden

1. Trey Songz, "Slow Motion"
2. SOPHIE x Gucci Mane, "Lemonade (rare mp3s edit)"

When I started playing this mash-up—which blends UK producer SOPHIE's dementedly sweet "Lemonade" with trap icon Gucci Mane's now-sorta-classic song of the same name—one of my editors said something like: "This is the sound of our time." It was an offhand comment, and I don't think she was even referring to what the mash-up actually sounded like, but more so what it represented: it's 2009 and 2014 in conversation, a giddy testament to zeitgeist-y sounds that young people love and parents don't really understand. The songs themselves aren't a puzzle-perfect fit, but it still bumps, and I applaud rare mp3s for thinking to put them together to begin with. — Patrick D. McDermott

2. SOPHIE x Gucci Mane, "Lemonade (rare mp3s edit)"
3. Malia, "Lovestruck"

Malia not only shares a name with the coolest teenager to ever exist, she also makes really great songs. "Lovestruck" is familiar in form but flawless in execution; the singer-songwriter sings brilliantly and the production is crystal clean. The casual, small-talk vibe makes it feel even more sincere.—Matthew Trammell

3. Malia, "Lovestruck"
4. Waxahatchee, "Air"

There's a line in Patti Smith's memoir, Just Kids, where she writes, "There were days, rainy and gray days, when the streets of Brooklyn were worthy of a photograph." It's easy to imagine Katie Crutchfield feeling similarly inspired by things that others find dreary; there's an overcast quality to the melodic folk-punk songs she releases as Waxahatchee, and she has a specific lyrical language that suggests a sentimental, slightly idiosyncratic way of looking at the world. "Air," the first single from her new full-length, is maybe the most sophisticated track she's released, and it still feels like it was recorded in a rainstorm, seconds before the sun came out. — Patrick D. McDermott

4. Waxahatchee, "Air"
5. Mark Ronson f. Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"

I have a complicated relationship with "Uptown Funk." At first I didn't like it—I went out of my way to make a joke about it, in fact. Right now, though, I love "Uptown Funk." The Mark Ronson song possesses nothing but positive attributes: it's loud, it sounds like several different time periods of pop music mashed-up into one song, it's basically a Bruno Mars song, it's easy to sing along to, and it's just bumping enough that a DFA remix wouldn't be totally out of the question. It's also everywhere right now with no signs of slowing down, so maybe I'll reach the tipping point soon? Whatever, who cares, I'm living in the now." — Larry Fitzmaurice

5. Mark Ronson f. Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"
6. Young Thug & Rich Homie Quan, "In the Game"

Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan leaks have continued to abound in 2015, and so you could be forgiven if you maybe missed this one. "In the Game"—or "Brain Nicols," as it was tagged on that Tha Tour Pt. 2 leak dump—is built around a majestic, DJ Mustard-esque beat, and it finds Thugga at his slurry, word drunken best. Just one such wondrous line: rich bags under my eyes/ nigga, Birkin these. Hit play and let the rest wash over you.—Zara Golden

6. Young Thug & Rich Homie Quan, "In the Game"
7. Moon King, "Roswell"

Rule of thumb with indie circa 2000 on: always look to Canada if you want to find the good stuff. The latest export comes from Toronto duo Moon King, who were making ferocious glam-goth thrash-rock just a few years ago when they were aligned with Fucked Up guitarist Ben Cook's One Big Silence label. "Roswell" sounds like they've changed gears pretty drastically, embracing motorik rhythms and expressive synth washes with sweetly-sung vocals—and hey, that's great. Who doesn't like to be surprised? The song's six minutes long, which is just enough time to load your bong and cue up "Roswell" all over again while taking rips and watching Labyrinth on mute. — Larry Fitzmaurice

7. Moon King, "Roswell"
8. Angelo Mota, "Slow Claps"

If you got into FlyLo's Captain Murphy album, this Angelo Mota cut will make a lot of sense. He's 19 I think, which is kind of the perfect rapper age: young enough to ape idols with wide eyes, old enough to do it well and get away with it. And you can't really miss flipping The Meters. —Matthew Trammell

8. Angelo Mota, "Slow Claps"
9. Bent Denim, "Shake It Off (Taylor Swift cover)"

If you're like me, you're sorta wistful for Taylor Swift's country days. She's definitely released some undeniable bops since her twangy teen years, but I'd still take "Tim McGraw" over "Trouble" any damn day. So, it's pretty nice to hear Nashville/New Orleans duo Bent Demin's cover of "Shake It Off," which melts Swift's relentlessly peppy 1989 hit into a gorgeously stoned southern rock ballad. The fact that they never get around to singing the chorus feels crucial; maybe sometimes "shaking it off" isn't all that easy to do. — Patrick D. McDermott

9. Bent Denim, "Shake It Off (Taylor Swift cover)"
10. Daze Karter, "I'm Wit It"

If you're living south of the Mason Dixon, you might already be wise to Daze Karter, whose "I'm Wit It" we're told is trending in cities like Atlanta, New Orleans, Memphis, and Houston. We heard it for the first (and also, like, hundredth) time this week. With the piano-laced beat drops out, the way the South Carolina rapper's gruff voice sounds like the result of having rapped too hard, and—most of all—the sticky hook, it's maybe one of the catchiest street anthems we've heard since Snootie Wild's "Made Me." — Zara Golden

10. Daze Karter, "I'm Wit It"
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10 Songs You Need In Your Life This Week