10 songs you need in your life this week

Tracks we love, in no particular order.

10 songs you need in your life this week

Each week, The FADER staff rounds up the songs we can't get enough of. Here they are, in no particular order.

"Tintoretto, It's for You" – Destroyer

Don’t tell Dan Bejar to calm down. On “Tintoretto, It’s for You,” he’s raving in the classic sense of the word, addressing one of his inimitably wry, elegant dispatches to a 16th century Italian painter. His lyrics are not direct - perish the thought - but the urgency and anxiety of the song is unmistakable. “Tintoretto, it's for you” Bejar rasps, pleading for an answer. “The ceiling's on fire and the contract is binding.” The song is full of the titular artist's bold strokes: a taut bassline sets off mashed jazz keys in an abandoned concert hall, which lead to tinny, glitched-out electronics. Whichever impending collapse Dan Bejar’s got on his mind, the rumination has helped his music as Destroyer sound alive in new and exciting ways. – JD

"Say It" – SASAMI

SASAMI’s forthcoming sophomore LP, Squeeze, is quickly shaping up to be a much louder affair than her 2019 self-titled debut. Of the record’s four existing singles, three are certified hardcore cuts, and “Say It” may be the angriest of them all. On the new track, she channels her anger towards an uncommunicative partner into an industrial rage anthem Trent Reznor would be proud of. “I don’t want you to apologize / Just say it,” SASAMI sings calmly but with barely concealed contempt as a menacing bass line gives way to punishing power chords above the endless throb of a drum machine. – RH

"Doctor, My Eyes" – Khamari

“Ain’t these supposed to be my glory days?” Khamari chillingly opens “Doctor, My Eyes.” The Los Angeles-via-Boston singer’s writing is diaristic and impassioned. Listening to him sing about being overwhelmed by the pressure of pursuing his dreams and the tequila cocktails that sustained him feels a little invasive, but there’s a warmth to his voice that urges you to come closer. In a brief moment of respite on the outro, Khamari’s grandfather, who he refers to as an “anchor” in his life, offers words of reassurance. It’s the kind of motivation from a loved one we could all use when life becomes too demanding. —BC

"Expiration Date" – MICHELLE

New York City-bred indie band MICHELLE are detailing the lingering presence of a relationship that wasn’t built to last on their latest single “Expiration Date.” Building around twinkling synths and a thumping bass, the melancholic-toned song is a case study in the ideology of right person, wrong time. “So I guess our future is gonna have to wait,” they resolve. “Don’t forget me when you’re gone.” – LP

"Less Than Zero" – The Weeknd

The Weeknd's Dawn FM plays more with format than style, effectively repackaging the neon-lit '80s synth pop that made After Hours so effective and repurposing it as the sound of a radio station being piped into purgatory. The middle ground feels like home to Abel Tesfaye as he reckons with being the kind of superstar that delivers Max Martin-produced smashes to a Super Bowl audience, while also having an avant garde artist like Oneohtrix Point Never on speed dial. Both were in the lab for Dawn FM and right now I'm gravitating more towards Martin's work, obvious perhaps what with his untouchable knack for an instant pop hit. "Less Than Zero" arrives toward the end of the album and is filled with acoustic strumming and arpeggiated synths, a road trip jam for a journey that never ends. "I'll always be less than zero," the self-loathing Tesfaye sings at one point as he feels the long arm of darkness pulling him out of the arms of a savior and into the murk. Choosing Dawn FM's most radio-friendly moment to declare himself a lost cause feels about right for an artist forever caught between iniquity and nirvana. – DR

“More Pressure” – Kae Tempest feat. Kevin Abstract

Certainty is a four letter word for Kae Tempest. Their brave decision to embrace insecurity is especially true in a culture that values the impossible task of eliminating anxiety rather than learning to manage it, and in that regard, “More Pressure” is kind of a manifesto. Over a somber synth-streak production recalling The Chemical Brothers, Tempest breathlessly extolls the highs and lows of living without entrenchment. And although I was initially surprised to see BROCKHAMPTON’s Kevin Abstract listed as a featured artist, his presence brings a buoyant note to a song capable of untangling the more toxic roots that have dug into your ego. – JD

"One Way Lover" – Eric Nam

On “One Way Lover” from his newly shared sophomore album There and Back Again, Korean-American singer and songwriter Eric Nam is troubled with unanswered questions. The simple wondering of “Don’t you ever wanna miss me at all?” gives way to further introspection: “Now it makes me wonder why I'd ever wanna miss you at all.” The record’s lo-fi production lends itself to the somber lyrical direction as Nam tumbles through the emotional turmoil of an on-again, off-again relationship. – LP

“Spin-Off” — Big Cheeko feat. Mach-Hommy

Mach-Hommy can’t seem to miss. After a banner 2021, his first offering of the new year is a feature on soft-spoken Atlanta rapper Big Cheeko’s “Spin-Off,” the lead single from Block Barry White. Over a silky piano beat courtesy of Corey Gipson, Mach starts things off with a string of quick-jab bars but gives us a soft, smooth chorus to heal on before Cheeko enters with a strong verse of his own. Short and understated, it’s a perfect teaser track — a sneakily catchy cut that lingers long past its final notes. – RH

"Lonely" – CMAT

CMAT is Ciara Thompson, an Irish-born songwriter whose camp, heartfelt, and insightful take on country pop lands somewhere between Dolly Parton and a classic British soap opera. "Lonely," the latest single from her upcoming debut If My Wife New I'd Be Dead, reckons with solitude and the anguish that extended periods of isolation can place upon a person. Thompson sits alone in a food hall as she looks back over the path that led her to her secluded state, memories of every friend's birthday that went unmarked and each text that was never replied to accompanied by girl group vocals and acoustic guitar. Sidestepping the trap of wallowing, she instead vows to hold those in her orbit closer than ever before and stop worrying about the insignificant problems that put distance between them in the first place. – DR

"Gameboy" – Hook

Hook songs typically fall into one of two camps. The first are hollow, floor-stomping party anthems with thick bass destined to blow out somebody’s speakers. The second includes songs like “Gameboy,” knotty and inward-looking fragments of the Riverside rapper’s memory. Her free associative writing, loosely threaded together by the story of a blue Game Boy she played on a plane, as well as her tendency on here to employ a new melody or flow with little notice makes me think of the digicore artists over on SoundCloud. They both share a love for breaking apart pop songs and rearranging them into intricate structures with earnest lyricism. When the song powers down with a taunting “Game over” after three minutes, all I want to do is run it back. There’s something new to catch each time. – BC

10 songs you need in your life this week