14 Songs You Need In Your Life This Week

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

May 30, 2015
1. Christopher Owens, "Selfish Feelings"

Listening to the best Girls songs was always like having your heart split in two: while the music often felt warmly familiar, the words Christopher Owens sang tended to reflect a troubled inner life. Owens’ first couple solo records after the band’s untimely dissolution explored the cheerier side of schmaltz, but this week’s surprise self-recorded BandCamp releaseChrissybaby Forever—is more in line with the bright-but-bleak vibe that helped turn both Girls LPs into modern classics. On “Selfish Feelings,” a bouncy sing-a-long that’s probably about scoring hard drugs, he sings: I’ve got your number in my phone/ I plan on text messaging you when I get home/ cause you’ve got what I want, man. Owens has always had a seriously noteworthy talent for breezy melodies, whether he’s writing his own or half-remembering someone else’s, but as “Selfish Feelings” shows us, dude’s truly at his best when there’s something darker below the surface. — Patrick D. McDermott

2. Lil Mama, "Sausage"

When Lil Mama started popping, the first iPhone hadn't even been released yet. In the almost 10 years since, she's gone from zeitgeisty viral rapper to punchline. But on her brand-new "Sausage," she somehow manages to be both of those things, making not-at-all-subtle references to everything from Wu-Tang to Chedda Da Connect to a teen Vine hit—the titular #SausageSong. It's lighted. #LilMamaBack — Rawiya Kameir

3. Tinashe f. Dej Loaf, "All Hands On Deck (Remix)"

I was walking down Bowery with homies half-drunk when I saw this remix dropped and immediately starting playing it off my phone. I then started ranting about how incredible Dej Loaf is as a welcomed contrast to Nicki Minaj, and how she fills a huge void left by Eve in female rap and some other things I can't remember. No one told me to shut up, but eventually I stopped to actually listen to her verse. Then a car drove by blasting her collab with Kid Ink, "Be Real." I'm excited to hear her voice all summer. — Matthew Trammell

4. Ramriddlz, “Sweeterman”

On "Sweeterman," Toronto rapper Ramriddlz mines every possible earthly euphemism for sex, and it's one of the most simultaneously side-splitting and endearing things I've heard in a while. Over a moody, post-Sad Boys beat, he winds up sounding like a sweeter man after all. It's a strange song, but one that will grow on you after a listen or 10. Drake maybe agrees. — Rawiya Kameir

5. London O'Connor, "Nobody Hangs Out Anymore"

Listen to this 100 times, then close your laptop, go out and hang with people you know and love in real life. We make the Internet here, but we also hate it a little bit. Thank you so much for this song London, the kids needed it. — Matthew Trammell

6. Palmistry, “Memory Taffeta”

Dancehall-pop artist Palmistry is kind of a unsung poet. The name of his latest, “Memory Taffeta,” is by itself enough to send hairs standing up on the back of my neck, evoking distant childhood memories of crisp, scratchy dresses; the memories themselves feel as hard-yet-soft as the weird titular fabric. He’s also got a knack for starting a song mid-sentence—this one kicks off with anyway, those thoughts can take you under—pulling you right into his stream of consciousness. “Memory Taffeta” is the Londoner at his most devastatingly intimate; it’s snogging material for the couple at the back of the club again, the ones who like the rain. — Aimee Cliff

7. OG Boobie Black, “Boobie Trapp”

Kevin Gates associate OG Boobie Black has one arm but twice the grit and a hustle all his own. This song, a menacing trap number, is something like his anthem: “I invented The Boobie Trapp," he wrote in an email to The FADER, "which really explains the mindframe of how I hustle—whether it has to do with making money, having women, or conducting business." You can either benefit with him from it or become a victim of it. — Zara Golden

8. Ricky Eat Acid, "Snowden McDonald's"

This song, the 5th on Ricky Eat Acid's murky Mixtape 1, may or may not be named after a specific location of the titular mega chain situated along the Snowden River Parkway in Maryland, where the project's mastermind Sam Ray is from. It also may or may not include a pitch-warped sample of 2 Chainz' Big Sean-featuring T.R.U. REALigion mixtape cut, "KO." What I know for sure, though, is that it's a beautifully weird earworm, starting off with what sounds like a love song spinning in reverse and developing into something oddly catchy and totally moving. — Patrick D. McDermott

9. Satoshi Tomiie, "Thursday, 2am"

In 1989, Japanese producer Satoshi Tomiie released what would go on to become one of house music's most enduring records, "Tears." It featured house heavyweights Frankie Knuckles (in an executive producer role and Robert Owens on vocals, but it was Tomiie's piano parts that really kicked the heart. Fast forward 26 years and Tomiie's releases his second album, New Day this June 22nd. "Thursday, 2am" was the first taste of said record and it's not hard to hear why: yes, it's a much more ambient affair than "Tears," but the blunted sound of those pads carry the same emotional weight. — Ruth Saxelby

10. Eryn Allen Kane, “Have Mercy”

I came across this while excavating Surf’s extensive liner notes. Kane added a lightness to Towkio’s “Heaven Only Knows” (which also features Chance) with fluttery, lithe backup vocals. Here, on her official debut, she turns it all the way on—forgoing instrumentation in favor of layered vocals and the occasional finger snap. Have mercy indeed. — Zara Golden

11. Lofty305 f. Hak & Snob Mob, "Fuck No Shanika"

There are fewer things more terrifying than being accused of bedding someone you didn't. Lofty305 has immortalized this in song, writing an open declaration about a girl named Shanika that's just a friend. Please believe him! — Matthew Trammell

12. Laura Clock, “Fantasy”

Laura Clock used to make music as Butterclock, which is a really fun word to say. I saw her play live around that time, and she wore giant boots, had giant beats, and stomped all over my little heart. Now she’s back using her birth name, and her sound is altogether less stomp-y; here with London’s producer-of-the-minute Ana Caprix, she’s melting and oozing into more ethereal territory. With Clock insisting all I have is eyes for you, this track is pure seduction. — Aimee Cliff

13. Character, "Gastro"

When I was a kid, one of my favorite pastimes, aside from eating bugs, was making "stickies." A "sticky" was my family's affectionate term for collaging: cutting out things we liked from magazines and newspapers and gluing them together on paper to create new, alien forms. There's something of a cut-and-stick approach to "Gastro" by NYC producer Character. It puzzles together a dozen different textures from the contemporary club setting, which sounds like a pretty easy thing to do. It’s making that experience sound pleasing is the tricky part—and Character pulls it off. —Ruth Saxelby

14. Diane Cluck, "This Is Our Love"

Tompkins Square did a cool thing this month. The label has long been a home for American folk music from decades past, whether reissues or out-of-retirement originals. One of their finest releases was a case of the latter: 2008’s A Raga for Peter Walker, which reintroduced the guitarist with his first new material in four decades. A few years earlier, Walker also had the complicated distinction of taking care of his lifelong friend Karen Dalton—and another star of the Greenwich Village folk scene of the ’60s—in her final years (she died of AIDS in 1993, at the age of 55). Those roads have crisscrossed and combined, now, to produce another exceptional LP that few could’ve imagined would ever come: Remembering Mountains: Unheard Songs by Karen Dalton. Walker, who oversees Dalton’s estate, opened up her songbooks of never-recorded tracks to artists like Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, and Diane Cluck, one of the lesser-known names on the record. A somewhat hidden treasure herself, Cluck’s take on “This Is Our Love” is a song with a long story, and a remarkable song. — Duncan Cooper

14 Songs You Need In Your Life This Week