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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.

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“Cold December” — Rod Wave

In a different life, Rod Wave would’ve been a country singer that captured hearts on American Idol before being controversially eliminated in the final weeks. And I’m not just saying that because he’s rapping over a chipmunk Hank Williams Jr. sample on “Cold December.” Rod Wave’s music can be so melodramatic and theatrical that it makes you wonder if he’s reading from a telenovela script, but that’s what makes him stand out in the overcrowded lane of sad piano raps. “Who can you love, who can you trust now that you’re mainstream?” he asks himself. “Don’t want no love, don’t got no trust, I feel me changing.” —BC

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“Postman” — Toro Y Moi

Toro Y Moi's new song, the first taken from upcoming album Mahal, is supremely funky and light-hearted until it isn't. The whole thing starts out with Chaz Bear surfing a bubbly bassline and waiting on mail, getting frustrated when all that lands on his doorstep are bills. Relatable content! Things snap into focus a little, however, when he sings: “Mama wrote a letter a long time ago/ Then she hit her head, God bless her soul/ She forgot to put it in the mailbox… What the fox?” It's a confounding and somewhat despondent turn that renders the groove second to the mystery and pulls you in closer than before, eager to learn more about what's going on. —DR

“Sincerely Face” — Babyface Ray

Babyface Ray’s forthcoming album FACE has a stacked line-up of features and producer: Taylor Gang’s Sledgren, rap vet Pusha T, a long-awaited collaboration with Yung Lean that’s been teased since last year, and fellow Detroit rappers Icewear Vezzo and 42 Dugg. On “Sincerely Face,” he makes it clear why he’s the main attraction. Babyface Ray raps with the unaffected, bone-chilling voice of a mob boss who’s seen it all. Slow-leaking air mattresses, courthouses, and army green Maybachs are just a few of the images you’re left with. It results in his lyrics scanning in one of two ways: a caginess to talk about his past in specifics or the chest-beating attitude of someone who knows they’re untouchable. But when he sighs, “I know heaven real, man, I done been through hell and back,” he sounds exhausted. —BC

“BOY DESTROYER” — LustSickPuppy

LustSickPuppy is perhaps the most exciting act to emerge from one of the most exciting scenes in contemporary music: the chaotic admixture of hyperpop, DIY punk, and harsh noise that is Brooklyn’s loosely defined “mutant” collective. Towering in both stature and sound, she casts a demonic figure over every beat she blesses, and when she collaborates with Death Grips’ Andy Morin, the end product is even more demented. Over a mind-bending instrumental that changes tempo at a nauseating rate, LSP brags about the men she’s reaped, sounding like pure evil as she bellows bars like “It’s death row, let’s go / Fuck me, gentle / He telling me I’m a fucking pro / Tell me something I don’t know.” Situated smack in the center of her new 12-minute, white-knuckle roller coaster of an EP, AS HARD AS YOU CAN, “BOY DESTROYER” is a testament, to LustSickPuppy’s cataclysmic power. —RH

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“Amygdala” – Ecco2k and Bladee

Drain Gang have never shied away from big sounds. Good Luck, Bladee’s full-length collaboration with Mechatok, revealed how well Bladee’s slouched flow fit over rave instrumentals crafted from shiny 808s and repurposed parts of the Vengabus. The year before, Ecco2k took a more experimental approach on e, a deeply personal project with synth textures coloured like an ecstasy comedown. “Amygdala,” in contrast, is a peak. Mechtok’s instrumental is a cybernetic thing that pops and whirrs with jabs of grinding synths and laser streaks; it fuels Bladee to woozily mumble about “dreaming in a dream,” but Ecco2k steals the spotlight with his flashy free-association, gasping “I want it / I love it / Iconic” with the assertion only a star can pull off – JD

“How Long” – Tove Lo

Tove Lo is the latest musician to lend her sonic expanse to the world of HBO's Euphoria. Her first solo single in two years, “How Long” finds the pop singer and songwriter perfectly encapsulating the tension of the series’ current season as she comes to a harking realization that her relationship isn’t what she once thought it was – and she hadn’t even noticed the shift happen. “How, how long have you loved another / While I'm dreamin' of us together?” she questions. “How, how long have you tried to end it / While I'm blamin' myself to fix it?” Tove Lo first manifested a Euphoria collab back in 2019 when she told The FADER that given the chance, she would soundtrack a film to sound like “something in the world of Euphoria mixed with Superbad.” — LP

"home" — Two Shell

London duo's effervescent "Home" was a staple in the sets of DJs including Four Tet and Avalon Emerson last summer and it also popped up in Ben UFO's most recent Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1. The track was released physically on a long sold-out 12" but finally arrived on streaming platforms this week. Think of Two Shell unlocking "home," then, as an act of kindness as this cold, long January drags its heels in and the heady adventures conjured up by its animated mix of breakbeats and chopped up vocals fly by. Built around a sample of indie-pop band CHINAH's 2015 song "Away From Me," Two Shell conjure a whole new world in a little over four minutes. —DR

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“Not In The Mood” – Hikaru Utada

BAD MODE is the eighth studio album from Hikaru Utada, one of the biggest stars in the history of Japanese pop music. The new effort attracted production from stateside producers like Skrillex, A.G. Cook, and Floating Points, the latter of whom worked on the album standout “Not In The Mood.” At seven and a half minutes, “Not In The Mood” is an extended sigh where the colours are foggy but never greyscale. A jazzy break reminiscent of trip-hop is the song’s backbone, perching up morose jazz piano and Utada’s golden vocals, which on the hook transition into English for an interpolation of a children’s rhyme: “Rain, rain, go away / I’m not in the mood today.” The nostalgic callback to the depressive episodes of our younger selves gives the song a bittersweet texture that deepens as its structure dissolves into an extended, tearjerking coda. It’s a song about getting hopelessly lost in yourself, and its emotional heft makes it that much easier to find yourself in it. — JD

“Snow Globes” — Black Country, New Road

Black Country, New Road’s songs are never exactly finished. Like the artist formerly known as Kanye West, they tweak each track until the last possible moment, though they haven’t yet reached the status at which one can redact music from the albums they’ve already released. "Snow Globes” premiered during BCNR’s Christmas 2020 live-streamed concert with black midi as a single, crescendoing chorus — "Oh god of weather, Henry knows / Snow globes don't shake on their own” — and gradually grew into a fully formed, nine-minute epic over the next year and change. Its final version (for now) follows an elegant arc, beginning with three minutes of strings and woodwinds that build dramatically as Isaac Wood starts his first verse. The tension gathers until, about six minutes in, Charlie Wayne delivers catharsis in the shape of a drum volley that shatters the song’s increasingly desperate refrain. When the smoke clears, the band takes us home on a soft orchestral arrangement that sounds much sadder on the way out than it did coming in. —RH

“Consequences” – Years & Years

Night Call, the latest record from the pop band turned Olly Alexander solo project Years & Years, opens with a hypnotic kiss of karma. “Consequences” builds around a steady techno bounce as the singer and songwriter decides to stop waiting for someone to redeem themselves after they’re already made their intentions clear. First, he questions: “Did I ever give a damn about the pain? / Did I ever really care who was to blame?” Then he approaches a moment of realization: “I was waiting for the moment you would change / But that moment never came / You're gonna have to suffer.” — LP

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10 songs you need in your life this week