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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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“One” – Amber Mark

R&B songstress Amber Mark opens her introspective debut album Three Dimensions Deep with a transformative pep talk, trading in self-doubt for clear-minded manifestation. Right out of the gate, her delivery on “One” is ambitious in its plan to encapsulate a mountain of anxious ideas into an opening verse: internal and external pressures, bad weather, uncertainty about the future. But over the course of the song, Mark finds ease in letting go – not of her goals and dreams, which still push her forward, but of the expectation that there’s a ticking time clock following her every move and judging whether she’s getting there fast enough. “What you seek, you will find when you look inside / All these things on your mind, just gon’ waste your time,” a presiding voice reminds her. Mark responds aptly, with newfound conviction: “One thing I promise, I’ll make you happy / Don’t forget that I will never give up / And I don’t know if I’ll ever succeed / I just want you proud of me up above.” – LP

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“Who Hotter Than Gee” - EST Gee

“5500 Degreez,” a song from EST Gee’s album Bigger Than Life Or Death, paid tribute to Louisiana hip-hop with a retooled Mannie Fresh beat. On “Who Hotter Than Gee,” Louisville up-and-comer EST Gee continues to showcase his appreciation for the sound while delivering a song that shows how classic Cash Money type-beats fit him like a pair of designer jeans. Beyond what has influenced it, the song is pure boxing ring walk-up music; every synth is carved out of granite, every bar pushed from out of Gee’s core. – JD

“King of the Galaxy” — BabyTron

Detroit rapper BabyTron kicked down the door in January with “Prince of the Mitten,” a 4-minute marathon that ripped through 19 beats of modern-day Michigan rap classics. “King of the Galaxy” is still “Jackin’ for Beats” at its core, but this time, BabyTron pushes himself out of his comfort zone. He sounds uneasy on some of the more downtempo picks like J. Cole’s “Middle Child” and Kanye’s “Through the Wire,” but he jumps from beat to beat so fast that the misses are kept brief and surrounded by better material. “Chop futuristic, we gon’ knock him out the metaverse,” he raps over “Lane Changing.” BabyTron’s electro and freestyle beats tend to make him sound like he’s rushing to record with only a few minutes left of studio time, but on “King of the Galaxy,” he’s truly racing against the clock. —BC

“Beg For You” – Charli XCX featuring Rina Sawayama

If Charli XCX represents a futuristic presentation of pop performance that lies just outside the mainstream bubble, already moving on to the next thing, then Rina Sawayama is a time travelling boundary pusher, making on-the-nose pop nostalgia feel brand new. It’s fitting, then, that the pair’s first collaborative release turns a sample of September’s 2006 dance pop hit “Cry For You” on it’s head. The skittering “Beg For You” envelopes itself in love and obsessed desire, functioning almost in response to the tie-severing breakup of the original, which itself interpolated Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy.” In under three minutes, two of pop’s most visionary performers pull together the eighties, early 2000s and 2020s for a decade-spanning example of the genre’s rare evergreen nature. – LP

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"Cry Mfer" – My Idea

Lily Konigsberg and Nate Amos aren’t in a hurry on their new song, and the result is all the better for it. A proclamation of self-knowledge and the cost that comes with it, “Cry Mfer” is like a deep breath: inhale toxicity, exhale great power. And, well, maybe a little bit of toxicity comes out, too: “I can be the one that makes you cry” Konigsberg sings, her voice between excited whisper and hushed oath as she takes the reins of her life. The dream pop song’s strong current of conviction takes on the feeling of a gentle stream – periodically, Konigsberg and Amos will let their vocals recede and allow the music, with its bobbing drums and crisp guitar lines, to lap gently as we float on. – JD

“New Tricks: Art, Aesthetics, and Money” (featuring Vince Staples) — Kilo Kish

Kilo Kish takes aim at the mainstream rap complex on her bold new single. Delivering her deadpan vocals over a distorted rave beat, Kish talks of selling her soul and "peddling narcissism" as she distances herself from the center and floats confidently around the outer edges of the genre. "I feel yanked around by the players, trends, and expectations of our age and industry," Kish said in a statement attached to the song. "Ever-wanting to bite, question, and change.” Consider this the most defiant resignation letter you'll hear this year. —DR

“Sugar Slip (The Lick)” – Leon Vynehall

Leon Vynehall is something of a timelord. He makes progressive rave music that pulls from classic two-step and garage while feeling totally present. A descendant of Burial in his love for the underground white label, Leon Vynhall’s polished, mutated compositions like “Sugar Slip (The Lick)” exude a strange romance. This element’s clearest indication is a vocal that intones “relationship” throughout the song, sounding vaporous yet hard-wired like a ghost in the machine. It’s the siren of Vynehall’s banger, all sub-aquatic bass and ascendent melodies, beckoning us towards the dancefloors we feel like we remember but haven’t imagined yet. – JD

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"Anxiety" — Coi Leray

Coi Leray's new single is a tender exploration of why so many people feel the need to carry weapons. "I still got anxiety, that’s why I keep it on me," she states softly in a cadence somewhere between rap and crooning. "Sometimes I feel like I can’t trust no one around me." Later in the song, Leray talks about depression, providing for others, and the importance of counting your blessings, artfully weaving nuanced street politics into a stark confession that never loses its pop smarts. —DR

“Impossible” – Röyksopp feat. Alison Goldfrapp

Is 2022 the year of dirty disco? The Weeknd’s ambitious, essential Dawn FM is already the pop album to beat this year, and now Norwegian duo Röyksopp have teamed up Alison Goldfrapp, one-half of the eponymous electro-pop duo, for “Impossible,” an excellent new song that finds Röyksopp’s flexing their longstanding capacity for mirror ball-lit debauchery. “Impossible” starts off with a serrated, janky synth that could be plucked from The Weeknd’s latest, before launching into the signatures you’ll find in some of Röyksopp’s best-loved songs: ethereal vocals and transcendent synth pads that streak across the song. By the time Goldfrapp starts hitting those high notes, there’s no denying the tractor beam pull of “Impossible.” – JD

"Fortune Teller" – NoCap

Ever since NoCap’s music videos began including subtitles that emphasize his wordplay with parenthesis, it’s made listening to the Mobile, Alabama rapper funnier than it should be. For every couplet that’s genuinely impressive, there’s one that’ll leave you wondering how he sits down and comes up with some of these. Take this one from “Fortune Teller,” parenthesis his own: “Grinding like I’m Tony (Hawk) / Stacking this green like Larry (Bird),” he croons over syrupy piano chords. The best NoCap songs strike a balance between these goofy punchlines and teeth-gritting images of struggle. “Fortune Teller” has a bit more of the former, but they’re what makes NoCap stand out in the super-crowded lane of bluesy Southern rappers. — BC

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10 songs you need in your life this week