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.

"Billions" – Caroline Polachek

At the peak of his producing powers, Timbaland could take a sample of music that originated far from his native Virginia and use it to create the platonic ideal of a pop song: borderless, big, and catchy as hell. “Billions” is one of the best songs Caroline Polachek has ever written (and co-produced, along with Danny L. Harle) because it follows in the joyous and respectful tradition Timbaland popularized. A shiny, space-age tabla opens the song and builds its foundation, each springy percussive note a vertebrae in its gently swaying backbone. There are cybernetic flourishes across the song’s new age-inspired canvas, and Polachek’s ineffable awe at just being alive – broadcast in her crisp, otherworldly register – helps make everything feel nothing less than natural. A song inspired by the overwhelming vastness of our world, "Billions" has succeeded in making certain differences feel just a little bit smaller. – JD

"Growing On Me" – Foxes

On “Growing On Me,” Foxes is leaving the door open for a second chance at first impressions. Pulled from her recently released third studio album The Kick, the track lays on a bed of synths where she buries herself in sudden realization. “I come from somewhere not good / Those people have let me down / And I don't wanna talk to no one / Talk to no one, talk to no one, not even you / I’ve been caught in a chain / I'm not saying you're the same / Just don’t try to talk to me more,” she resolves with a sense of certainty. But maybe she’s been too quick to put the latch on the door. Later, she sets the stage to give it another shot: “We got off on the wrong foot / I never knew where I stood / And I wish you would talk to me more / Talk to me more talk to me more.” Foxes can’t rewrite the past, but here she has a chance to recontextualize it. - LP

"Calm Down" – Rema

Despite not having a debut album out yet (that’s coming on March 25) Rema has become one of the faces of the global Afrobeats movement. His presence on record is comforting, even when he’s crooning about X-rated encounters (“Soundgasm”) or embracing his edge as on “Beamer (Bad Boys”). A lover at heart, Rema taps butterflies-in-your-stomach jubilation for “Calm Down,” a song about diving into a new romance. Like his previous single “Soundgasm,” “Calm Down” finds its momentum in the hook, where Rema flexes his capacity for melody – whether scat or sung – that summarizes the song better than a few bars ever could. – JD

"Magic" – Vince Staples and Mustard

Vince Staples finds himself in a reflective place on "Magic," a low key collaboration with Mustard that acts more as a showcase for Staples' storytelling than Mustard's club-leaning tendencies. Though he looks back on days spent getting into trouble and outrunning the police,"Magic" comes from a place where those days are firmly in the rearview mirror. "Spreading love now," Staples says at one point. "Sick of police lights, sick of gun sounds." Wiser, calmer, and more controlled, "Magic" is the sound of Vince Staples leveling up. – DR

“We’ll live through the long, long days and through the long nights (different ways)” — Eiko Ishibashi

The new deluxe edition of Eiko Ishibashi’s original soundtrack to Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car ends with a new rendition of “We’ll live through the long, long days and through the long nights.” It’s the fifth track of that name on the album, separated titularly only by its “(different ways)” addendum but worlds away sonically from its nominal companions. Of its four predecessors, three are backed by jazzy drumming from Tatsuhisa Yamamoto and rich instrumentation from Jim O’Rourke (two also feature Toshiaki Sudoh on electric bass); and “(Oto)” is a staticky ghost track, feinting in and out of existence like a radio transmission lost between two stops on a dial. “(different ways),” however, finds Eiko alone with her Rhodes piano, setting temporal concerns aside and letting her shimmering arrangement bloom without distraction. —RH

"Celebrity Skin" (Hole cover) – Doja Cat

When Doja Cat took the 80s dance-pop out of “Say So” and replaced it with weighty guitars and rock angsty for her 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards performance, it put her versatility as an artist on full display. Throughout her career she’s rounded out her skills while straddling the line between pop and rap, but a deeper venture into rock could place her in an era not unlike Miley Cyrus’ Plastic Hearts. While a full project may be far off, Doja Cat’s take on Hole’s “Celebrity Skin” is an addictive dive into pop-punk with the production co-sign of the genre’s elite: Travis Barker and Dark Waves. There’s a tone of effortlessness in her delivery, like she isn’t remotely surprised by how easily warped and manipulated her instrument is. She’s one of the best performers modern pop has to offer, but the rockstar look suits her pretty well, too. – LP

“Heartbeat On Me” – Kiana V

Kiana V’s “Heartbeat On Me” is a love-craving jam perfect to keep that post-Valentine’s Day high going. At the heart of this song is one simple question about commitment: “Will your actions meet the honey you speak?” she coos. It’s a tender and wholesome song about diving into a new relationship and making sure you both share the same intentions. Jaunty chords and a pounding four-on-the-floor rhythm keep the Los Angeles singer in motion—just when you think the song peaks, Kiana V takes it to even greater heights in the bridge and final chorus. it’s impossible to sit still while listening to a song as bubbly as this. —BC

“Admit It (U Don’t Want 2)” – Fred again.. and India Jordan

Fred again.. probably isn't named after his ability to repeatedly come up with heart-swelling club bangers, but it might as well be at this stage. Having already dropped "Lights Out" with Romy of The xx this year, now he's back alongside fellow producer India Jordan. "Admit It (U Don't Want 2)" is a fast-paced techno heater with a vocal sample that cuts through the noise like a hot knife through butter. The disembodied cry of "You don't want to admit that it hurts you" loops over and over, causing a push and pull between emotions. There's always some drama on the dancefloor and "Admit It (U Don't Want 2)" puts it out there front and center. – DR

“Everywhere We Go” – J Billz

Over the last few years, Pi’erre Bourne has been slowly building up the roster of his Sosshouse imprint. With signees from Queens, Atlanta, and South Carolina, its membership mirrors the places where Pi’erre has planted his flag. At times, it feels like a testing ground for wherever Pi’erre’s production may go in the future. The beat for Spartanburg, South Carolina rapper J Billz’s “Everywhere We Go” sounds like something straight from Young Nudy’s Slimeball mixtapes with laser synths shooting back and forth like a Star Wars blaster fight. “I keep that nine on me like Cincinnati Joe Burrow,” he raps with a devilish smirk. —BC

“Inner Beam” — Kill Alters

The penultimate track of Armed To The Teeth L​.​M​.​O​.​M​.​M., the first album in five years from Kill Alters, epitomizes what makes them one of the best acts in the New York noise scene’s recent memory. Bonnie Baxter alternately sings, speaks, and snarls while her bandmates — synth sadist Nicos Kennedy and drum demon Hisham Bharoocha — match her energy moment to moment, even as the song pivots wildly from hardcore ferocity to industrial sleaze to sing-song disturbia. On an album based around the real-world terror of Baxter’s mother’s severe OCD and Tourette’s Syndrome, full of claustrophobic home recordings and dark, ancestral rhythms, “Inner Beam” offers a supercharged moment of escape. —RH

10 songs you need in your life this week