As we wind down toward the end of the year, releases become fewer and further between, and abridged versions of our regular best-songs-of-the-week roundups become a more frequent occurrence. But hey, quality over quantity, no? And there’s definitely quality this week — in particular, there’s a killer HTRK remix by Finnish techno overlord Mika Vainio, along with an excellent new song from Blood Orange, a terrifying new song from Cult of Fire, a pleasantly blissed-out new song from Dum Dum Girls, and something rather wonderful to remember Lou Reed by. And a bonus surprise for Bowie fans. Click through to get listening!
HTRK — “Poison” (Mika Vainio remix)
HTRK have apparently long been fans of Mika Vainio and Pan Sonic, so they’re probably delighted that the Finnish minimal pioneer has remixed one of their tracks — as, indeed, are the rest of us, because this is really, really good. It takes an already somewhat sinister track and makes it both more abstract and even darker. The result is a sparsely atmospheric piece of work that’s Vainio all over.
Blood Orange — “You’re Not Good Enough”
Dev Hynes can’t seem to put a foot wrong these days, and this is such a well-constructed and hazily beautiful piece of music that it takes you a little while to realize that it’s also a spectacularly catty kiss-off to an ex: “I never was in love, you know that you were never good enough/ For sleeping next to me, you know that you were never good enough.” Ouch.
Lou Reed feat. Luna — “Ride Into the Sun”
Dean Wareham released this after the news of Reed’s death broke. It’s a 1993 recording of Reed performing the Velvet Underground’s “Ride Into the Sun,” with Wareham on guest vocals. And it’s lovely.
Dum Dum Girls — “Lost Boys and Girls Club”
You could argue that the shoegaze revival is very much played out by now, but then, perhaps that just means that the pretenders have fallen away and the genuinely good bands remain. Dum Dum Girls certainly fall into that category. This is from their new record called Too True, which is due out next year, and sounds like it’ll be excellent.
Cult of Fire — “मृत्यु का वीभत्स नृत्य”
I’m not just including this because it gave me a chance to revisit my Hindi — although, hey, if I’m not mistaken, the title is “Mutyu Ka Vibhansa Nutya,” which I believe translates as something about a dance of death… which is exactly what this song sounds like. Save it for next Halloween.
Bonus link: lots of new David Bowie!
Four of the bonus tracks for the fancy new expanded edition of The Next Day have leaked! Hear them at Stereogum.