So many big songs out this week. So. Many. Take a deep breath and start here.
Taylor Swift — “Out of the Woods”
Allow me to direct you to the 1,000 words I wrote on the brilliance of “Out of the Woods” earlier this week.
Run The Jewels — “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” feat. Zack De La Rocha
When was the last time you rocked out to Rage Against the Machine’s Zack De La Rocha vocals? If you’re my friend group, it was last weekend at karaoke (what is it with men nearing 30 and “Bulls on Parade”?). But for most, it’s been a minute. Thank El-P and Killer Mike for bringing him back around for a hook on this relentless second single (via BuzzFeed) from the forthcoming Run the Jewels album, RTJ2 (out October 27). I wonder if Meow the Jewels will go this hard.
Majical Cloudz — “Your Eyes”
Having just wrapped a 20-date stint opening for Lorde, Majical Cloudz found themselves assessing it all. To mark the occasion, the DIY duo decided to finally release an old favorite, “Your Eyes,” which often makes the MC setlist but has not appeared on an album. Vocalist Devon Welsh writes in a note: “I originally recorded it in 2011, and when Matt and I started playing shows together as Majical Cloudz this was always part of the set. It’s kind of a relic of the earliest period of our life as a band, so if you are finding out about us for the first time in the wake of our tour with Lorde, this will take you back to the beginning of our music-making days together. We made this new version just before we left on tour, so in one sense it is old and in another sense it is new.” The production feels less sparse than past Majical Cloudz releases. Complicating the musical counterpart to Welsh’s heavy poetry seems like a move in the right direction.
Foo Fighters — “Something From Nothing”
I want to make it clear that the new Foo Fighters single makes the cut this week based on everything that follows the three-minute mark. This includes: a doom-filled baritone guitar part from Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, Taylor Hawkins fucking obliterating his cymbals, and the appearance of Dave Grohl’s speed-metal alter-ego (I’ve decided his name would be Mullet Randy, for reasons that should be obvious). (Also, Grohl has a new HBO show, Sonic Highways, premiering tonight; this song is part of that whole thing, which involves recording each song on the new Foos record in a different American musical mecca.)
BJ The Chicago Kid — “Good Karma”
An exceptionally dreamy track from a member of Kendrick Lamar’s TDE collective, not to mention the hook boy on Schoolboy Q’s “Studio.” Orchestral R&B with a throwback gospel touch hasn’t sounded this fresh since… well, since before R. Kelly started his second stint as a social pariah.
Angelo De Augustine — “Old Hope”
As an Elliott Smith fan, I am biased in favor of L.A. singer-songwriter Angelo De Augustine, whose guitar-playing resembles Smith’s early work quite a bit (all it needs is a few squeaks, à la Roman Candle). But I also think a particular penchant for Smith makes me extra critical of those who attempt to cast themselves in his mold. Like Smith before him, Angelo De Augustine takes the Nick Drake act to slightly new places, in such a slight way. His debut, Spirals Of Silence, is out November 18.
Bonus: Perhaps you stopped watching South Park at some point in the last decade like I did. Every once in a while they really nail it, though. The Lorde parody song, “Push (Feeling Good on a Wednesday),” is one such occasion. Sia provided the vocals.