The 5 Best Songs We Heard This Week: Heems, Ricky Eat Acid, Jens Lekman


New year, new listening habits. We’ve got five new songs from artists you may not be terribly familiar with, and we promise they’re worth your time.

Heems — “Sometimes”

There’s always been a lot going on behind the eyes of former Das Racist rapper Heems, but his new single “Sometimes” brings a lot of it to the forefront. The track, produced by Gordon Voidwell, is a downright banger, and over its chanting beat Heems raps about dualities, which, in an accompanying statement, he relates to his living in the US as a first generation South Asian. Eat, Pray, Thug, the album on which “Sometimes” will appear, is set for a March 10th release. — Shane Barnes

Ricky Eat Acid — “Context”

Just earlier this week, we highlighted Ricky Eat Acid’s hazy, personal record of ambient electronic jams — 2014’s Three Love Songs — as an ace album for productivity in the new year. Now Sam Ray, the prolific musician behind Ricky Eat Acid, has released a new single to kick off what will likely be his biggest year yet. “Context” is a beautiful mess of crescendoing beats and rap samples. It sounds like the inside of your brain on one of those totally overwhelming but totally awesome days. — Jillian Mapes

Sonny & The Sunsets — “Happy Carrot Health Food Store”

Sonny & The Sunsets sound exactly what you’d expect them to sound like, especially when you throw in their Bay Area origins: a psychedelic mix of Grateful Dead, the Beach Boys, and Arlo Guthrie. It’s that last influence that plays prominently in “Happy Carrot Health Food Store,” a story song that raggedly unfurls over seven minutes, composed mostly of vignettes of characters shopping at the Happy Carrot Health Food Store. And then there’s a spoken interlude conversation between Sonny and a dog. It could very well be the most fun you’ll have this Friday. — SB

Jens Lekman — “Postcard #2”

The second installment of a year-long, weekly project from Swedish crooner/quirkster Jens Lekman is a surprisingly groovy pop gem. Perhaps that’s because of its key sample of Abdullah Ibrahim’s “Mamma,” or it’s just because most things Lekman touches come out melodically perfect. Lekman’s next full-length is forthcoming, but until then he’s releasing a new one of these so-called postcards every Friday. — SB

Twerps — “I Don’t Mind”

This Aussie band’s Merge debut — Range Anxiety, out January 27 — is a must-listen for fans of the 1990s’ quintessential indie rock, but as “I Don’t Mind” suggests, there’s a pop undercurrent softening up the edges. I’m remind a ton of Yo La Tengo and a just slightly of Elephant 6 bands. — JM