The 5 Best Songs We Heard This Week: Deerhunter, Bikini Kill


August continues to be something of a desert, but never fear, we’ve got you covered: here are five songs that are absolutely worth your time, from Deerhunter pioneering Southern Gothic funk to an old, old unreleased Bikini Kill belter.

Deerhunter — “Snakeskin”

Deerhunter get funky! It works a treat, too — there’s something that works nicely about contrasting scratchy funk guitar and a bubbly bassline with Bradford Cox’s rather disconcerting lyrics (they’re reminiscent of Nick Cave’s “Swampland” period, and there’s something very Euchrid Euchrow about a character who claims, “I was born already nailed to the cross/ I was born with a feeling I was lost”). The effect is only heightened when you watch the video, which features Cox as a sort of terrifying Faulkner-esque hillbilly. Southern Gothic funk? Sure, why not?

Bikini Kill — “Playground”

Unreleased Bikini Kill? Yes please! The re-release of Revolution Girl Style Now!, which is out next month, includes three unreleased tracks. This is one of them, and it’s pretty great. It’s a bass-driven belter, and lyrically, it seems to involve kicking the boys out of the Bikini Kill treehouse. Fine — we’ll go and play soccer, then.

Wondaland Records — “Hell You Talmbout”

A sort of all-star collaboration from various artists on Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Records imprint, including Monáe. They’re brought together by an ongoing tragedy, sadly, as the lyrics make clear: “Walter Scott!/ Say his name!/ Philip White!/ Say his name!/ Eric Garner!/ Say his name!/ Trayvon Martin!/ Say his name!/ Sean Bell/ Say his name!” The fact that the lyric to a song that pushes seven minutes can be entirely composed of the names of black victims of police killings is as much an indictment on the state of America as anything else. The sad litany is somehow rendered all the more awful by the fact it’s recited over such an exuberant, thumping beat.

Tame Impala — “Nangs” (Lushlife remix)

In which Philadelphia producer/rapper Lushlife lets rip with a couple of killer verses over Tame Impala’s blissed-out album track “Nangs.” (Also, if you’re wondering, “nangs” is Australian slang for whippets. No, not the dogs.)

Waka Flocka Flame — “Workin”

New Waka Flocka Flame! It sounds exactly like old Waka Flocka Flame! Woooohoooo!