The 5 Best Songs We Heard This Week: DJ Shadow, Miguel, Japanese Breakfast


Everything is horrible, but somehow, people keep releasing new music. As long as the checks keep clearing, we’ll be here to sift through all of it and tell you what doesn’t suck.

This week, we take a peek behind the curtain at DJ Shadow’s lab; try to keep our pants on as we “chill” at Miguel’s; frolic in the forest with wannabe teen witches; and Fade our Minds with some Night Slugs. But first, a hilarious intro from a new Future tape:

DJ Esco – “Project E.T. Intro [Prod. By DJ Esco & DJ Mustard]”

DJ Esco’s latest mixtape, Project E.T., just dropped, and while it’s “hosted by” Future, our favorite track is this UFO sample intro, which shines the spotlight on various wingnuts (or truth-tellers?!?) who have things to say about extra terrestrial beings. It’s one of the funnier things we’ve heard in a week with more frowns than smiles.

DJ Shadow – “The Sideshow (Ft. Erni Fresh)”

In 2016, the moniker “DJ” is pretty relative—you’re lucky to get a DJ at a party who knows how to mix, let alone one that spins vinyl. Sample Sorcerer DJ Shadow is of another era, when DJ producers could chop up, scratch, and mix a handful of samples into seamless compositions. In this clip for “The Sideshow,” he comes out from the shadows flexing his palpable skill and showing us plebes just how the sausage is made. With just a sampler, mixer, turntable, and a crate of records, he appears to cut the track live in front of a green screen that takes us to various scene vistas. Wonderfully chaotic, the video gives us the privilege of watching master at work.

Miguel – “Come Through and Chill”

When we caught Miguel’s set at this year’s Governors Ball, he was anything but chill; he made full use of the entire length of the stage, and with more gyrations than a Segway, he seemed to be as hot and bothered as he had made the crowd. On his latest joint with frequent Nas collaborator Salaam Remi, he turns down for butt, on some “Netflix and chill” shit, except someone as smooth as Miguel needs no bad movies or stale prestige TV to set the mood. This song is proof.

Japanese Breakfast – “Jane Cum”

We admit to sleeping on Michelle Zauner’s Japanese Breakfast project when it dropped Psychopomp earlier this year, but we’re wide awake now. In this clip for Psychopomp track “Jane Cum,” Zauner does her best to channel ’90s teen witch click The Craft, lacing post-punk synths and distorted guitars with a feminine take on emo. She’s currently on tour with Mitski, whose latest record is also not to be missed.

DJC – “C100”

Fade to Mind sister label Night Slugs hasn’t released a compilation since 2013, which only makes their forthcoming Allstars Volume 3 comp that much more exciting. Expect more pulsing dancefloor jams from label founders L-Vis 1990 and Bok Bok, as well as Jam City, Girl Unit and Ikonika, Helix, Sweyn Jupiter, Sheen, and Neana. This track, from DJC, is the first to see the light of day, despite sounding darker than the Chinatown after-hours party you’re most likely to hear it at.